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Louisa-Lawrence Co, KY

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JANUARY 25, 2016

Iowa Caucus, reminds me of Groundhog Day

By Glenn Mollette

I have watched the movie titled Groundhog Day with actor Bill Murray. Looking back I'm wondering if that movie was about the Iowa Caucus. The caucus just keeps coming back and back and it seems we just can't escape the Iowa Caucus.

Groundhog Day is coming and the best news about the annual holiday is that the Iowa Caucus will be over! There is a bad rumor though that if the groundhog sees his shadow we will have six more weeks of Iowa!

I know Iowa is a great state with great people but why must our country be pounded with the ongoing onslaught of Iowa, Iowa and more Iowa Caucus? Personally, I'm sick of hearing about the Iowa Caucus. CNN and Fox news starting talking about the Iowa Caucus over a year ago and for the last six months it seems Iowa has been mentioned every day.

I get it. Iowa is the first rung on the ladder to the Presidency. Candidates who miss this rung have further to step up to New Hampshire and with a little less momentum. Although it appears Donald Trump could lose both caucuses and still
be the Republican nominee, he isn't taking any chances. Iowa is being treated to about as much Trump as they can probably stand.

Past Presidents have gladly taken Iowa and then moved on with the wind behind their march to victory. You remember George W. Bush in 2000 and Barack Obama in 2008. However, winning Iowa has not always been the answer. John Kerry won the caucus in 2004. Robert Dole won it in 1988. Rick Santorum won Iowa in 2012 and it led to nothing except a life of more campaigning, raising money and speaking to hamburger joint crowds who are killing time before their next doctors' appointments.

Mike Huckabee won Iowa and had a lot of momentum in 2008. Unfortunately, Iowans hardly know who he is as he moves along in his RV speaking to crowds that he could almost assemble in an old fashioned telephone booth, if anybody remembers what those were. I actually thought Huckabee would do a little better than he is doing. He had a national television program on Fox that aired on prime Saturday and Sunday evenings. Iowans and apparently few others were paying attention to his program, or maybe they were.

I started to say I feel sorry for Huckabee, Santorum, Rand Paul, Chris Christie and Martin O' Malley and others but I don't. I feel sorry for the people in Iowa. The good people in Iowa can't go to the local Dairy Queen without having a political candidate staring at them or trying to shake hands. I would say the people of Iowa might be more tired of the Iowa Caucus than most Americans. At least we can turn off the television. They can't step for politicians and media people.

Groundhog Day is coming Iowa. When the day finally comes they will all be gone. Rest awhile and reclaim your lives because unfortunately in two years we will have to go through the caucus again and then again and then again. Now, I'm starting to understand a little more what Bill Murray's character was going through in the movie Groundhog Day.

Glenn Mollette is an American Syndicated Columnist and Author. He is the author of eleven books and read in all fifty states. This column does not necessarily reflect the view of any organization, institution or this paper or media source.

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JANUARY 23, 2016


Open records laws exist for a reason.

They not only allow citizens access to information about what their local, state and federal governments are doing with taxpayer money, they provide transparency so citizens can see if elected officials are performing appropriately.

These are two of the most important aspects of open records laws.

All citizens have a right to obtain open records. As a newspaper, we often use open records laws to obtain information about government meetings, finances, etc., so the public can be informed about how our government is operating.

A few years ago in Kentucky, the wool was pulled over Kentucky citizens’ eyes when a piece of legislation was passed in the Kentucky General Assembly that created a situation in which a private company offering a traditional government service and receiving taxpayer funds for it could keep records private.

State Rep. Chris Harris, D-Pikeville, was a magistrate when he tried to obtain records concerning the Mountain Water District. Because of the language in that 2012 legislation, he was denied.

So, Harris has filed legislation in this session, House Bill 80, that would ensure that entities offering traditional government services and receiving the 25 percent threshold of taxpayer dollars will have to open their records.

This is a fair and needed piece of legislation. Maintaining that any entity that offers services to a government body must turn those records over to the public if it is above the 25 percent threshold isn’t asking too much.

Obviously, under the proposed legislation, if the 25 percent threshold isn’t met, then those records wouldn’t be subject to open records laws.

Society can live with that, but what we can’t live with is the current law that exists and, quite frankly, should never have been passed in the first place.

Government agencies, if they are operating above board – and we believe the majority of them do – should have no trouble turning records, except those exempt from statutes, over to the public or the media.

Harris’ legislation would simply level the playing field and allow taxpayers to know how their money is being spent when government bodies hire outside firms to perform traditional government agencies.

This is a good piece of legislation that Harris has brought before to the General Assembly to replace a bad law that reduced transparency. We urge lawmakers to pass it. 

JANUARY 21, 2016

Veterans committee passes Jones’ resolution to protect second  amendment rights

Sen. Ray JonesFRANKFORT – Senate Democratic Floor Leader Ray S. Jones’ legislation urging the Governor of Virginia and the Virginia Attorney General to restore reciprocal recognition of concealed carry weapons licenses from Kentucky is making its way through the legislative process. 

Senate Joint Resolution 36, which is the result of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s recent decision to cease recognition of concealed deadly weapon licenses from Kentucky and 24 other states, was passed today by the Senate Veterans, Military Affairs, and Public Protection Committee. 

Sen. Jones, D-Pikeville, said that law abiding citizens should have a way to protect themselves.  SJR 36 now moves to the full Senate for further consideration.  Photo by LRC Public Information Office


JANUARY 22, 2016

'Wet' vote in big lake - tourism county continues gradual trend of rural areas forsaking Prohibtion; Yatesville Lake has not made easy move to alcohol sales...

This week's front page in Russell County, Ky.When Congress and the states repealed Prohibition in 1933, they required that each state allow localities to continue banning the sale of alcoholic beverages. A swath of counties, mainly from the Appalachians to Texas, do that, but Prohibition has been eroding in recent years.

In Kentucky, where lobbying by the distilling industry apparently created laws that made it impossible to have legal beer without legal liquor, the landscape began to change 25 years ago, when the legislature let cities and localities allow restaurants to serve alcohol. Many chose that local option, and the trend has led to votes to go entirely "wet."

One of the "driest" areas in Kentucky has been the south-central part of the state, where huge Lake Cumberland attracts many tourists who must pack in their alcohol or get it illicitly. Near the eastern end of the lake, the town of Burnside went wet several years ago, then extended its city limits downstream about eight miles to let another boat dock serve booze. Then the county seat of Somerset, still a bastion of Baptists, surprisingly went wet.

That created an alcohol oasis that threatened the lake trade of Russell County, just to the west, where a big factory closed recently, causing high unemployment. This week, 52 percent of voters there (including a lot of retirees near the lake) voted wet:

Dark blue counties are dry; light blue have alcohol in restaurants and/or certain cities. (This map may not be up to date)3,833 to 3,423. "County and city leaders in Russell County will soon meet on how to prepare for issuing liquor licenses and how to deal with the revenue. The law will take effect in about two months," reports The Times Journal of Russell Springs. "Heavy support from Jamestown and the lake precincts helped to sway the historic vote," reports Larry Smith of 92.7 The Wave. Now, promoters of legal liquor in Adair County, the next county to the west, say they have enough signatures on a petition to force and election.

Written by Al Cross Posted at 1/22/2016 10:48:00 AM 

JANUARY 20, 2016


Dear Mark,

Thank you so much for supporting The Climate Reality Project. We’re deeply grateful for the many actions you’ve taken over the last year – from sharing posts on social media to telling world leaders to take bold action in Paris to showing up on the ground for climate rallies and events. And as we begin 2016, we’re energized and excited to build on the historic success of the Paris Agreement at last month’s UN climate talks.

Your dedication to putting an end to climate change will be critical in helping us seize the moment and turn the incredible global public support for climate action we saw in Paris into progress worldwide by:

* Training thousands of new Climate Reality Leaders to educate communities around the world about climate change

* Continuing to spread the message of climate hope and awareness of the clean energy solutions we have today

* Mobilizing millions to pressure our leaders to live up to their promises to cut greenhouse gas emissions and halt climate change

We’re already off to a flying start in 2016. Last week we mobilized thousands of citizens to submit comments to the US Forest Service (USFS) in support of leaving the Colorado Roadless Rule as is, which protects 4.2 million acres of wilderness in the state from most development. The USFS wants to make an exception for big polluters like Arch Coal, the nation’s second-largest coal producer, to destroy thousands of acres of public lands to mine over 170 million tons of coal. With a looming deadline for public comments, we knew we had to act quickly – and we did, drawing over 12,000 comments to protect Colorado forests in just a few days.

This is just one example of many obstacles the climate community likely will face this year against the fossil fuel industry and its allies. And with your help, we’re more prepared than ever to fight back.

Mark, thank you once again for all that you do every day. It means the world to us – and even more to our planet’s future.

Your friends at Climate Reality