Friday March 14, 2014

The Kentucky House has passed a $20 billion, two-year state budget that closely follows the governor's spending recommendations. The plan would pump more money into the state's main funding formula for kindergarten through 12th-grade classrooms. State employees, teachers and other school workers would receive pay raises. It targets spending cuts for an array of state agencies to free up money for schools.
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County funding could soon be restored to the Bell County Volunteer Fire Departments. Several departments closed three years ago in a dispute with the county over funding. Now contract negotiations are underway to restore the funding. Firefighters are filling the Arjay Volunteer Fire Department building once again. The Arjay Fire Department is re-opening  today. The Arjay department closed in December, 2011 when firefighters claimed the county did not provide enough funding to operate.
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In 2012, the Otter Creek Correctional Center closed its doors, costing Floyd County more than 170 jobs.  The Wheelwright facility has sat unused for nearly three years.  Community members say they believe the plan will bring in not only more jobs, but more traffic to an area that has struggled with poverty. House Speaker Greg Stumbo is pushing a plan that would move at least one hundred elderly inmates into the facility.
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Rapists whose victims give birth to a child would be barred from seeking custody of that child under a bill passed by the Kentucky state Senate. While rapists would still be required to provide child support for any children born to their victims, they would also be banned from inheriting property from those children.
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Three people in Whitley county were arrested on drug charges, after police found two active meth labs inside a home. The Sheriff's department arrested Nikki Brock, after they saw her running from the home into a wooded area. She is charged with Manufacturing and Possessing Meth. Brock was also charged with Fleeing and Evading.
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A southern Kentucky man who escaped custody while awaiting trial on multiple charges of rape and arson has been caught. Laurel County Sheriff John Root says deputies and U.S. Marshals arrested 45-year-old James Bowling of Lily on Thursday in Leslie County. Bowling had been under house arrest in Laurel County.