Owensboro Municipal Utilities

Owensboro Municipal Utilities is switching to a different source of energy after more than 100 years of burning coal.

There’s a lot of talk - and hope - among some Kentucky residents that coal will make a comeback. But Owensboro Municipal Utilities says it’s seen the writing on the wall and coal will be completely phased over the next six years. 

Sonya Dixon is a spokeswoman for OMU.

“This is a monumental change in the way that OMU has done business. You know, we have burned coal for the last 117 years and obviously, this is a shift, but we feel it’s a positive one in the best interest of our customers.” 

A former Barren county dentist is headed to prison for illegally obtaining prescription drugs for his personal use.  Dr. Chris Steward was sentenced Monday in federal court in Bowling Green. 

U.S. District Judge Greg Stivers handed Steward an 18-month prison term.  According to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Kentucky, Steward was charged with obtaining controlled substances by fraud, for knowingly and intentionally distributing and dispensing controlled substances outside the course of professional medical practice, and health care fraud while he was a practicing physician.

Prosecutors say the former Cave City dentist and nurse practitioner pleaded guilty to conspiring with patients to obtain pain and anti-anxiety drugs. 

Bowling Green Police Dept.

Bowling Green Police are continuing to search for three suspects involved in shooting a man to death during a robbery at a grocery store.

The fatal shooting happened at La Placita market on Morgantown Road at about 3 p.m. on March 17.

Thirty-one-year-old Jose Cruz died of a gunshot wound and one woman was injured, but police have not released her name.

The two suspects who entered the store are described as short Hispanic men in their late 20s and early 30s.

One was wearing a camouflage hooded jack and the other had on a dark hooded jacket with the logo H2L on the back. Those two, along with a third man, fled the scene in a dark-colored sedan.

Law enforcement is asking anyone who may have information about the incident to call Bowling Green Police at 270-393-4000.

Flickr/Creative Commons/David Duran

A case of avian influenza has been detected in a commercial poultry flock in western Kentucky. 

A national veterinary lab confirmed the presence of H7N9, a low pathogenic avian flu.  The virus was detected last week at a Christian County commercial poultry operation during a routine pre-slaughter test. 

State Veterinarian Robert Stout says there were no clinical signs of disease in the birds.  The affected area is under quarantine and the flock of about 22,000 hens was euthanized as a precaution.  Flocks within a six-mile radius of the farm are also under surveillance. 

Miners' Message To Trump: Protect Our Benefits

Mar 20, 2017
Becca Schimmel

President Donald Trump’s campaign-style rally in Louisville got the attention of some retired coal miners in the region. They’re particularly worried about being able to afford health insurance on a new plan.

Retired union miners have been traveling to Washington to urge passage of The Miner’s Protection Act, which would secure their health and pension benefits. More than 22,000 coal retirees and beneficiaries could lose their benefits at the end of April if congress doesn’t act. They’ve requested a meeting with President Trump. Retired miner Steve Earle said there are a few things he’d like to say to the president.


Todd Lappin via Flickr

Note: Some readers may find this subject matter disturbing.

When Beth Jacobs was 16 years old, she needed a ride home. She had missed her bus after work again after promising her father she was responsible enough not to make it a habit. She asked a man she thought was a friend to give her a lift. He offered her a drink from his car’s cup holder. She took a sip and woke up in a parking lot hours later.

“And he was like, ‘Baby do you know what I am?’” Jacobs recalled decades later. “He said, ‘I'm a pimp.’ I reached for the door, and he grabbed my hair and he said, ‘I own you now.’”

The pimp told Jacobs if she didn’t cooperate he would kill her and her father. Jacobs believed him. “He had taken me home before, he knew where I lived.”

Wikimedia Commons

Kentucky has ranked first in the country in deaths from lung cancer for years, and about a third of those deaths were related to smoking, according to a 2016 study released by the American Cancer Society.

A lot of public attention is now focused on overdose deaths from heroin and other drugs, but studies show deaths from lung cancer and other smoking-related cancers were three times as high as deaths from overdoses in 2015.

I spoke with Heather Wehrheim, advocacy director of the American Lung Association in Kentucky. She says addressing the public health effects of tobacco use should be more of a priority for not only the state, but also the public.

J. Tyler Franklin, WFPL News

President Donald Trump will host a rally at Freedom Hall in Louisville Monday.

The event comes as the White House continues to pitch the Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

A Gallup poll released over the weekend shows the president’s approval rating hitting a new low. According to the poll of 1,500 adults across the country, 37 percent approve of the job Trump is doing as president compared to 58 percent who disapprove.

Concerns over the repeal and replace plan have mounted after the Congressional Budget Office predicted that 24 million people would lose health coverage over the next decade under the proposal.

J. Tyler Franklin

With the General Assembly on break for a 10-day “veto period,” Gov. Matt Bevin has begun signing a flurry of bills into law.

Among new laws that will take effect July 1 are a requirement that malpractice claims be evaluated by a “medical review panel” before they head to court; legislation clarifying that religious expression is allowed in public schools; and a measure allowing veterans who meet certain criteria to obtain teaching certificates without taking a test.

Bevin has signed 24 bills into law so far this year, 11 of which were approved Thursday.

Here are some of the new laws:

Owensboro Public Schools

Owensboro Public Schools would be hit with a cut of $1 million  a year if the proposed federal budget is approved.

Nick Brake, Superintendent of Owensboro Public Schools, was in Washington, D.C. during this past week meeting with the region’s Congressional delegation. He said he urged legislators to maintain critical funding for education. 

“We’re deeply concerned that this first budget proposal from the new administration doesn’t seem to prioritize an investment in education at all. In fact, it’s a devastating cut to education and that’s why I spent some time in Washington, D.C. this week to express my concern about this very issue.”

Brake said the proposed budget cuts would dramatically impact programs for disadvantaged students and those with disabilities.


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Cheryl Beckley

Photo Gallery: Caroline Spence and Eva Ross Play LRS LIVE!

Americana artist Caroline Spence and singer-songwriter Eva Ross played Lost River Sessions LIVE! on Thursday night at the Capitol Arts Center in downtown Bowling Green. Lost River Sessions LIVE! is made possible by Mike Simpson, the Bowling Green Convention & Visitors Bureau and WKU Public Broadcasting.

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