The Commonwealth

2:26pm

Fri July 22, 2011
The Commonwealth

Louisville Lawmakers Denounce Merger

Joining state lawmakers and hundreds of residents, three members of the Louisville Metro Council are criticizing the pending merger between U of L Hospital, Jewish Hospital and a division of Catholic Health Initiatives.  Council members Tina Ward-Pugh, D-9, Vicki Aubrey Welch, D-13, and Marianne Butler, D-15, signed a petition that will appear as a half-page advertisement in the Courier-Journal this weekend, which protests the hospital merger and says it will “stop vital medical procedures” for residents in the area.

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2:21pm

Fri July 22, 2011
The Commonwealth

Despite Heatwave, Power Grid Holding Up

Kentucky Utilities spokesman Cliff Feltham says despite thousands of households running air conditioners 24/7, the local power grid is surprisingly in good shape, and at present, there are no signs of a potential brownout.  "We hit a July peak on Wednesday and so we figured it would continue to set another peak on Thursday and it did not do that."

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12:48pm

Fri July 22, 2011
The Commonwealth

Crane Hunt Opponents Voice Worry

Opponents of a proposed hunting season for sandhill cranes still have several more chances to have the policy blocked or overturned. The nine-member Fish and Wildlife Commission unanimously approved last month a pilot plan to allow up to 400 hunters to kill up to 400 cranes this winter. About 20 attended a public meeting Thursday morning at the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources building at the Frankfort Game Farm to voice their opposition to the hunt.

10:04am

Fri July 22, 2011
The Commonwealth

EPA Finalizes Surface-Mining Regulations

Federal regulators have finalized surface-mining guidelines that have caused controversy in Appalachian coal country, including Eastern Kentucky. The guidelines include a new standard for judging the effect of mining on water quality. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said use of the guidelines will better protect water quality and aquatic life in streams below mountaintop strip mines. Runoff from mining operations contains substances such as chlorides and sulfates that can damage water quality.

10:10am

Thu July 21, 2011
The Commonwealth

Western KY Mentoring Program to Close

After serving the community for more than 35 years, the Hopkinsville Big Brothers Big Sisters affiliate is shutting its doors. The board of directors for the service organization voted to shut down operations at its July 5 meeting, according to a news release Tuesday. “It’s very heartbreaking for us to have to come to terms with this decision,” said Cecelia Cloos, president of the board of directors. During her 10 years of work with the organization, Cloos said, two changes led to the organization shutting down: a lack of funding and declining interest among mentors.

9:59am

Thu July 21, 2011
The Commonwealth

KY Marine to Receive Medal of Honor

Pentagon officials say President Barack Obama will present the Medal of Honor to a Marine from Kentucky who braved enemy fire in Afghanistan in a bid to find and retrieve three missing Marines and a Navy corpsman. Meyer, a 2006 graduate of Green County High School, is originally from Greensburg.

9:56am

Thu July 21, 2011
The Commonwealth

Non-Parent Guardians On the Rise

Lexington Herald-Leader

The number of children in Kentucky being raised by someone other than a parent went up significantly in nearly every county from 2000 to 2010, new U.S. Census figures show. The jump was dramatic in some places — 283 percent in McCracken County, for instance, which was the highest, and 148 percent in McCreary County, according to an analysis of data by the Herald-Leader. Police and other officials said a debilitating level of substance abuse is one key factor in the statewide increase.

1:46pm

Wed July 20, 2011
The Commonwealth

WKU Professor Helps Detect Explosives

Bruce Kessler’s math research has never been a life saver - until now. Kessler, a math professor and associate dean of Western Kentucky University’s Ogden College of Science and Engineering, helped develop a piece of software that can detect hidden explosives and illegal substances. It’s a breakthrough piece of technology that can help officials screen for such devices in a nondestructive way, which, until recently, has been nearly impossible, Kessler said.

1:40pm

Wed July 20, 2011
The Commonwealth

Officials Silent on Director's Dismissal

Officials are largely silent on the dismissal of Ralph Tharp, executive director of the economic development agency in Franklin County. Libby Marshall, chairwoman of the Kentucky Capital Development Corp., announced Saturday Tharp’s one-year contract would not be renewed when it expires in October. She declined Tuesday to explain what was behind the decision. It’s unclear if the board of directors voted on the matter and if a vote was taken whether it was behind closed doors or in open session.

10:33am

Wed July 20, 2011
The Commonwealth

Work Progresses on Ohio River Bridge

Work continues on construction of a new Ohio River bridge connecting Milton - in Trimble County - with Madison, Ind. Later in the summer Walsh Construction will erect temporary support towers on the downriver side of the existing bridge location onto which the new truss system will be lifted and placed. These towers will carry the weight of the bridge when traffic is transferred from the existing structure onto the temporary location. Once traffic is rerouted to the new bridge on the temporary towers the demolition of the old bridge superstructure will begin.

10:11am

Wed July 20, 2011
The Commonwealth

Legislators Prepare for Redistricting

Legislators will prepare this week for the task of redrawing the political district lines. Tim Storey, a senior fellow from the National Conference of State Legislatures, on Thursday will explain the process and history of political redistricting to the legislators who will start the process either in a special session or the next regular session of the General Assembly in 2012. The state redistricts political boundaries once every decade to reflect the population changes shown by the U.S. Census.

5:15pm

Tue July 19, 2011
The Commonwealth

LEX Cig Ban Cited in Bowling Green Case

The attorney appealing the citation and fine against American Legion Post 23 for violating Bowling Green's smoking ban argues that the post should be exempt from the ordinance and cites a case in Lexington as being similar. But the city has maintained that, because members of the public are invited to charitable gaming events, the post is not exempt from the ordinance.

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5:12pm

Tue July 19, 2011
The Commonwealth

100 Degree Heat Index Prompts Warning

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services is urging the public to take steps to avoid injury and illness during this period of extreme heat, particularly dangers associated with leaving children in vehicles. According to Safe Kids, 49 children in the U.S. died last year from heat stroke while unattended in vehicles. From 1998-2010, at least 494 deaths are known to have occurred nationally. In Kentucky, there have been 13 deaths attributed to vehicular hyperthermia during the same time period and one death every year since 2004.

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1:33pm

Tue July 19, 2011
The Commonwealth

Town Petitions for Alcohol Sales

A petition is circulating at local gas stations that seeks to legalize alcohol sales in the Boyle County town of Junction City, taking advantage of the city’s recent upgrade in classification. If the petition is certified by the county clerk and judge-executive, residents would vote later this year on whether to become fully wet, allowing for licenses including retail beer and package liquor.

1:31pm

Tue July 19, 2011
The Commonwealth

American Legion Post 23’s appeals fine

The attorney appealing the citation and fine against American Legion Post 23 for violating Bowling Green's smoking ban argues that the post should be exempt from the ordinance and cites a case in Lexington as being similar. But the city has maintained that, because members of the public are invited to charitable gaming events, the post is not exempt from the ordinance.

10:19am

Tue July 19, 2011
The Commonwealth

Preparing for Fallen Soldier

Hal Teegarden tapes a photo of U.S. Army Sgt. Jeremy R. Summers to the window of his barber shop in Brooksville, Monday. Summers was killed last week while serving in Afghanistan.
Terry Prather Ledger Independent

Services for a Bracken County soldier who was killed in Afghanistan on July 14 are still pending, family members said on Monday. U.S. Army Sgt. Jeremy R. Summers, 27, died after an attack by enemy forces at Paktika province, Afghanistan, U.S. Department of Defense officials said.

10:09am

Tue July 19, 2011
The Commonwealth

Source of Water Losses Discovered

City officials in Cumberland believe they have found a major reason behind the city’s massive water losses. A major leak was located Friday on the southern bank of Cumberland River right behind city hall. Last week, the Enterprise reported on the major problems that Cumberland has with its water system. A report presented by the mayor indicated that during the first half of 2011 the city was losing two-thirds of the water it was producing. The report pointed to water leaks as the main factor behind the losses.

10:05am

Tue July 19, 2011
The Commonwealth

KY Nascar Driver Passes Away

A well-known Frankfort racecar driver died Monday around 7 p.m. at the University of Kentucky Medical Center after injuries from a crash at the Richmond Speedway on Saturday. Billy Carroll Wooldridge, 60, had just completed his drive in the 24th annual Paul Butterball Wooldridge Memorial race, named after his older brother, when officials say he suffered a heart attack, causing him to lose control of his car.

1:51pm

Mon July 18, 2011
The Commonwealth

Dangerously High Heat Invades State

Kentucky will be plagued with hot and humid weather from Tuesday through Friday, according to the National Weather Service. The combination of hot temperatures mixed with high humidity levels will produce dangerously high heat indices. Areas west of Interstate 65 will potentially see a heat index of 110 by midweek. Areas along Interstate 75 will generally see slightly lower temperatures and humidity, the NWS said.

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1:49pm

Mon July 18, 2011
The Commonwealth

Fireworks Create Sparks in Bowling Green

Bowling Green City Commissioner Brian “Slim” Nash was recently told a joke by a Bowling Green resident. The man remarked that the last person to sign the Declaration of Independence actually did so on July 12. Then the man said, perhaps that’s why fireworks are still being shot off in the city. Tuesday night, the Bowling Green Board of Commissioners will seek a solution to the issue over the use of fireworks that arose following the Fourth of July. Nash said the issue of fireworks has been second to the smoking ban in terms of feedback he’s received from citizens. He said he has received numerous emails and calls from people against fireworks.

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10:10am

Mon July 18, 2011
The Commonwealth

Three Kentucky Cities make "Best" List

FRANKFORT — Forbes magazine has named three Kentucky cities to its Best Places for Business and Careers List. The magazine ranked Lexington at No. 4 and Louisville at No. 14, as well as Bowling Green at No. 5 on the small towns list.

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10:04am

Mon July 18, 2011
The Commonwealth

Bracken County Soldier Killed in Afghanistan

Sgt. Jeremy R. Summers.
The Ledger Independent

A Bracken County family is grieving the loss of family member and soldier, Sgt. Jeremy R. Summers. Summers, a U.S. Army soldier serving in Afghanistan was killed July 14, a family member confirmed Friday. His mother told the Lexington Herald-Leader that her son had just re-enlisted in the Army last week.

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9:52am

Mon July 18, 2011
The Commonwealth

Dangerous Heat this Week

Kentucky is in for a bruising week of low- to mid-90-degree weather. As a result, a heat advisory - which is issued when high humidity combines with hot temperatures to make it feel as if it is 100 to 105 degrees - will be in effect today.

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9:29am

Mon July 18, 2011
The Commonwealth

Pension Costs Blamed for Layoffs

When cities and counties around Kentucky passed budgets just before July 1, many blamed the cost of the state pension system for cuts to services and personnel. Legislators anticipate reform of the Kentucky Retirement System will emerge as the top issue once the legislative redistricting is completed in the next session of the General Assembly.

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2:37pm

Fri July 15, 2011
The Commonwealth

Kentucky Gets Funds for Homeless Vets

Louisville has received $120,000 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to help its homeless veterans.The Housing Authority of Lexington and the Kentucky Housing Corporation each received 25 vouchers as well. Kentucky was granted a total of $349,062. Since 2008, HUD has provided vouchers through its Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program to help subsidize housing for homeless veterans in all 50 states. In Louisville they’ve partnered with the Louisville Metro Housing Authority.

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10:05am

Fri July 15, 2011
The Commonwealth

Work Widening US 27 Two-Thirds Complete

Nearly four years after state and local officials broke ground on the project in September 2007, work continues on the widening of a 5-mile section of U.S. 27 in northern Garrard County. Heavy equipment rumbles near Bryantsville as the two-lane road is widened to four lanes from Rocky Top to just south of Ky. 34. Construction costs amount to about $39 million of the $56 million project.

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9:51am

Fri July 15, 2011
The Commonwealth

Delays, Closure Expected at Maysville Bridge

Motorists need to mark their calendars for delays and closures on the Simon Kenton Memorial Bridge. The structure connects Maysville with Aberdeen, Ohio. Officials with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet announced Thursday an inspection is scheduled for Monday, July 18 through Friday, July 29 on the bridge on weekdays.

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8:55am

Fri July 15, 2011
The Commonwealth

Domestic Partner Benefits in Louisville

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer will sign an executive order this morning that will extend health insurance benefits to the domestic partners of city employees. The change will go into effect on July 1, 2012. According to the Courier-Journal, the city’s Human Resources Department estimates that as many as 400 of the city’s 5,500 employees will take advantage of the benefits, which would cost about $400,000.

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10:23am

Thu July 14, 2011
The Commonwealth

Fort Knox Unit Prepares for Iraq

The 233rd Transportation Company is headed back to the Middle East. The heavy truck company under the 3rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) cased its colors Wednesday at Fort Knox as it readied for deployment to Iraq later this week. The deployment is the company’s seventh to Iraq since 2003 and supports Operation New Dawn. The unit deployed six times in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

10:13am

Thu July 14, 2011
The Commonwealth

Bikefest Rides Through Western KY

More than 15,000 motorcycle enthusiasts are expected to show up on roadways in western Kentucky and southern Illinois today through July 17, as they partake in the Kentucky Bikefest at the Union County Fairgrounds in Sturgis. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is encouraging local motorists to be alert for an influx of motorcycles, RV’s and other support vehicles pulling trailers in the area.

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