Northern Kentucky hep A outbreak is over

The hepatitis A outbreak in northern Kentucky has been declared over by local health officials.

No new cases have been reported in Boone, Campbell, Grant and Kenton counties in the last four months, the Northern Kentucky Health Department said Monday in a statement.

The outbreak began in August 2018 and officials documented 391 cases of the virus, including four deaths.

Hepatitis A is a contagious virus that infects the liver and can cause flu-like symptoms for several weeks.

Ag internships available with state department

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles encourages Kentucky college students seeking a career in agriculture or government to apply for positions in the Kentucky Department of Agriculture's internship program next summer.

Quarles said the internships give young people the opportunity to work alongside department employees and serve the state's citizens.

In addition to agriculture, interns may also work in education, computer science, marketing, communications, pre-law and other fields. Internships are from June to August.

Applicants must be currently enrolled in a college, university, or vocational-technical program. Applicants can be enrolled in either undergraduate or graduate school.

To apply, download the application at kyagr.com/marketing/internship-program.html and fill it out. Applicants must provide a résumé, cover letter, and three references. Email applications and attachments to mark.white@ky.gov or mail them to Mark White, director, Division of Human Resources, Kentucky Department of Agriculture, 107 Corporate Drive, Frankfort, KY 40601.

Applications must be postmarked no later than Dec. 16.

KCTCS President Box to retire in June

The Kentucky Community and Technical College System says its president is retiring in June.

President Jay Box announced he will leave office effective June 30 at a meeting of the system's Board of Regents on Friday, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports.

Box has been president since January 2015 and has been with the system that oversees 16 community and technical colleges in Kentucky since 2002.

The retirement date is at the end of the fiscal year. Box's retirement will come a year before his contract expires, the system said.

Board members considered a raise for Box in September but did not approve one.

A search committee will be formed, and a search firm will be hired to help find a replacement, the system said.

Groups call for expansion of housing

A broad coalition of state housing associations from 27 different states recently sent a letter calling on Congress to expand and strengthen the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit as part of the end-of-year federal tax package currently under negotiation.

"Millions of Americans are facing a housing crisis that affects Democrats and Republicans in rural and urban communities alike - and they need Congress to treat affordable housing as a crucial issue that transcends party lines and partisan politics," the coalition wrote in its letter.

Specifically, the coalition called on Congress to expand the tax credit authority by 50% and establish a minimum 4% tax credit rate, akin to the current law's minimum 9% credit rate.

Proponents said making these much-needed changes - which have already been proposed in bipartisan legislation known as the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (S. 1703 / H.R. 3077) - would help build or preserve more than 550,000 additional affordable homes over the next decade and create a brighter future for low-income families of all backgrounds in every state across the nation.

The Kentucky Affordable Housing Coalition was among those asking Congress for the expansion.

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