Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell spoke on the Senate floor this morning. He began his remarks with an update to his colleagues on the three miners who spent yesterday trapped in a Bell County coal mine due to rising flood waters. “Yesterday I came to the floor to report that there were several miners in Kentucky trapped in a mine as a result of floods,” he said. “I want to start today with an update on that situation. I’m happy to report that all three were rescued after spending 14 hours trapped in a Bell County coal mine. They were all reunited with their families last night, which is great news. Their families were waiting for them at the West Cumberland Baptist Church. We’re certainly glad that this particular story had a happy ending.”
After a recent trip to tornado-stricken Alabama to deliver supplies, a Hardin County mission group is planning to return. The group from New Horizon Baptist Church in Glendale took a tractor trailer full of food, housewares, bed linens, water and a variety of other needed supplies to Webster’s Chapel, Ala., and saw first hand the devastation the recent outbreak of tornadoes had on the area. The group will return to the area because of how many people are still without homes.
FRANKFORT - The Kentucky Division of Forestry is sending additional personnel and equipment to assist with the current wildfire emergency in the south. Eleven division employees, comprising an engine strike team will report to Waycross, Ga. on Tuesday. The engine strike team consists of five 4-wheel drive pickup trucks with 200-gallon water tanks and foam capabilities, 10 firefighters and a strike team leader. The crews are being sent in addition to 11 Kentucky Division of Forestry firefighters who reported to Florida last week.
Flash flooding in Knox County Monday destroyed 12 homes and caused major damage to another 17. Fourteen received minor damage after 4 inches of rain fell in a brief period. One man died in the deluge. Meanwhile, three miners were trapped in an underground Bell County coal mine after runoff from rainwater flooded part of the mine. The miners were rescued Monday night.
Hikers hoping to test the trails at Bridges to the Past or Tioga Falls will have to put those plans on hold. The two trail systems in the Fort Knox area have closed and could remain restricted to the public for up to three years. The post is coordinating the closures with the Paducah & Louisville Railway as it makes repairs and upgrades to its rail network, which will create a maze of safety hazards. Part of the project involves replacing a railroad bridge nearly 600 feet long that was built in 1889.
A consumer protection lawsuit has been filed against developers of Green Farm Resort in Grayson County. The lawsuit, filed Friday by the attorney general’s office in Grayson Circuit Court, accuses the defendants of engaging in unfair, false, misleading or deceptive acts in the marketing and selling of lots at resort in Falls of Rough.
The Georgetown Scott County Tourism office typically gets calls in June about the Cincinnati Bengals’ training camp at Georgetown College. This year, callers have one question. “We have already gotten calls from people asking about camp and the status,” said John Simpson, director of the tourism commission. “I can’t answer their questions. Right now, we can just tell them the tentative dates.” As more days pass with the NFL lockout still in place, it is becoming more difficult to stay positive. Simpson says he has already heard some nervousness from local business owners that the NFL team and its fans may not travel to Georgetown this summer.
Three southeast Kentucky miners trapped 600 feet below the entrance to a Bell County coal mine have been rescued. They were brought to the surface last night by mine rescue teams. Parnell Witherspoon, Doug Warren, and Russell Asher became trapped shortly before seven a.m. Monday when water from a nearby box cut flooded the mine entrance. The three men were able to stay out of the water on a higher elevation point. They were taken to Middlesboro Appalachian Regional Hospital for evaluation and to be reunited with their
A new coal mining rule goes into effect tomorrow that regulators hope will help prevent explosions like the one at the Upper Big Branch Mine last year. The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration will require coal mine dust to be at least 80 percent rock dust, which is non-combustible. The other 20 percent can be coal dust, which can cause explosions.
With the fall election 20 weeks away, the two major gubernatorial slates in Kentucky are beating the bushes for campaign dollars. So far, Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear and his running mate, Jerry Abramson, are out-raising Republican Senate President David Williams and his running mate Richie Farmer, but both campaigns are loading up for the fall campaign.
It appears Lexington officials are willing to give the state less-restrictive fireworks law a try this summer. The new legislation allows for the sale of firecrackers and flying fireworks, which were previously illegal. In Louisville, officials are considering a local proposal which is more restrictive than state law.
Natural disasters are a way of life for Sherry Buresh (burr-ESH). The Director of the Christian Appalachian Project’s Disaster Relief program and hundreds of volunteers have had a very busy 2011. Sherry Buresh founded the disaster relief program in 2003 to assist victims of flash flooding in eastern Kentucky. Since then, they’ve offered assistance as far away as New York and in most of the 13 Appalachian states.
Several agencies across Kentucky are again offering free HIV testing at various sites over the next week to coincide with National HIV Testing Day on June 27. Kentucky HIV prevention coordinator Dennis Wheatley says despite the development of a simple test and public outreach efforts, many people with HIV don’t know they’re infected. “If you took everyone who was HIV positive and kind of lumped them together, 25-percent of that population wouldn’t actually know their status because they’re not being tested,” he said.
FRANKFORT – Kentucky Transportation Cabinet crews have responded to a number of mudslides and flooded roads caused by heavy rains Monday, primarily in southeastern Kentucky. Some of the slides were quickly cleared, while other roads remained closed due to slides, washouts or water over the road. As of noon more than a dozen roads were reported closed in at least eight counties, primarily in southeastern Kentucky.
The murder trial of a man charged with killed a Lexington police officer has entered week two of testimony. Prosecutors introduced several pieces of evidence Monday, including boots, ammunition, and a taser. A detective in the police forensics unit showed jurors items from Officer Bryan Durman's uniform that flew off when he was struck and killed in a hit and run crash on North Limestone.
The New York Times’ editorial yesterday took power giant American Electric Power to task for its opposition to the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed air standards. AEP has been contradicting itself lately, telling the public that the eventual closing of two dozen power plants will result in major job losses, even while the company tells investors otherwise:
Throughout the state, educators are pushed to better prepare students for college. They’re beefing up curriculum, partnering with universities, bringing in specialists and urging students to take advanced classes. But there’s another side to life after high school: the workforce. New education standards also call for educators to prepare students for careers, making them good employees as well as successful college students.
PIKEVILLE – Gov. Steve Beshear Monday announced three transportation projects in Eastern Kentucky that will dramatically improve access and mobility for communities in Pike and Martin counties. “We are making improvements that will benefit hundreds of families, many of whom, through no fault of their own, have been isolated to the point of hardship,” Beshear said. The governor, joined by numerous local officials and residents for a ceremony at the Eastern Kentucky Exposition Center in Pikeville, symbolically broke ground for two projects and presented funding for a third:
FRANKFORT – Calling state authority and autonomy critical components of education improvement, Gov. Steve Beshear and Education Commissioner Terry Holliday Monday called on the U.S. Department of Education for flexibility in public school accountability under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Beshear sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan asking to replace the public school accountability portions of the federal law with Kentucky’s own model. Kentucky is the first state to request the change.
Most people have at least a notion of the things they want to see, do and experience before they die, aka their "bucket list": Climb a mountain, fall in love, see the Grand Canyon. But how should that list be tailored to Kentuckians? What are the things every Kentuckian should do, see or experience while living in our beautiful, often misunderstood state? What are the cultural touchstones that make Kentucky what it is and that would be a shame not to experience? What things go deep into the Kentucky experience? And how many of them can you accomplish this summer, which officially starts Tuesday?
Candidates in the 2011 Kentucky gubernatorial race all agree religion shouldn’t play a role in the campaign, but that doesn’t mean former Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson’s Jewish heritage won’t be an issue in rural parts of the commonwealth. With Kentucky’s Jewish population less than one percent, anti-Semitic sentiments in the state have been whispered behind the scenes as a potential handicap for the lieutenant governor candidate, who is running with Democratic Governor Steve Beshear in the fall election.
Carmichael’s Bookstore, one of the leading independent booksellers in Louisville, has recently begun selling e-books through their website through a partnership with Google and the American Booksellers Association. More than 250 booksellers nationwide are using the system, which allows independent bookstores to make money from e-books, a market previously reserved for giants like Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Flexing their fundraising muscles, the campaign to re-elect Democratic Governor Steve Beshear announced it has raised $1.5 million for the general election, giving the incumbent a comfortable war chest in the contest against Republican gubernatorial candidate David Williams and independent Gatewood Galbraith.
FRANKFORT – Rescuers in Bell County are working to place pumps at the entrance of an underground mine where three miners are trapped due to high water from heavy overnight rains. The Kentucky office of Mine Safety and Licensing, the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration and officials from Bell County Coal Corporation, which operates the Jellico No. 1 mine near Middlesboro, say the miners are safe and communicating with officials as they await rescue.
You’re familiar with the term D-U-I, which means driving under the influence. On water, the violation is known as B-U-I, or boating under the influence. Captain Mike Fields of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife says an effort next weekend stresses safety on the state’s waterways.
About 40 cats and dogs that were displaced by severe storms in Alabama will soon be up for adoption in the Louisville area. The pets could not be reunited with their owners after tornadoes devastated Tuscaloosa and the surrounding area. The Humane Society collected the animals and is distributing them to various shelters. Locally, the Kentucky Humane Society and the New Albany/Floyd County Animal Shelter will be responsible for finding new homes for the animals.
The Louisville Metro council committee on Public Safety held a special meeting today that ended with the passage of a revised ordinance that allows the sale and use of fireworks within city limits. The ordinance was created to respond to a move by state lawmakers that made it legal to sell and ignite fireworks anywhere in Kentucky. The initial proposal in the council reinstated the ban, limiting the sale and use to only small grade novelties. However, amendments added by the county clerk’s office changed the ordinance to allow the sale of larger fireworks.
A preliminary blueprint for Lexington's five-year development outlook will be open to public comment this week. Jim Duncan of the Division of Planning is working with other city officials to put together the 2012 Comprehensive Plan. "It addresses all issues from housing and transportation to jobs and economic development, as well community facilities and parks. And so we look at a variety of issues and try to determine how the community can grow, accommodate new population, and be responsive to the existing needs of the current population."
Growing up with two parents working as police officers, Kentucky State Police forensic scientist Vanessa Beall knew she wanted to work in law enforcement. Beall is one of 60 forensic scientists at the Kentucky State Police Central Laboratory branch in Frankfort. Every police agency in the state relies on the forensic scientists in KSP’s six crime labs to process evidence gathered at crime scenes. The central lab is the only full-service lab in the state.
Cecilia resident Frank Taylor was sitting on the porch of a house he owns in Rineyville when he saw a sphere of rusted cast iron protruding from the ground. It looks just like three other Civil War cannonballs he owns. Taylor never noticed the piece of history while he lived in the house from 1986 until 2004 and later tenants never mentioned finding anything. He thinks erosion during the last eight months, during which the house has been vacant, uncovered the find. Heavy rains in April and May likely contributed to uncovering the sphere, he said.