News Around the State

People can get drug abuse help at state police posts

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — People seeking drug abuse treatment will be able to get help from state police under a program now available across Kentucky.

News outlets report state police Commissioner Rick Sanders, Gov. Matt Bevin and state Justice and Public Safety Secretary John Tilley announced the Angel Initiative on Thursday. The program allows people to visit any state police post and be connected with officers there who will help them find appropriate treatment.

A police statement says drug abusers will not be arrested if they don’t have outstanding criminal charges or warrants.

Police started the initiative last year as a pilot program at the Pikeville and Richmond posts, and have facilitated getting 10 people into treatment.

Last year, more than 1,400 people died from drug overdoses in Kentucky.

Parents charged in accidental shooting involving children

PINEVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky State Police have charged the parents of two children who were involved in an accidental shooting earlier this month.

WYMT-TV reports 29-year-old Jennifer Collett and 30-year-old James Collett were arrested Thursday and taken to a county detention center. Information Officer Shane Jacobs has said an 11-year-old boy accidentally shot his 6-year-old sister Wednesday night when the parents weren’t home. Another child was present during the shooting. Both parents have been charged with three counts each of wanton endangerment and endangering the welfare of a minor.

A department news release says the child was in critical but stable condition Wednesday. The outlet reports the girl is expected to make a full recovery and has been released into another family member’s care.

Stivers: House revenue bill faces tough prospects in Senate

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky Senate’s top Republican leader says a House-passed plan to tax prescription opioids and boost the tax on cigarettes faces difficult prospects in his chamber.

One day after the revenue bill passed the GOP-led House, Senate President Robert Stivers said Friday it will be “very difficult” to pass it in the Senate.

Stivers said some components of the House’s revenue plan could end up in a broader plan to revamp Kentucky’s tax code. Stivers said it’s possible lawmakers will take up a comprehensive tax overhaul in the remaining weeks of this year’s legislative session.

The revenue bill passed by the House would tax each dose of opioids 25 cents. State officials say it would generate about $70 million per year.

The bill also calls for a 50-cent tax hike on cigarettes.

Flying drones over sites without permission could mean jail

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Flying drones over key infrastructure sites without permission could mean jail time under a bill passed by the Kentucky House on Friday.

The measure would expand trespassing laws to include flying drones over places such as petroleum refineries, hazardous chemical plants and water supply systems without the owner’s consent. The bill now goes to the Senate.

The offense would be a misdemeanor if the drone operator takes photos or videos or gathers other information without permission. Republican Rep. Diane St. Onge said her bill would not affect news media using drones to cover emergencies, and that a separate bill under consideration would set out permitted uses of drones by the media and others.

The legislation is House Bill 324.

City seeks community conversation on homelessness

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky’s second largest city is encouraging the public to participate in a forum about homelessness.

The Lexington Office of Homelessness Prevention and Intervention said in a statement that it will host the Ending Homelessness Academy and Community Summit March 5-9. Much of the week will be focused on training organizations that help the homeless, but officials say they will hold a community conversation Friday morning at the Pam Miller Downtown Arts Center.

The statement says Fayette County residents are invited to attend and offer concerns, ideas and solutions for homelessness.

The event is open to the public, but seating is limited and requires registration at http://bit/ly/LexEndHomelessness .

L’Oreal to use Ky. landfill as renewable energy source

COALTON, Ky. (AP) — Cosmetics company L’Oreal is planning to use gas captured at a Kentucky landfill as a renewable energy resource.

The Daily Independent of Ashland reports that a new facility built by the end of the year at the Coalton landfill will process landfill gas into natural gas and sell it to L’Oreal.

L’Oreal announced Thursday that Big Run Power Producers will break ground on the new processing facility this month. L’Oreal says this works toward achieving its goal of carbon neutrality for its U.S. manufacturing and distribution facility by 2019.

The plan may create up to 10 permanent jobs and about 100 temporary construction ones. This comes after the landfill losing about 60 jobs because of a 2015 order by state and local agencies to restrict emissions.

Federal agency awards $184K water grant to Tompkinsville

TOMPKINSVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky city has been awarded a $184,000 grant for improvements to its water treatment plant.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the water infrastructure grant Thursday to Tompkinsville.

The agency said in a news release that the funds will be used with $496,850 in matching funds from the city to fund removal of existing sludge from the lagoon, expansion of the lagoon and installation of equipment to let the lagoon perform critical functions.

Tompkinsville Mayor Scotty D. Turner said in the release that the system will make it easier to accommodate additional customers and add industry to the system.

The existing water treatment plant provides drinking water service to about 5,900 residents in Tomkinsville and the Monroe County Water District.