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  1. Paducah Teen Charged with Drug Theft
    Police have charged a Paducah teen with trying to sell prescription medicine on his social media page.

    According to Paducah Police, detectives got a tip that 19-year-old Mark Stigger, of Paducah had posted a picture of a bottle of Promethazine, a prescription medication, on his social media page and was selling it for $60.

    Detectives said they spoke with an employee at the prescribing pharmacy, who told them the medicine had been delivered to a relative of Stigger’s. On Jan. 21 the relative told police she noticed the medicine missing after Stigger had visited her.

    Police arrested Stigger Wednesday morning and charged him with trafficking in a legend drug. He was booked into the McCracken County Regional Jail.
  2. Inmate Stabbed at State Prison in Eddyville
    An inmate at Kentucky State Penitentiary in Eddyville was stabbed today in a general population dormitory at the prison. The assault happened just before 8:00 am.

    The Kentucky Department of Corrections says 58-year-old Herbert Eades was stabbed multiple times in cellhouse number 6 by another inmate in the dormitory, 46-year-old Sean Noakes. Eades was taken to the Caldwell Medical Center, where he is listed in stable condition.

    Noakes is serving a life sentence for murder and criminal attempt to commit murder out of Boone County. Eades is serving a life sentence for sodomy and sexual abuse, first degree, out of Ohio County.

    The assault is under investigation by the Kentucky State Police, and criminal charges are pending. Noakes was placed in segregation and will also face administrative charges.
  3. Property Manager Charged with Stealing Rent Money
    A Paducah property manager faces theft charges, after a police investigation reportedly found he was pocketing rent money.

    In late November the McCracken County Sheriff’s Department got reports of thefts at Countryside Manor and Village One Properties in West Paducah. Police said the owner began suspecting some of the collected rent money was not being deposited into the proper accounts.

    During their investigation, detectives began to compare documents related to the collection of the rent money to the bank accounts set up to accept those deposits. Police said they discovered that more than $10,000 had not been deposited into the proper accounts.  

    Detectives said they later discovered that the property manager, 54-year-old Ray Terry, of Lane Road had collected a large amount of rent in the form of cash, and had made more than $10,000 in cash deposits into his personal account over the course of 2014. They said tenant statements and hand-written receipts confirmed that Terry had been stealing the rent money.

    Terry was arrested and taken to the McCracken County jail on charges of theft by unlawful taking over $10,000, a class C  felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.  

  4. Developer Fails to Get Funding for Downtown Hotel
    A developer's plan to build a Hilton Garden Inn in downtown Paducah has hit a major snag.

    In a Thursday news release, Mayor Gayle Kaler said Senate Hospitality, the developer behind a project to build the hotel attached to the Paducah McCracken County Convention & Expo Center has failed to secure a bank loan for the project, which was one of the requirements mandated by the City Commission.

    Mayor Kaler said city officials are continuing to work hard to make the project an eventual reality, and applauded the developers for their willingness to invest in the project. She said the project has taken more time than anticipated due to financial issues and other factors, including hotel design. Kaler said the city's incentive package for the project remains intact.

    The $19.2 million project was to be financed by Independence Bank, but it is unclear now if there is any chance of that happening in the future.


    Here is Mayor Kaler's statement in its entirety:

    After months and months of work regarding the downtown hotel project, it has been determined the development team was unable to satisfy the conditions of the Resolution approved by the City Commission on January 20, 2015, requiring the closing of the bank loan as of 2 p.m. today.

    We applaud the developers for their tenacity and their desire to invest in downtown Paducah.  No one is questioning the desire for this hotel to be built.  I wish to assure everyone that the City Commission and staff have worked and will continue to work diligently to make the addition of a hotel in historic downtown Paducah a reality.

    This is a complex project involving the coordination of various financing components ranging from city-issued bonds, state tax credits, and private financing.  The project has taken more time than anticipated due to such complexities as well as other factors including hotel design.  The City’s incentive package for the project remains intact, and no monies have been advanced to any developer to date.   

    The City has learned so much from this process.  We have a very good idea and a plan for what it takes to make a downtown hotel project possible, and we know that Paducah is a desirable location.  The next step is for the City Commission to discuss options and opportunities for moving forward with the project.
  5. Paducah Among Three KY 'Bible-Minded' Cities
    A new study has defined three Kentucky cities as "Bible minded". Will Clark reports...

    According to a survey from the American Bible Society, Lexington is the state's most Bible minded city, followed by Louisville and Paducah.

    Nationally, Lexington was ranked 15th with Louisville 17th and Paducah 23rd.

    The survey from the American Bible Society considered someone Bible-minded if they said they had read the Bible in the past seven days and believed the Scriptures to be accurate.

    The survey found Birmingham, Alabama is the most Bible-minded city in the nation.
  6. Paducah Among Three KY 'Bible-Minded' Cities
    A new study has defined three Kentucky cities as "Bible minded". Will Clark reports...

    According to a survey from the American Bible Society, Lexington is the state's most Bible minded city, followed by Louisville and Paducah.

    Nationally, Lexington was ranked 15th with Louisville 17th and Paducah 23rd.

    The survey from the American Bible Society considered someone Bible-minded if they said they had read the Bible in the past seven days and believed the Scriptures to be accurate.

    The survey found Birmingham, Alabama is the most Bible-minded city in the nation.
  7. All 173 KY School Districts Raise Dropout Age
    Kentucky's 173 public school districts have approved policies that increase the dropout age to 18 from 16.

    The state legislature passed a law in 2013 giving school districts the option of raising the dropout age. Once 55 percent of districts did so, it would trigger a four-year deadline for everyone else to raise the age. Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear said districts beat that deadline by one year. The law does not apply to private schools.

    All but seven public school districts will have the new policy this fall. The rest will begin the policy in the 2017-18 school year.

    Beshear credited First Lady Jane Beshear for her work to pass the bill in 2013. The Beshears said they hope the new dropout age will help increase the state's graduation rate.


  8. Work at Kentucky Dam Lock Hits Milestone
    Crews have marked a milestone in the construction of a new navigation lock at Kentucky Dam.

    The Paducah Sun reports a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contractor topped out the first massive concrete pillar for the addition on Wednesday. It is a significant step in finishing the 1,200-foot-long lock. The entire project is expected to be completed in 2023.

    The purpose of the lock is to relieve bottlenecked marine traffic caused by the current 600-foot-long lock.

    The newspaper reports the size of the current lock coupled with the high traffic on the Tennessee River causes delays of seven to nine hours at times for commercial tows.

    ___

    Information from: The Paducah Sun, http://www.paducahsun.com


  9. Grimes Endorses Democrat Jack Conway for Governor
    Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes has endorsed Jack Conway for governor.

    Grimes declined to endorse Conway on Monday, when she announced she would seek re-election. She had been considered a potential Democratic candidate for governor following her unsuccessful attempt to challenge Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell last year.

    The deadline to file for governor was Tuesday, and Conway is the only major candidate seeking the nomination. Former congressional candidate Geoff Young is also on the ballot.

    In a news release, Grimes said she has known Conway for more than 10 years and said he is a tireless defender of Kentucky farmers and coal miners. Conway campaigned heavily for Grimes during her Senate campaign last year.


  10. Man Charged in Dead Horses Case Sentenced
    A Pendleton County man has been sentenced to probation in a case where animal control officers removed 49 horse carcasses and 14 emaciated horses from his farm.
     
    The Kentucky Enquirer reports Larry Browning, who was originally charged with 14 counts of cruelty to animals and 49 counts of failing to properly dispose of an animal carcass within 48 hours, entered an Alford plea this month in a deal that merged the charges into a single count of failing to dispose of a carcass. Under the Alford plea, Browning did not admit guilt, but acknowledged that there is enough evidence for a conviction.
     
    He was sentenced to 18 months of probation and must repay restitution of $7,500 to the county for the care of the horses removed from his farm.
  11. McConnell Happy College Saving Plans Still Untaxed
    U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor Wednesday regarding the President’s decision to drop his proposal to end tax relief on 529s:

    "The president was right to retreat on taxing college education savings plans.

    I’m glad to see the President has dropped his plan to make it harder for middle-class families to save for college with 529s. I fought to ensure these plans were tax-free at the federal level. Thanks to this incentive to save, millions of Americans use 529s to help prepare for college expenses.

    These are good plans that promote responsible savings. I’m not sure why President Obama would have sought to undermine them in the first place. It’s just good to see the president coming around to Republicans’ pro-middle class view in the end.”

  12. Bill Gives Foreign Language Credit for Programming
    Kentucky Senate President Pro Tem David Givens wants students who study computer programming to be given credit for learning a foreign language.

    The Greensburg Republican told The Courier-Journal that computer programming is a language itself, and, in his words, "it's foreign to a lot of people."

    Givens has filed a bill in the General Assembly that would let school districts teach programming as a foreign language credit. It would also allow programming courses to count toward foreign language requirements to enter Kentucky's public universities.

    Givens says the change is needed to prepare the workforce to take on programming jobs expected in coming years.

    The Senate approved the measure last year, but it died in the House.

    Critics say the bill may sacrifice equally important studies that help students compete.

  13. New Course Aims to Boost Early Childhood Learning
    A free online training course has been released to help early childhood professionals prepare Kentucky children for success in school.

    The Governor's Office of Early Childhood says the course supports the new STARS quality rating system to be launched later this year. The early childhood office is partnering with Kentucky Educational Television in the initiative.

    The course aims to strengthen the state's early childhood workforce. It examines the Kentucky Early Childhood Standards and their essential components, which include standards, benchmarks and example behaviors.

    Kentucky's Early Childhood Standards are the basis for planning teacher-led activities and designing environments in an early childhood setting.

  14. Rauner Spent $28M of Own Money to Win IL Governor
    A new study says multimillionaire Bruce Rauner was among America's largest donors to political campaigns in last fall's election.

    Illinois campaign finance reports show Rauner spent more than $28 million of his own money on his successful bid to become governor and on other races. The study finds that's more money than other candidates for state office and most other organizations or individuals nationwide.

    Rauner wasn't the only Illinois name to crack the list of the country's top 50 donors. Businessman and Rauner supporter Ken Griffin also is on the list. So is the Illinois Education Association, which spent millions to try to stop Rauner from defeating Democrat Pat Quinn.

    The Center for Public Integrity released an analysis Wednesday of spending on 2014 state-level campaigns.

  15. MCHS Senior Wins 'Poetry Out Loud' First Place
    Bre Stimson, McCracken County High School senior, earned first place in the district’s Poetry Out Loud competition on Monday night in the C-Plant Performing Arts Center. Stimson performed from memory a poem by Nick Flynn titled “Cartoon Physics, Part 1” — an entertaining take on childhood innocence and imagination.

    Senior Brook Salsman took second place and senior Jordan Fenwick took third place.

    The competition included 22 performances by students who spent months memorizing and preparing to perform poems selected as part of the national Poetry Out Loud competition. Poetry Out Loud is a national poetry recitation competition created by the National Endowment for the Arts  and the Poetry Foundation. The grant program is administered in partnerships with state arts agencies, and the Kentucky Arts Council partnered with the NEA to administer grants in Kentucky.

    After the Kentucky Arts Council awarded McCracken County Public Schools a Poetry Out Loud grant, the council provided funds for Paducah-based poet and performer Samuel “Snacks” Hawkins to instruct students at MCHS. Hawkins helped them analyze poem structure and practice performingpoems in front of an audience.

    Stimson will travel to Frankfort to compete in the state-level competition on February 19 at the Grand Theatre. The state champion will go on to the national competition in Washington, D.C., and vie for a $20,000 scholarship.

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