Last week, Kentucky Utilities asked the state Public Service Commission for a rate hike that will increase customers’ bills by 12.2 percent over the next four years. KU says it needs the additional revenue to pay for the $2.5-billion in improvements to its coal-fired generating plants like the E.W. Brown facility near Burgin — improvements mandated by the EPA. KU has already taken steps to significantly reduce the amount of sulphur dioxide coming from the massive smokestacks at Brown. And the electric company turned to a neighbor six miles down Burgin Road, Mercer Stone, to help solve its emissions troubles with limestone taken from the ground at Mercer Stone’s facility.
The possibility of giving KY 38 a new route was one of the top options aired at a meeting about the slide-ravaged highway. State Rep. Rick Nelson told about 70 people present at the meeting that his preferred option was to give the highway a new route.
Copper thefts in neighboring counties have recently caused several phone outages for people in Harlan County. The areas of the county that report being affected are the Tri-Cities and Evarts. “Last week we had a long distance phone outage after someone stole fiber optic cable in Perry County,” said Chris Campbell, account executive at Windstream Communications. “We went out and restored it, only to have the thieves come back at night and steal cable from the same section again.” He estimates that 4,000 customers in Harlan County were affected by last week’s outage. Company officials confirm another outage the week before that, also caused by thefts in Perry County.
Tourism interests in Lake Cumberland country are hoping for increased visitation as they head into the fifth summer season with a planned lower water level at the giant reservoir. Visitor numbers dropped significantly after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers quickly lowered the lake level in January 2007 as part of the process of fixing leaks at Wolf Creek Dam, which impounds the 101-mile-long lake.
Homeowners, renters and business owners in six additional Kentucky counties are now eligible for federal assistance to help recover from the effects of the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that struck the Commonwealth from April 22 to May 20. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has designated Ballard, Daviess, Henderson, Lawrence, McLean and Pike counties. These counties join 55 other Kentucky counties where residents who suffered damages should register with FEMA to start the federal disaster aid process.
Kentucky is home to Fort Knox and Fort Campbell, but military families that don't live close to those installations may not be getting all the support they need. Lexington Vice Mayor Linda Gorton knows what it's like to have a child deployed overseas. Her son served in Iraq and Afghanistan with the Army Reserves. "It translates into a lot of stress. And I personally think when the community can rally around and support those folks, it makes for a healthier community."
Two central Kentuckians are lending a helping hand with tornado relief work in Joplin, Missouri. Craig Infanger and his wife Janis got the call from the Bluegrass Chapter of the American Red Cross around 4:30 Thursday afternoon. By 8 am Friday, they were bound for Joplin. The Infangers have volunteered for the Red Cross with other disaster relief work, including Hurricane Katrina, and they were eager to help victims of the devastating tornado.
Columbia Gas of Kentucky customers will pay 7 percent less for natural gas in the next three months because the state Public Service Commission has approved the utility's quarterly gas-cost-adjustment proposal, which will be effective through September. Customers who are supplied by Columbia Gas and have been for the past 12 months will pay $5.4551 per thousand cubic feet, down from $5.8813.
In a decision that drew both groans and applause, Danville City Commission voted to hire longtime mayor John W.D. Bowling as interim city manager Thursday night. Bowling, who served three terms as Danville mayor, will be paid $6,000 a month beginning June 1 when the employment contract goes into effect. Bridgette Milby, acting interim city manager since shortly after Paul Stansbury was suspended, will return to her position as head of codes enforcement.
Property owners in Clark County living along county roads might want to take heed if they have trees with limbs hanging out into the roadways. After receiving several complaints about tree limbs obstructing drivers’ views along some county roadways, Clark Fiscal Court is considering clearing the limbs and then billing property owners.
A 2-year-old child killed Wednesday in a lawn mower accident had been riding on the mower with her father and brother when she fell off, Fayette County Coroner Gary Ginn said. Ginn said Adelaide McReynolds died from multiple blunt-force and sharp-force trauma at the family farm in Lexington. Ginn said McReynolds had a history of letting his children ride on the mower with him.
The graves of veterans will be barren of flags this year at local cemeteries, unless placed there by family members. Since 2006, members of the AMVETS Post 124, based in Maysville placed American flags on the graves of war veterans at cemeteries in Mason, Bracken and Fleming counties.
The pilot of a small plane that crashed in a mountainous area of North Carolina, killing four people from Kentucky, reported a fire on board just before the fatal descent, a federal official said Thursday. Authorities did not officially release the names of the victims Thursday, but family members confirmed those who died were three young women from Knott County and the pilot, a Lexington native who had been living in Hazard and working for a flight service there.
Changes are ahead for Lexington’s legislative districts. The latest figures from the US Census show some of the districts within Lexington Fayette Urban County Government are unevenly populated. Boundaries need to be redrawn, but those district lines cannot be solely based on race or ethnic background.
With help from national groups, the Rowan County K-9 Shelter is undergoing an extreme home makeover of sorts. The animal shelter is getting new beds, new roofing and other repairs that will benefit its inhabitants, now numbering about 30. The shelter takes in roughly five dogs a week and sees hundreds each year, said Vicki Fragasso, director of development for Petfinder.com Foundation.
Nicholas Carpenter – a staff sergeant killed by a landmine in August 1970 – is among the 1,100 names on the Kentucky Vietnam Veterans Memorial. James Logsden, of Attica, Ind., served with Carpenter in the 9th Infantry Division. Logsden stepped on a landmine fashioned from a 155mm artillery shell. It exploded, injuring him, killing Carpenter and wounding four others, Logsden said.
A small plane flying from the Atlanta area to Hazard crashed in the mountains of western North Carolina Wednesday, killing at least two people onboard. The Citizen-Times of Ashville reported the twin-engine Beech Baron 58 went down near Lake Hiwassee, which is near the Tennessee border. Reporters Jon Ostendorff and Joel Burgess said Cherokee County Sheriff Keith Lovin said the crash had resulted in “multiple fatalities.” The aircraft can carry up to six people.
If you're going to go leave the military without permission, then it probably isn't a good idea to post your whereabouts on Facebook. In the predawn hours Tuesday, Whitley County Sheriff's Lt. Dennis Foley charged Terry J. McCullah, 19, with being a federal fugitive. Foley arrested McCullah at his mother's residence after sheriff's deputies got a request from the United States Marine Corps to apprehend McCullah for "military desertion," according to court documents.
“Absolute, complete devastation” is how Georgetown firefighter David Raisor described the scene in Joplin, Mo., Wednesday morning. Raisor and three fellow firefighters, Capt. Revel Oliver and firefighters Matt Marshall and Wade Calvert, arrived in Joplin Monday night and got to work the next morning, assisting in search and rescue operations along with firefighters from about 50 other fire departments across the country.
A Senior Petroleum Analyst says gas prices are expected to spike between ten to thirty cents going into the heavily traveled Memorial Day weekend. Patrick DeHaan, with GasBuddy.com which tracks gas prices in all fifty states and Canada, says despite a recent downward trend, a sudden jump in wholesale prices on Monday and Tuesday of this week is expected to drive up the cost of a gallon of gas this holiday weekend.
A Brooksville family of eight is thankful for a sturdy house, after storm driven winds downed a large maple tree on their residence Monday night. Coletta and Charlie Tolley have been living in the home on Kentucky 10 near Bracken County High school for six years without incident, said Coletta Tolley. They live there with their son and daughter and four grandchildren and are now looking for temporary shelter until the tree can be removed.
Kentucky’s system for tracking prescription drug sales is “forward leaning” but it’s not enough to curb abuse. That’s according to U.S. Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske.Speaking to the Senate Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, Kerlikowske said the system, known as KASPER, and similar initiatives in other states work well, but they need to work together.