Spoiler Alert: Kids Are Already Collateral Damage

Magistrates approved sharp cuts in Knott County’s budget Wednesday to compensate for a projected shortfall of $1.2 million in coal-severance tax revenue. The spending cuts will mean significant layoffs, Deputy Judge-Executive Greg Mullins said. [H-L]

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) continued his attack on former-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday for her handling of the Sept. 11 attack at U.S. posts overseas, including the one in Benghazi, Libya, where Christopher Stevens and others were killed. [Politico]

It’s time to honor those groups and individuals who have served their fellow Kentuckians in an exceptional manner during the past year. Nominations are now being accepted for the 2012 Governor’s Awards for Volunteerism and Service. [Click the Clicky]

The U.S. Department of Labor has fined a private security contractor $75,000 for failing to file timely reports on the deaths of workers in Iraq as required by law. [ProPublica]

Steve Beshear said that children will not be collateral damage in budget battles. Spoiler alert: yes they will! [WHAS11]

President Barack Obama told congressional Democrats on Thursday he is willing to agree to a “big deal” with Congress on spending cuts and tax reforms to end uncertainty over the U.S. budget deficit, but insisted that new revenues be part of the package. [Reuters]

A Pikeville lawmaker wants to cement and expand a pilot scholarship program aimed at boosting college-going rates in Eastern Kentucky. [H-L]

Puerto Rico’s population is declining. Faced with a deteriorating economy, increased poverty and a swelling crime rate, many Puerto Ricans are fleeing the island for the U.S. mainland. [NPR]

House Speaker Greg Stumbo has filed a bill to move complaints about late payments in Kentucky’s Medicaid system from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to the Department of Insurance. [Kenny Coleslaw]

Not long ago North Korea-watchers were speculating that the new leader, Kim Jong Un, might prove a moderniser. The path-breaking boy-dictator let himself be seen with his fashionable wife. [The Economist]

Uh, using Gatewood in THAT image is not going to help the hemp issue. It only hurts it and reminds people of pot because he has a fat joint hanging out of his mouth. Who was the genius who came up with that bright idea? [WKYT]

The nearest habitable, Earth-sized planet could be just 13 light-years away, research suggests. An analysis of small, dim “red dwarf” stars – which make up a majority of stars in our galaxy – shows that 6% of them host such a planet. [BBC]