- Associated Press - Sunday, August 24, 2014
School program aims to help veterans

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) - A program aimed at helping veterans hone their skills through education to prepare them for careers is seeing booming registration at Western Kentucky University.

The Veterans Upward Bound initiative has jumped from 99 participants in the 2008-09 school year to 165 veterans in the 2012-13 year. Final numbers for this year’s participants will be calculated Sept. 30, but to date the program had 128 veterans participating.

The program coordinator, Rick Wright, told The Daily News (http://bit.ly/1pOTslg) that the staff tries to match veterans with schools and degrees that could lead to jobs that require skills similar to ones they learned in the military.

“The least we can do for these brave men and women is to offer them a good education so they can get a good job,” Wright said.

Kentucky has 2,000 to 3,200 veterans younger than 25 years old, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The state has 339,000 veterans of all ages.

___

Group opposes tax incentives for Noah’s Ark park

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A national organization for the separation of church and state has urged Kentucky officials to deny state tax incentives for the Noah’s Ark theme park in northern Kentucky.

The group, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, points to hiring practices by the park’s parent organization, Answers in Genesis, The Courier-Journal (http://cjky.it/XHv4bn) reported.

In a letter to Gov. Steve Beshear, Americans United said the website of Answers in Genesis requires that job applicants agree with its Christian “Statement of Faith.”

“An applicant must profess . that homosexuality is a sin on par with bestiality and incest, that the earth is only 6,000 years old, and that the bible is literally true in order to be considered for the job,” Americans United officials said in the letter.

That policy amounts to religious discrimination in hiring and may violate the Kentucky Constitution’s ban on preferences “to any religious sect,” the group said.

The coordinator of the project, Mike Zovath, told the Louisville newspaper on Friday that the entity developing the park - the for-profit Ark Encounter LLC - is distinct from the not-for-profit Answers in Genesis.