Gov. Steve Beshear Thursday announced Kentucky will receive a $859,793 National Emergency Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. The funds will create about 65 temporary jobs for eligible dislocated workers to assist with clean-up and recovery efforts as a result of the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding that struck the state last month.
Jessamine County officials will hold a forum for the public next week to explain provisions of the county's "social host ordinance," which makes it a misdemeanor for adults to hold parties where underage drinking occurs. The Jessamine County Health Department and several other agencies are jointly holding the session, which is set for 6 p.m. Tuesday at West Jessamine High School.
Gov. Steve Beshear Tuesday visited the site on which workers will assemble the steel truss for a replacement span to repair and reopen the damaged Eggners Ferry Bridge on Kentucky Lake. Crews from Hall Contracting of Kentucky Inc. are fabricating the steel components at the company’s yard in Louisville and shipping them to the Lyon County Riverport, outside Eddyville, for assembly.
Gov. Steve Beshear Monday encouraged Kentuckians to clear out their medicine cabinets and safely dispose of old medications through a national prescription drug take-back program. The Drug Enforcement Administration National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day will be held from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. local time at locations throughout the state on Saturday, April 28.
The Kentucky State Police Driver Testing Branch will begin using a new rider skills test for motorcycle operator’s license applicants on May 1. Developed by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, the new test is designed to better determine if operators possess sufficient safety skills for riding motorcycles in traffic. The new test expands Kentucky’s current motorcycle skill test from two to four exercises, which must be completed on a closed course and evaluated by a KSP driver’s license examiner, according to a state police press release.
New data from the federal government shows the amount of coal transported by rail has declined sharply this year: its’s at the lowest level since 1994. That’s partly due to low natural gas prices, increased regulations and an unseasonably warm winter, but atypical export conditions kept the data from being much worse. About 70 percent of coal produced in America is transported by rail. Most of the rest goes by truck—usually just short distances—or by barge.
Beginning this summer, four Kentucky state parks will each host a combination biking, trekking, and paddling competition. It’s called the 20-12 Unbridled Adventure Racing Series.The first of four races will be June ninth at General Butler State Resort Park in Carrolton. Gil Lawson, with the State Department of Parks, says each race includes mountain biking on trail and road, plus paddling on slow moving water.
The master of the Delta Mariner, Capt. Lloyd Patten, told a panel of investigators Thursday that the Eggners Ferry Bridge accident that destroyed a section of the bridge deck would not have happened if the navigation lights on the bridge had been operating properly. Patten and the ship’s third mate, Capt. Franklin Altany, answered questions about the cause of the incident after dark on Jan. 26, during the fourth day of public hearings in Paducah by the U. S. Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board.
The Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges project, designed to improve cross-river mobility for the entire region, took a step forward Friday with federal approval of a new environmental impact statement. Jose Sepulveda, Kentucky division administrator for the Federal Highway Administration, signed the Supplemental Final Environmental Impact Statement for the project, which involves construction of two bridges and reconstruction of the Kennedy interchange.
Kentucky State Police will partner with the Drug Enforcement Agency on Saturday, April 28 in a collaborative effort to remove potentially dangerous controlled substances from home medicine cabinets. This is the fourth national DEA "Take Back" initiative the agency has participated in. KSP collected over 1,000 pounds of prescription drugs during previous programs, according to a state police press release. Collection activities will take place from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at KSP posts across the state.
A split second of driver distraction can turn a highway work zone into a death zone. Each year, more 40,000 people in the United States are injured in highway work zones, and hundreds are killed. The average is a death every 13 hours and hundreds of injuries every 13 minutes. During the past three years in Kentucky, 16 people died and 285 people were injured in highway construction and maintenance work zones, according to a Transportation Cabinet press release.
Foss Maritime company officials and the second mate of the Delta Mariner cargo ship provided testimony Wednesday in the third day of the U. S. Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) public hearings in the Eggners Ferry Bridge incident investigation. The hearing is being held in Paducah. The Coast Guard and NTSB are determining which entities or individuals may be at fault for the Jan. 26 night-time crash that knocked out a 322-ft. section of the bridge near Aurora. The hearings are not a trial, but are part of a formal inquiry that could lead to sanctions if anyone is found to be in violation of proper procedure and conduct.
Keeneland President and CEO Nick Nicholson will retire from his post on September first, the track announced earlier today. He will be succeeded by current Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Bill Thomason. Nicholson has been the President and CEO of Keeneland for nearly 13 years. “Keeneland is a tradition and an entity like no other,” said Keeneland Trustee Louis Lee Haggin, III. “We understand and respect why Nick made his decision, but his daily presence and vision will be missed.
Less than 20 percent of Kentucky taxpayers must make a tax payment when they file their federal returns. I-R-S spokesman Luis Garcia says it’s not the people owing more money who wait until the last minute to file. “Well, every year we have people say well of course everyone is waiting until the last minute because they owe…that’s not the case..you would that most of the late filers are people who owe and it’s the opposite…it’s people who are getting a refund,” said Garcia.
Two teens have pleaded guilty to helping assault a Letcher County man who was targeted because he is gay. Alexis Leeann Jenkins and Mable Ashley Jenkins, both 19 and residents of Harlan County, pleaded guilty to charges of kidnapping and aiding others in causing bodily injury to the victim because of his sexual orientation, according to court documents.
Two more counties are now eligible for reimbursements to county and local governments to assist in recovery from the Feb. 29 and March 2 storms and tornadoes, Gov. Steve Beshear announced Thursday. This brings the total number of counties receiving some type of storm-related federal aid to 23. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved Adair and Bath counties to receive public assistance, which provides reimbursements to county and local governments to repair public infrastructure or to remove storm debris. Bath County was previously approved for individual assistance.
Fifty recruits from throughout Kentucky will report Sunday afternoon to the Kentucky State Police Academy in Frankfort for a training course. This cadet class will be part of KSP's condensed course designed for recruits who already have at least three years of law enforcement experience. As a result, they will train for 12 weeks instead of the usual 23. Graduation is tentatively set for July 6, according to a state police press release.
Kentucky State Auditor Adam Edelen is marking his first 100 days in office with the unveiling of a new online resource to allow the public to anonymously report suspected fraud and waste. SAFE-house is a new feature that gives citizens the ability to provide the auditor’s office with information and submit documents electronically. State inspectors already provide the public with a telephone hotline to report allegations of misuse of taxpayer dollars, but the office has lacked several updated technologies.
Bellarmine University will bestow honorary degrees to Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear and Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels at their spring commencement ceremony. The school is recognizing the two governors for their regional partnership and bipartisan cooperation, specifically citing their work on the $2.6 billion Ohio River Bridges.
Kentucky Adult Education, a unit of the Council on Postsecondary Education, issued a consumer alert Monday regarding fraudulent websites claiming to offer high school and GED diplomas for a fee through the Internet. “Kentuckians need to know there is one way to earn a GED credential and that is through a test administered onsite at an Official GED Testing Center,” Reecie Stagnolia, vice president for Kentucky Adult Education, said in a press release from the state.
April 16 is the last day that individuals in 21 Kentucky counties can apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) for weather-related jobless benefits. Officials from the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced on March 16 that individuals in the affected counties who have lost work or whose businesses were damaged due to severe weather that occurred Feb. 29 – March 3, may be eligible for DUA.
The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is giving $100,000 to help begin the process of rebuilding the city of West Liberty and Morgan County following the devastating March 2 tornadoes. The combined ARC funding includes $50,000 from the ARC 2012 Distressed County funds and $50,000 from the ARC co-chair’s account. The funds will be used to hire an architect to develop a conceptual plan for the professional rebuilding of the city of West Liberty and Morgan County.
A Coast Guard hearing on the collapse of the Eggner's Ferry Bridge over Kentucky Lake begins April 16 in Paducah. The hearing will set the stage for a comprehensive Coast Guard report. The fact finding hearing will last up to seven days and include testimony from parties in interest, which will likely include the Commonwealth and Foss Maritime, which owns and operates the ship that collided with the bridge. The ship’s pilot is another likely witness.
More than two acres of land at the northern part of Lexington’s Legacy Trail near Spindletop Hall and Iron Works Pike is the site of this year’s Reforest the Bluegrass. Organizers announced details of the community tree planting event Wednesday. City arborist technician John Saylor says planting the trees will reduce overall maintenance along the trail and prevent pollution from getting into the nearby Cane Run Creek.
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet crews are performing maintenance work on the remaining spans of Eggners Ferry Bridge. A construction project will soon begin to replace the 322-foot span knocked out by a cargo vessel on Jan. 26. State spokesman Keith Todd said a date has not been set for the start of construction. Engineers are finalizing plans required for fabrication of steel for the new span. Hall Contracting plans to run a crew of about 40 around the clock to meet the May 27 deadline.
In an effort to make roadways safer, the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety has joined the “One Text or Call Could Wreck It All” campaign sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in honor of Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April. “We all know that talking on our cell phones while driving is distracting, but that doesn’t stop most people from continuing to do it,” KOHS Director Bill Bell said in a statement.
Elizabethtown resident Nute Haire regularly plays the lottery and scratch-offs, but he said this week requires a bit more strategy. With an estimated jackpot of $540 million, Haire had plans to purchase Mega Millions lottery tickets at multiple locations in Hardin County and maybe even in Louisville, he said Thursday at Neighborhood Market in Elizabethtown. “They say you can’t win if you don’t play,” Haire said.
Gov. Steve Beshear Thursday announced that the Federal Highway Administration has approved $9 million in emergency relief funding for the repair and reopening of the Eggners Ferry Bridge, which carries U.S. 68 and KY 80 across Kentucky Lake. “We appreciate the support of our partners at FHWA to help us in getting the bridge repaired and averting a potential disaster for our tourism industry in the Western Kentucky Lakes Region,” Beshear said in a statement released by his office.
Gov. Steve Beshear Wednesday announced a $30,000 donation from the government of Taiwan to help communities recover from recent tornado and storms in numerous Kentucky counties. The gift will be donated to the Kentucky Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster or KyVOAD to assist in its disaster relief efforts in Kentucky.
The warmer than usual March weather is prompting a fast start to Kentucky’s camping season. Kentucky Department of Parks spokesman Gil Lawson says many of the 31 campgrounds across the Commonwealth are open for business. “Typically on most years we open on April first but, with this warm weather we’ve had lots of demand for camping so most of our campgrounds have opened up early in March to allow people to camp,” said Lawson.