Bowling Green, KY – Officials in South Central Kentucky are celebrating the newly-built interstate interchange at I-65 and Cemetary Road in Bowling Green. The project was completed in December, but local officials decided to wait until the landscaping was complete to hold the ribbon cuttin ceremony. The project is valued at 12.5 million dollars.
Bowling Green, Kentucky – Western Kentucky University officials say Pellville, Kentucky freshman "Katie" Autry has died as the result of injuries she suffered in a May 4 residence hall fire. Autry had been treated at Vanderbilt University Hospital after being critically burned in the Sunday morning incident.
Officials at Western say that the investigation into the suspicious fire is continuing. WKU Police Chief Bob Deane says investigators have concluded that the fire, which was extinguished by residence hall sprinklers, was set intentionally.
Frankfort, Kentucky – The Kentucky Supreme Court has cleared the way for Congressman Ernie Fletcher to stay on the ballot for the May 20th gubernatorial primary. Fletcher's original running mate, Hunter Bates, had been declared ineligible by a lower court, because he failed to meet residency requirements to run for Lieutenant Governor. However, the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled that the ineligibility of his running mate did not make Fletcher's candidacy ineligible. Fletcher is involved in a four way race in the Republican gubernatorial primary.
Bowling Green, Kentucky – The investigation into a fire in Hugh Poland Hall, a nine-story co-ed residence hall is continuing. Melissa K. Autry, a freshman from Pellville, Kentucky, was injured in a fire in her room at about 4 AM. The fire was extinguished by the hall's sprinkler system. She was rescued by Bowling Green firefighters and taken to the Medical Center at Bowling Green. She was then transferred to Vanderbilt University Hospital. Autry was admitted to the hospital's burn unit in critical condition.
Nashville, Tennessee – A Nashville judge has set a date in December for an appeal hearing in one of Paul Denis Reid's three murder cases. Reid was within 4 hours of being executed when he decided to resume his appeals Monday night. In the last minute appeal Reid signed, there's a claim that prosecutors didn't disclose "favorable" evidence that would exonerate him in seven murders of fast food workers in 1997.
Fort Campbell, Kentucky – An officer with a Fort Campbell based special operations unit will receive one of the highest military honors for helping put down a Taliban prisoner uprising in Afghanistan. The unnamed officer has been approved to receive the Distinguished Service Cross. His name is not being released because he is still deployed overseas.
Washington, DC – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee has approved an energy bill that includes a clean coal initiative written by Kentucky's Jim Bunning. The Republican's proposal would authorize nearly two billion dollars over ten years for the Department of Energy to carry out activities under the Clean Coal Power Initiative. The program is a cost-shared partnership between the government and industry where the D.O.E. may provide up to 50% in financial assistance to projects that increase investment in clean coal technologies.
Bowling Green, Kentucky – Western Kentucky University's Nursing Program has received a gift of $475,000 from Greenview Regional Hospital. University officials say the funding will be used to establish new scholarships for nursing students and to enhance faculty training and recruitment. University President Gary Ransdell says the program is a "perfect example" of public/private partnerships in higher education.
Frankfort, Kentucky – Tom Layzell has officially started his new job as president of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. Layzell held similar positions in Mississippi and Illinois before coming to Kentucky. The CPE coordinates change and improvement in Kentucky's colleges and universities.
Frankfort, Kentucky – Officials with the Kentucky Department of Public Health have reported the second suspected case of severe acute respiratory syndrome in the state. The patient is now recovering at home, after being hospitalized in isolation for several days. The unidentified patient lives in Western Kentucky and poses no risk to others, according to officials.