Local News

  • Weathering extremes

    There are some jobs that stay cold all year long, even in the 70 degree weather that covered Oldham County like a blanket earlier this week.But when the weather dropped almost to single digits Jan. 2 and 3, Jesse Parker was literally left out in the cold.Starting his shift as the sun was setting, Parker collected the hundreds of carts in the Wal-Mart parking lot Jan. 3 as customers hurried past to the warmth inside.

  • OCSO, clerk's budgets reviewed

    After working magistrates and county financial officers, two county agencies have tightened budgets by reducing labor costs in 2008, saving the county an estimated $200,000. Magistrates met with Sheriff Steve Sparrow and County Clerk Julie Lentz on Dec. 20 to review options that would trim costs down in the sheriff’s and county clerk’s budgets by reducing raises, overtime and shifting positions. Oldham County Fiscal Court approved the projected budgets for both offices on Jan. 2.

  • Newspaper's parent company for sale

    Landmark Communications Inc., owner of The Oldham Era and its parent division, Shelbyville-based Landmark Community Newspapers Inc., has announced the decision to explore selling its properties.The company, based in Norfolk, Va., announced last week that it had hired two national investment firms, JPMorgan and Lehman Brothers, to “assist us in exploring strategic alternatives, including the possible sale of Landmark’s businesses,” according to a memorandum sent to employees.A formal announcement to employees at all Landmark properties was made Ja

  • Dollars and sense

    Lean government seems like an understatement – Oldham County is trimming expenses for services down to bare bones. A police officer doubles as the county’s Internet technology specialist. The emergency management director also runs dispatch services. Oldham County offers a self-serve recycling center and runs a police force that hasn’t had funding to expand with a growing population in eight years. A nearly $3 million deficit acquired by county government in the past year is the outcome of a simple equation: revenue minus spending.

  • La Grange, Pewee match county's tax rate

    Oldham County residents will pay a 10 percent tax on their insurance premiums next fiscal year, but due to votes Monday night, all of that tax revenue will go to a taxpayer’s city instead of the county for residents in La Grange and Pewee Valley.La Grange and Pewee Valley officials said they decided to bump up their rates in response to the Oldham County Fiscal Court’s increase to 10 percent. The effort keeps city tax revenue from slipping into the county’s budget.

  • Flood, power loss sends KSR inmates packing

    Power outages at Kentucky State Reformatory put about 450 inmates out of their dorms for three to four days last week, but without major incident.Administrator Gary Prestigiacomo said a steam pipe broke and flooded the basement of a dormitory Jan. 2.La Grange Fire and Rescue Chief Jim Sitzler said as the water rose, it got into the electrical room and shorted everything out. LFRD firefighters pumped at least four feet of water from the basement, he said.

  • Residents complete report with 'vision' for Oldham County

    A committee responsible for implementing a vision for the future of parks, utilities, tourism and finances of Oldham County answered questions raised by residents in a report released Jan. 2. Members of the Oldham County Vision Council Committee, appointed by Judge-Executive Duane Murner in May, were charged with the task of answering eight questions developed by a team of residents who created a plan for the future of the county.

  • Residents angered by hasty appointment to fill Beaumont's council seat

    With a hasty decision that left residents in uproar, La Grange City Council members voted Monday to fill a seat vacated in December by the late James Beaumont.Former council member Jean Knight was appointed to complete Beaumont’s term through 2008.Council members voted 4-3 to add Knight to the council, with Faith Brush, Lucy Ricketts and Joe Davenport voting against the appointment. The three council members who opposed Knight’s appointment said they wanted more time to review applications from all residents interested in the position.

  • Open for discussion

    Business owners are calling for revisions to La Grange's sign ordinance, arguing that city council's incentive to preserve the historic look of the area is compromising the future of the economy and comes with a price for businesses already existing in the city.

    In May, council members unanimously approved an ordinance to ban pole signs, neon lighting and banners. La Grange business owners rekindled the issue in October and expressed frustration after the city's code enforcement officer visited businesses with non-complaint signs and asked business owners to remove those signs.

  • Baptist Northeast now boasts tobacco-free hospital campus

    JoAnn Parker used to visit the "Butt Hut" at least four times during her 12-hour shift at Baptist Hospital Northeast. The hut is an smokers' pavilion behind the hospital where Parker went to smoke and relax from the stresses of working as a unit secretary and monitor tech in the hospital's medical surgical unit.

    But when officials from the Metro Louisville Baptist Healthcare System announced plans May 11 to make hospital campuses tobacco-free by the beginning of 2008, Parker said she knew she had to do something.