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February 27, 2018

Driverless trucksDriverless trucks


FRANKFORT – Semi-autonomous tractor-trailers could be coming to Kentucky’s highways under a bill that unanimously passed the state Senate today.

Senate Bill 116 would allow truck platooning. The term refers to two or more individual commercial vehicles traveling together in sync with electronically coordinated speeds through wireless communication. Once the vehicles get on the road and platoon mode has been turned on, the front vehicle’s driver is in control of the speed while the following driver is able to take his or her foot off the gas pedal and stay in sync with the vehicle ahead.

“It is basically for the FedExs, UPSs, DHLs and Amazons of the world,” said sponsor Sen. Ernie Harris, R-Prospect, in reference to the shipping giants sprawling airfreight operations in Louisville and Northern Kentucky. Just this year, Amazon announced it would build a $1.4 billion hub at Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport to support a fleet of 100 plus Prime Air cargo planes.

A floor amendment introduced by Harris would limit the platoons to two vehicles and require truck operators to submit a platooning plan to the state police for review.

Harris said trucks traveling as close as 250 feet apart are more fuel-efficient because air-drag friction is reduced significantly. He also said safety is also improved because trucks in platoon mode only need one-fifth of the time a human would need to react.

During a committee hearing on the bill earlier this month, the state transportation department endorsed the legislation.

SB 116 now goes the House for consideration.

 

 February 23, 2018

The opioid epidemic is paralyzing the workforce. Even with six million open jobs across the country, rampant drug abuse has "incapacitated thousands of working-age people whom employers would otherwise be eager to hire," Lydia DePillis reports for CNN Money.

Research published in September from Princeton economist Alan Krueger found the rise in painkiller prescriptions from 1999 to 2015 led to a 20 percent drop in men’s workforce participation and 25 percent decline in women’s participation, especially in Appalachia, the Rust Belt coastal Washington, northwest Arkansas, and central Maryland.

As a result, "some employers that typically screen drug users out through testing are starting to become less picky," DePillis reports. But "such tolerance is not an option for all employers. Jobs that involve working with children typically bar people with criminal records," she adds. "Construction companies, too, are less likely to take the risk of hiring someone who might come to work high and make a fatal mistake while on a ladder or using heavy equipment."

In its annual economic report, President Trump’s Council of Economic Advisers wrote "curbing the opioid crisis is of critical importance for ensuring a stable or growing employment rate among prime-age workers."


Written by Heather Chapman Posted at 2/23/2018

 

February 22, 2018

Louisa City Council Meeting 2/20/18

City Council members present at Feb. 2o, 2018 meeting L to R Mitch Castle, Matt Brown, Mayor Harold Slone, Lisa Schaeffer, Tom Parsons and John Nolan. Lazer Photo by Gina WoodsCity Council members present at Feb. 2o, 2018 meeting L to R Mitch Castle, Matt Brown, Mayor Harold Slone, Lisa Schaeffer, Tom Parsons and John Nolan. Lazer Photo by Gina Woods

 


The Louisa City Council met for a Special Meeting, Tuesday February 20, 2018 to make up for the regular February meeting that was cancelled due to sickness . Those present were Mitch Castle Member, Matt Brown Member, Lisa Schaeffer Member, Tom Parsons Member, John Nolan member, Mayor Slone and Eldred Adams Attorney. The meeting was called to order after the Pledge and the opening prayer.

*  Motion made by John Nolan ,second by Mitch Castle to approve the minutes of the meeting January 23, 2018.

Auditor Jim Bryant of Wells & Co.Auditor Jim Bryant of Wells & Co.*  Motion made by Lisa Schaeffer, second by Tom Parsons to approve the City of Louisa 2016-2017 audit.

Jim Bryant of Wells & Company presented the Council with the results of the annual audit. The audit included statements of the governmental activities, business-type activities, each mayor fund and all the rest of the related financial statement. All departments remained in budget and the City of Louisa was found to be financially sound and within all regulations.

*  Motion to approve a Resolution to support development of the Tug River as a water trail. Lisa Schaeffer motion, second by Matt Brown

*  Motion by Mitch Castle, second by Tm Parsons to approve sale of surplus 2008 Ford Crown Victoria 13,975.

*  Motion by Lisa Schaeffer, second by John Nolan to approve the dates of the citywide yard sale. The Mayor was approached by Joyce Castle for approval to use the city park for this event. Since it is on a city street, no state permits would be necessary. The Mayor suggested June 2 or August 4 but no date was agreed on at this time.

*  During the budget adjustment portion of the meeting there were three options presented to the Council concerning personnel salary increases. Option 3 was chosen and it will include a $.39 cent per hour pay increase across the board for full time employees.

The council then went into Executive session to discuss possible litigation and a personnel matter. No action by the council in executive session was reported.

The meeting was then adjourned.