Thursday May 22, 2014

MCCONNELL-GRIMES DEBATES

Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell on Wednesday challenged his fall Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes to three debates, pitting his 30 years of policy experience against Kentucky's first-term secretary of state. At a campaign stop on Wednesday, Grimes said she would welcome the debates with McConnell. The GOP Senate leader sent a letter to Grimes inviting her to three Lincoln-Douglas style debates "without an audience, without props, and without notes."



LETCHER COUNTY ELECTION

Most of Letcher County’s current officeholders moved a step closer to another four-year term after Tuesday’s primary election. In one of the most closely watched races, incumbent Property Valuation Administrator Randy Hall defeated Randy Blair by a margin of 792 votes. Sheriff Danny Webb easily won the Democratic nomination over challengers Randall Adams, Jon Hall and Ellis Keyes.

WHITESBURG BIKE NITE BACK ON

Organizers of Whitesburg’s monthly “Bike Nite” say they have obtained the permit necessary to continued holding the event on Main Street. Donna Halcomb, spokesperson for the Bike Nite committee said she was handed the permit while visiting the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s District 12 office in Pikeville Tuesday afternoon. Halcomb and other members of the Bike Nite committee attended the May meeting of the city council last week after being told by city officials the committee would have to have a permit from the state in order to continue blocking a portion of Main Street for the event.


JEFFERSON COUNTY SCHOOLS AUDIT

A state audit of Kentucky's largest school system found a bloated administration that has left classrooms resources limited. The audit report released Wednesday made more than 200 recommendations for improvement at Jefferson County Public Schools. The audit found that JCPS ranked highest among them in school administration, support staff and instructional aides while ranking at or near the bottom in spending for instruction and teacher staffing.

KSP TROOPER AND LETCHER COUNTY NATIVE HONORED

A Letcher County native who is an 18-year veteran with the Kentucky State Police has been honored for the bravery he exhibited during an armed standoff with a man in Pulaski County who had shot and killed his wife. KSP Trooper First Class Chris Ison was awarded a “Citation of Bravery” for his actions during the August 2012 standoff that led to the successful capture of Timothy Hislope.

FOOD STAMP USAGE UP IN LETCHER COUNTY

The use of food stamps in Letcher County increased during the recession, assisting families in stretching their food dollars, contributing to local spending and helping spark a national debate about the future of the federal nutrition program. The proportion of Letcher County residents receiving food stamps hit 29.8 percent in 2011. Nationally, 14.8 percent of the population receives SNAP benefits.