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Editor &Publisher - Dr. Mark H. Grayson, (DoL) Hon. 2005 EKU
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March 15, 2018

 

ASHLAND, Ky., March 15, 2018About 1,000 Kentucky Power customers who lost power briefly on Thursday can blame a busy beaver for the disruption.

 

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The beaver gnawed through a tree that then fell on a powerline near Pippa Passes in Knott County. Power was restored to affected customers within 34 minutes. The fallen tree tripped the circuit but did not cause damage so crews were able to restore service quickly.

Outages caused by animals happen. However, it is more common to see outages caused by snakes, birds and squirrels than beavers, said Mike Lasslo, Kentucky Power’s reliability manager.

“It’s a debate about how to categorize a beaver-caused outage. Is it animal, a tree cut by a non-Kentucky Power employee, vandalism, or tree out of right away”? Lasslo said. “It is not uncommon to have trees that fall on the lines because of beavers. More often than not we see trees that show evidence of beavers that are weakened and then the wind will blow them over onto the lines. It tends to go in waves. We seem to have more issues in the spring.”

Kentucky Power has taken proactive measures by placing animal guards atop transformers to protect the equipment and limit the outage of customers. The company also has placed animal guards behind the primary fencing at some substations to serve as deterrents. Little can be done to deter beavers.

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Kentucky Power, with headquarters in Ashland, provides electric service to about 168,000 customers in Boyd, Breathitt, Carter, Clay, Elliott, Floyd, Greenup, Johnson, Knott, Lawrence, Leslie, Letcher, Lewis, Magoffin, Martin, Morgan, Owsley, Perry, Pike and Rowan counties. Kentucky Power is an operating company in the AEP system, which serves about 5.4 million regulated customers in 11 states.

 

March 10, 2018

THIS WEEK AT THE STATE CAPITOL

March 5 – 9, 2018

 


FRANKFORT – Capitol observers have been tuned in for months to find out what form lawmakers’ public pension reform plans might take and how legislators would cast their first votes on the issue.

They got some answers as Senate Bill 1 advanced through a Senate committee this week.

On Wednesday, the latest version of proposed pension was approved by the Senate State and Local Government Committee on a 7-4 vote. By week’s end, though, the legislation had taken an uncertain turn as it was recommitted back to the committee for further review rather than coming up for a vote in the full Senate.

In looking at the issue, lawmakers are striving to establish sound financial footing for ailing pension systems that are estimated to have unfunded liabilities between $40 billion and $60 billion. Additional funding for pension systems is part of the budget proposal that is moving through the legislature. Senate Bill 1 proposes changes to the system that would help reduce unfunded liabilities in a number of ways, such as by reducing the cost-of-living adjustments for retired teachers pensions from 1.5 percent to 1 percent until the teachers’ system is 90 percent funded.

While much of the focus was on the pension bill this week, a number of bills on other issues also moved through the legislative process:

Disabled Parking Permit. House Bill 81 would limit eligible individuals or organizations to one free permanent or temporary disabled parking placard while requiring $10 for each additional placard. The measure, which is meant to limit the misuse of disabled parking permit placards, passed the House by an 85-10 vote. It now goes to the Senate for its consideration.

Bicycle-safety. House Bill 33 would require drivers to keep vehicles at least three feet away from bicyclists during an attempt to pass. If that much space isn’t available, the driver must use “reasonable caution” when passing cyclists. In hopes to increase roadway safety, HB 33 passed a Senate committee this week and now goes to the full Senate for consideration.

Pregnant Inmates. Senate Bill 133 would improve outcomes for pregnant inmates by limiting shackling during childbirth and by allowing access to substance abuse treatment. ­­­The bill is intended to ensure pregnant women are receiving proper nutrition behind bars, adequate sanitary items, and undergarments. SB 133 has passed the Senate and now goes to the House for further consideration.

Fertility Treatment. Senate Bill 95 would require health insurers of cancer patients to cover fertility preservation, the process of saving or protecting eggs, sperm or reproductive tissue so that a person can use them to have biological children in the future. To give hope to men and women facing infertility caused by cancer treatments, SB 95 has been approved by the Senate and now goes to the House for further consideration.

Abortion. House Bill 454 would ban an abortion procedure known as a “D & E” for women who are at least 11 weeks into their pregnancy except in medical emergencies. The measure would not result in a complete ban of all abortions after 11 weeks but would solely target D & E procedures described as an “intentional dismemberment procedure.” Passing a House committee this week, HB 454 now goes to the full House for consideration.

Road Plan. House Bill 202 would create a two-year state Road Plan that would authorize over $2.4 billion for bridges, repaving and other road and highway projects statewide through 2020. The plan focuses on road safety as well as economic development for Kentucky. Passing the House this week with a 66-25 vote, HB 202 now goes to the Senate or its consideration.

Holocaust Education. House Bill 128 would require public middle and high schools across Kentucky to teach their students about the Holocaust and other internationally-recognized acts of genocide. To ensure that students are being given Holocaust curriculum based in fact, HB 128 passed the House by a vote of 93-1 and now goes to the Senate.

To leave a message for any legislator, call the General Assembly’s Message Line at 1-800-372-7181. People with hearing difficulties may leave messages for lawmakers by calling the TTY Message Line at 1-800-896-0305.

 

March 10, 2018

EASTER - AMERICA NEEDS A GOOD STORY

By Dr. Glenn Mollette

Americans are waiting and hoping. We're hoping for something and we aren't exactly for sure what we are hoping for. Internally it's always the hopes of something better around the corner.

Many of us grew up believing that if we worked hard, tried hard and stayed with it that life would work out and eventually become easier. The unfortunate dilemma that many Americans are facing is life is not any easier. Medical care continues to be an escalating crisis. Premiums steeply rise with an increasing cost regardless if you have a medical card.
Retirees are less and less retired. Old people are seen working everywhere trying to earn a few dollars to buy groceries or pay rent. Social Security tells us we can expect to draw fewer dollars in the future. State governments are in trouble from Illinois, to California, New Jersey, Connecticut and Kentucky. They among others are shuffling to figure out how to pay government retirees and their retired school teachers. Most retirees are now facing giving up some retirement pay and paying an increasing medical care cost.

Education continues to escalate in cost. Public Universities are demanding $20,000 to $40,000 a year and that's just for tuition. Housing, food, books, transportation all increases the cost of education after high school. Most of America's families don't have a $100,000 lying around for a college degree. College loans are crippling America's young people plus the back breaking interest payments.

In recent years we have been made aware of America's water shortage. Towns and counties across America are struggling with old debilitated infrastructures, leaky pipes, mismanagement of funds and contamination.
In the meantime America's pastime has moved beyond baseball and has become devouring each other.

Facebook and other outlets seem to have given everyone a place to say and do it all and it's not making us better. Congress has never gotten along and political parties have always gone for each other's jugular vein. Today, it's worse. Social media, cable news, email and a zillion blogs, online news sources and more make it a point of distributing only the worse, even if it's fake.

While all this is going on we are still spending billions in Afghanistan to try to keep control of a country that nobody can control. I wonder how much money we would have if we didn't spend trillions on other nations? How much money would we have for our state government retirees and school teachers if our state governments didn't raid and spend what these workers contribute on other projects? There is nothing right about that nor is it right that our government spends our Social Security dollars on wars and whatever else they please.

Easter is almost here and it's coming just a bit early it seems this year. It's not too early for Americans because we need to once again hear about victory over death and defeated living. The only real way that people can overcome adversity is to believe they can.
We have a lot to work out in this country. We need to work together to solve our mental health issues. We have to secure our schools and other vulnerable areas of society. We can fight all day about our issues and point fingers but we need to point them at ourselves first before pointing at others. Blaming everybody, a President or the Russians is getting us nowhere.

I was out in a country church not too long ago and they were singing an old time song with some of these words included, "It's not my brother or my sister but it's me ol' Lord standing in the need of prayer." There's plenty of fault to go around. We elect people who promise one thing and do another.
Yet, as Easter approaches we have to remember there was only one perfect person who ever lived we are told in the Bible and that was Jesus. Of course, he was nailed to a cross.
That is exactly what we would do to Jesus today in America. We would nail him to a cross just as quickly as they did 2000 years ago. If we didn't do it physically, we would do it via television, talk radio, fake news and all the rest.

The beautiful part of Easter is that the grave could not contain Jesus. He came back to life. Millions of people around the world have grasped this promise individually in faith and hope. It's time for America to believe again. We need new life individually and as a nation. Easter is about all of this. The story is about victory over death and the grave. The story is about victorious living. It's a good story. Americans need a good story.


Dr. Glenn Mollette is the author of 12 books. His syndicated column is read in all 50 states.

READ HIS NEW BOOK - UNCOMMON SENSE

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