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Opinion

  • We have just witnessed a disaster similar to the April 1974 storms that roared through the central part of the United States.
    The destruction is beyond belief. Loss of life for the acts of nature. Memories that will last a lifetime. But the American spirit will again lift us back into a normal routine for living that will last till the next event.
    We were very lucky here in Spencer County. Some pictures taken from Taylorsville show a very large probable twister in a huge black cloud passing overhead. Had it touched down, it could have been destructive.

  • Spencer County as a whole was pretty fortunate to come away from Friday’s storms in as good a shape as it did, and for that we are very thankful.
    The overall sentiment seems to be that things could have been a lot worse, and unfortunately for some of our fellow Kentuckians, things got a lot worse.

  • Who knew something considered fake could pose such a real threat in Spencer and surrounding counties?
    Admittedly, I know very little about synthetic cannabinoids/synthetic marijuana/fake pot/whatever you want to call it.
    Many of you know my professional background — I spent three years, 2008-2011, as news editor at The Anderson News in neighboring Anderson County. Because of my history there and because of my current residence there, I made it a point to follow the “fake pot” saga when the fiscal court there passed its ordinance last month.

  • We have reached the halfway point of the 2012 General Assembly Session. There are daily committee meetings, policy briefings, visits from constituents, and meetings with various advocacy groups.
    Senate Bill 103 passed the Senate last Tuesday with bipartisan support. It would add an ultrasound image to the informed consent process currently required before an abortion is performed. This measure is an effort to make sure women seeking abortions have as much information as possible, and my hope is that this will help women reconsider this life altering decision.

  • As we enter 2012 with high expectations, there have been several changes in the direction litter abatement and waste removal have taken.
    Several of the largest cities in the U.S. have taken a look at the cost of garbage elimination, and have come up with new ideas on disposal.
    Landfills cost a lot of money to buy, regulate and operate due to health and environmental issues. We all know the fact that our government units are short of money in seemingly every area. So, the new idea is to recycle, renew, and reuse all possible scrap material.

  • It would most likely sound cliche for me to say in light of recent events in Spencer County that life is precious — but are we ever really at risk of saying that too much?

  • Every parent wants his or her child to succeed in life. Early on, parents can help by making sure that their children can read. And they need to keep them in school. This is the parent’s responsibility, but some in Frankfort want to take that responsibility away from them by mandating school attendance until they’re 18 years old.

  • This was a very busy week in Frankfort with many visitors and a lot of discussion on pending issues from both chambers of the General Assembly.
    On Tuesday, the Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 75, which addresses safety options for religious groups that operate horse-drawn buggies. As co-sponsor of this bill, I am proud of this legislation and the efforts made by fellow members and citizens from all over the Commonwealth.

  • Parts of this year’s legislative session have reminded this reporter of the comedy sketch, “Who’s on First?” made popular by the vaudeville act Abbott and Costello.
    Though not nearly as humorous, the jockeying around of state representatives — especially as they pertain to Spencer County — has been just as confusing.
    Just when we think we’ve figured out an answer to the question, “Who’s our representative?” one side or the other throws a curve ball to mix us up once again.

  • The Senate passed several bills last week. Of these bills, three education bills are of particular importance.

  • In his state of the Commonwealth address, Governor Steve Beshear laid it out fairly straight — we have to tighten our belts. Again. Like every responsible family in the Commonwealth we need to establish a reasonable budget, and exercise the discipline to stick to it. We’ve been doing a pretty good job of that for the last four years, although we haven’t been shy about our bonding (which is borrowing money on a 20-year payback.)

  • Last week, I shared some Super Bowl food facts, by the numbers, and this week, I’ve come across some interesting numbers regarding the next national holiday – the day of love.
    Although according to this week’s poll, an overwhelming majority of you aren’t too keen on the holiday, I think the following facts are interesting enough just the same.
    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the following numbers carry some weight around Valentine’s Day:
    •24.7 pounds – The per capita consumption of candy by Americans in 2010.

  • We are now a quarter way through session. Bills are flowing through the committee process and arriving on the Senate floor for consideration before the entire chamber.
    Three bills won passage last week and will now head to the House of Representatives. Senate Bill 55 allows for interstate mutual aid agreements among first-responders and other emergency response personnel. That is to say, that if an emergency occurs near local or state borders, emergency personnel can respond regardless of their home base.

  • A Nelson County man asked me about charter schools, wondering why public charter schools don’t have to follow the same rules as traditional public schools; and if charter schools are better (which he doubts), why don’t the traditional schools change the way they’re doing business to imitate charter schools?
    The answers lie in centralized control and mandatory attendance. Let’s take a look at how Kentucky sets things up.

  • As a member of the House Energy and Commerce Health subcommittee, I have voted to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and participated in dozens of hearings that revealed astronomical costs, billion-dollar slush funds, and countless other negative consequences of the health care law.

  • For the past four years or so, this upcoming Sunday has been one of my favorite days of the year. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock or have sworn off sports for the past few weeks, you probably know this Sunday is none other than Super Bowl Sunday.
    Before I even understood the game of football, I celebrated the “big game” with three F’s — friends, fun and food, of course.
    I recently stumbled upon an article from SBNation.com writer Brian Floyd that included some mind-boggling statistics, even for this hard-core fan.

  • I really didn’t want to write any more about redistricting, but I’m getting so many questions — about who represents whom? And why did this happen? And why did you make it an emergency? — that it might serve to explain things in a more comprehensive way. I don’t plan to write any more columns on this, so (with apologies to Lewis Carroll) I’ll “begin at the beginning, and go on until I come to the end: then stop.”

  • It is our constitutional duty every 10 years to realign our voting districts according to population after each census. This act fulfills the requirement of one man, one vote. In this, the third week of session, that is exactly what the Senate and House did with House Bill 1.
    According to tradition, the Senate draws its lines while the House of Representatives decides on theirs. My district changed with the additions of a portion of Boone and Jefferson Counties, and all of Carroll, Gallatin and Henry counties. I will continue to represent Shelby and Spencer counties.

  • Over the course of the last seven days, my colleagues and I have had the pleasure of meeting some Spencer County High School students who are wise beyond their years.

    You may have already read the following quote from freshman Christen Housley in our main story about the tragic wreck that took place last week.

    “We’ve really come together,” Christen said. “We’re not a community, we’re a family now.”

  • In the second week of session, the General Assembly began to debate several significant issues in designated committees. Drug abuse, weaknesses in child-protective services, and the state’s debt level were all topics of discussion. The committee process is intended to inform the legislators of the pros and cons of each bill. Lively debate accompanied each piece of legislation.