HB 410 was written to bring Kentucky into compliance with the federal REAL ID Act by Jan. 1, 2019…

Image result for kentucky real id bill

News Release

June 7, 2017

New transportation laws being rolled out

FRANKFORT – Coming to Kentucky roads this year: surplus military Humvees, three-wheeled vehicles dubbed autocycles and maybe even golf carts modified to deliver online purchases.

Legislation addressing these three types of vehicles were among the transportation-related bills passed during this year’s regular session of the Kentucky General Assembly, said Rick Taylor, the deputy commissioner of the Department of Vehicle Regulation. He testified on the progress of implementing these and other transportation-related bills into law during yesterday’s meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Transportation.

One of the first updates state legislators received was on House Bill 410. Known as the REAL ID Bill, HB 410 was written to bring Kentucky into compliance with the federal REAL ID Act by Jan. 1, 2019, and will by far affect more Kentuckians than the other transportation bills discussed at the meeting.

Taylor said he expects to hear by July 10 whether the Department of Homeland Security will extend a waiver allowing Kentucky to remain in noncompliance with the federal act until the new state driver’s licenses are available.

“Everything has been positive,” he said in reference to the extension request. “I don’t have any reason at this time to feel uncomfortable about that.”

Taylor said Kentucky will begin soliciting bids on Sept. 1 from companies able to produce driver’s licenses that meet the federal security requirements. The goal is to have a company selected by Jan. 1, 2018. He added that will allow time for the new licenses to be rolled out across the state’s 120 counties. 

“We will ask you to keep us up-to-date as this progresses because we have all lived through this controversy and the issues,” committee Co-chair Sen. Ernie Harris, R-Prospect, said in reference to a vigorous debate that took place about the best way to bring Kentucky into compliance.

The other transportation-related bills legislators received updates on include:

· House Bill 192 makes it easier for 16- and 17-year-olds in foster care to apply for driver’s permits and driver’s licenses. State officials have already drafted a nine-page application to ensure a child’s eligibility and a letter for foster parents to give local driver licensing clerks. Transportation officials said it will take a little longer to solicit bids for car insurance to cover children in the state foster-care system but who are not living with foster parents.

· House Bill 404 creates a commercial low-speed license plate for golf carts and other utility vehicles used for deliveries. It ensures that the vehicles have commercial insurance on file with the state. Transportation officials hope to have the license plates available by the middle of September so delivery companies can have the golf carts ready to deploy during this year’s holiday shopping season.

· Senate Bill 73 lays out guidelines on how autocycles, a type of three-wheeled vehicle growing in popularity, are to be licensed, taxed and insured. Transportation officials said the guidelines should be finalized by July.

· Senate Bill 176 allows for Humvees and other demilitarized vehicles to be licensed for use on public roads by the general public. (There is already an exception carved out for law enforcement.) The state began getting requests from civilians for such licenses after the Pentagon started auctioning the camo-covered, husky, troop-transporting High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV) to civilians in 2014. Transportation officials said they are on track to begin issuing the license plates for the vehicles on July 1.

— END –

http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record/17RS/HB410.htm

http://www.kentucky.com/news/politics-government/article126502629.html

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The Forest Service invites public review and comment on potential environmental remediation at the Rock Creek abandoned coal mine sites.(Rock Creek abandoned coal mine sites remediation)

 

Rock Creek

Rock Creek

Rock Creek is a beautiful stream, with magnificent boulders, riffles, glides, and pools. Flowing through southeastern Kentucky on Stearns Ranger District, it is both a Blue Ribbon trout fishery and a Kentucky Wild River. However, highly acidic water flowing from abandoned mine lands left the stream virtually dead from White Oak Junction to the Big South Fork of the Cumberland River. The acid mine drainage had killed most of the vegetation and aquatic life in the stream.

The Rock Creek Task Force was formed with the cooperation of ten state and federal agencies and Trout Unlimited to tend to the needs of the Rock Creek watershed. Restoration work began in 2000 to improve water quality, sustain aquatic life, and bring back the beauty of the steam.

Innovative wetlands were constructed to treat the mine flow heading into the stream. Limestone sand was placed in Rock Creek to neutralize the acidic water coming from the mines. Tons of coal refuse material was removed, treated, and relocated to designated storage locations. Limestone rock was placed along the channels as they enter Rock Creek to boost alkalinity.

Monitoring of Lower Rock Creek has shown an improvement in water quality and aquatic life. The charts below show how acidity has been reduced and alkalinity increased at several sites.

Fish surveys at lower Rock Creek have yielded multiple species in good and improving numbers. A July 2001 fish survey collected a brown trout and a blackside dace, each found in different parts of the Rock Creek watershed. The most optimistic sign of all is the presence of anglers who have returned to fish the lower portion of Rock Creek.

Water Tank Hollow, a three-acre site located on the north bank of Lower Rock Creek, was once used for dumping mining refuse. Secondary acid forming minerals were observed in the refuse as shown in the chart below. About 20,000-30,000 tons of coal refuse material was removed, treated and deposited in a safe location.

Water Tank Hollow, Rock Creek

 

 

The Forest Service invites public review and comment on potential environmental remediation at the Rock Creek abandoned coal mine sites.

The Rock Creek Mine Sites are located in the Daniel Boone National Forest, Stearns Ranger District, McCreary County, approximately five miles west of Stearns, Kentucky.

The U.S. Forest Service is examining this site to:

  1. evaluate the environmental impacts;
  2. assess public health risks; and
  3. minimize the impacts associated with historic coal mining activities in this area.

Additional information about this project

Project Fact Sheet (pdf)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service invites public review and comment on potential environmental remediation at the Rock Creek abandoned coal mine sites in McCreary County, Ky. This action is in accordance with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency guidance under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980.                       

An Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis (EE/CA) summarizes possible alternatives to reduce or remove acid mine drainage impacts at the abandoned coal mine locations. This draft document and other project-related reports will be available soon for review at the Daniel Boone National Forest Supervisor’s Office, Stearns District office, and online at www.fs.usda.gov/dbnf/. Office addresses can also be found on that web page.

Public comments on the draft EE/CA will be accepted in the near future for a period of thirty (30) days. Tentative plans are to make this draft EE/CA available for public review and comments sometime in November, 2016. Comments and responses will be summarized and included in open records. Written comments may be sent to the Daniel Boone National Forest Supervisor’s Office or emailed to:

comments-southern-daniel-boone@fs.fed.us with CERCLA as the subject line.

no jail for kim davis! “She has a very strong conscience and she’s just asking for a simple remedy, and that is, remove her name from the certificate…"

Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis Jailed After Refusing to Issue Marriage Licenses to Same-Sex Couples

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Conviction of conscience is our right as U.S. Citizens in order to influence our Government into governing according to “our” beliefs, the beliefs of every American Citizen.  In this case, the issue is very divided among us. 

Although I believe in the right to marry for everyone, I also believe in living free and being able to assert “Freedom of Speech” and Religion in this Country.  As Americans we have the right to freedom of Religion, and religious liberty as well as “Freedom of Speech“.  However, per wiki, “legal systems, and society at large, recognize limits on the freedom of speech, particularly when freedom of speech conflicts with other values or rights.”

So there you have it in a nutshell.  The law which would apply in Kim Davis’ dilemma to try to force her into something she does not believe in, even though it was a known fact that she did not believe in “Gay Marriage” when she was “elected” by “the people” of Rowan County Kentucky.   The voter’s of Rowan County elected her based upon her personal and political beliefs at the time of her election.

Davis served as Rowan County chief deputy clerk, reporting to her mother, Jean W. Bailey, for 24 years.  

As shown below she won the general election with 3,909 votes.  The population was 6,845 at the time of the 2010 U.S. census

Where were all the voter’s at?  Only half of them have spoken.

Evidently the people of Rowan County wanted her to be in office because 3,909 people elected Kim Davis and now the “people” are complaining about how she Is doing her job. 

Rowan County 100% Reporting

Rowan County, Kentucky County Clerk Democratic primary, 2014:

Democratic
Kim Davis
1,817
46.2%

Democratic
Elwood Caudill, Jr.
1,794
45.6%

Democratic
Charlotte Combess
322
8.2%

Rowan County, Kentucky County Clerk general election, 2014

Democratic
Kim Davis
3,909
53.2%

Republican
John C. Cox
3,444
46.8%

KY 2014 ROWAN COUNTY

At the time of her election, Davis told the Morehead News,

“My words can never express the appreciation but I promise to each and every one that I will be the very best working clerk that I can be and will be a good steward of their tax dollars and follow the statutes of this office to the letter.”

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said the move would set a bad precedent.

“I think it’s absurd to put someone in jail for exercising their religious liberty,”

This case has attracted not only State and National but international news as well.  As an Activist, and after reviewing the Rowan County Kentucky issue surrounding the “Kim Davis” situation again,  in all conscience , I must take her side.  She was elected into the office at a time when gay marriage was illegal and still is according to the Kentucky Constitution.  She was elected in a conservative State in 2014. 

Decided on June 26, 2015 by a Federal case, Obergefell overturned Baker and requires all states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and to recognize same-sex marriages validly performed in other jurisdictions.  Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. ___ (2015).

Per the Rowan County website Kim Davis

“As county clerk I am responsible for providing many services to the people of Rowan county. These duties include general categories of clerical duties of the fiscal court: issuing and registering, recording and keeping various legal records, registering and purging voter rolls, and conducting election duties and tax duties.”

Embedded image permalink

Prior to her arrest, Kim Davis said the following on Thursday,         

“God’s moral law conflicts with my job duties,” Davis told the judge before she was taken away by a U.S. marshal. “You can’t be separated from something that’s in your heart and in your soul.”

After Rowan County clerk Kim Davis was taken into federal custody Thursday for repeatedly refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, every deputy clerk but Davis’ son have said they would grant licenses.

Because she is an elected official, Davis, a Democrat, can’t be fired from the position for refusing to comply with the court order. If she is found guilty of misconduct, Davis could be imprisoned for up to a year, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal. The state legislature can also vote to impeach her, the paper noted, though that seems unlikely since most Kentucky voters oppose same-sex marriage.

There has been an honest and compliable offer to append the situation.  Per ABC news,

“Kim Davis thinks she has a solution to her problem.

The Kentucky county clerk, jailed for failing to follow a judge’s orders to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, wants her name removed from the marriage certificates, her attorney Matthew Staver told ABC News. “

On September 3, the Anti-Defamation League commented:

No one should ques­tion or chal­lenge Ms. Davis’s                           reli­gious beliefs.

It is therefore my opinion that because she was elected in a time when same sex marriage was illegal in Kentucky and there was no reason for her to believe at the time that same sex marriage would be legal in Kentucky during her reign as County Clerk,

…the fact that she is an elected County Clerk which was put into office by the people of Rowan County,

…That EVERYONE should have a right to express their religious beliefs and right to “Free Speech”,

…and that the no one should have to succumb to a Federal law which goes against their religious or free speech beliefs, or against their Constitutional rights as Citizens of this Country,

I believe that she should be freed immediately and her name REMOVED from the marriage license application in Rowan County Kentucky in order to preserve her personal rights as a Citizen.

As well this will ascertain the rights of the same sex couples to marry which is according to Federal law, yet also preserves HER right to believe otherwise.

As long as her name remains on the marriage licenses it is possible that those who have married under her name in Rowan County may not have a valid marriage license per the Federal Judge.

We need to protect our Constitutional rights as well as States rights, as well as conforming to Federal law.  This is how I agree that it can be accomplished without doing no harm to anyone involved.

It is interesting to note that the Kentucky Constitution defines Marriage as “one man” and “one woman” only.  

In the not so distant future, if we allow our State Constitutions to be preempted by Federal law, the State’s will loose all rights and become like “Counties” instead of “States”.  Are we going to cave in to the Federal Government and let that happen?

Kentucky is one of only four “Commonwealth States”.  This designation, which has no legal meaning, emphasizes that they have a “government based on the common consent of the people”

Is the Kentucky Commonwealth nothing more than a “nomenclature“?

Kentucky Constitutional Amendment 1[1] of 2004, is an amendment to the Kentucky Constitution that makes it unconstitutional for the state to recognize or perform same-sex marriages or civil unions.

The referendum was approved by 75% of the voters.

The voter’s have spoken.

smkrider

A defining moment for Sen. McConnell

By Bob Cusack – 12/29/12 06:00 AM ET

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is facing a defining moment of his career this weekend as he attempts to hammer out a “fiscal-cliff” deal with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

Many inside the Washington Beltway believe there is little chance that Reid and McConnell will reach an agreement. Political operatives note that McConnell is up for reelection in 2014, saying that a “no” vote is much safer than being the author of such a controversial bill.

However, there are plenty of reasons why McConnell would want to forge a bipartisan deal. First and foremost, McConnell’s hero is former Sen. Henry Clay (Ky.), who is known as the “Great Compromiser.” McConnell has claimed that Clay’s leadership in crafting legislative compromises in 1820 and 1850 “held the country together.” McConnell has touted Clay’s “marvelous combination of compromise and principle” as a model for all politicians.

The Senate minority leader also has a long history of deal making. McConnell and Reid reached a pact on the payroll tax cut extension a year ago and he signed off on the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in 2008. Last week, McConnell expressed support for Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) “Plan B” fiscal-cliff measure, which subsequently imploded amid opposition from liberals and conservatives.

After the GOP captured control of the House and made significant gains in the Senate two years ago, McConnell worked closely with Vice President Biden in the lame-duck session of the last Congress to pass an extension of the Bush tax rates, a nuclear treaty with Russia and the repeal of the Pentagon’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. President Obama called that lame-duck session “the most productive post-election period that we have had in decades.”

McConnell has a strong working relationship with Reid, who has until now played a backseat role in the fiscal-cliff talks. While Reid and McConnell regularly joust with one another on the Senate floor, the two leaders respect and like one another.

After it was reported in the book “Game Change” that Reid made racially insensitive remarks, McConnell repeatedly refused to call for the Nevada Democrat to step aside. In 2010, Reid apologized to McConnell on the Senate floor for questioning the GOP leader’s integrity.

In many ways, McConnell and Reid are similar. Neither is seen at big parties in the nation’s capital; both prefer quiet nights at home watching the Washington Nationals.

There is a sense of history in this weekend’s negotiations. Reid and McConnell can prevent the country from going over the cliff, something Obama and Boehner have repeatedly failed to do. The Senate, which has been pushed to the side on the fiscal cliff, now can come to the rescue.

Unlike TARP, which remains unpopular, a fiscal-cliff agreement can be sold back home. Such a bipartisan deal would attract criticism from the left and the right, but McConnell could make the case it helps middle-class families, doctors and defense contractors in Kentucky. (Most expect a final deal to prevent significant cuts to the Pentagon and Medicare’s reimbursement to physicians).

Democrats are targeting McConnell in 2014, but he has many things going in his favor. A viable challenger from the left or the right has not yet emerged. There has been widespread speculation actress Ashley Judd might challenge McConnell. However, Judd lives in Tennessee and has made some critical statements on coal that won’t serve her well in Kentucky.

Furthermore, McConnell has more than $7 million in his campaign war chest.

And despite the nation’s changing demographics, Kentucky is a red state that is not fond of Obama. That won’t change in 2014.

CONTINUE READING…

Judge tosses 150 pounds of marijuana over GPS use in Kentucky

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LOUISVILLE — When Kentucky State Troopers stopped 49-year-old Robert Dale Lee on Interstate 75 in September 2011, they knew he would be coming their way and what to look for in his car.

The Drug Enforcement Administration had been following Lee’s car from Chicago using a GPS — a tracking device placed on the vehicle as part of a multi-state drug probe — and troopers found 150 lbs of marijuana in his car.

Now, a federal judge has ruled the stash inadmissible in the case against Lee because the DEA and troopers didn’t have a warrant to place the device on the car.

“In this case, the DEA agents had their fishing poles out to catch Lee,” Judge Amul R. Thapar wrote. “Admittedly, the agents did not intend to break the law. But, they installed a GPS device on Lee’s car without a warrant in the hope that something might turn up.”

Lee is charged with conspiracy to distribute marijuana. No trial date has been set. His attorney, Michael Murphy of Lexington, did not immediately return a message seeking comment Wednesday.

Kyle Edelen, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Lexington, said prosecutors are reviewing the ruling and evaluating whether to appeal Thapar’s decision.

The U.S. Supreme Court in January struck down law enforcement’s use of GPS tracking in investigations without a warrant. Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the 5-member majority that it was the attachment of the device that violated the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. That case involved a GPS placed on the Jeep of suspected Washington, D.C. drug kingpin Antoine Jones. The ruling overturned Jones’ conviction and life sentence.

Lee’s case predated that ruling, so the admissibility of the marijuana remained in question until Thapar’s decision.

The case arose after a cooperating witness told investigators that Lee, who previously served 42 months in federal prison for gun and drug convictions, had been buying marijuana in Chicago and bringing it back to eastern Kentucky in his car.

CONTINUE READING THRU THIS LINK…..

James Higdon’s "The Cornbread Mafia: A Homegrown Syndicate’s Code of Silence and the Biggest Marijuana Bust in American History"

press release

April 16, 2012, 3:57 p.m. EDT

James Higdon’s “The Cornbread Mafia: A Homegrown Syndicate’s Code of Silence and the Biggest Marijuana Bust in American History” Available This Week

NEW YORK, NY, Apr 16, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) — ATTENTION JOURNALISTS AND PRODUCERS: 4/20 — “The Pot Holiday” — is this week! James Higdon is the perfect choice for any conversation about marijuana legalization. Call now to schedule an interview.

In the summer of 1987, Johnny Boone set out to grow and harvest one of the greatest outdoor marijuana crops in modern times. In doing so, he set into motion a series of events that defined him and his associates as the largest homegrown marijuana syndicate in American history, also known as the Cornbread Mafia.

Author James Higdon — whose relationship with Johnny Boone, currently a federal fugitive, made him the first journalist subpoenaed under the Obama administration — takes readers back to the 1970s and ’80s and the clash between federal and local law enforcement and a band of Kentucky farmers with moonshine and pride in their bloodlines. By 1989 the task force assigned to take down men like Johnny Boone had arrested sixty-nine men and one woman from busts on twenty-nine farms in ten states, and seized two hundred tons of pot. Of the seventy individuals arrested, zero talked. How it all went down is a tale of Mafia-style storylines emanating from the Bluegrass State, and populated by Vietnam veterans and weed-loving characters caught up in Tarantino-level violence and heartbreaking altruism. This work of dogged investigative journalism and history is told by Higdon in action-packed, colorful and riveting detail.

“James Higdon has written a compelling, fast-moving saga about how a backwoods band of outlaws, begat by Kentucky moonshiners of the 1920s, took over the marijuana business in the Midwest and led the Feds on the biggest pot chase in American history.” –Bruce Porter, author of BLOW: How a Small-Town Boy Made $100 Million with the Medellin Cocaine Cartel and Lost It All

James Higdon has worked for the Courier-Journal in Louisville and the New York Times, contributed to The Prairie Home Companion, researched the NYPD counter-terrorism and intelligence divisions for the new CBS series NYC 22 (produced by Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal), and is currently a contributing editor with PBS Frontline’s Tehran Bureau.

The Cornbread Mafia: A Homegrown Syndicate’s Code of Silence and the Biggest Marijuana Bust in American History Lyons Press – April 2012 – Cloth — 400 pages – $24.95 – ISBN-13: 978-0762778232

        
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SOURCE: Globe Pequot Press