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Columns

  • Gas tax, heroin bill major factors in session

    By James Tipton, State representative

    The state legislature closed out the 2015 edition of the General Assembly in the early morning hours of March 24. As the clock approached midnight there was important legislation that still needed to be addressed so leadership decided to recommend that the General Assembly extend into our 29th legislative day which ended around 4 a.m.

  • Enjoy nutritious asparagus while it’s still in season

    Asparagus is in season now through May.

    While it’s frequently overcooked, it can be eaten raw, lightly boiled, steamed, grilled, stir-fried or baked. The secret in cooking is not to cook too long and not to let it get too mature before harvesting. The more mature the asparagus is, the tougher the stems.

  • Alfalfa weevil is key pest of the first alfalfa cutting

    Alfalfa weevil is a key insect pest on the first alfalfa cutting. Tip feeding should show up soon in established fields.

    This insect occurs throughout the state, but sound management practices, weather patterns, and natural enemies often keep numbers below damaging levels in many fields.

    Great natural mortality of alfalfa weevil can occur early in the weevil season. Strong winds and driving rain can knock small larvae to the ground where they perish. In addition, alfalfa can tolerate light feeding by the insect with no appreciable loss of yield or quality.

  • Addressing misunderstandings, concerns from 2015 session

    By Julian Carroll, State senator

    Since concluding the 2015 legislative session, I have had the opportunity to finish reading e-mails and phone messages from many of your readers. I appreciate everyone who shared his or her concerns with me. Below I have attempted to address some of the concerns and questions as well as respond to possible misunderstandings.

    State employee compensation

  • Grow ginger to ease colds, soothe muscles

    Let’s all toast the sun. Life is bursting out all over. The trees are either budding or blooming, and the lawns are verdant green. It’s those over achievers in the yard that are driving me crazy. Those military tough broadleaf weeds and wild garlic just want to be outstanding. Before you break out the mowers, let’s hit them with a little killer.

  • Learn how to manage diabetes

    There are about 370,000 people diagnosed with diabetes in Kentucky. This number may be larger if we consider that an additional 137,000 individuals are undiagnosed, making a total of 507,000 living with diabetes. Kentucky has the sixth highest rate of diabetes in the nation, making it important for us to take action.

  • Spring a good time to be weather aware

    This is a good time of year to see how weather aware you are in your household.

    You don’t have to be a weather nut like me to take common sense precautions. Check your batteries in your flashlights. Bring pets inside. Check on a neighbor. Make sure the sump pump is working, if you have one.

    Last, but not least, make sure you have discussed hazardous spring weather with your family and make a plan on what to do and where to go.

  • Understand, be wary of grass tetany

    Spring in the Bluegrass is a great time of greening and warming, but it’s also a time when livestock producers need to watch out for grass tetany, also called spring tetany or grass staggers.

    Some people also refer to it as wheat pasture poisoning, winter tetany or lactation tetany. Regardless, it’s a condition caused by an abnormally low level of magnesium in the blood of livestock.

  • April brings warmth, chores and flowers

    Well, I might as well tell you, I’m selling the farm and moving in town. I’m just getting too old to do this stuff. My get up and go has got up and went.

    The only gas I have left escapes when I cough or sneeze. I blame my father for always calling me a little fart. Oh come on folks, don’t be sad. Look at the calendar.

  • Time to think about spring weather safety

    After record snowfall and bitterly cold temperatures, most Kentuckians welcome the transition into spring. Still, changeable weather is one of the harbingers of the season, and often it comes in the form of high winds and blustery conditions. Even though tornadoes can occur in any season, they are most common in spring, along with downbursts and windstorms.