Proposed changes to the Ohio River Bridges Project would result in larger savings than previously expected. In January, Mayor Greg Fischer, Governor Steve Beshear and Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels proposed several cuts to the project, including rebuilding Spaghetti Junction in place and making the east end bridge four lanes wide instead of six.
Two Iraqi refugees facing federal terrorism charges are scheduled to be back in federal court in Bowling Green at 11:30 a.m. CDT Wednesday for a detention hearing in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge E. Robert Goebel. 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 25. They were arrested here May 26. Both entered the country legally as refugees seeking asylum.
Plans for the long-stalled Centre-Point project are the focus of a meeting this afternoon in Lexington. The downtown site’s original buildings were razed back in 2008 over the protests of several preservation groups. Hayward Wilkirson, who led the opposition, is now a board member for Progress Lexington. Wilkirson says the new plans resemble the original vision of preservationists.
When Lexington theater group On The Verge Productions opens its latest play this weekend, it won't be performed on a traditional stage. The venue for "Three Viewings" plays a significant role for the cast, the audience, and the show's sponsor. Jeffrey Hatcher's "Three Viewings" is not your typical play. It has three acts - each a monologue from characters carrying on after death of someone important in their life.
Fishing enthusiasts can test the waters for free this weekend as the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources sponsors the annual free fishing weekend. State residents and nonresidents can fish in any body of water Saturday and Sunday without a license. The weekend is part of a program to get more people familiar with fishing in Kentucky.
Residents in the city of Wallins will soon be faced with a petition to dissolve their long defunct city. It is the county that plans to go door-to-door to gather signatures. The petition will mark the start of a legal process to formally dissolve the city by circuit judge’s order. “No one ran for anything in the city during the last race for offices in the county,” said Harlan County Judge-Executive Joe Grieshop. “That is telling of where people are. They have accepted the fact that Wallins can not go back to what it was.”
Following the successful completion of aerial spraying to treat adult mosquitos, state and local officials are ready to begin the second phase of an effort to rid more than 700,000 acres of western Kentucky of a growing pest problem caused by last month's flooding.
The FBI special agent who headed a watershed investigation into public corruption in Clay County has died. Timothy S. Briggs, 46, apparently suffered a heart attack while jogging with another agent Tuesday near the FBI office in London. Briggs was a dogged, hard-working investigator who was passionate about rooting out corruption and other crimes, said officials who worked with him.
For 46 years, Dorothy Tolliver has lived down the street from the Jefferson Davis State Historic Site in Fairview. When her two children were young, Tolliver, who is black, remembers playing with them on a swing set next to the site’s monument on sunny afternoons. Tolliver acknowledged the irony of having so many happy moments near a monument commemorating an oppressive figure to some African-Americans. The park was established by Confederate veterans in 1924. In 46 years, Tolliver had never seen an event or program focused on African-American life there.
FRANKFORT – Data from the 2009-10 school year show that nonacademic indicators for Kentucky's public school students remained at levels similar to those reported for the 2008-09 school year. The overall high school dropout rate increased less than one-half a percentage point, from 2.89 percent in 2009 to 3.19 percent in 2010, according to a state Department of Education press release.
Work on the Fox Valley Dam project is once again under way after inclement weather put a damper on progress. The Fox Valley Dam was found to be "partially incompliant" by the Kentucky Office of Dam Safety nearly two years ago because several structures were built in its "breach zone."
Massey Energy is no more. A vote today by shareholders approved the coal company’s acquisition by Alpha Natural Resources. The $7.1 billion merger means Alpha now controls the second-largest coal reserves in the country. The company will also control more reserves of metallurgical coal, which is in demand overseas to make steel. The new Alpha Natural Resources will operate more than 180 coal mines and processing plants throughout Appalachia and Wyoming.
The two finalists for the superintendent’s job at Jefferson County Public Schools will visit Louisville next week. The school board selected them today from a field of five semifinalists. They are: Dr. Donna Hargens, Chief Academic Officer for Wake County Public Schools in North Carolina, which has more than 143,000 students; and Dr. Christine Johns-Haines, who’s superintendent of Utica Public Schools in Michigan. It has an enrollment of more than 29,000 students. JCPS board Chairman Steve Imhoff says both candidates have impressive credentials.
The Louisville Orchestra’s contract with its musicians expired at midnight Wednesday. That means the players are not being paid, they do not have insurance and do not have any guarantee they’ll have jobs when the next season starts. There’s hope for a new contract, but amid contentious negotiations and ongoing bankruptcy proceedings, that hope is diminishing.
Six Kentucky counties have been chosen at random for mandatory, post-primary election audits. Attorney General Jack Conway conducted the drawing, and the counties chosen at random to be audited are Wolfe, Boyd, Muhlenberg, Nelson, Estill and Clark. Pendleton County was drawn before Clark, but disqualified, because it was audited in the previous election. Conway says investigators will now be dispatched to the six counties drawn.
U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell knows which side he's on in the "war on coal." Speaking before the Kentucky Coal Association in Lexington Wednesday, McConnell said the Environmental Protection Agency has defied logic and operated outside the scope of its authority with a permitting process that leaves coal operators in limbo.
After deliberating for more than two hours behind closed doors Tuesday evening, the Fayette County School Board settled on three finalists to succeed outgoing Superintendent Stu Silberman. The finalists are: Elaine Farris, Superintendent of Clark County Public Schools in Winchester, Tom Shelton, Superintendent of Daviess County Public Schools in Owensboro, and Lu Young, Superintendent of Jessamine County Public Schools in Nicholasville.
Shareholders have approved an $8.5 billion merger between Massey Energy and Alpha Natural Resources. Alpha’s acquisition of Massey will make it the second-largest holder of coal reserves in America. We reported yesterday on some shareholder concerns about Alpha’s plans to retain several Massey executives who were in oversight positions during the April 2010 explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia.
Farmers breathed a sigh with the clear skies and 90-degree plus weather, but now they face a new challenge. They must make up for time lost because of the wet weather and quickly plant crops that should already be in the ground.Keenan Bishop, Franklin County Agriculture and Natural Resources extension agent, says there is just enough time to get the planting done, but farmers will have to hurry.
It looks like any other apartment - a bird’s nest on top of the door, a phone book on the porch and a grill by the back door. But early in the afternoon on May 25, Capri Johnson, 29, realized something big was going on in that apartment. Johnson and her 8-year-old son saw several large sport utility vehicles and a large pickup truck carrying law enforcement officials pull up outside her apartment building. As Johnson began to watch, she and other neighbors were told by law enforcement officials to go back inside their apartments. Now, Johnson knows that a man who was the subject of the raid was an Iraqi refugee arrested on suspected ties to terrorism.
Two Iraqi refugees who are accused of supporting efforts to kill American troops in Iraq slipped through the vetting process that allowed both of them political asylum in the United States. Waad Ramadan Alwan, 30, and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, 23, are facing terrorism charges after a federal grand jury in Bowling Green returned a 23-count indictment against the men Thursday. FBI agents arrested the men here May 25 while the federal agency had a mobile command center set up behind the Bowling Green Police Department. Agents could be seen going in and out of the BGPD headquarters, where someone in an attempt to throw off suspicion had posted a sign that indicated police training was in progress.
James Robinson, executive director of the International Center in Bowling Green, said Tuesday his main concern is to avoid retaliation against the refugee community following the recent arrests and indictments of Waad Ramadan Alwan and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi in Bowling Green on federal terrorism charges. “Our first concern is for the people,” Robinson said. “We hope the people of Kentucky do not identify this with the thousands of refugees that live in Kentucky, and the hundreds of thousands that live in the U.S.”
When members of the Patrick family took to their yard for a Memorial Day weekend picnic, little did they know their gathering would be crashed by an unwanted visitor - a five-foot tall black bear. The bear raided the family's grill, helping itself to hamburgers, hot dogs, buns and other goodies. The animal was eventually shot by a state wildlife officer.
It’s the beginning of June but the thermometer seems to be reading like a day in mid July. High heat and humidity this early in the summer can make it uncomfortable. But, Bourbon County Extension Agent, Glenn Mackie says many farmers welcome this weather. “The heat is good for our crop people because we’ve been cool and wet. It’s dried the soil out where we can get in and finish our planting. We’ve finished up corn pretty much. Planting soybeans and making hay. This is good weather to make hay in,” said Mackie.
After being criticized in a New York Times editorial for crossing the church-state divide, the controversial Ark Encounter has a supporter in state Sen. Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, who is proud the park is being built in his district.
The emergence of a brood of 13-year cicadas in western Kentucky could mean trouble for landscapers. Brood 19 spans from Muhlenberg to McCracken counties. University of Kentucky Extension Office Entomologist Doug Johnson says the bugs emerge from underground at the end of 13 years to mate and lay eggs.
Barbara Campbell once wished her little boy would say something. Anything. Autism rendered her son, Ryan Barts, silent in his first few years. Things have certainly changed. "I'm a celebrity in Central Kentucky, I am, maybe in Kentucky," said Barts, now 22. His speech takes on its own particular cadence, especially when he is excited. "It's a wonderful thing, it is, a wonderful thing." As one of five Kentuckians representing the United States at the Special Olympics World Games in Athens, Greece, starting June 24, Barts happily rattles off his successes and failures on the track.
For a long time, Collin Lutz lived in his own, small world. "The thing about autism," said his mother, Shannon, "is that they like it that way." But Shannon and her husband, Stephen, wanted more for the second of their four children. So when they heard about Special Olympics, they were all in. Collin Lutz, now 18, didn't immediately take to swimming, the sport that is taking him to the world stage as a member of Kentucky's delegation to the 2011 World Games in Athens, Greece, this month.
FRANKFORT – Volunteers will be out in force next week to summer scrub Kentucky highways. The Transportation Cabinet announced Tuesday that Adopt-a-Highway Summer Scrub Week will be June 5-11. “The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet appreciates the efforts of our Adopt-a-Highway volunteers who help keep our highways and communities beautiful and litter-free,” Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock said.