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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

NEWS ROUND-UP -- TUESDAY MORNING 3 JULY

THE RIVER CITY NEWS MORE COVINGTON NEWS THAN ANY OTHER SOURCE
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by Michael Monks 
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COVINGTON COMPANY PERFORMS SOME PRETTY AWESOME RESEARCH
bioLOGIC, the Russell Street life sciences incubator, has released the findings of a study performed by one of its tenants, Surgical Energetics, that demonstrates how a new device can serve as artificial tendon:
Founded in 1998 by the late Dr. David Melvin,  previously known for performing the region’s first heart transplants, SE has developed technology for the coupling of tissues never before reliably closable. This new coupling technology utilizes force-transfer surface dynamics to join living tissue to either a prosthetic device or other living tissue. The OrthoCoupler™ device provides the first durable, fully functional re-attachment of a forcefully contracting muscle to prosthetic bone (or to living bone, in the absence of adequate tendon). The connection has proven stronger than the muscle itself. In this 6 month goat study, two important findings were evident: legs with the quadriceps tendon replaced by artificial tendon were stronger than the healthy, non-operated (control) legs. In addition the goats were walking within 24 hours of surgery with no need of external fixation support or assistance.“We are very pleased with these results as this study moves us closer to FDA approval of our artificial tendon device,” Dr. Natalia Juncosa-Melvin, Scientific Director at SE, commented. bioLOGIC and SE have been in close collaboration since early 2007. “bioLOGIC and the other tenants in our building are very excited for our colleagues at SE as they approach commercialization of their first product,” stated Dr. Charlie LeCroix,  COO and partner at bioLOGIC. “Bringing  SE’s  devices to market will not only resolve some of the challenges in Orthopedic Surgery, but add another success in the growing life science community in Northern Kentucky.”
This is the type of business going on in our City now. Sweet.
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SEE ALSO: Over-the-Rhine to become hub of innovation Business Courier 
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KENTUCKY SCORES $8.5 MILLION IN HEALTH CARE FRAUD SETTLEMENT
Attorney General Jack Conway informs us of the Commonwealth's share in one of the largest health care fraud settlements in US history:
Kentucky joined 44 other states, the District of Columbia and the federal government in reaching an agreement in principle with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to resolve drug marketing and pricing claims. Under the terms of the settlement, GSK has agreed to pay $3 billion as a result of allegations that the drug company engaged in various illegal schemes related to the marketing and pricing of drugs it manufactures.
GSK will pay to the states and the federal government a total of $2 billion in damages and civil penalties to compensate various federal healthcare programs, including Medicaid, for harm allegedly suffered as a result of the illegal conduct. Under the settlement, Kentucky will receive more than $28.2 million in recoveries from GSK. After reimbursing the federal government for its share, Kentucky will retain more than $8.5 million for reimbursement of the state Medicaid program.
Additionally, GSK has agreed to plead guilty to federal criminal charges relating to drug labeling and FDA reporting and will pay a $1 billion criminal fine in connection with those allegations.
"I am pleased that Kentucky is able to participate in this historic settlement," General Conway said. "Drug companies that operate outside of the law, engaging in deceptive marketing and pricing of their products, put the public's health at risk and lay a heavy burden on taxpayers as they reap enormous profits."
The suit was filed against GSK for its marketing practices involving the drugs Paxil, Wellbutrin, Zofran, and others. Check out the full details in a release from the federal government by clicking here.
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MCCONNELL: ODDS ARE AGAINST REPEALING HEALTH CARE REFORM
Kentucky's senior senator, who has spent the past three years hoping to make President Obama a one-termer, is sounding less and less optimistic about his plans: 
"If you thought it was a good idea for the federal government to go in this direction, I'd say the odds are still on your side," McConnell said. "Because it's a lot harder to undo something than it is to stop it in the first place."
Full story: AP via Huffington Post
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DC MAYOR, GROUPS CALL SEN. RAND PAUL A HYPOCRITE
A bipartisan bill before the US Senate that would give Washington, DC more control over its own budget to avoid a city government shutdown is being held up by provisions added by Sen. Paul: 
Both Republican and Democratic Senators backed the proposal when it was introduced in April, arguing it would avoid a city government shutdown due to congressional delay.
But Paul introduced several amendments to the bill that would change the city’s gun, abortion and labor laws, and observers argue the legislation will remain in limbo for the rest of the year.
One DC group says Paul is overstepping his bounds and betraying his Libertarian principles. 
Full story: WFPL
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MEDICAL MARIJUANA ACT TO BE INTRODUCED IN KENTUCKY
A Democratic state senator from Louisville will push for medical marijuana in Kentucky next year and has named the bill in honor of pot advocate and perennial candidate Gatewood Galbraith: 
Clark, a Louisville Democrat, has scheduled a news conference for 2 p.m. Thursday in Frankfort at the Capitol Annex to unveil legislation that would make marijuana a schedule II drug, legal for doctors to prescribe.
“So far 19 states and the District of Columbia have done this because studies have shown it’s effective in treating so many diseases and conditions,” Clark said in an interview.
The General Assembly rejected the same bill this year.
Courier-Journal
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SEE ALSO: In second term, President Obama will pivot to the War on Drugs
Don't expect miracles. There is very little the president can do by himself. And pot-smokers shouldn't expect the president to come out in favor of legalizing marijuana. But from his days as a state senator in Illinois, Obama has considered the Drug War to be a failure, a conflict that has exacerbated the problem of drug abuse, devastated entire communities, changed policing practices for the worse, and has led to a generation of young children, disproportionately black and minority, to grow up in dislocated homes, or in none at all.

Full story: GQ
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REP. DAVIS: HIGHWAY BILL IS GOOD NEWS FOR BRENT SPENCE BRIDGE
NKY's Republican Congressman says the newly passed transportation bill offers an additional finding avenue for the Brent Spence Bridge: 

MAP-21 includes a provision for large-scale transportation Projects of National and Regional Significance (PNRS). This program provides an additional funding resource for mega-projects like the Brent Spence Bridge. States must apply to the U.S. Department of Transportation through a competitive process to receive PNRS funds. Projects will be evaluated based on proscribed criteria and funds awarded on the basis of merit.
“This legislation will help Kentucky address our infrastructure needs,” Davis said. “While imperfect, the bill is fully paid for and includes important reforms that will streamline project delivery and reduce costs.
“The Projects of National and Regional Significance program is an essential mechanism to fund critical infrastructure projects that affect our nation as a whole, but have costs that exceed the transportation budgets of the State or States in which the project is located. The Brent Spence Bridge is a prime example of the kind of project this program is designed to support.” 
Geoff Davis
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But did the Republican approval of the highway bill violate the Party's no-tax pledge? From Friday:
The way the highway bill came together does violate -- at least in spirit -- two major promises House Republicans made. Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy promised to "advance major legislation one issue at a time." But the highway bill has wrapped in it an extension of federally subsidized student loan rates, and the flood insurance program.
And the bill posted early Thursday morning, and is seeing a vote Friday -- the GOP said they would give three days for public review of legislation.
Full story: Politico
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STATE SENATE RACE COMES TO COVINGTON TONIGHT
Democrat Jim Noll, a Villa Hills City Councilman, is bringing his campaign for the state senate to Pike Street Lounge this evening, according to his Facebook page:
Kick off your Independence Day Holiday on Tuesday July 3rd at Pike Street Lounge from 5-7pm for the "Noll for Senate" Meet n Greet and Fundraiser. A Trusted Name and a New Voice is saving you a seat at the table. 
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Noll faces Republican Chris McDaniel in the November election.
NOTE: Embarrassing mistake here earlier. The link to the Senator Chris McDaniel Facebook page was to a state senator in Mississippi. My sincerest apologies to our Chris McDaniel for implying that he was already calling himself senator.

HERE IS A LINK TO CHRIS MCDANIEL'S CAMPAIGN FACEBOOK PAGE: Chris McDaniel for Senate
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HOW CAN KENTUCKY START TO ADDRESS ITS PENSION PROBLEM?
Kentucky's Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo sat down with cn|2's Ryan Alessi:
Stumbo said he believes some benefits can and should be reduced slightly — particulary for retired state workers whose pensions pay them more than $50,000 a year. He also suggested ending the practice of double-dipping so that if someone drawing a public pension is hired back by a government agency that person must choose whether to take a salary or keep drawing the pension checks while they work.
Stumbo is a Democrat from Prestonburg. More with video at the link.
cn|2 
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DON'T MISS MONDAY EVENING'S NEWS
Take a look at the roof that could require up to $110,000 in NSP funds to reconstruct; Part of the playground scorched by a fire is torn down and removed; A shirtless man slithers into a McDonald's and threatens to "tear up" Newport; Plus, a street in Devou Park will see big changes. Click it.
The RC News: Monday Evening Round-Up 
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QUICKIES
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Fire destroys vacant Newport home WXIX
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Drought, heat could affect Kentucky vineyards Business First 
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Walmart: 50 years of gutting the middle class Other Words 
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SEE ALSO: Abandoned Walmart in Texas turned into library PSFK 
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Anthony Davis suffers ankle sprain, may affect Olympics goal Times-Picayune 
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MLB All Star Game... Columnist: In baseball, controversy is always just a click away WDRB 
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CATCH UP WITH LOCAL AUTHOR RICK ROBINSON
Covington features prominently in Robinson's latest book, Writ of Mandamus (which The River City News gives four out of four stars!). You should buy that book -- and some of his others, which are on sale for just 99 cents! Click the link for details.
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               WORLD CHOIR GAMES
One of the largest events ever held in the Greater Cincinnati area is almost here... 
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"Our message to WCG visitors matters"
The urban renaissance on both sides of the Ohio is fueling an outbreak of creativity and innovation unprecedented in our region. And we can’t forget our people — people who are profoundly loyal to family and friends, and fierce advocates for the distinctive neighborhoods that add so much to our region’s personality.
These assets and many others make Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky a wonderful place to live, work and play. That’s why we’re asking you to step up now and share the pride that we know is within you. 
Guest columnists Bill Scheyer of Vision 2015 and Mary Stagaman of Agenda 360 writing for the Cincinnati Enquirer
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Covington is one of the places visitors should check out while in town for WCG, according to a survey Cincinnati Enquirer
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Kiosk is unveiled for World Choir Games WXIX 
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HOW DO YOU SAY "LOUISVILLE"?
Looie-ville? Lou-uh-vull? Lewis-ville? Here are some high profile Louisvillians sharing their take on the pronunciation: 

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