- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Sen. Rand Paul says school choice could expand GOP

CHICAGO (AP) - Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said voters in perennial Democratic strongholds such as Chicago and Milwaukee will think differently if they see Republicans not just visiting these places, but discussing issues pertinent to their circumstances.

That’s the thinking behind the 2016 GOP presidential prospect’s current visit to the two Midwestern metropolitan areas, where Paul said the Republican issue of school choice could appeal to minority parents.

“If people say, ‘We’re going to go out and get the African-American vote,’ that’s all good and well, but you also have to have something to say,” Paul told reporters after an hourlong talk with students and parents at a private Catholic school Tuesday on Chicago’s near north side.

“We need a few extra votes,” he said after visiting the all-girls Josephinum Academy. “We have to figure out as Republicans how to get our message to the people who favor charter schools and favor choice in schools, and say, look, we do care about your kids.”

Paul, who is weighing a 2016 presidential bid, has called for widening the GOP’s appeal to include more racial and ethnic minorities and younger voters, a clear majority of which President Barack Obama won in 2008 and 2012.

Since last year, Paul has made similar trips to Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Las Vegas, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and elsewhere. He’s scheduled to talk about school choice in Milwaukee Wednesday.

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Beshear: 413,000 sign up for health care in Ky

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Beth Moore left her job - and her health insurance - to start her own company in January.

In March, while visiting Texas, she had an emergency appendectomy followed by a nasty bout with pneumonia that added up to more than $30,000 in medical bills.

But Moore was one of 413,410 Kentuckians who signed up for free or subsidized health insurance through kynect, Kentucky’s state-run health insurance marketplace made possible by the federal Affordable Care Act. So far, the most she has paid for her treatment is $150.

“If I had not had insurance (it) would have been catastrophic for me,” Moore said. “I’m very grateful that I am a resident of Kentucky and that this was an option for me.”

Moore told her story alongside Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear and other state officials Tuesday who were celebrating the end of the open-enrollment period of Kentucky’s health insurance marketplace. While signups on the federal website were delayed by numerous technical glitches, Kentucky’s system worked smoothly. At its peak, Beshear said, the state’s website processed more than 7,000 applications per day.

The final number is likely to grow because workers are still processing paper applications. Kynect’s next open enrollment period begins Nov. 15.

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Panel delays vote on Churchill Downs’ Fair Grounds

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The Louisiana State Racing Commission has delayed action on a new 10-year license for Churchill Downs Inc. to hold horse racing and operate slot machines at The Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans.

The commission’s decision to delay action Tuesday follows complaints from the Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and others about conditions at the track. NOLA.com ‘ The Times-Picayune reports (http://bit.ly/PrtghB) that the Racing Commission scheduled a special meeting May 1 to discuss the licensing.

Fair Grounds president Tim Bryant issued a statement saying the track has provided the commission with a plan to improve facilities and operations.

Meanwhile, a bill moving through the state Legislature would require that 10 percent of net slot machine proceeds at the track go to maintenance and capital improvements.

“We have submitted a plan to the Louisiana Racing Commission that we are confident will improve the Fair Grounds racing facility and operations,” Bryant said in an emailed statement. “We have been asked to provide more information with regard to four areas: the turf course, marketing, service and backstretch facilities and we will certainly do that. We look forward to further discussions and continuing to show our commitment to Fair Grounds racing in New Orleans.”

In Baton Rouge, Rep. Patrick Connick, R-Marrero, recently won unanimous House approval of the bill regarding slot revenue. Action is pending in the Senate.

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2 found dead in Nelson County home

BARDSTOWN, Ky. (AP) - Police say two females have been found dead inside a central Kentucky home as a result of some type of trauma.

Neighbors told reporters Tuesday that a woman and two teenage daughters live in the home. WHAS-TV said investigators aren’t saying whether the two people who died were residents of the home.

The house is located in Nelson County near Bardstown.

WAVE-TV said Kentucky State Police confirmed the victims were both female but wouldn’t comment on the manner of death, saying only that the victims suffered trauma.

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