Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Most Kentuckians support hiking minimum wage

As Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer and the day to honor the American worker, a new Poll finds Kentucky voters want to put more money in workers’ pockets by raising the federal minimum wage.

A new Bluegrass Poll found 55 percent in favor of raising the minimum hourly pay to $10.10.

However, the new results show a six percent decrease in support from a February Bluegrass Poll which found 61 percent of voters believed in hiking the minimum wage.

A bill aimed at gradually raising the minimum wage cleared a Kentucky House of Representatives committee in January but failed to win over the entire state legislature. The measure was a top priority of House Speaker Greg Stumbo, who said the current minimum wage doesn't provide a living wage. The Prestonsburg Democrat says full-time employees working for the minimum wage make less than the average cost of a used car in the U.S.

The minimum wage in Kentucky hasn't been raised since 2009 when the federal government increased it to $7.25.

Man convicted for role in murder of Floyd County man out of prison

A man convicted for his role in the murder of an Eastern Kentucky native is out of prison.

Jeffrey Mundt was sentenced to eight years in prison for his role in burying James Carroll's body.

The Floyd County native was murdered in Louisville in 2009.

A jury convicted Mundt boyfriend, Joseph Banis, in Carroll's murder.

Mundt will serve the rest of his sentence in a halfway house.

Hatfield and McCoy Heritage Days wraps up in Pikeville

Celebrating their heritage, that is the theme of a festival that just wrapped up in Pike County.

It is the second year for the Hatfield and McCoy Heritage Days festival and organizers say the event is growing, with close to fifty vendors this year.

The event featured artists of all kinds, mostly from throughout Eastern Kentucky. Festival goers also learned  about the famous feud and take part in other various activities.

Payday lenders to face stronger scrutiny

Payday lenders in Kentucky are coming under increasing restrictions because of a pair of laws passed by the state and federal governments in recent years.

The Kentucky General Assembly in 2010 enacted a measure creating a database, "Veritec," to record each loan via a Social Security number and other personal information.

Congress created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau which began regulating payday lenders in 2011.

State banking agency commissioner Charles Vice said the rules have been a huge tool for regulators, who have seen the amount of fines collected increase in recent years.

A spokeswoman for the Community Financial Services Association of America, a trade group based in Alexandria, Virginia, says payday loans provide crucial credit to consumers struggling with tightened lending at banks.

Pikeville man leads police in pursuit that crossed state lines

Police stepped up enforcement this Labor Day weekend to stop impaired drivers, and the extra patrols came in handy Sunday when a man led multiple agencies on a high speed chase.

The pursuit began in Pike County, where deputies spotted a man with outstanding warrants for felony flagrant non-support and other charges.

The man led them on a pursuit that stretched into Virginia before he was stopped in Whitesburg.

Letcher County sheriff's deputies say they caught up with 30-year-old Bradley Meadows of Pikeville on U.S. Route 119 on Pine Mountain.

Arresting officers say the chase at times exceeded 100 miles per hour.

Officers followed Meadows to the U.S. Route 119 and the old Kentucky Route 15 business junction, where he lost control of his vehicle and was arrested.

They say Meadows and a passenger were both under the influence of drugs.

Several agencies, including the Pike County Sheriff's Department, Whitesburg and Jenkins police, and Kentucky State Police were involved in making the arrest.

Meadows’ faces new charges that include fleeing or evading police, wanton endangerment, operating a motor vehicle under the influence and possession of a controlled substance. 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Kentucky suspends Harlan doctor over staff prescriptions

A doctor practicing at Harlan ARH Hospital has been suspended by the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure after receiving an anonymous tip he was prescribing diet pills to the nursing staff.

The federal Drug Enforcement Administration concluded that Dr. Donald Ramsey, of Knoxville, Tennessee, did not have a Kentucky DEA registration, which meant that he was "illegally prescribing controlled substances in Kentucky."

The suspension came after the board began investigating a complaint in February that Ramsey was prescribing twice the daily recommended dose of a appetite suppressant to hospital employees and their spouses.

The board has filed an emergency order of suspension that prohibits Ramsey from practicing in Kentucky.

Tax forms could pose challenge for HealthCare.gov

If you got health coverage through President Barack Obama's law this year, you'll need a new form from your insurance exchange before you can file your tax return next spring.

Some tax professionals are worried that federal and state insurance marketplaces won't be able to get those forms out in time.

That could lead to delayed tax refunds for millions of consumers.

The same federal agency that had trouble launching HealthCare.gov last fall faces the heaviest lift.

The Health and Human Services Department must send out millions of the forms, which are like W-2s for people getting tax credits to help pay health insurance premiums.

The form is called 1095-A, and it's supposed to be delivered by Jan. 31.