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Department of Financial Institutions Offers Password Tips

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 27, 2017) - The Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) is promoting national Data Privacy Day on Saturday, Jan. 28, by encouraging Kentuckians to create strong online passwords to keep their personal information secure.

Data Privacy Day is an international effort led by The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) to raise awareness about the importance of protecting personal information. According to NCSA, weak or stolen credentials, including passwords, are a leading cause of online data breaches.

“Creating stronger passwords is an important first step in safeguarding your financial and personal data,” said DFI Deputy Commissioner Brian Raley. “You can improve your passwords by changing them often and creating unique login credentials that cannot be predicted by cyber criminals.”

DFI recommends the following best practices for creating strong, secure passwords:

*  Do not use the same password for each account.

*  Make your password unpredictable by including uppercase and lowercase *  letters, numbers, and special characters.

*  Passwords should be 8 to 12 characters in length.

*  Do not use a common date, name, or word in your password.

*  Change your password every 3 to 4 months to provide added protection.

*  Do not use the “remember passwords” setting on your devices or accounts.

*  If you experience a personal data breach, you should notify your bank and credit agencies and immediately change your passwords.

DFI provides online data privacy resources at

For more information about Data Privacy Day, visit

DFI is an agency of the Kentucky Public Protection Cabinet. DFI’s mission is to serve Kentucky residents and protect their financial interests by maintaining a stable financial industry, continuing effective and efficient regulatory oversight, promoting consumer confidence, and encouraging economic opportunities. To learn more, visit


Visitors got a sneak peek of the NASA Hubble Traveling Exhibit at the East Kentucky Science Center and Varia Planetarium during a VIP Reception for the NASA Hubble Traveling Exhibit on Friday, January 20.Visitors got a sneak peek of the NASA Hubble Traveling Exhibit at the East Kentucky Science Center and Varia Planetarium during a VIP Reception for the NASA Hubble Traveling Exhibit on Friday, January 20.

PRESTONSBURG, Ky. – Big Sandy Community and Technical College’s East Kentucky Science Center and Varia Planetarium (EKSC) will house a special Hubble mission exhibit from NASA through August.

“We are very fortunate to bring such an innovative exhibit to the people of eastern Kentucky,” said Steve Russo, director of the EKSC. “This exhibit takes visitors through the life and history of the Hubble mission.”

The EKSC held a VIP Reception for community members to get a sneak peek of the NASA Hubble Traveling exhibit on Friday, January 20.

Others who spoke at the reception were: Les Stapleton, mayor of Prestonsburg; John Rosenberg, a founding member of the EKSC, and Maurice Henderson, NASA lead outreach coordinator.

“As the leading STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) facility in the region, it is important that we bring world-class exhibits, such as the NASA Hubble Traveling exhibit, to the people of eastern Kentucky,” said Dr. Alan Scheibmeir, interim president of Big Sandy Community and Technical College. “This exhibit will empower visitors through the power of science and engineering to shoot for the stars.”

The 2,200-square-foot exhibit immerses visitors in the magnificence and mystery of the Hubble Space Telescope and introduces the James Webb Space Telescope. Featuring a scale model of the Hubble Space Telescope and several satellite units, visitors will get a hands-on experience of the same technology that allows Hubble to gaze at distant galaxies and contribute to the exploration of planets, stars, galaxies and the universe.

Visitors will also learn of the various instruments aboard the telescope and the role each of them plays in providing images and discoveries. The exhibit will also feature data taken by Hubble of planets, galaxies, regions around the black hole and many other fascinating cosmic entities that have contributed to science for decades.

The EKSC is a state-of-the-art facility located on the Prestonsburg campus of Big Sandy Community and Technical College. The center provides visitors an innovative and interactive platform to explore STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) subjects and careers.

The planetarium features a 40-foot dome and the Spitz Sci-Dome projection system, one of only two dozen in the world. Additionally, the planetarium has the state’s only GOTO Star Projector, which brings space exploration to life for visitors.

You can visit the EKSC Tuesday through Thursday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and noon to 4 p.m. each Saturday. The center offers school and group tours and a variety of special classroom programs for schools and students.

Admission is $6 for adults, $4 for children and children four and under are free. Admission includes the exhibit and planetarium shows. For more information, call (606) 889-8260.



Slawson Exploration Company, Inc., to Make System Upgrades and Undertake Projects to Reduce Air Pollution in North Dakota

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Justice today announced a settlement with Slawson Exploration Company, Inc., resolving alleged Clean Air Act violations stemming from the company's oil and gas production activities in North Dakota, including on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. The settlement resolves claims that Slawson failed to adequately design, operate, and maintain vapor control systems on its storage tanks at its approximately 170 oil and natural gas well pads in North Dakota, resulting in emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are a key component in the formation of smog or ground-level ozone, a pollutant that irritates the lungs, exacerbates diseases such as asthma, and can increase susceptibility to respiratory illnesses, such as pneumonia and bronchitis.

As part of this settlement, Slawson’s total expenditures on system upgrades, monitoring and inspections are estimated to be $4.1 million. These improvements will significantly reduce VOC emissions and include the use of advanced technology such as infrared cameras and electronic pressure monitors to better detect and respond to air emissions. In addition, Slawson will spend at least an estimated $2 million to fund environmental mitigation projects and pay a $2.1 million civil penalty.

“This settlement puts Next Generation Compliance technologies to work to reduce air pollution across communities in North Dakota, including on tribal lands,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance at EPA. “EPA is committed to making sure that domestic energy development grows in a responsible way that protects public health and complies with the law.”

“Safe, responsible, and lawful development of domestic energy resources and technology is of great importance to a sustainable future for all Americans,” said Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “This Clean Air Act agreement will bring better air quality and lasting health benefits to communities in North Dakota, including the people of the Three Affiliated Tribes.”

EPA estimates Slawson’s system upgrades, many of which are already in place, will reduce the emission of at least 11,700 tons of VOCs, 400 tons of hazardous air pollutants, primarily benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes, and 2,600 tons of methane annually. Improved operation and maintenance will result in additional emissions reductions, as will the replacement of all pit flares used to control emissions from storage tanks.

Many of Slawson’s North Dakota wells are located on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation; governed by the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation. Nearly all of the electronic pressure monitors will be installed at operations on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation; Slawson will replace all pit flares on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation with control devices capable of achieving greater efficiency. These measures, in addition to the other injunctive relief and mitigation projects Slawson will carry out on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, will result in a substantial reduction in harmful emissions.

Slawson’s oil and natural gas production operations in North Dakota use storage tanks to store produced oil and water prior to transport. Multiple storage tanks are typically present at a well pad and are frequently controlled by the same vapor control system. Today’s settlement resolves alleged violations at all of Slawson’s well pads in North Dakota with wells in production.

This settlement is part of EPA's national enforcement initiative to reduce public health and environmental impacts from energy extraction activities. For more information about EPA's enforcement initiative:

The proposed consent decree, lodged in the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota, is subject to a 30-day public comment period and approval by the federal court. To submit a public comment:

For more information on this settlement: