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News & Notes for Friday, 9/1

Political and governing snippets and blurbs from across the state

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Regulators reject Kentucky Power contract for $250M crypto-mining facility

Utility regulators at the Kentucky Public Service Commission denied Kentucky Power’s deal to discount electricity for an international crypto-mining company on Monday. The three-member commission found Kentucky Power lacked the necessary power and would likely have increased costs for ratepayers.

The Chinese-owned Ebon International proposed a $250 million computing complex on land leased from Kentucky Power at the Big Sandy Generating Station in Lawrence County.

Commissioners quashed the deal Monday, saying the risks outweigh the potential economic benefits. Among those risks, the commission said Kentucky Power will lack the power to meet its existing customers’ demand beginning in 2026, let alone the new crypto facility, based on the utility’s future plans. (LPM News)

Deters cancels Freedom Fest – again

Former Republican gubernatorial candidate Eric Deters has canceled Freedom Fest.

Again.

The annual political event at Deters’ farm in Morning View features national political figures. This year’s event, scheduled for Sept. 9, was supposed to feature former President Donald Trump. Deters announced the first cancellation on Aug. 12 after Trump backed out of the event.

Then on Aug. 24, Deters announced in a video on his Facebook page that it was back on.

In another live Facebook video on Sept. 1, Deters announced that the event, once again, is canceled. (LINK nky)

Canada issues travel advisory for its LGBTQ residents visiting the U.S.

This week, the Canadian government updated its travel advisory for residents of the country who are planning to visit the United States, warning potential travelers who are LGBTQ that some states should be navigated with caution.

The change reflects concerns among Canadian officials about dozens of anti-LGBTQ laws that have been passed in the U.S. over the past year. (Truthout)

ACLU sues Indiana over new ban on gender-affirming surgery for people in prison

The ACLU is suing the state to strike down a new law banning prison inmates from receiving gender-affirming surgery. The attorney general’s office said during legislative debate earlier this year that it expected such a lawsuit.

The ACLU of Indiana said the new ban on gender-affirming surgeries for people in Indiana prisons violates the Eighth Amendment, which forbids cruel and unusual punishment. (LPM News)

Rainbow Blossom employees launch union effort, seeking stronger voice in the workplace

Staff at the local grocery chain Rainbow Blossom Natural Food Markets are organizing with the Louisville-based United Food and Commercial Workers Local 227. They argue the company hasn’t done enough to address their concerns.

An election is scheduled for September 13, according to Caitlin Blair, Local 227’s communications director. That vote could include up to 28 workers, such as department managers, cashiers and sales floor clerks at the store. (LPM News)

University of Louisville botches salary restructuring, raising union fever on campus

After more than 20 years of working at the University of Louisville, Michael Martin is seeking a new position at the institution. Martin is confident he can do the job, he said, because it’s the exact one he has now. The only differences are the job title and the pay: The job he’s seeking pays an extra $18,000 a year.

Martin’s peculiar situation is the result of a salary and job restructuring effort at the university that was intended to provide opportunities for career development and advancement while keeping employee pay competitive in the academic market.

Instead, the study has led to disproportionate pay for workers who are doing the same job, veteran staff members being paid the same as less-experienced coworkers, workers being reclassified into jobs they formerly held, and some staff members being paid around the same level as student workers they manage. (Courier-Journal)

Kentucky has the sixth-highest obesity rate in the US

West Virginia takes the unwanted title of the state with the highest obesity rate in the U.S., with 51.05% of its population living with at least category I obesity. 

Kentucky comes in at sixth place, with 48.78% of its population living with obesity. 

The state with the lowest rate of obesity is Colorado, with 34.06% of its population living with obesity. (Lane Report)



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