About 250 writers and book lovers attended the inaugural Writer’s Block Festival held over the weekend in Louisville. Centered in the NuLu District of East Market Street, the festival combined writing workshops with readings and panel discussions on the screenwriting, the publishing business and other subjects. Sessions with limited enrollment filled up or sold out and some open sessions that didn’t require registration were standing room only.
A Kentucky coal mine is now under extra scrutiny after it became the fourth to be recently placed on a ‘potential pattern of violations’ status by the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration. If the mine operator doesn’t rectify the problems, the mine can be shut down when serious violations are discovered. But this process is one that mine safety advocates would like to change.
The fate of a contract between Ford Motor Company and the United Auto Workers union could come down to Louisville’s local chapter, which begins voting this week on the proposed four-year contract with the company. There have been mixed reviews on the new contract so far, and in several cities local unions have shot it down. The proposal offers workers signing bonuses and inflation protection, but it does not include several concessions lost when Ford was in financial trouble.
A University of Louisville scientist has been awarded a $2.6 million federal grant to continue his research into treatment of lung injuries caused by exposure chlorine gas. Dr. Gary Hoyle says the National Institutes of Health is especially interested in the effects of chlorine because of the large amounts of the chemical that are produced and transported in the U.S.
The Pike Fiscal Court is looking into the finances of the Kentucky Coal Academy, but the reasons for that remain unclear. During the most recent court meeting, magistrates unanimously approved paying a $5.83 bill to Kentucky Community and Technical College System for an open records request the court made regarding the Kentucky Coal Academy, a coal mining training program based in the eastern and western coalfields of the state.
When the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C., Sunday, Michael Lowery planned to be glued to his television set. As a 13-year-old, the Madisonville resident participated in the March on Washington, culminating with King’s “I Have A Dream” speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Aug. 28, 1963. He has visited Washington frequently in recent years, watching the monument take shape from the ground up at the shores of the tidal basin between the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials.
Five nights a week, Bomar Chaudoin drives a mail truck from Elizabethtown to Louisville with a Little Debbie snack in his shirt pocket for when he gets hungry later. In fact, the Magnolia man, who turned 82 on Oct. 3, has been driving various routes for Pepper Mail Service, a contract mail service, since 1956. Now in his 56th year, Chaudoin has not had a traffic accident on the job.
Now that Quinton Higgins has the future of his own children to worry about, he spends more time thinking about the 1988 Carrollton bus crash that he survived. Twenty-seven people perished on that dark interstate. A documentary, “Impact: After The Crash,” has started production and is expected to be released prior to the 24th anniversary of the nation’s deadliest drunken-driving crash on May 14, 1988.
Kentucky is still rural, as evidenced by 310 million chickens raised for meat or eggs in a state of 4.3 million people. But a new book documents what's left behind as more people trade the countryside for jobs in cities. Sociologist Kenneth Tunnell wrote and took the photographs for Once Upon a Place: The Fading of Community in Rural Kentucky. The idea for the book came to Tunnell as he drove his workday commute on the back roads from southern Garrard County to Richmond, where he teaches in Eastern Kentucky University's Department of Criminal Justice.
Martin Van Buren Bates was 7 feet, 11 inches tall and weighed more than 500 pounds by some accounts. Now, 92 years after his death, his Letcher County birthplace wants to honor him in a way that befits his stature in county history and his nickname, the Kentucky River Giant. Bates served a noteworthy stint in the Civil War as a Confederate captain before marrying a woman taller than he was. Because of their size, they became international celebrities in the 1800s, traveling as part of a circus.