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News and Notes for Tuesday

A larger-than-normal N&N today.

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Kentucky sued over counties’ costs to house state inmates

A lawsuit against the state Corrections Department claims that Kentucky counties are unfairly stuck with the costs of housing, feeding and providing medical and psychiatric care for state inmates.

As of Dec. 15, Kentucky’s jails held 21,362 people, of which 9,488 — or 44% — were state inmates. Daily fees paid for state inmates serving time in county jails are grossly inadequate, the jailers say, and other types of state inmates are kept in jails with no state compensation at all. (Fox 56 News)

Ky. education leaders call for action on teacher shortage

Kentucky education leaders are warning of dire consequences if more isn’t done to address the growing teacher shortage. Education officials say there are 11,000 unfilled teaching positions across Kentucky’s public schools.

At a news conference at the state Capitol Monday, Lawrence County Schools Superintendent Robbie Fletcher said districts are trying to find creative solutions, like sharing teachers of hard-to-staff subjects across school systems. But the shortage is getting so bad, he said, it could eventually force some districts to close. (Louisville Public Media)

Kelly Craft calling on those who have ‘experienced loss due to an addiction,’ to share their story with ‘Team Craft’

Kelly Craft is doubling down on an ad controversy surrounding her campaign and calling on those who have “experienced loss due to an addiction,” to share their stories with her campaign.

The call to action from Craft comes as her campaign maligned some of those she was seeking to speak directly to, including criticizing one Lexington man who lost his 24-year-old son to opiates. (KY Fried Politics)

Kentucky lawmaker wants to allow paper campaign finance reports

While a 2019 Kentucky law to require all candidates and committees to report their donors and expenditures online instead of on paper passed with wide bipartisan support, implementation of the system by the KY Registry of Election Finance has drawn frustration because of website bugs, errors and delays.

Sen. John Schickel, a Republican who voted against the system, has filed Senate Bill 18 to essentially scrap it and return to paper filings. (Courier-Journal)

Changes coming to the Department of Juvenile Justice

The state will move all juvenile girls to their own facility, allowing the state to offer additional programming. Also, the state will separate the classes of low and high level offenders. Finally, a pay raise will be implemented to attract more workers. (WNKY)

Kentuckians can now possess medical marijuana. Here’s how accessing it works

An executive order from Gov. Andy Beshear in effect as of Jan. 1 has opened legal medical marijuana use to “thousands” of Kentuckians in need of relief, according to the state’s Democratic leader.

Readers had a lot of questions about how Kentucky’s executive order works. Here’s what to know if you plan to use medical marijuana under the conditions laid out in Beshear’s order, including how the process for obtaining and legally possessing it works. (Herald-Leader)

State lawmakers move to set minimum age to serve after 16-year-old elected to Leslie County office

A Kentucky teenager made history last fall when he became one of the youngest people ever to win elected office in the state, gaining a spot on his county’s soil and water conservation district board. But his victory may become an electoral outlier if lawmakers pass a bill that would prevent other teenagers from doing the same.

Sixteen-year-old Logan Sizemore, a sophomore at Leslie County High School, was able to run for and win one of the vacant supervisor spots on his county’s soil and water conservation district board because there’s currently no age requirement to be a conservation district supervisor in Kentucky. Other local elected positions, such as county judge-executive or a member of a city council, require candidates to be at least 24 years old and 18 years old, respectively.

House Bill 116 would establish an age requirement of 21 years to be a supervisor, a prerequisite that the Kentucky Association of Conservation Districts (KACD) has been pushing for in recent legislative sessions. (NKY Tribune)

Paxton Media Group tells at least some local papers to close their offices to the public

One of the nation's leading rural newspaper chains is planning to close at least some of its papers' local offices to the public this week. In an email to local and area managers, Paxton Media Group said, "To help streamline our efficiencies and processes, and to keep pace with changes in our own industry, we've decided it's best to eliminate our open office hours to the public completely, for the remaining publications in our group."

The memo was sent last week and gave a target date of Wednesday, Feb. 1. Paxton managers declined to comment or did not respond to requests for comment on such questions as possible layoffs. (The Rural Blog)

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The Daily Wrap for Thursday, 5/23

The Daily Wrap for Thursday, 5/23

Still some wrap-up from Tuesday’s primary, including late calls of winners and possible recounts. Plus, some breaking news in the tweets below, and a cool story about a possible billboard (or billboards!) in west Kentucky.

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