A new study says babies born in counties where mountaintop removal mining is done may be more likely to suffer birth defects than babies born in counties with other types of coal mining. According to the study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Research, babies born in counties in Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia and Tennessee where mountaintop removal mines were in operation were 26 percent more likely to suffer from some kind of birth defect. That’s compared to babies born in counties where there is no coal mining. The babies were also more likely to have birth defects than those born in counties where coal is mined other ways.
An Urban County Council panel has been told that those EPA-mandated improvements to the city's sewer system will result in a doubling, or even tripling of customer sewer bills over the next decade. The Lexington Herald Leader reports that estimates range anywhere from $540 million to $814 million to fix the city's overwhelmed storm-water and sewer systems.
Breathitt County Judge Executive Harvey Jason Richardson declared a state of emergency in Breathitt County due to Monday's heavy rains and flash flooding, and has made the county's Emergency Management office available to help assist those who have suffered damage. Richardson said after an emergency meeting of the Breathitt County Fiscal Court on Tuesday morning that some 3,000 persons in the county were affected by flood damage to bridges and culverts, breaks and slips on county roads, downed trees and flooded roads. He also has written to Gov. Steve Beshear, asking for state assistance to help repair the damages.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell spoke on the Senate floor this morning. He began his remarks with an update to his colleagues on the three miners who spent yesterday trapped in a Bell County coal mine due to rising flood waters. “Yesterday I came to the floor to report that there were several miners in Kentucky trapped in a mine as a result of floods,” he said. “I want to start today with an update on that situation. I’m happy to report that all three were rescued after spending 14 hours trapped in a Bell County coal mine. They were all reunited with their families last night, which is great news. Their families were waiting for them at the West Cumberland Baptist Church. We’re certainly glad that this particular story had a happy ending.”
Flash flooding in Knox County Monday destroyed 12 homes and caused major damage to another 17. Fourteen received minor damage after 4 inches of rain fell in a brief period. One man died in the deluge. Meanwhile, three miners were trapped in an underground Bell County coal mine after runoff from rainwater flooded part of the mine. The miners were rescued Monday night.
Three southeast Kentucky miners trapped 600 feet below the entrance to a Bell County coal mine have been rescued. They were brought to the surface last night by mine rescue teams. Parnell Witherspoon, Doug Warren, and Russell Asher became trapped shortly before seven a.m. Monday when water from a nearby box cut flooded the mine entrance. The three men were able to stay out of the water on a higher elevation point. They were taken to Middlesboro Appalachian Regional Hospital for evaluation and to be reunited with their
A new coal mining rule goes into effect tomorrow that regulators hope will help prevent explosions like the one at the Upper Big Branch Mine last year. The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration will require coal mine dust to be at least 80 percent rock dust, which is non-combustible. The other 20 percent can be coal dust, which can cause explosions.
It appears Lexington officials are willing to give the state less-restrictive fireworks law a try this summer. The new legislation allows for the sale of firecrackers and flying fireworks, which were previously illegal. In Louisville, officials are considering a local proposal which is more restrictive than state law.
Natural disasters are a way of life for Sherry Buresh (burr-ESH). The Director of the Christian Appalachian Project’s Disaster Relief program and hundreds of volunteers have had a very busy 2011. Sherry Buresh founded the disaster relief program in 2003 to assist victims of flash flooding in eastern Kentucky. Since then, they’ve offered assistance as far away as New York and in most of the 13 Appalachian states.
FRANKFORT – Kentucky Transportation Cabinet crews have responded to a number of mudslides and flooded roads caused by heavy rains Monday, primarily in southeastern Kentucky. Some of the slides were quickly cleared, while other roads remained closed due to slides, washouts or water over the road. As of noon more than a dozen roads were reported closed in at least eight counties, primarily in southeastern Kentucky.
The murder trial of a man charged with killed a Lexington police officer has entered week two of testimony. Prosecutors introduced several pieces of evidence Monday, including boots, ammunition, and a taser. A detective in the police forensics unit showed jurors items from Officer Bryan Durman's uniform that flew off when he was struck and killed in a hit and run crash on North Limestone.
PIKEVILLE – Gov. Steve Beshear Monday announced three transportation projects in Eastern Kentucky that will dramatically improve access and mobility for communities in Pike and Martin counties. “We are making improvements that will benefit hundreds of families, many of whom, through no fault of their own, have been isolated to the point of hardship,” Beshear said. The governor, joined by numerous local officials and residents for a ceremony at the Eastern Kentucky Exposition Center in Pikeville, symbolically broke ground for two projects and presented funding for a third:
FRANKFORT – Rescuers in Bell County are working to place pumps at the entrance of an underground mine where three miners are trapped due to high water from heavy overnight rains. The Kentucky office of Mine Safety and Licensing, the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration and officials from Bell County Coal Corporation, which operates the Jellico No. 1 mine near Middlesboro, say the miners are safe and communicating with officials as they await rescue.
You’re familiar with the term D-U-I, which means driving under the influence. On water, the violation is known as B-U-I, or boating under the influence. Captain Mike Fields of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife says an effort next weekend stresses safety on the state’s waterways.
A preliminary blueprint for Lexington's five-year development outlook will be open to public comment this week. Jim Duncan of the Division of Planning is working with other city officials to put together the 2012 Comprehensive Plan. "It addresses all issues from housing and transportation to jobs and economic development, as well community facilities and parks. And so we look at a variety of issues and try to determine how the community can grow, accommodate new population, and be responsive to the existing needs of the current population."
The murder trial of Glenn Doneghy is expected to resume Monday with continued testimony from Lexington police officers who investigated the hit-and-run crash that killed officer Bryan Durman. On Thursday — the last day of testimony before court recessed for the weekend — Detective Billy Salyer was on the witness stand. Prosecutors showed the jury video taken of the crash scene, and Salyer narrated. Fayette Circuit Court Judge James Ishmael told jurors Salyer's testimony would continue Monday.
Rania Omar Burke and Lara Omar Swan have long been fans of StoryCorps. So when Burke heard that the national non-profit that records stories across the country was going to be in Lexington, she thought it would be the perfect birthday present for her sister. The two Chicago transplants spent their 40-minute StoryCorps session on Sunday, Father's Day, talking about a very timely subject: Their father. More than 300 people have climbed into the recording booth of the StoryCorps mobile trailer since the project came to Lexington on May 21. Among them was Fr. Ralph Beiting, founder of the Christian Appalachian Project.
As protesters spoke out on Saturday against the expulsion of two gay men with intellectual and developmental disabilities from a city-owned pool in Hazard, the city took several steps to try to remedy the situation. Kim Haynes, the city employee who cited the Bible while telling the men and their caregiver to leave the Hazard Pavilion on June 10, will be suspended without pay for five days because of his "failure to be respectful to the public," "unsatisfactory job performance" and "his use of inappropriate language" about pool policies, the city said in a press release.
On a drizzly, overcast afternoon in March, a man walked through Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C., and fell to his knees in front of a simple stone marker. A soldier's funeral was going on nearby, but the man had eyes only for one tombstone which identified the grave of Ernest L. Wrentmore, veteran of World War I, World War II and Korea. The back side of the stone states that Wrentmore had been the "youngest soldier to have served with American Expeditionary Forces in World War I, 12 years of age." Tears filling his eyes, Ernest L. Wrentmore III ran his fingers softly over the marker, pressed his lips to the cold stone, and began whispering to the father he had waited so long to know.
Traffic’s again normal at the exit ramp on the inner loop ramp of New Circle at Harrodsburg Road in Lexington. At least as normal as things can be in a construction zone. “It’s still a construction zone so it's not going to look nice and pretty and all that,” said Bob Nunley who's with the Kentucky Transporation Cabinet.
Thousands of people are in Wilmore for a weekend of worship, teaching, and music of many styles, all in God’s name. It’s the 42nd annual Ichthus Christian music festival. At an early morning worship service on the hillside near the Deep End stage, was 17 year old Chelsea Hallomen who made the trip from Louisville.
Dennis Eads, 60, had no idea what he’d do for a living when Frankfort’s Bendix plant closed its doors a few years ago. He’d worked there for 33 years and assumed it’s where he’d retire. But Bendix decided it’d be cheaper to send his manufacturing job to Mexico. The shuttered doors started a long journey for Eads, who at 56 years old had to pick up his dreams of job security and retirement that vanished when he was left jobless in December of 2007.
Advocates for protection for gay Kentuckians say a recent incident in Hazard further underscores the need for updated civil rights laws. Two gay men, who are also developmentally challenged, were with the group Mending Hearts at the public pool in the Hazard Pavilion. One man reportedly sat on the other’s knee and put his arm around his partner. They were then told to leave. Mending Hearts representatives say workers told them gay people weren’t allowed to swim in the pool. Others say the two were kicked out for violating the policy against public displays of affection.
Several colleagues of Officer Bryan Durman, the Lexington police officer killed in the line of duty last year, took the witness stand Thursday. It marked day two of testimony in the Glenn Doneghy murder trial. When Durman requested backup to assist with his call on a noise complaint the night of April 29, 2010, Officer Teri Gover (GOH'-ver) responded. By the time she arrived on the scene, she discovered Durman had been struck in a hit and run crash.
Many Americans Thursday left their car keys, and their cars, at home and took advantage of public transportation. It’s national “Dump the Pump Day.” Its purpose is to show commuters there are alternatives to driving and high gas prices. Melissa Gross with Richmond Transit says ridership on the four year-old bus system continues to pick up.
Tuesday night, the Berea City Council held the second and final public hearing on an ordinance that would protect gay and transgender individuals from discrimination. After hearing public opinion, the council will decide on Monday whether or not it will take a vote on the ordinance. The Louisville-based Fairness Campaign has been working for months to see the measure passed. Chris Hartman is the group’s director.
A murder trial is underway in the death of a Lexington police officer. Glenn Doneghy,34, is accused of deliberately hitting police officer Bryan Durman in April of Last year. Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Lori Boling delivered an opening statement Tuesday for the prosecution. "After we present all of the evidence to you in this case, you will see that we have proven to you beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was driving his car the night Officer Durman was struck and killed."
A federal grand jury has indicted two Florida residents, charging them as the suppliers of thousands of pain pills that flooded Owsley County earlier this year. The June 9 indictment charges Elisa H. Alston (aka Leva, aka Lewit) and George Darden with conspiracy to traffic in oxycodone 30 mg. tablets. They join five Owsley County residents who are alleged to have transported and paid for the pills. They are Marvin Reed, Jason Reed, Thomas Little, Kristi Rae Davis and Donald W. Terry.
The Kentucky Bar Association board of governors Tuesday recommended the disbarment of famed Cincinnati trial attorney Stanley Chesley. The board also voted to follow the recommendation of a hearing officer who said Chesley should return more than $7 million in fees he received from a 2001 fen-phen settlement to his former clients. The vote came after a more than hour-and-a-half oral argument before the board at its meeting at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Lexington. The board's recommendation will be sent to the Kentucky Supreme Court, which has final say on attorney discipline cases.