When Jeffrey Strong graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in music performance, his plan was to find work playing trumpet in a symphony. Instead, he ended up joining one of the most elite orchestras in the country — the U.S. Marine Band. He plays and tells the story of the group known as "the president's iPod."
A week of destructive weather has torn up the nation's midsection — with tornadoes from Texas to Oklahoma City to Joplin, Mo., which a week later continues to dig out from the deadliest twister in more than 60 years. We take a look back at the week and hear from Alabamans still coming to grips with the damage.
Public schools throughout the nation are spending more money per student as education funding slightly increases, according to the most recent census data, which reviews public education funding for 2008-09. But locally, school officials say state funding has dropped over the years, forcing them to make cuts and enforce higher local taxes to offset the funding slice. State funds make up a bulk of the districts’ budgets.
Saturday marked the 34th anniversary of the fire that raged through Northern Kentucky's Beverly Hills Super Club, killing 165 people. Though unhappy that people still cannot have legal access to the site to pay their respects, especially those directly affected by that fateful night, Dave Brock is fighting a much larger battle: exposing what he believes is the truth of what really happened May 28, 1977. Brock had been a busboy at the club for five years, and was working the night it burned down. To this day, he and a handful of others contend the fire was arson.
Summer heat and humidity settle into the region through at least Thursday. The National Weather Service is calling for a high near 90 today, and temperatures should climb into the mid-90s for Monday’s Memorial Day celebrations, said Myron Padgett, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio. “It’s above normal, but we’re not quite setting records,” Padgett said.
Last week, Kentucky Utilities asked the state Public Service Commission for a rate hike that will increase customers’ bills by 12.2 percent over the next four years. KU says it needs the additional revenue to pay for the $2.5-billion in improvements to its coal-fired generating plants like the E.W. Brown facility near Burgin — improvements mandated by the EPA. KU has already taken steps to significantly reduce the amount of sulphur dioxide coming from the massive smokestacks at Brown. And the electric company turned to a neighbor six miles down Burgin Road, Mercer Stone, to help solve its emissions troubles with limestone taken from the ground at Mercer Stone’s facility.
The possibility of giving KY 38 a new route was one of the top options aired at a meeting about the slide-ravaged highway. State Rep. Rick Nelson told about 70 people present at the meeting that his preferred option was to give the highway a new route.
Copper thefts in neighboring counties have recently caused several phone outages for people in Harlan County. The areas of the county that report being affected are the Tri-Cities and Evarts. “Last week we had a long distance phone outage after someone stole fiber optic cable in Perry County,” said Chris Campbell, account executive at Windstream Communications. “We went out and restored it, only to have the thieves come back at night and steal cable from the same section again.” He estimates that 4,000 customers in Harlan County were affected by last week’s outage. Company officials confirm another outage the week before that, also caused by thefts in Perry County.
Tourism interests in Lake Cumberland country are hoping for increased visitation as they head into the fifth summer season with a planned lower water level at the giant reservoir. Visitor numbers dropped significantly after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers quickly lowered the lake level in January 2007 as part of the process of fixing leaks at Wolf Creek Dam, which impounds the 101-mile-long lake.