Kentucky hopes website will track Medicaid work requirements

FRANKFORT — Kentucky became the first state with a work requirement for Medicaid and now the state has to build a mobile-friendly website that works.

State officials hope nearly half a million people will use their smartphones to log their hours so the government can keep track of who is meeting the requirements. It's the kind of government program that often draws disdain from small-government Republicans, but some in this red state have embraced it as a model of efficiency.

Government-run websites are notorious for their glitches, including the disastrous 2013 rollout of HealthCare.gov.

State officials insist this time will be different. In January, Kentucky officials quietly began testing the new website with people who get food stamps.

House OKs bill allowing emergency loans to school districts

FRANKFORT — The Kentucky House has voted to pump money into an emergency loan fund that could be tapped by school districts struggling from sharp declines in tax collections.

House members voted 85-2 Friday to send the measure to the Senate.

The loan program already exists but Rep. John "Bam" Carney says it's never been funded.

The bill comes as several school districts in the state's eastern and western coal-production regions are struggling to pay their bills due to plummeting tax collections.

State education officials would run the loan program. No-interest loans would be limited to $500,000 and would have to be repaid within five years. Money for the loan program would come from excess funds from the state's main funding formula for public education.

The legislation is House Bill 141.

Kentucky hiker who went missing finds way out of the woods

LANCASTER — A woman who went missing during a hike in central Kentucky found her way out of the woods nearly two days later.

Jessica Burk says she found a road Friday morning and made her way to a building in the Tom Dorman State Nature Preserve.

News outlets report Burk got lost when her boyfriend left her on a trail Wednesday. When he came back, she had walked away. He searched for hours before calling police.

News video of Burke after she was found Friday morning showed her in good spirits, with no apparent injuries.

WLEX-TV reports Burk survived by sleeping in a deer stand at night and drinking the water she had with her.

Rescue crews from several counties joined the search, even using drones over the remote forest area.

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