A new study has put a value on the resources lost every year to wildfires in the Appalachian regions of Kentucky and Tennessee. The study, done by researchers at the University of Kentucky and the University of Tennessee, found that fire reduces a forest’s value by nearly half and wildfires take a monetary toll on not only trees, but on a forest’s biodiversity.
Former Frankfort Mayor and philanthropist Frank Sower died Thursday night at Ashwood Place. He was 101. Sower and his wife of 74 years, Minnie Lynn, have generously given to Frankfort’s youth, the elderly and community projects. The longtime businessman owned Sower’s Office Supply downtown with his son, John Sower, until the shop closed in 2008. His death likely stemmed from pneumonia, John Sower told The State Journal this morning.
After sitting idle since the summer of 2009, the Kentucky Kingdom amusement park in Louisville will reopen in May 2013 as Bluegrass Boardwalk. WAVE-TV in Louisville reports the Kentucky Fair Board on Thursday approved a long-term lease with the Koch family, owners of the Holiday World amusement park in Santa Claus, Ind.
For years, the Ford Crown Victoria was the police car of choice for hundreds, if not thousands, of police agencies across the U.S., including the Kentucky State Police. But Ford announced last year it was phasing out the Crown Victoria to be replaced by a new vehicle, the Ford Police Interceptor. The change caused many police agencies to re-evaluate their choice for new police cruisers.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Thursday issued guidelines for selecting three teams that will compete to build a new I-65 bridge in downtown Louisville and rebuild interstate connections on both sides of the Ohio River. The Request for Qualifications (RFQ) seeks design-build teams of bridge- and road-building professionals that will be judged on their proven experience, innovative ideas, inclusion of minorities and women in the workforce and ability to deliver the best value on schedule, according to a press release from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.
Officials with the U.S. Postal Service have been studying closing more than two hundred fifty mail processing centers across the country as part of a cost-cutting move. On Thursday they confirmed that the Lexington facility on Nandino Boulevard will be one of them.
The Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission has been awarded a $342,881 federal grant to develop a sediment-focused watershed plan and stream restoration design for Kinniconick Creek in Lewis County. Northern Kentucky University Center for Applied Ecology will supply the $228,587 nonfederal match, for a total project cost of $571,468.
A gorgeous, sunny morning begs you to come out to a backwoods area you’ve never visited before. As the morning turns to afternoon, the clear blue skies turn cloudy and colder. On your way back, you discover that the log at your feet is the same one you passed a half-hour ago…or is it? Do you know where you are? You wish you had checked in with a friend or relative prior to hitting the trail. Would you know what to do? Would you know how to do it?
The Louisville Courier-Journal and WAVE-TV are reporting that an Indiana group comprised of owners of the Holiday World amusement park at Santa Claus, Ind. have a tentative agreement with the Kentucky Fair Board to reopen the now-closed Kentucky Kingdom amusement park in Louisville. Four members of the Koch family, owners and operators of Holiday World, formed a separate company recently called Bluegrass Boardwalk with the intent of reopening Kentucky Kingdom.
Some western Kentucky residents may have felt a rumble this morning as US Geological Service officials say a magnitude 4 earthquake took place in Southeast Missouri. Reports say the quake started around four o’clock this morning, about 5 miles north of East Prarie, Missouri. The epicenter was around 3 miles deep. There are no reports of damage at this time.
Preliminary statistics indicate that five people died in five separate crashes on Kentucky roadways from Monday, Feb. 13, through Sunday, Feb. 19. All of the fatalities involved motor vehicles and three victims were not wearing seat belts. Single-fatality crashes occurred in Breckinridge, Floyd, Henderson, Madison and Washington counties. The crash in Henderson County involved the suspected use of alcohol, according to a KSP press release.
Virgil Pearman was best known for his work as a homebuilder and his service in Kentucky’s General Assembly. But those closest to him recalled the late legislator as putting family first. Hours after Pearman died Friday at age 78 at Hardin Memorial Hospital in Elizabethtown, Joe Pearman remembered his brother as a man who would rather have a grandchild bouncing on his knee than talk to the president. Eventually Pearman went on to serve multiple terms in the state House of Representatives and one term in the state Senate before leaving office in 1993.
The I-64 Sherman Minton Bridge over the Ohio River between Southern Indiana and Louisville reopened to traffic just before midnight Friday. “Thanks to the workers, contractors, and the people of INDOT, the Sherman Minton Bridge is back in operation, 12 days ahead of the target date. We’ve never been happier to pay a contractor incentive dollars for an ahead-of-schedule performance.And thanks also to all the citizens who endured so much inconvenience in order to make 100 percent sure that no one was ever put at risk,” Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels said in a statement.
Projects to improve roads and forest trails in rural Kentucky counties are facing their last round of funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The agency announced Friday that more than $307 million will be distributed nationwide, marking the final payment under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act. For more than a century, counties that are home to national forest land received money to offset the loss of property tax.
The Spring Fire Season could peak sooner than usual in some areas of Kentucky. So far in 20-21, Officials with the State Division of Forestry say more than 50 fires have already burned almost 15 hundred acres. Division spokeswoman Lynn True says reduced snowfall can increase the risk of wildfire.“With the lack of a heavy snowfall..compacting all those forests fuels…it doesn’t take a day or two of windy or warm weather to dry those out..and a fire can easily get started,” said True.
Kentucky State Police has sent an arson investigator to the Holly Bay Marina on Laurel River Lake where three houseboats burned to their hulls early Friday. A police spokesman said the U.S Forestry Service contacted the London police post and requested the investigator. There were no injuries reported.
Gov. Steve Beshear announced Thursday that Daviess, Warren and Woodford counties have been certified as Kentucky’s first-ever Work Ready Communities, and Russell County has achieved Work Ready Community in Progress status. The new certification program from the Kentucky Workforce Investment Board and the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet assures employers that a local workforce has the talent and skills necessary to staff existing jobs and to master the innovative technologies new jobs will require.
Gov. Steve Beshear, joined by local officials, broke ground Wednesday morning for “grade and drain” construction along U.S. 641 in Crittenden County. The $18 million, 5.5-mile project is the first step in a major expansion of a key route in western Kentucky. “This new highway, when complete, will provide Crittenden County with a direct link to I-69,” Beshear said in a statement from his office.
First lady Jane Beshear joined Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Marcheta Sparrow and Department for Local Government Commissioner Tony Wilder to announce more than $1.8 million in grants to local communities to develop and maintain recreational trails across Kentucky. The total of $1,849,648 in federal grant dollars will go to 38 applicants for hiking, biking, horseback riding and other types of trails as part of the Federal Highway Administration’s Recreational Trails Program. The applicants include city and county government as well as state and federal agencies.
Sen. Joey Pendleton expects Gov. Steve Beshear will announce plans today to repair, not replace, a Kentucky bridge damaged by a cargo ship recently. The Hopkinsville Democrat said Tuesday he spoke with the governor recently about the plan for the Eggner’s Ferry Bridge and it appears engineers are suggesting fixing the nearly 80-year-old bridge.
The Indiana Department of Transportation says Louisville's Sherman Minton Bridge could reopen about a week earlier than the original March 1 deadline. Workers are nearly finished installing steel reinforcement plates on the 50 year old bridge. The span has been closed since September 9, when a crack was discovered in a load-bearing support beam. Officials say striping crews will be out this week restoring ramp configurations along the detour routes. The Sherman Minton Bridge reinforcement work is being conducted by Louisville-based Hall Contracting.
Five Hardin County churches, three in the Eastview and two in Radcliff, were broken into overnight, and church officials say the suspects lifted several pieces of electronic equipment, including PA systems, computers and a guitar. St. Christopher Catholic Church and Gloryland Harvest Church in Radcliff were burglarized between 10 p.m. Sunday and 6 a.m. Monday, said Bryce Shumate, public information officer with Radcliff Police Department. The suspect entered through church doors.
Light snow across central and eastern Kentucky Tuesday morning resulted in the delay and cancellation of classes in a number of school districts. The National Weather Service says about another inch of snow could fall through late morning. Snow will accumulate primarily on grassy areas and elevated surfaces, NWS said. Roads in Eastern Kentucky above 2,000 feet could be especially slick. Bridges and pavement that stay shaded during the day could be particularly dangerous, the weather service said. In many areas, the snow will eventually change over to light rain and drizzle as the day warms.
The Delta Mariner was expected to reach its next berth in a Paducah dry dock by dawn Tuesday. The vessel was cleared to travel Monday after salvage operations were completed on the ship that struck the Eggner’s Ferry Bridge near Aurora on Jan. 26.
A group dedicated to safeguarding Kentucky's architectural treasures is attempting to roll out a specialty license plate. The non-profit, Preservation Kentucky, needs 900 applications by December 2013. From the proceeds, the group hopes to create a special grant fund. Cities and non-profits could then use the money to fund preservation efforts or add buildings to the National Register.
The National Weather Service in Paducah has issued a winter weather advisory from noon CDT Monday to 6 a.m. CDT Tuesday for Western Kentucky as snow and freezing rain moves into the area. Snow, sleet or freezing rain may cause travel difficulties, the NWS said. Motorists should be prepared for slippery road and limited visibility. The system will gradually move eastward across Kentucky and bring slippery road conditions to most of the state before turning to rain. No significant snow is expected.
The Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky and Indianapolis airports are joining the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) new PreCheck program. Eligible fliers on American and Delta and certain members of Customs and Border Protection’s Trusted Traveler programs will have the chance to move more quickly through security screening by registering ahead of time with the TSA and its member airlines, which will include U.S. Airways, United and Alaskan airlines later this year, said TSA spokesman Jim Fotenofs.
Madisonville Police is partnering with Henderson and Owensboro police departments for backup manpower in emergency situations. Police Chief Wade Williams said these alliances help expand each agency’s resources by not only providing additional manpower, but also specialized training and equipment. “We can spread those resources by mutual aid agreements,” he said.
A state agency focused on Internet access is surveying Kentuckians about how often they get online and what they use the Internet for. The Commonwealth Office of Broadband Outreach and Development sent out a survey request week to 100,000 businesses, organizations, and households across the state.