- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Bill Nye defends evolution in Kentucky debate

PETERSBURG, Ky. (AP) - TV’s “Science Guy” Bill Nye says there are infinite discoveries yet to be made about the universe and how we got here.

Ken Ham, the man Nye traveled to Kentucky to debate Tuesday night, says all those answers are already in the Bible.

Over the course of the two-and-a-half hour debate at Kentucky’s Creation Museum, both men had plenty to say, but neither left convinced of the other’s argument.

Nye, true to his TV persona, delivered a passionate and animated defense of science and challenged the teachings on display at the museum that the earth is 6,000 years old and man once lived alongside dinosaurs.

“If we accept Mr. Ham’s point of view … that the Bible serves as a science text and he and his followers will interpret that for you, I want you to consider what that means,” Nye said. “It means that Mr. Ham’s word is to be more respected than what you can observe in nature, what you can find in your backyard in Kentucky.”

Nye said scientists can track the age of stars based on their distance from earth.

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Beshear offers far-reaching Ky. tax overhaul plan

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Gov. Steve Beshear proposed updating Kentucky’s tax code on Tuesday with a far-reaching plan that would reduce tax rates for individuals and businesses, extend the state sales tax to more services and expand tax credits to encourage job growth.

The plan would generate nearly $210 million more in state General Fund revenues each year once fully in effect, the governor said in unveiling his long-awaited plan.

Smokers would pay a higher state tax rate for each pack of cigarettes they puff. Higher-income retirees would have their pension income tax breaks reduced.

And the state’s 6 percent sales tax would be extended to such services as the cost of labor for car repairs and admission to golf courses, country clubs and fitness centers. Other services targeted would include landscaping, janitorial and tanning salons.

Kentucky’s renowned bourbon and horse industries would receive tax breaks as part of the 22-point plan presented by the second-term Democratic governor.

Beshear said his plan would modernize an outdated tax system, enhancing the state’s competitiveness while guaranteeing sufficient revenues to run state government.

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Proposal to end treasurer’s office clears Senate

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - The Kentucky Senate has passed a proposed ballot measure seeking to abolish the state treasurer’s office.

The proposal would amend the Kentucky Constitution to allow the treasurer’s duties to shift to the state Finance Cabinet.

The measure cleared the Senate on a 23-15 vote Tuesday. It now goes to the state House.

Republicans backing the measure say it could save the state $1.4 million each year.

State Treasurer Todd Hollenbach disputed that, saying abolishing his office wouldn’t save any money.

Democrats opposing the bill said the treasurer’s office provides needed oversight of state finances.

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Bourbon, Tenn. whiskey sales up in US, overseas

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Global thirst for Kentucky bourbon and Tennessee whiskey caused exports to spike beyond $1 billion for the first time ever in 2013, a distilled spirits trade group said Tuesday.

Mixed together, bourbon and Tennessee whiskey exports grew a projected 5 percent, from $956.8 million in 2012 to just past $1 billion last year, the Distilled Spirits Council announced.

Bourbon and Tennessee whiskey revenues shot up even higher at home, rising by a projected 10.2 percent last year, the council said.

Their performance overseas drove overall American distilled spirits exports above $1.5 billion, the council said. It marked the fourth straight year of record exports for American-crafted spirits.

The steady rise reflects a growing reputation for American distilled spirits overseas, the group said.

“There is a genuine affection for ‘Brand America’ as a symbol of quality and taste,” said Christine LoCascio, the council’s senior vice president for international trade.

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.

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