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Opinion

  • FRANKFORT - The hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians left without electricity from the winter ice storm that has been gripping the state are strongly encouraged to follow food safety guidelines from the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) to prevent food contamination and related illness.

    DPH staff recommends keeping freezers closed to maintain the proper temperature for frozen foods. A full freezer will hold the temperature for approximately 48 hours and for 24 hours if the freezer is half full.

  • Today in the House we should be voting on a package that will raise taxes on some Kentuckians to help cover a large budget deficit.  If it passes, the Senate will vote on Friday.

    As you know, tax revenues for the state (all states, for that matter) are down and the 19 billion dollar (two-year) budget that we passed last year cannot be paid for.  Therefore, Governor Steve Beshear has to cut spending.  We can’t run a deficit, like the Federal government.

  • On Tuesday, Jan. 20, I witnessed something that could only be described as one of the triumphs of America’s Democratic-Republic.

    On that day, through a live broadcast on msnbc.com, in The Pioneer News office in Mount Washington, with Joann Mitchell, I watched a man named Barack Hussein Obama—who was born of a black man from Kenya, and a white woman from Kansas—become the 44th president of the United States.

  • FRANKFORT ee" Snow, sleet, freezing rain and ice make for treacherous driving, so the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Office of Highway Safety is stepping up efforts to aid and educate motorists.

    Motorists should always use extra caution when driving in winter weather. But they are reminded that bridges and overpasses are typically most treacherous.

    Safety Tips for Travelers during the Snow and Ice Season:

    •Make sure your vehicle is sufficiently winterized ee" check the battery, antifreeze level, heater, defroster, wipers, and windshield washers.

  • It seemed like a done deal.

    While no one would discuss the destination, it was widely known that the $18 million bond issue proposed by the city of Shepherdsville would have expanded its current sewage treatment plant and run an extended line south toward Highway 245.

    One of main benefactors would be the Jim Beam Distillery in Clermont. Many of the other benefactors would be current residents or businesses, as well as many more potential residents, industries and commercial developments.

  • Winter is upon us, and cold weather is here...so how can you keep your pet happy and healthy during the chilly winter months? Here are some tips to help make sure that your furry friend stays warm:

    *Never leave your dog or cat outside in the cold weather. Your companion animal could suffer from frostbite or freeze to death. See your veterinarian immediately if you suspect frostbite or hypothermia.

  • In its wisdom in the 1990s, the state legislature decided that the voters of Kentucky needed a year off every once in a while from the election process.

    The legislators wisely decided to make every fourth year an “election free” one.

    Of course, the real lovers of the system know that politics never end. And the off year, which falls before the “big” local elections is hardly one void of political maneuvering.

  • SHEPHERDSVILLE - The world wasn’t exactly expecting to get off to a good start in 2009.

    Knowing this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.

    It could just be me, but a good number of people seem to have bad attitudes and nasty dispositions lately.

    It’s common for many people to feel the holiday blahs come the first of the year. After all the festivities end there’s suddenly nothing to do but return to work and school. Nothing to anticipate except maybe a few football games.

  • The family that operates under the umbrella of Bullitt County government recently lost a very valuable member.

    Evelyn Fackler, a long-time employee with the Bullitt County Planning and Zoning office, passed away after an illness.

    Starting in a small two-person office in what is now one of the history museum rooms, Fackler grew with the county.

    From an administrative assistant, she was first promoted to assistant director and then took over as the planning administrator when Larry Belcher went back full-time to the General Assembly.

  • FRANKFORT – The Kentucky General Assembly convened its 2009 Regular Session last week, with more than 200 bills already filed and more on the way.

    During this odd-year “short” session, legislators will meet for 30 days.

    Already, I have been awarded a position as the Chairman on the Senate Licensing, occupations, and Administrative Regulations Committee.

  • January is National Radon Month. The purpose of the month is to draw attention to radon as a serious public health issue and to motivate Americans to take action to protect themselves from radon health effects. In the state of Kentucky, Bullitt County is located in ZONE 1, which has the highest potential for exposure.

  • In China people celebrate a new year this week, one they refer to as the Year of the Ox.

    In the United States a different celebration begins this week, culminating in a holiday only this country could conceive: Super Bowl Sunday,

    It's east to celebrate the Super Bowl. Many people will host parties in conjunction with the event. You can even celebrate on the lighter side by getting your party supplies and just watching the game at home (especially the silly commercials).

  • The General Assembly is in recess until we reconvene on Feb. 3.  But we continue with meetings.  The purpose of these meetings is to inform legislators and the public about problems in our current budget and potential solutions.

    Recall that we have a predicament because not enough tax money is being taken in to pay for the current budget.  The revenue forecast was inaccurate just like every other state in the country and, for that matter, the world.

  • Since its inception in 1909, the 4-H program in Kentucky has helped shape the state’s youth into productive, contributing members of society. Over the years, the organization has transformed to meet the needs of generations of young people. As the 4-H program in Kentucky celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2009, now is a good time to reflect on organization’s past accomplishments and plan for the future.

  • Most people think that only women who are pregnant or women who are thinking about pregnancy should have folic acid in their diet.

    Not true, all women should aim to get at least 400 micrograms (400mcg) of folic acid each day.

    Folic acid might also have other benefits for men and women of any age.

    Some studies show that folic acid might help prevent heart disease, stroke, some cancers, and possibly Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Over the course of the next few weeks, you will see various pictures and read several governmental stories about the new faces who are serving.

    January marks the beginning of a term of public service for some. It also marks the end of public service - at least for the time being - for others.

    Without trying to name each person who left office at the end of December for fear of leaving someone out, we send our thanks.