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March 6, 2018

SNAP, Other programs for the poor will be 'reviewed frequently' if GOP bill passes

Lottery winnings, change of address, etc. to be checked regularly

FRANKFORT— Legislation aimed at rooting out fraud from the state’s Medicaid and food stamps programs has passed the Kentucky House.

 

House Bill 363 sponsor Rep. Regina Huff, R-Williamsburg, said the bill would require the state to track enrollees in the programs at set intervals for changes in eligibility based on lottery winnings, employment, changes in residency, or other life changes.

Any “change in circumstances” that could affect someone’s eligibility for Medicaid benefit or SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits-- formerly known as food stamps-- would require a review of that individual’s case, according to the bill. No waiver of SNAP requirements would be allowed unless the state unemployment rate reaches at least 10 percent, or by determination of the state.

“Essentially, the bill is an attempt to turn back the fraud and abuse in these programs,” said Huff. She said examples of fraud have included lottery winners not reporting their income and SNAP electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards being sold for profit.

Rep. Jim Wayne, D-Louisville, challenged the legislation, asking why supporters of the bill feel the state should “police the poor.”

“It seems to me, if the federal government wanted to set up some guidelines on these, they would set the guidelines themselves,” said Wayne.

HB 363 supporter Rep. Robert Benvenuti, R-Lexington, said the bill is needed because many who don’t need the benefits are taking them away from those who do.

“The real shame is when someone who does not (qualify) pushes a child or someone who is truly disabled out of line,” he said.

HB 363, which is also sponsored by House Majority Floor Leader Jonathan Shell, R-Lancaster, cleared the House by a vote of 63-32. It now goes to the Senate for consideration.

 

March 5, 2018

Head into the Kentucky hills with the history of its biggest stars...

 

Road signs along the County Music Highway through Kentucky’s mountain region tout the many Nashville stars with roots around here, including Loretta Lynn, Naomi and Wynona Judd, Chris Stapleton, Billy Ray Cyrus, Ricky Skaggs, Dwight Yoakum, Keith Whitley, Patty Loveless, Crystal Gayle and Tom T. Hall, among others.


Country music fans from across the nation travel U.S. 23 to see where some of the biggest stars in country music grew up.

 Nashville stars with Kentucky roots, like Loretta Lynn, Ricky Skaggs and the Judds, are featured on the U.S. 23 Country Music Highway in eastern Kentucky. (Photo by Rich Fury/Invision/AP File) Nashville stars with Kentucky roots, like Loretta Lynn, Ricky Skaggs and the Judds, are featured on the U.S. 23 Country Music Highway in eastern Kentucky. (Photo by Rich Fury/Invision/AP File)

“We’ve had so many great singers, songwriters, broadcasters come out of this state,” said Kentucky Music Hall of Fame Executive Director Avery Bradshaw. “I think it goes back to an older generation when music was a huge part of everybody’s lives.”



State officials designated a 150-mile stretch of U.S. 23 the Country Music Highway in 1994 because so many Nashville stars grew up in communities on or near the route.

Visitors can do self-guided tours with brochures from the U.S. 23 Country Music Highway Museum in Paintsville and other visitor centers along the highway.



One of the newcomers, three-time Grammy award winner Chris Stapleton, grew up in Paintsville, about a half hour north of Pikeville. The Judds’ roots are in Ashland. Yoakum was born in Pikeville. Loveless grew up in a small community outside Pikeville. Lynn and Gayle are from Van Lear. Cyrus is from Flatwoods. Skaggs grew up in Cordell. Whitley is from Sandy Hook. Hall is from Olive Hill.




Chris Stapleton travel guideChris Stapleton travel guideFans can tour the Butcher Holler property where Lynn grew up in Butcher Holler, made famous in her 1970s song, “Coal Miner’s Daughter.” Tourists stream through a house on the property with memorabilia from Lynn’s music career.



Bradshaw said Lynn is the most admired woman of her generation and a member of the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame, which is open for tours at Renfro Valley.



In Prestonsburg, the Mountain Arts Center is keeping eastern Kentucky’s music tradition alive, providing a venue for local arts as well as Nashville’s top stars.



Inside area churches on Sunday mornings, visitors can hear relatives of the region’s biggest stars belting out gospel songs in vocals that can only be matched in Nashville.



It’s no wonder tour buses from as far away as Canada glide up and down Country Music Highway.



“Music from Kentucky is special,” Bradshaw said. “it’s heartfelt and it’s something that people can really relate to.”

By Robin Cornetet
Kentucky Today

Countery Music HighwayCountery Music Highway

March 5, 2018

 

 

If you or someone you know is affected by the opioid or heroin epidemic, the Lawrence County Health Department will be offering free Narcan on March 21, 2018. Sponsored by the Department for Public Health and the Kentucky Pharmacists Association, this free event will provide attendees with training on overdose prevention, recognizing signs/symptoms of an overdose and the use of overdose reversal drug Narcan.

Anyone over the age of 18 who visits the Lawrence County Health Department located at 1080 Meadowbrook Lane in Louisa between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm on Wednesday, March 21 will receive 2 free doses of Narcan.

In addition, Pathways will present “ The Community Member’s Role in Addressing the Opioid Crisis” at 9 am.

For more information, contact the health department at 606-638-9500.