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Regional
3:45 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Nearly Two Months Later, Final Corvette Pulled From Sinkhole

The 2001 Mallett Hammer Z06 was one of two Corvettes that's whereabouts were initially unknown after the sinkhole occurred.
Credit National Corvette Museum

The last Corvette remaining in the giant, 50-foot sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green has been removed. 

Crews pulled up the badly-crushed,  2001 Mallett Hammer Z-06 using a crane Wednesday afternoon.

"You would think there would be tears of happiness to pull the last one out, but it's not even recognizable, so I think that created a somber mood among everybody," said the museum's Communications Director Katie Frassinelli.  "You usually save the best for last, but in this case, it was definitely the worst."

The Mallett Hammer was one of two Corvettes that had not been seen since the February 12th sinkhole collapse. 

The car was donated to the museum last December by a Florida couple who modified it into a racing car.  The Mallett Hammer was supposed to be used at the new Motorsports Park.

All eight cars will be on display at the museum through early August. They will then be shipped to Michigan for restoration. 

It took nearly two months to unearth all eight vintage automobiles. 

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Environment
3:42 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Beshear Awards $100,000 State Grant to Glasgow Project Designed to Convert Methane into Energy

The city of Glasgow has taken another step toward limiting the impact of methane gas released from its landfill.

Governor Steve Beshear was in Barren County Wednesday to present Glasgow city leaders with a $100,000 grant from the state to pursue a landfill gas generation project.

Currently, methane emitted from garbage at local landfills is vented into the atmosphere. Under the new plan, methane would be piped into a generator and converted into electricity.

“This methane gas to electricity process is something we need to do more of in this country," Beshear said. "And to take refuge in a landfill, and take the methane gas off of that and turn it into electricity and put it on the grid so that people can use it--it saves us all money, it saves the environment.”

Glasgow mayor Rhonda Trautman says the city is acting now to avoid problems later.

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Regional
2:47 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Ethics Bill Containing Mandatory Sexual Harassment Training For Lawmakers Clears Legislature

An amendment to the ethics bill made by Rep. Brent Yonts of Greenville (right) would require sexual harassment training for lawmakers
Credit Kentucky LRC

Legislation that would make sexual harassment training mandatory for state lawmakers is on its way to the governor’s desk.

When formal ethics charges were filed against former Rep. John Arnold accusing him of sexually harassing three women working in the state legislature, lawmakers were up in arms about addressing the issue of workplace harassment in the Capitol.

The Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission found Arnold not guilty of the harassment charges this week, prompting critics to question if anything could be done.

But an amended bill filed by Greenville Rep. Brent Yonts would address those issues by making sexual harassment training mandatory for state lawmakers. Currently, lawmakers do not have to take such training.

The bill currently awaits Gov. Steve Beshear’s signature.

Business
11:11 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Mayor: City Finances Will Suffer Under Jamestown Plant Closure

The mayor of Jamestown says state officials have begun reaching out to the 600 Fruit of the Loom workers whose jobs will be lost later this year. 

The apparel company announced last week that it would move operations overseas and layoffs would occur in phases starting in June. 

Mayor Terry Lawless hopes another manufacturer will come to Jamestown.

"It would thrill me to death that when they leave that the doors open for someone else to be in there and revenue starts picking right up, but we have to be realistic too," acknowledged Lawless.  "That probably won't happen right away, but we've got our hopes it will eventually."

The city of Jamestown receives $200,000 a year in occupational taxes from plant employees.

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Health
10:44 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Kentucky Health Commissioner Pleased with Insurance Sign-Ups by Young Invincibles

In a speech to WKU students, Dr. Stephanie Mayfield, Kentucky's Commissioner for Public Health, spoke of the recently-concluded enrollment period for health insurance.
Credit Lisa Autry

Kentucky’s public health commissioner is encouraged by the number of young adults who enrolled in health insurance on Kynect, the state’s online health exchange. 

Fifty percent of new enrollees were under the age of 35, which Dr. Stephanie Mayfield says should mean cost savings.

"You would think this would be a healthier population who would be accessing the system for preventive measures and not as many chronic diseases," explained Mayfield.  "It's an opportunity to intervene in the still relatively early years and have less of a financial impact on the system."

Dr. Mayfield spoke Tuesday at WKU about Kentucky’s health challenges. 

The state has several initiatives underway that include reducing the rates of smoking, obesity, and cancer deaths, all by 2019.

Business & Labor
10:17 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Bowling Green Corvette Plant Workers Authorize Strike Over Safety Issues

Workers at the GM Corvette Assembly plant in Bowling Green could go on strike following a Tuesday vote.
Credit GM

Workers at the General Motors plant in Kentucky that assembles Corvettes have voted to authorize a strike over lingering safety concerns. But a local union leader says he hopes the dispute can be resolved without a walkout.

Union members voted to give union leaders the green light to call a strike if necessary. About 800 union workers were eligible to cast ballots.

Eldon Renaud, president of United Auto Workers Local 2164, says the issues involved include safety and quality control.

He says there have been several "near misses" that could have led to serious injuries for assembly line workers at the Bowling Green plant.

Renaud says he hopes the strike-authorization vote leads to stepped up negotiations.

The plant says worker safety and quality of its products are at the forefront of every decision. It says it's confident management and the union can work together.

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Politics
3:59 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

No Punishment for Former Kentucky Lawmaker Accused of Sexual Harassment

Former Kentucky House member John Arnold
Credit Jonathan Meador, Kentucky Public Radio

Former state Representative John Arnold will not be punished for charges that he sexually harassed three state employees over four years.

A majority of the Legislative Ethics Commission voted to find Arnold guilty of violating state ethics laws by abusing his position as a public official. But Commissioner Elmer George voted no because he did not believe the commission had the authority to punish Arnold because Arnold is no longer a member of the General Assembly.

Elmer's vote meant each of Arnold's counts failed with a 4-1 vote. State law requires the commission to have five votes before it can fine or sanction someone.

Three state workers told the ethics panel that Arnold touched them inappropriately and made them afraid to come to work.

Photo Gallery
1:36 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Photo Gallery: Sexual Assault Awareness Month at WKU

WKU freshman Iesha Sanchez marches with her friends from Gilbert Hall during Take Back the Night in downtown Bowling Green on Thursday, March 27, 2014.

The WKU Counseling and Testing Center hosted several events in March for Sexual Assault Awareness month.

Although some events were canceled or cut short due to inclement weather, supporters still came out for events like Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, The Vagina Monologues, and Take Back the Night. On March 18, dozens of collegiate and faculty men donned high heels as they took a mile-long stroll around the WKU campus to bring awareness to sexual assault. On March 27, hundreds of supporters from WKU and the Bowling Green community gathered at the Warren County Justice Center to sing and chant and march around downtown to promote safety on the streets of Bowling Green for women, and everyone, especially at night.

Photojournalist Abbey Oldham documented some of the events, and you see those images in the photo slideshow above.

Regional
11:34 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Tennessee Man Accused in Package-Bomb Deaths Gets October Trial

A Lebanon man charged with murder in the package-bomb deaths of his in-laws has an Oct. 28 trial date.

Wilson County Circuit Court Judge John Wootten set the date during a Tuesday hearing. Wootten said he wanted to set an early date because Richard Parker is awaiting the trial in jail, unable to make his $1 million bond.

Parker is the son-in-law of Jon and Marion Setzer, and he lived directly behind them in rural Wilson County.
 
A package bomb exploded at the Setzers' house on Feb. 10, killing 74-year-old Jon Setzer, a retired lawyer. Seventy-two-year-old Marion Setzer later died at a Nashville hospital from her injuries.

Parker's pastor, Kevin Ulmet, has said that before Parker's arrest, he sat for hours at Marion Setzer's bedside, along with her children.

Business
5:13 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Beshear: Kentucky Can Become Next Automotive Powerhouse

Kentucky is home to several car manufacturing facilities, including the Toyota plant in Georgetown.
Credit Toyota

Gov. Steve Beshear said Monday he wants Kentucky to be as synonymous with the auto industry as Detroit.

The Democratic governor announced the formation of the Kentucky Automotive Industry Association to promote Kentucky as an automotive hub.

Beshear emphasized the association is not a state agency, but it will get some state money for marketing purposes. Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Larry Hayes will be the group's chairman.

Board members include representatives from Toyota, Ford, General Motors and various automotive supply companies.

Beshear said Kentucky ranks third in the country in light vehicle production. Kentucky's automotive exports reached a record $5.5 billion last year.

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