The Commonwealth

10:40am

Tue September 27, 2011
The Commonwealth

Former Deputy Jailer Guilty of Contraband Charges

A former Hardin County Detention Center deputy jailer pleaded guilty to second-degree promoting of contraband Monday in Hardin District Court. Randall Lee Jackson, 24, was arrested in May following an investigation by the Hardin County Drug Task Force, Hardin County Sheriff’s Office and jail staff. According to the arrest citation, Jackson admitted to exchanging tobacco products and marijuana for money and other favors.

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10:38am

Tue September 27, 2011
The Commonwealth

Tornado Destroys Hopkins County Homes

White Plains resident Billy Petitt looks over his shattered belongings after strong winds from either a micro-burst or small tornado overturned his mobile home at Mount Carmel and Hardwick roads at approximately 8:30 p.m. Sunday while he was asleep.
Doreen Dennis The Messenger

Billy Petitt walked around with a blank, empty look on his face, trying to comprehend nature’s forces that wrapped his Hopkins County mobile home against a willow tree like a piece of chewing gum. As friends helped salvage his few remaining possessions Monday morning, the man from the White Plains community felt at a loss for words. He complained only of a sore back after being thrown from the trailer while asleep in bed Sunday night when an EF-2 tornado struck, packing winds that the National Weather Service says peaked at 120 mph.

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3:19pm

Mon September 26, 2011
The Commonwealth

Police Locate Missing Washington County boy

After more than two days of searching, state police have found Randall Leon Chesser, a 7-year-old Washington County boy who had been missing since Saturday. Randall was found off Coulter Lane, about two miles northeast of the Willisburg fire station, shortly after 2:30 p.m.

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1:38pm

Mon September 26, 2011
The Commonwealth

Search for Seven-Year-Old Continues

The search for Randall Chesser will continue and expand despite inclement weather

The Kentucky State Police are expanding the search for 7-year-old Randall Leon Chesser. In spite of inclement weather, the field search will continue as 60 cadets from the Kentucky State Police Training Academy will join in the effort. KSP is looking to expand the geographical area of the search and have reached out to the military for additional air support that will be provided once the weather breaks.

10:20am

Mon September 26, 2011
The Commonwealth

Engineers Inspecting Louisville Bridge

Louisville Public Media

A thorough inspection of the Sherman Minton Bridge could be completed in about a week, after which engineers will determine the extent of the repair job ahead and how long the I-64 span connecting Louisville and southern Indiana will be closed.

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10:01am

Mon September 26, 2011
The Commonwealth

Rain, Watches, and Warnings Invade State

A tornado watch remains in effect for southeast Kentucky until 1 p.m. today, according to the National Weather Service. The potential for severe weather is the result of a line of storms that began moving through the state during the overnight period and is now moving into Eastern Kentucky.

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1:38pm

Sun September 25, 2011
The Commonwealth

Harlan County to Suffer Highest Population Decline

The Kentucky State Data Center recently released population projections for every county in the state. The future that is painted for Harlan County is remarkably grim. The demographers project that the county will lose more than 3,000 people over the next 10 years, which would mean that the population decreases by one percent every year. By 2050, they forecast that 16,216 individuals will reside in the county, down from 33,202 in 2000. That would be a dramatic decrease in population by more than 50 percent, in fact, the projected decline in Harlan is greater than in any other county in the state.

4:27pm

Fri September 23, 2011
The Commonwealth

Veteran Receives Medals 66 Years Later

World War II veteran Alvin Wilson Jr. couldn’t figure out how they pulled it off. More than 60 years after he was discharged from the U.S. Army following World War II, Wilson received his final medals from the war recently, in a ceremony that included his children, grandchildren and his wife. “I didn’t know anything about it,” the 88-year-old Wilson said. “Everyone knew about it but me. I couldn’t believe it.”

4:10pm

Fri September 23, 2011
The Commonwealth

Rally Encourages Move Away From Fossil Fuels

Louisville will participate in a global movement tomorrow to offer up ideas for moving beyond fossil fuels. Moving Planet, Moving Louisville is designed to call attention to the city’s transportation carbon footprint. Drew Foley is one of the event’s organizers. He says different cities are focusing on different aspects of fossil fuels.

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1:32pm

Fri September 23, 2011
The Commonwealth

Man Owes $319K in Back Taxes

A Scottsville businessman admitted Wednesday in federal court that he filed false federal tax returns for four consecutive years. Robert Wilkins Jr., 41, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Bowling Green to four counts of filing a false income tax return with the Internal Revenue Service. The charges against Wilkins were handed down last month in a four-count information.

7:52pm

Thu September 22, 2011
The Commonwealth

Obama: "Help Us Rebuild this Bridge"

Tana Weingartner WVXU, Cincinnati

With traffic crawling across the rusty gray Brent Spence Bridge behind him, President Barack Obama discussed his job creation plan in Cincinnati today. Just two weeks after mentioning the "functionally obsolete" bridge in a speech to the nation, the President came to see the aging span for himself. Mr. Obama says his proposed jobs bill would put Americans to work on projects like replacing the Brent Spence Bridge... and the recently shutdown Sherman Minton bridge between Indiana and Kentucky.

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4:03pm

Thu September 22, 2011
The Commonwealth

Kentucky Kingdom Can’t Reopen In 2012

Louisville Public Media

Louisville developer Ed Hart says there’s no way the Kentucky Kingdom amusement park can be reopened next year, but he’s willing to extend his interim agreement with the Kentucky State Fair Board and aim for a 2013 reopening. Hart says without a public/private funding partnership and a long-term lease in place, suppliers won’t be able to fill orders get the park’s rides up and running for 2012.

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3:53pm

Thu September 22, 2011
The Commonwealth

Ferry Unpopular with Louisville Commuters

The ferry that shuttles residents between Southern Indiana and Louisville isn’t popular among commuters. Just over 50 commuters take the Spirit of Jefferson in the morning and a little over 100 in the afternoon, said Spirit of Jefferson CEO Linda Harris. It can hold 300 passengers but the most it has transferred was 209, she said.

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3:38pm

Thu September 22, 2011
The Commonwealth

Fourth Fen-Phen Attorney Disbarred

A Lexington attorney has become the fourth attorney disbarred due to his involvement in a class-action lawsuit brought against the diet drug fen-phen.David Helmers had his law license revoked today after the Kentucky Supreme Court cited serious ethical violations in his conduct. He's also been ordered to pay $40,000 to cover the cost of the disciplinary proceedings against him.

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1:29pm

Thu September 22, 2011
The Commonwealth

Bridge Boosters Join Federal Lawsuit

A federal judge has ruled that a group supporting the Ohio River Bridges Project can intervene in the lawsuit between the conservation group River Fields and the Federal Highway Administration. In May, Kentuckians for Progress filed a request to join the suit against the federal governmentas co-defendants to challenge  River Fields and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, who filed the suit two years ago. Preservationists claim the federal agency couldn’t justify portions of the bridges project, relied on misleading information, failed to adequately consider potential  impacts and did not prepare an updated environmental report.

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1:16pm

Thu September 22, 2011
The Commonwealth

Belongings of Former First Lady on Auction Block

Eighty-nine lots of former Kentucky first lady Phyllis George's possessions will be auctioned off this weekend in Asheville, N.C. George approached the auction house to sell her collection, which includes quilts, paintings and Derby hats, said Karen Swager of Brunk Auctions. Most of the items were collected by George while she was Kentucky's first lady.

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1:14pm

Thu September 22, 2011
The Commonwealth

Defense Team wants Hearing in Terror Case

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder declared in federal court records filed Tuesday that certain evidence in a terrorism case against two Iraqi refugees who had been living in Bowling Green would harm national security if disclosed publicly.

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4:28pm

Wed September 21, 2011
The Commonwealth

I-64 Bridge Inspection At Midpoint

Engineers say it will take another week-and-a-half to finish their inspection of the Sherman Minton Bridge.   Then they’ll be able to determine how long it will take to repair the bridge and re-open it to traffic. The bridge has been closed since September 9, when inspectors found a crack in a load-bearing support.  Now its getting a thorough examination to determine if there are other faults, and inspectors are on schedule to finish the job in about ten days.

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4:00pm

Wed September 21, 2011
The Commonwealth

Troubled Ohio River Bridges in Spotlight

Bearing the weight of Interstate-75. the aging Brent Spence Bridge (left) is the main link between Kentucky, Ohio and other points north.

Kentucky has big bridge problems. Cracks have closed the Sherman Minton Bridge in Louisville, which bears the weight of Interstate-64. Democrat Ben Chandler says it’s crippling daily commutes.  “The situation in Louisville is particularly troubling at the moment because one of the bridges has gone out recently and they have terrible traffic jams in Louisville right now,” said Chandler.  The Louisville Bridge is one of several Ohio River bridges causing trouble in the Commonwealth.  Loads on the Ironton-Russell Bridge in northeast Kentucky have been restricted.  Earlier this year, work crews in western Kentucky found a hole in a deck on the Owensboro Bridge.

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2:11pm

Wed September 21, 2011
The Commonwealth

Slot Machine Opponents want Investigation

The Family Foundation, a conservative group that opposes expanded gambling, is asking Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway to investigate Instant Racing machines now online at Kentucky Downs. 

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8:23am

Wed September 21, 2011
The Commonwealth

Gallatin County Sheriff Shot, Recovering

The sheriff of Gallatin County is recovering at home after a gunman opened fire on him late Tuesday during a domestic violence situation and then killed himself, according to Kentucky State Police. Sheriff Josh Neale, who is in his mid-to-late 30s, was shot in the abdomen just before 10:30 p.m. at a home on Kentucky 16 near Glencoe. He was airlifted to University Hospital, state police said in a prepared statement. He was treated and released just after 3 a.m. Wednesday.

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4:02pm

Tue September 20, 2011
The Commonwealth

Obama, LOU Mayor to Talk Bridges

LOUISVILLE — Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer will have an opportunity to discuss the Sherman Minton Bridge situation with President Obama Thursday when the president visits the Brent Spence Bridge in Cincinnati. The invitation for Fischer to join Obama came Tuesday from the White House, according to a press release from the mayor's office.

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2:20pm

Tue September 20, 2011
The Commonwealth

Evangelist Sentenced to 48 Months Fraud

LOUISVILLE – Ernest Cadick of Elizabethtown was sentenced to 48 months in prison, ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $719,650, and fined $1,600 in United States District Court Tuesday by Judge John G. Heyburn II.

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10:46am

Tue September 20, 2011
The Commonwealth

LOU Bridge Repairs Top Federal Priority

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer visited Washington D.C. Monday to discuss the closure of the Sherman Minton Bridge and was assured by a top official that it is the number one priority for the federal highway administration. The 50-year-old span was closed September 9 after cracks were discovered in some load-bearing supports. Engineers and highway inspectors are examining the bridge of the next two to three weeks to determine its future.

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4:39pm

Mon September 19, 2011
The Commonwealth

Gang Data Base Info Sought

With gang activity seen in communities across the Commonwealth, a western Kentucky prosecutor says it requires their full attention.  Prosecutors across Kentucky could benefit from a statewide data base that tracks the members of criminal gangs.  Police are already at work, expanding their existing criminal information network to include such gangs.  Christian County Commonwealth’s Attorney Lynn Pryor says the expanded system would only monitor confirmed gang members.

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10:27am

Mon September 19, 2011
The Commonwealth

State Creates Web Page for Bridge Detours

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has created a web page with interactive maps to help travelers navigate Interstate-64 during the closure of the Sherman Minton Bridge between Louisville and New Albany, Ind.  The web page features three interactive maps that illustrate recommended alternative routes. The link is www.transportation.ky.gov/sherman-minton-bridge.

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2:54pm

Sun September 18, 2011
The Commonwealth

Tile in the Bluegrass

A national tile company is completing a move from the Sunshine State to the Bluegrass State.  Florida Tile will expand its corporate headquarters, which are in Lexington.  25 new hires will handing information technology, marketing and financial services.  It’s expected to grow to 50 over the next several years.  Florida Tile also has a factory and distribution center in Lawrenceburg that employs over 100 workers.  These days, marketing director Sean Cilona says they’re making large porcelain tiles for commercial businesses.

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12:13pm

Sun September 18, 2011
The Commonwealth

Twitter Accounts Surge During Bridge Closure

The Sherman Minton Bridge closure has spawned a number of novelty Twitter accounts, including two for the bridge itself.  Jason Oberhausen is behind one of them, @smintonbridge64 (the others are @shermintbridge and @ucantcrossme). He says this is his first novelty account, and he hopes it adds levity to a serious event.

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12:07pm

Sun September 18, 2011
The Commonwealth

How to Avoid Louisville's Traffic Congestion

Central Kentuckians planning on driving to Chicago, St. Louis, Indianapolis or other points west and northwest over the coming months will probably want to give their planned routes a second glance before heading out. The emergency shutdown of the Interstate 64 Sherman Minton Bridge that spans the Ohio River between Louisville and New Albany, Ind., could put a serious snarl in the typical paths taken from Lexington to some major cities.

11:59am

Sun September 18, 2011
The Commonwealth

Henderson Firms Dealing with Bridge Closure

Hendersonians know something about bridge problems, such as when a wreck, construction, a barge strike or a routine inspection creates lane closure on the U.S. 41 Twin Bridges. But now, an emergency closure of a bridge two hours away -- the Interstate 64 bridge over the Ohio River at Louisville -- and the possibility that it could remain shut down for several months or longer is impacting travelers and businesses alike from Henderson.

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