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Louisa-Lawrence Co, KY

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March 21, 2018

Over 100 show up for first mobile visit;


Mobile pharmacy NARCAN: LAWRENCE CO. HEALTH DEPT Director Debbie Miller and  Regional Preparedness Planner John Hunt.Mobile pharmacy NARCAN: LAWRENCE CO. HEALTH DEPT Director Debbie Miller and Regional Preparedness Planner John Hunt.

The Mobile Pharmacy is currently in town for Narcan training, and to distribute two free Narcan packets to anyone over the age of 18,  who takes the 20 minute training in how to use the medicine.

Please be sure to take advantage of this opportunity. The Trainings and distribution of Narcan will take place from 10:00 AM until 2:PM today, Wednesday, March 21 at the Lawrence County Health Department, 1080 Meadowbrook Lane, Louisa, KY.

Please call for more information 606-638-4389.


The Mobile Pharmacy and Beyond

On Wednesday March 21, the Mobile Pharmacy unit came to Louisa to offer free Narcan inhalers and training to all adults ages 18 and older. Over 100 people from all walks of life and varying occupations participated in the training. Narcan training and distribution is only one of many harm reduction strategies being employed by Public Health to help stem the rising cost in human lives brought about by the current opioid epidemic. Harm reduction strategies focus on keeping people safe until they can get into treatment.

Another harm reduction strategy is a syringe exchange program which reduces the spread of infectious diseases, such as Hepatitis C and HIV, by eliminating sharing of needles and disposing of needles properly. The Lawrence County Board of Health and the Louisa City Council has given approval for the Lawrence County Health Department to operate a syringe exchange. The Lawrence County Fiscal Court must also approve before this life-saving program can begin.

The disruption brought about to American society by the drug epidemic is staggering In terms of tragic deaths, ruined lives, family disintegration, overtaxing our health care system, and loss of economic productivity. The problem was deemed so critical by our local Health Action Team, that all community partners named it the primary focus of their recent community-wide health assessment agenda.

Combating the opioid threat is no different than meeting the challenges of a devastating infectious disease. In order to overcome this plague everyone needs to get involved. Be educated. Take prescription opioids only as directed by your provider. Learn how to administer lifesaving Narcan. Encourage your elected officials to support harm reduction initiatives that will help get dangerous syringes off the streets and away from the places where our kids play. Most important is to know that anyone can end up addicted. It is not a disease of “those” people, but all people.

If you would like more information about harm reduction, syringe exchange programs or any services offered, please contact the Lawrence County Health Department at 606-638-4389.


March 20, 2018



HIGHWAY DISTRICT 12 – Tuesday, March 20, 2018 – Next week, March 26-30, crews in the seven counties of Highway District 12 will blitz through each county to remove signs that are illegally installed on state property.

It is illegal to place a sign on state right-of-way. It is also illegal to attach a sign to a structure already installed on state right-of-way. Highway workers have an ongoing directive to remove such signs from roadsides and intersections. District 12 includes Lawrence, Johnson, Floyd, Martin, Knott, Pike, and Letcher counties.

“There are more political signs this time of year than any other type,” said Mary Westfall-Holbrook, Chief District Engineer, “but we will remove any and all signs that we find, not just political signs. The only signs allowed on state property are state signs.”

As an example, Westfall-Holbrook cited sale signs for a business, those advertising a number to call about jobs. “Even posting a sign for a yard sale, taped to a speed limit sign or a stop sign, for example, is illegal,” she said.

Businesses and individuals sometimes invest a lot of money and work into such signs, she noted. “But the fact is, they create safety problems, sight distance issues, and it is our responsibility to make the roads as safe as we can. They interfere with mowing and litter pickup, and recently have interfered with snow and ice removal.”

Warmer weather means that maintenance crews will be cleaning out ditchlines and replacing cross drains. Illegal signs interfere with this work as well.

“In the interest of safety and maintenance, our crews have been directed to remove all illegal signs. We have had a few blitz programs in the past, warning people in advance and then spending an entire week or more taking down signs. By now people should know that putting signs on state right-of-way is not permissible. It is, in fact, against the law.”

Westfall-Holbrook said that signs will be kept at the nearest maintenance facility for about a month in case the owner wants them back so they can be put on private property. “We don’t have to keep them or return them, so when we clean out the lot, they will be destroyed,” she cautioned. “We are not responsible for damage to any sign or sign post that we remove, since they were installed illegally to begin with.”

If people want to remove their own signs, rather than run the risk they will be damaged or destroyed when the state removes them, that is their choice, Westfall-Holbrook said. “We aren’t trying to sound mean about this. It’s simply part of our job, and something we take seriously. We really believe that most taxpayers would rather we spend our time patching potholes or cleaning out ditchlines instead of taking down signs that shouldn’t be there in the first place.”




FRANKFORT—A bill regulating online eye exams and prescriptions offered in Kentucky is on its way to the governor after receiving final passage on an 88-0 vote in the state House yesterday.

HB 191 “permits the use of telehealth and it permits consumers to choose where they purchase their glasses and contact lenses,” the bill’s sponsor Rep. Jim Gooch, R-Providence, told the House in a floor debate on the bill earlier this session.

The Senate amended and passed the bill on a vote of 36-0 last week.

HB 191 would require those offering eyeglass or contact prescriptions based on eye tests offered by smartphone app or online to have the prescription signed off on by a Kentucky licensed medical provider.

Those buying the products would have to be at least age 18 and have received an in-person eye exam within the last two years.

HB 191 was filed in response to a rise in online companies that allow Kentuckians to get virtual eye exams, and prescriptions based on those exams, without input from licensed Kentucky medical professionals.



Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes released the statement below regarding the status of House Bill 166, medical cannabis legislation:

"...House Bill 166 continues to gain bipartisan support. One in four members of the House are now sponsors. Yesterday, Reps. Jason Nemes, Jerry Miller and Wesley Morgan added their names to the list.

These legislators realize medical cannabis can help save lives and provide new funding to Kentucky so we don't have to balance budgets on the backs of our teachers and public employees.


"Yet, GOP House Leadership is holding the bill hostage in the Judiciary Committee. Sponsors should not have to rely on a discharge petition to force a vote on something an overwhelming majority of Kentuckians support.

If GOP House Leadership refuses to call a vote, constituents are only left to wonder what motivates them to ignore the will of the people."

March 19, 2018



Don BlankenshipDon BlankenshipConvicted coal CEO Don Blankenship is running neck and neck in the race for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination in West Virginia, but he's aiming his blows at Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, the former governor he considers responsible for his year in the pokey.

"In 2016, the former hard-charging chief executive officer of Massey Energy Co. went to federal prison for conspiring to evade safety laws in the lead-up to the worst coal mine disaster in a generation—a 2010 explosion at Upper Big Branch Mine that killed 29 miners. Manchin, the governor at the time, commissioned an independent probe that reached blistering conclusions about Blankenship’s tight grip over Massey and did a lot to seal public opinion about his role in the disaster," Tim Loh reports for Bloomberg. "Years later, as federal prosecutors zeroed in on Blankenship, Manchin, by then a senator, said on national TV that the ex-coal boss had 'blood on his hands'."

Blankenship, who maintained his innocence during his year in prison, "entered this race because he has an axe to grind with Joe Manchin," state House Democratic Minority Whip Mike Caputo told Loh. "It's more personal than politics." But to face Manchin, Blankenship has to get through the May 8 GOP primary. His foes are more experienced politicians, but he has blown past state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey in polling and is only two percentage points (within the margin of error) behind U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins, who represents the state's southern third.

Many West Virginians seem to have accepted Blankenship's claim that he's a victim, and some miners associate him with better times, when the state's coal production was three times higher than today. Through his anti-union, anti-illegal immigration stances, "Blankenship has tapped into the anger of working people in West Virginia and their deep frustration over the state’s stagnant economy," Loh reports. "To understand Blankenship’s appeal is to understand the current conservative movement in rural America, and how, in the span of several years, West Virginia became one of the reddest states in the country after decades as a Democratic enclave."


Written by Heather Chapman