Ky. same-sex marriage recognition put on hold

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A federal judge is giving Kentucky more time to officially recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states and countries.

The ruling Wednesday comes just two days before gay couples would have been allowed to change their names on official identifications and documents and obtain the benefits of any married couple in Kentucky.

U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn in a four-page order said it is best that momentous changes in the law happen after full review, rather than running the risk of premature implementation or confusing the issues.

Heyburn's order is similar to orders granting same-sex marriage recognition rights but putting implementation on hold in Texas, Utah, Virginia and other states.


Senate OKs proposal to cut legislative sessions

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A proposal aimed at reducing the number of days Kentucky lawmakers meet in session every year has passed the Kentucky Senate.

The measure would cut the amount of time lawmakers are in session by a third over each two-year period.

The bill cleared the Senate on a 34-3 vote Wednesday and now goes to the House.

It seeks to amend the state's constitution to limit sessions to 45 days in even-numbered years and up to 15 in odd-numbered years.

The measure would go on the November ballot for Kentucky voters to decide if it clears the General Assembly.

Senate President Robert Stivers says the shorter sessions would save money and encourage more people to run for legislative seats.


Lawmakers still working on snow days bill

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky lawmakers are still working on legislation to give relief to school districts struggling to make up lost days this winter.

The issue appears headed to a House-Senate conference committee. The House refused to accept the Senate's version Wednesday.

Under the Senate's plan, school boards could submit revised calendars to the state education commissioner to adjust for lost instructional time. If districts still can't make up all lost time, school boards could request a state waiver from the required 1,062 instructional hours in a school year.

The House's version would allow districts to have up to 10 missed instructional days waived.

Lawmakers are trying to get a bill to Gov. Steve Beshear as soon as possible. Some districts have missed more than 30 days due to snow and ice.


Ky. Senate passes bill to toughen voyeurism law

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky Senate has voted to update the state's voyeurism law to punish people who take photos up women's skirts.

The proposal takes aim at a practice known as "upskirting."

The bill would make it illegal to photograph or videotape an undergarment that isn't publicly visible.

Republican Sen. Julie Denton says the voyeurism law needs to be expanded to keep up with the increasing use of mobile phones to take photos.

Her bill passed the Senate on a 37-0 vote Wednesday. It now goes to the House.

Voyeurism can result in jail time in Kentucky.


Ky. House panel OKs trial use of cannabis oil

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A bill to legalize an oil extract from marijuana or hemp plants to treat childhood seizures has picked up momentum in the Kentucky General Assembly.

The measure sailed through the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. The panel sent the bill to the full House after hearing from a woman who wants her son to be treated with the non-intoxicating oil.

The woman, Rita Wooton, told the panel she once thought her family would become medical refugees to get access to the oil. Now, she said it looks like Kentucky lawmakers will respond to the plight of her family and others.

Under the bill, patients could be treated with the oil at the medical research hospitals at the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville.


Senate committee kills tanning bed ban

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky state Senate committee has killed a bill that would have banned teenagers from using tanning beds.

The bill would have banned anyone under 18 from using a tanning bed without a doctor's prescription. Rep. David Watkins, D-Henderson, said he sponsored the bill to stop the increasing number of skin cancer cases.

The bill passed the House by a 61-31 vote earlier this month. But the bill failed to get the six votes it needed to advance to the Senate floor.

Republican state Sen. Joe Bowen, R-Owensboro, said he does not support the bill because it is an example of the government telling people how to live their lives. He noted his wife had skin cancer in her 20s that was not caused by a tanning bed.


Bluegrass musician to receive grave marker

SOMERSET, Ky. (AP) — A bluegrass musician buried in an unmarked grave in 1951 in Somerset is about to get a marker to recognize his musical accomplishments.

The Commonwealth Journal reports Leonard Rutherford was a popular musician who performed as part of the Burnett-Rutherford Duo and slipped into obscurity after his death at the age of 53. The Wayne County native lived in Somerset.

A ceremony to unveil the marker is set for Saturday afternoon at the Somerset Cemetery.

Cemetery manager Tricia Neal said historian Harlan Ogle, who set in motion a search for Rutherford's grave, is expected to speak about the musician's life and attendees will hear some recordings from the Burnett-Rutherford Duo.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press

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