The Commonwealth

10:34am

Fri February 3, 2012
The Commonwealth

Motorists to the Aid of the Artisan Center

Motorists travelling through Kentucky on Interstate-75 are helping a popular tourist attract weather a tight state budget.  The Kentucky Artisan Center in Berea is supported by state funds and products sold at its gift shop.  Tourism Cabinet spokesman Gil Lawson says the proposed budget eliminates state general fund support.  But, Lawson says 350-thousand dollars from the state road fund could fill the gap

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9:33am

Fri February 3, 2012
The Commonwealth

Mild Winter Days May Give Way to Storms

The galoshes went back into the closet this week as Kentucky has enjoyed temperatures eclipsing 60 degrees. According to Kentucky Mesonet, a research network that compiles climate data from throughout the state, Christian County saw an average high of 67.1 degrees Wednesday.  Tuesday saw a high of 62.6 degrees and Monday 61.9 degrees.

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9:29am

Fri February 3, 2012
The Commonwealth

Georgetown Police Chief Loses Command

Greg Reeves.
Georgetown News-Graphic

Georgetown Council member Brad Penn confirmed that Greg Reeves has been relieved of his duties as chief of police by Mayor Everette Varney. Penn said he was notified by the mayor in an afternoon phone call. By law, the Georgetown chief of police works under purview of the mayor. Personnel moves are at the mayor's discretion and need not be approved by the city council.

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2:32pm

Thu February 2, 2012
The Commonwealth

Campaign Cites 1,200 Drunk Drivers

The holiday “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” enforcement effort, coordinated by the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety, resulted in 1,211 citations for drunken driving. The annual, federally funded campaign, supported by more than 200 state and local law enforcement agencies, was held Dec. 16 through Jan. 2.

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2:26pm

Thu February 2, 2012
The Commonwealth

Collapsed Bridge Open for Viewing

PHOTO BY MARK BEDUHN

On Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., CST Land Between the Lakes (LBL) National Recreation Area will provide the public and media with a one-time opportunity to view the partial collapse of the Eggner’s Ferry Bridge across Kentucky Lake/Tennessee River. U.S. 68/Ky. 80 west from Woodlands Trace National Scenic Byway to the bridge will be temporarily opened to traffic.

10:57am

Wed February 1, 2012
The Commonwealth

Initiative to Promote Country Music Highway

Country star Tom T. Hall got in a little light ribbing of Gov. Steve Beshear and other officials at the Tuesday morning press conference announcing the Road to Fame competition.
Rich Copley/Lexington Herald-Leader

Gov. Steve Beshear and country music star Tom T. Hall announced a new initiative Tuesday to promote U.S. 23 as the Country Music Highway that will include an American Idol-style competition and an education fund. Hall, an Olive Hill native, is one of numerous Kentucky musicians from the area surrounding the 144-mile north-south highway who have gone on to country music fame including sisters Loretta Lynn and Crystal Gayle, the mother-daughter duo of Naomi and Wynonna Judd, Keith Whitley, Billy Ray Cyrus, Patty Loveless, Ricky Skaggs, Dwight Yoakam and a number of other chart toppers. In 1994, the Kentucky State Legislature designated U.S. 23 as the Country Music Highway.

7:27pm

Mon January 30, 2012
The Commonwealth

Kentucky Seeks Transportation Contractors

Kentucky is seeking teams of contractors to design and build a new downtown Louisville bridge, a modernized downtown interchange and improved I-65 connections to Southern Indiana, Transportation Cabinet Secretary Mike Hancock announced Monday. The notice of intent is the first step to procurement of Kentucky’s half of the Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project.

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11:59am

Mon January 30, 2012
The Commonwealth

Early-Release Prisoners Receive Violations

As Kentucky prepares to grant early parole to an estimated 204 additional prisoners in February, state correction officials say implementation of the controversial penal code reform is going smoothly. The prisoners will be paroled throughout February and are in addition to the 952 prisoners who were released in January. The monthly releases are being made under the Mandatory Re-Entry Supervision program, a legislative initiative to reduce prison costs and populations.

6:00am

Mon January 30, 2012
The Commonwealth

Officials Hope Sensors Provide Some Answers

A dive team this week could place sensors on a pier of the U.S. 68/Kentucky 80 bridge over Kentucky Lake.  The sensors could help determine how badly the crossing was damaged last Thursday when a cargo vessel rammed the bridge.  The crash knocked out a 322 foot span of the bridge between Marshall County and Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area.

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12:56pm

Sun January 29, 2012
The Commonwealth

Damaged Kentucky Lake Bridge May be Shifting

The eastern portion of the Kentucky Lake bridge, still standing after a cargo ship slammed into it Thursday night, may be shifting, according to state transportation officials. “It appears there would be a shift in the railing,” said Keith Todd, spokesman for the Kentucky Department of Transportation. The Delta Mariner, a 312-foot boat hauling rocket components for NASA and the Air Force, hit the Eggner’s Ferry Bridge at approximately 8:15 p.m. Thursday. The ship took out 322 feet of the bridge.

12:47pm

Sun January 29, 2012
The Commonwealth

Planned Road Sign Changes Carry Big Costs

Meeting new federal sign requirements for all roads is going to be extraordinarily expensive, according to one county official. “Not only are they changing the reflective requirements, but they are changing the size of (some) signs, too,” said Mac Yowell, director of Warren County’s Public Works Department. The new reflectivity and size requirements are supposed to make the signs more readable for older drivers. Yowell said it will cost governments at all levels a great deal of money and time.

2:55pm

Fri January 27, 2012
The Commonwealth

Close Call for Drivers on Collapsed Bridge

Two spans of the Eggner Ferry Bridge over Kentucky Lake collapsed Thursday night after being struck by a cargo ship carrying aviation parts, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet officials said. Officials said the bridge was closed to traffic, causing vehicles needing to cross the Kentucky Lake reservoir and the Tennessee River to be detoured for dozens of miles. Robert Parker, 51, of Cadiz, said he and his wife were traveling northbound on the highway after leaving his stepson’s house in Murray. They were driving in the rain along the darkened bridge about 8 p.m. when they suddenly noticed a missing 20-foot piece of the bridge, which at that section stands at least 20 feet above the water. “All of a sudden I see the road’s gone and I hit the brakes,” he said. “It got close.”

12:20pm

Fri January 27, 2012
The Commonwealth

Cargo Vessel Strikes Kentucky Bridge, Collapses

The motor vessel Delta Mariner after an impact with the Eggner Ferry Bridge on Thursday night leaves portions of the bridge being draped atop the vessel.
Courtesy of WKDZ, Cadiz

UPDATED: A portion of the U.S. 68/KY 80 Eggners Ferry bridge over Kentucky Lake in Marshall County has collapsed after it was struck Thursday night by a cargo vessel. Fortunately, there were no injuries. No cars where on the bridge at the time. The bridge is closed now.

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6:15am

Fri January 27, 2012
The Commonwealth

Section of Western Kentucky Bridge Collapses

Investigators will spend the day at the scene of a partial bridge collapse in far western Kentucky.  Two spans of U.S. 68/Kentucky 80 crossing over Kentucky Lake fell after being hit by a ship Thursday night.  There have been no reported casualties and no indication vehicles fell into the lake.  The U.S Coast Guard says the vessel did not contain hazardous cargo.

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2:15pm

Thu January 26, 2012
The Commonwealth

Kentucky Speedway Adds Parking

Bruton Smith, chairman of Speedway Motorsports Inc. and owner of Kentucky Speedway, talks to reporters Wednesday about improvements in traffic control and parking at the Kentucky track in anticipation of this year's NASCAR Sprint Cup weekend.
Kevin Kelly/The Kentucky Enquirer

Kentucky Speedway will be capable of accommodating as many as 18,700 more cars on its property this year after buying 171 acres from neighboring landowners and clearing 55 acres that it already owned. The speedway's owner and general manager spent almost an hour on Wednesday outlining the parking expansion and other improvements being made in response to last July when parking problems and miles-long traffic jams kept thousands from attending the inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.

2:12pm

Thu January 26, 2012
The Commonwealth

Halfway Point for Bridge Repairs

One month after steel deliveries began, contractors have passed a halfway point with repairs to the I-64 Sherman Minton Bridge that connects Louisville and New Albany, Ind. More than half of the 2.4 million pounds of reinforcing steel plates needed have been delivered and are being installed. Hall Contracting of Kentucky has billed work already completed worth 62 percent of the contract’s $13.9 million value, according to a press release from the Indiana Department of Transportation. Under an agreement between the two states, Indiana is responsible for maintaining the Sherman Minton Bridge.

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10:59am

Tue January 24, 2012
The Commonwealth

Tornado Touches Down in West Kentucky

A roof on Murray Paris Road was damaged Sunday night by high winds during a severe thunderstorm. Debris from the roof were blown across the property, into trees and across the road onto another field.
Hawkins Teague Murray Ledger & Times

The National Weather Service in Paducah has confirmed that an EF1 tornado touched down near Hazel in Calloway County Sunday night. NWS surveyors Rick Shanklin and Ken Ludington were on site Monday, and found that the tornado touched down at 11:03 p.m. Sunday at Hazel and traveled 5.6 miles to northeast of New Providence. Surveyors measured the average width of the tornado’s path to be 100 yards.

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9:36am

Mon January 23, 2012
The Commonwealth

Hickman Mayor Fatally Shot

The mayor of Hickman, in Fulton County, in far Western Kentucky, has been shot and killed at his home, the Hickman police chief said early Monday.  Police chief Tony Grogan said Mayor Charles Murphy was shot and killed at his home. A suspect identified by police as Tommy Lattus, 30, gave himself up at the police station after the shooting.

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4:45pm

Tue January 17, 2012
The Commonwealth

50 Killed in Sandhill Crane Hunting Season

Kentucky’s first sandhill crane hunting season is over, and only one-eighth of the state’s quota was met. Kentucky’s recent sandhill crane hunting season was the first time the birds have been legally hunted in Kentucky. It also marked the first time the eastern population of the birds had been hunted in over 100 years. The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife set a quota of 400 birds for the inaugural season, but only 50 sandhill cranes were taken. Spokesman Mark Marraccini says the department considers the season a success.

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1:36pm

Tue January 17, 2012
The Commonwealth

Stormy Weather Tuesday

This winter's roller coaster weather did a number on the Louisville area today. High winds ripped down trees and power lines and left nearly 14,000 residents in the dark, according to WHAS-TV in Louisville.
In addition, high winds reportedly knocked at least two tractor trailer trucks over on their sides on the Gene Snyder Freeway in eastern Jefferson County. That resulted in the highway being closed for a time.
But no injuries have been reported.

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2:35pm

Mon January 16, 2012
The Commonwealth

Wrecked Cruise Ship Passenger Happy to Be Home

It's Sunday night at Louisville International Airport, and Sarah Moore of Bowling Green is waiting as patiently as she can. She's standing still, occasionally rising on her toes to peek through a security checkpoint. Behind her are friends and family holding signs and flowers and waiting patiently, too.  Finally, Sarah Moore sees her, and Lauren Moore walks straight to her mother. The daughter carries only a small Nike bag from a retail store. Mother and daughter embrace. Hugs are exchanged. The relief is evident on the face of the concerned mother - Lauren Moore, 28, of Bowling Green is home.

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2:28pm

Mon January 16, 2012
The Commonwealth

More Up and Down and Up Weather

The weather forecast is a mixed bag this week, offering everything from sun and mild temperatures to rain and snow.  There’s a 40 percent chance for rain on Monday with a high near 43 degrees, according to the National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio. New rainfall will be less than a tenth of an inch. Showers and possibly a thunderstorm are likely Monday night. The low will be around 40. Up to three quarters of an inch of rain is possible.

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1:34pm

Thu January 12, 2012
The Commonwealth

A Little Taste of Winter

The National Weather Service office in Louisville has issued a winter weather advisory for much of Kentucky. It will remain in effect until 9 a.m. EST on Friday. A cold front is marching through Kentucky and causing rain to change over to snow showers.

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1:42pm

Wed January 11, 2012
The Commonwealth

Thefts at Walmart

Monday’s early morning theft of Apple iPads and other electronics from Winchester’s Walmart was not an isolated incident.  Police believe the suspects, a man and woman, have robbed four other Walmarts in the region in recent days.  The suspects, who have not been identified, entered Winchester’s store around 5 a.m. Monday, Winchester Police Detective Dennis Briscoe said. They went to the electronics section, opened one of the cases and took approximately $4,000 in merchandise including iPads, he said, but the exact list of what was taken has not been finalized.

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4:17pm

Mon January 9, 2012
The Commonwealth

Winter's Cold Looms Later this Week

So far, this winter hasn't behaved much like a typical winter. But all that is about to change later this week. Tuesday and Wednesday will remain mild with highs in the mid-40s to low 50s, according to the National Weather Service's Louisville office.

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4:10pm

Mon January 9, 2012
The Commonwealth

Potatoes from I-64 Spill Donated to Charity

Chris Skaggs hands bags of potatoes to Sherman Brinkley as they load them onto a truck.
Hannah Reel The State-Journal

Nearly 500 pounds of potatoes were distributed among several Franklin County shelters and food pantries Saturday after an accident on I-64 Tuesday involving a semi carrying 40,000 potatoes left local emergency crews with about 50 bags of spuds to get rid of.

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3:57pm

Mon January 9, 2012
The Commonwealth

Memo To Taxpayers: Remember Earned Income Tax Credit

 Last year thousands of low and middle income Kentuckians qualified for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit, but did not claim the benefit. State and local officials want to change that situation this year. Monday morning at the United Way of the Bluegrass headquarters, Lexington Mayor Jim Gray, Sixth District Congressman Ben Chandler and Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear encouraged eligible Kentuckians not to leave that money 'on the table'.

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10:48am

Fri January 6, 2012
The Commonwealth

State Fire Marshal Seeks Public Help

A startling increase in suspected arson fires around several central Kentucky communities has prompted Kentucky State Fire Marshal William Swope to seek the public’s help in solving the crimes. Since December, nearly a dozen fires of suspicious origin have been set in Fayette, Jessamine, Lincoln and Pulaski counties, prompting state and local officials to ramp up efforts to get information from the public, according to a state press release.

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1:59pm

Thu January 5, 2012
The Commonwealth

Free Surgery to Reduce Unwanted Horses

In an effort to help reduce the number of unwanted and inconvenient horses being bred in Kentucky, the Kentucky Horse Park is hosting its second Free Gelding Clinic on Saturday, March 10. This free clinic is being provided by the Kentucky Horse Park in partnership with the Kentucky Horse Council's Save Our Horses fund and the American Horse Council's Unwanted Horse Coalition.

2:53pm

Tue January 3, 2012
The Commonwealth

WEKU Off-Air Today for Maintenance

Here's a special announcement for listeners of 88.9 in the Richmond and Lexington areas:   For some time this morning after 9 o'clock, our transmitter will be off the air due to necessary work on the transmission tower at Clay's Ferry.

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