Manchester voters approved package alcohol sales in the city in a special election Tuesday. The measure passed by a margin of 381 votes to 249, according to County Clerk Michael Baker. Turnout for the controversial measure was about 42 percent — 630 of 1,495 eligible voters went to the polls.
The Harlan Tourist & Convention Commission on Tuesday approved new guidelines and rental contracts for catered events at the Harlan Center. Earlier this month, the Harlan Center became the first establishment licensed to serve alcohol by the drink in the city.
Kentucky community colleges are looking for a tuition increase to offset a portion of a budget gap. Tuition rates for new students to Elizabethtown Community and Technical College, for example, will increase to $135 per credit hour from $130. The Board of Regents for the Kentucky Community and Technical College System approved the rate increases for the colleges as part of the 2011-12 budget last week.
The Lexington Divisions of Fire and Building Inspection are busy leading up to the July 4th holiday.
This time last year, businesses applied for around 12-15 permits to operate fireworks stands in Lexington. Now thanks to a new state law, that number has more than doubled. Marshall Griggs is a battalion chief with the Lexington fire department.
"We're going out every day inspecting fireworks establishments and tents, making sure that everything that they're selling is legal."
Given the high price of petroleum-based fertilizers, more farmers are considering sludge from sewage treatment plants. It’s free, but, many local governments worry about the safety of so-called biosolids. And, as Sandy Hausman reports from Virgina, it also makes some farm neighbors uneasy
Kentucky State Fair Board President Harold Workman says he’s still hopeful that Kentucky Kingdom amusement park can be reopened in 2012. Workman told a panel of state lawmakers recently that the board and Louisville Metro Government are close to finalizing an agreement to re-open Kentucky Kingdom next year. He says it will take a total investment of about $50 to bring the park back to life.
A new study says babies born in counties where mountaintop removal mining is done may be more likely to suffer birth defects than babies born in counties with other types of coal mining. According to the study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Research, babies born in counties in Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia and Tennessee where mountaintop removal mines were in operation were 26 percent more likely to suffer from some kind of birth defect. That’s compared to babies born in counties where there is no coal mining. The babies were also more likely to have birth defects than those born in counties where coal is mined other ways.
Employees at Gannett newspapers are taking to Facebook and Twitter to post their comments about today’s nationwide round of layoffs. The newspaper giant is cutting 700 employees nationwide, including at least 36 in Louisville. Among those laid off are several editors and staff writers in the Neighborhoods and Velocity sections. No official announcement has been made about what will happen to those sections, and Courier-Journal publisher Arnold Garson is unavailable for comment.
An Urban County Council panel has been told that those EPA-mandated improvements to the city's sewer system will result in a doubling, or even tripling of customer sewer bills over the next decade. The Lexington Herald Leader reports that estimates range anywhere from $540 million to $814 million to fix the city's overwhelmed storm-water and sewer systems.
More Kentucky firefighters are headed south, this time to help battle wildfires in southeast Georgia. Kentucky already has a crew in Florida. Several fires are consuming large tracts of timberland and threatening homes in and around the Okefenokee Swamp near Waycross, Georgia. Fire crews are stretched thin, so Kentucky is sending some help.
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman could play the final game in his minor-league stint tonight with the Louisville Bats. Tomorrow, his 30-day rehab clock will expire and the Reds will have to decide whether to put him back on their roster or leave him in the minor league. Chapman is considered one of the top pitching prospects in the nation, and currently holds the record for the fastest pitch ever recorded in the MLB.
Several employees at the Louisville Courier-Journal are being laid off as part of a nationwide two percent staff reduction by parent company Gannett. In the largest round of layoffs since 2009, Gannett will cut 700 employees from newspapers across the country. The Gannett Blog is reporting confirmation that 36 Courier-Journal employees have been laid off. You can track the numbers here.
Many University of Kentucky staff members are facing a "use it or lose it" scenario with accrued vacation days that expire at the end of the month. The UK Human Resources Department is encouraging those people who won't be taking the time off to consider donating their hours to shared leave pools. Spokesperson Donna Cornet says at any given time, employees need to be away from the workplace for an extended period of time.
Breathitt County Judge Executive Harvey Jason Richardson declared a state of emergency in Breathitt County due to Monday's heavy rains and flash flooding, and has made the county's Emergency Management office available to help assist those who have suffered damage. Richardson said after an emergency meeting of the Breathitt County Fiscal Court on Tuesday morning that some 3,000 persons in the county were affected by flood damage to bridges and culverts, breaks and slips on county roads, downed trees and flooded roads. He also has written to Gov. Steve Beshear, asking for state assistance to help repair the damages.
This is no ordinary high school. The academy on Western Kentucky University’s campus might resemble a typical small school - students are constantly entering and exiting the tall white building, toting backpacks or chatting with friends. But the Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science is an above-average school for exceptional students, and now it’s been named the fifth best high school in the nation.
U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Russell granted a federal prosecutor’s motion Tuesday to declare a terrorism case against two Iraqi refugees as “complex,” which means that the trial against the two men will not have to be heard within the time frame of the Speedy Trial Act. Waad Ramadan Alwan, 30, and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, 23, are in custody facing terrorism charges after a federal grand jury in Bowling Green returned a 23-count indictment against the men May 26. They were arrested May 25. Both entered the country legally as refugees.
The head of the Danville-Boyle County chapter of the NAACP says the group will investigate minority hiring practices in the Mercer County school district. In a letter sent last week to Mercer County Elementary School Principal Jennifer Meadows, the school board and interim superintendent Dennis Davis, Danville-Boyle County NAACP President Norman Bartleson said parents and residents had contacted him with concerns about the lack of diversity among the district’s faculty.
How many 50-year-old fathers take their 13-year-old sons with them on a cross country trip in an experimental electric hybrid bicycle? At least one. Pierce Hoover and his son, Nash, are making the trip from the East Coast to Oregon, showing off their homemade electrically assisted bicycle. They spent the weekend in Danville.
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