Regional
1:36 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Crews Set to Inspect Lights Atop Owensboro Bridge

The lights atop the Cary Bridge in Owensboro have been out since the bridge was closed for re-painting in 2013
Credit Emil Moffatt

An electrical engineering firm is set to inspect the 112 lights atop the Glover H. Cary Bridge in downtown Owensboro.  That means drivers should expect delays all of next week, beginning Monday. 

The Messenger-Inquirer reports the lights on the top of the bridge haven’t been turned back on since the bridge was closed for re-painting in the spring of 2013.  The bridge re-opened in November, but the lights remain off, pending inspection to make sure they meet current National Electrical Code standards.

The traffic lanes on the bridge are illuminated by street lamps.

Politics
11:23 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Senate Panel Questions Bowling Green Attorney Nominated for Federal Judgeship

Bowling Green Attorney Greg Stivers is a nominee for a federal judgeship in the Western District of Kentucky.
Credit Kerrick Bachert Stivers, Attorneys at Law

Bowling Green Attorney Greg Stivers is in line to become a U.S. District Court Judge for the Western District of Kentucky.  On Tuesday, he appeared before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee where he was introduced to by Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.

"I've known Greg Stivers for over 20 years as a friend, neighbor, and father," stated Paul.  "He's respected in the community, he has wisdom, a sense of justice, and a fidelity to the rule of law."

In questioning from the committee, Stivers was asked what makes him most qualified to become a federal judge.

"I would say my best qualification is the fact that I have tried cases in front of judges and juries for the last 29 years, and through each of those cases, you learn a little bit from the way judges handle things," Stivers remarked.

When asked what he would have changed concerning his legal experience, Stivers acknowledged having no experience in criminal law. 

Stivers is a partner in the Bowling Green law firm of Kerrick, Bachert, and Stivers.  He specializes in business and employment law and has represented the city of Bowling Green and WKU. 

President Obama nominated Stivers to the federal bench, as well as David Hale, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky.  The nominees must be confirmed by the full Senate.

Politics
8:25 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Senate Panel to Hold Hearing for Kentucky Judicial Nominees

Bowling Green Attorney Greg Stivers is a nominee for a federal judgeship in the Western District of Kentucky.
Credit Kerrick Bachert Stivers, Attorneys at Law

Two attorneys from Kentucky nominated for positions on the federal bench are set for a hearing before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.

U.S. Attorney David J. Hale and Bowling Green lawyer Greg N. Stivers have been tapped to fill two vacancies in the U.S. District Court.

The committee has scheduled their hearings for 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in Washington, D.C. U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., will preside over the hearing.

Hale has been U.S. attorney for the Western District of Kentucky since 2010. He previously practiced law in Louisville and was an assistant U.S. attorney.

Stivers has practiced in Bowling Green since 1985.

The American Bar Association has given both men a rating of "unanimously qualified."

Education
5:48 am
Tue July 29, 2014

WKU Collaborating on Space Project

Credit Abbey Oldham/WKU Public Radio

Kentucky scientists and engineers are collaborating on a project involving research aboard the international space station.

The University of Louisville says a NASA grant is making possible the joint project with scientists and engineers from the University of Kentucky and WKU.

The research involves experiments on colloids, mixtures of microscopic particles suspended throughout a substance. U of L mechanical engineering assistant professor Stuart Williams says the space station setting will help scientists explore how particles interact in zero gravity. U of L says results may include advances in solar energy, advanced manufacturing and other fields.

Williams is the principle scientific investigator. UK's Suzanne Smith is the managing principle investigator. Also involved are U of L's Gerold Willing, WKU's Hemali Rathnayake, UK's Janet Lumpp and NASA partner Ronald Sicker.

Politics
5:26 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Grimes Says Clinton Will Now Make Two Appearances With Her

Former President Bill Clinton will appear twice next week with Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes.

Grimes' campaign already announced that Clinton would join her at a rally in eastern Kentucky but didn't announce where. Now, the campaign says he'll be at events in Lexington and Hazard on Wednesday.

Clinton, who twice carried Kentucky as a presidential candidate, appeared at a campaign event with Grimes in Louisville in February.

Grimes, who's trying to unseat senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, is the daughter of longtime Clinton friend Jerry Lundergan. She's in her first term as Kentucky's Secretary of State.

Politics
6:45 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Owensboro's Political Picnic Lineup Taking Shape

The Red, White & Blue Picnic takes place Aug. 26 in Owensboro
Credit Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce

One of the candidates in the highly-contested Kentucky U.S. Senate race has agreed to take part in an event in Owensboro next month.  

Incumbent Senator Mitch McConnell confirmed he will appear at the Red, White & Blue Picnic on Aug. 26.  The event is sponsored by the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce. McConnell’s Democratic challenger Allison Lundergan Grimes has not said whether she’ll attend. 

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Politics
6:09 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Kentucky Senate Race Remains Tight, But McConnell Takes Small Lead

Credit Offices of Sen. McConnell and Sec. Grimes

With just over three months to go until Election Day, Republican Senator Mitch McConnell has a slim, two percentage-point lead over Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes. 

The figure comes from a new Bluegrass Poll released Monday evening, showing the five-term Senator leading 47 percent to 45 percent.  The poll has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3.7 percentage points and was conducted between July 18th and 23rd. In previous polls, Grimes had a four-point lead over McConnell in February.  That lead shrank to one point in May.

The Bluegrass Poll is conducted for the Courier-Journal and Herald-Leader as well as television stations WHAS and WKYT. 

Politics
5:38 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Whitfield Denies Accusations of Ethics Violations, and Says Nothing Wrong with '02 Property Purchase

U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield, Kentuck's 1st District Congressman
Credit Office of Rep. Whitfield

Kentucky’s First District Congressman is defending himself against allegations related to a House ethics investigation. While the committee looking into the matter doesn’t comment publicly about what it’s investigating, Hopkinsville Republican Ed Whitfield addressed the issue on a teleconference with reporters Monday.

Whitfield said the complaint alleges that his wife—who is lobbyist for the U.S. Humane Society Legislative Fund—improperly lobbied him on behalf of legislation he is sponsoring related to show horses. Whitfield’s bill would strengthen the Horse Protection Act and seek the elimination of a practice known as “soring”, where chains and pads are used to conceal irritants that result in horses achieving a high-stepping gait desired in some competitions.

Whitfield denied allegations in the ethics complaint that he only became interested in the issue after his wife began working with the Humane Society in 2011.

“I first started writing letters about the soring issue with Tennessee Walking Horses back in 2004. And I wrote a letter in 2010 before she was ever involved,” Whitfield told reporters.

Whitfield says the ethics complaint was brought by individuals in the performance horse industry who defend the practice of soring.

During his teleconference, the Hopkinsville Congressman also denied allegations in a recent report that he has maintained an improper business relationship with a nationally known lobbyist.

The report by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting showed Whitfield and the lobbyist bought property in the West Virginia resort known as The Greenbrier. The reporter behind the investigation, R.G. Dunlop, joined the teleconference to ask Whitfield questions about the 2002 property purchase.

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Environment
3:16 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Kentuckians From Both Sides Plan Trip To Atlanta For EPA Hearing on Coal

Coal-fired power plant in Drakesboro
Credit TVA

The Environmental Protection Agency will hold hearings this week on proposed regulations to limit the carbon dioxide coal-fired power plants can emit. Environmental activists and coal industry supporters are both traveling from Kentucky to Atlanta this week for the federal hearing.

The EPA’s rule would cut carbon dioxide emissions nationwide. The proposal sets emissions goals for each state, and leaves it up to individual states to decide how to achieve those goals.  But before the rule is finalized, there are months of public comment. People can submit comments in writing, or make public statements at one of the four hearings happening this week. But Bill Bissett of the Kentucky Coal Association says it’s worth it to many to make the trek.

“I think the difference is, you can send a letter, you can send an email, but I think it’s important, one, that the people on the other side of this issue hear what we have to say as people who support coal,” said Bissett.  “But I think also, we need to hear what they have to say. To me, it’s a very democratic principle of this country, to be heard publicly."

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Politics
1:19 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Fancy Farm Chairman Thinks 2014 Edition Could See Largest Crowd Ever

Will Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer announce a run for the governor's office at Fancy Farm?
Credit Kentucky Dept. of Agriculture

This Saturday the 134th annual Fancy Farm political picnic will feature thousands of pounds of barbecue, and even spicier political rhetoric. In addition, the event’s chairman anticipates this year’s political gathering to be the largest ever.

Mark Wilson and his wife, Lori, have directed the political happenings at the Fancy Farm picnic for the past eight years. Mark anticipates this year’s crowd will be the largest since 1992, when Democratic Vice-Presidential candidate Al Gore spoke at the event. 

“It’s a ballpark, 15 to 20,000. And that’s what we anticipate this year, the same type of crowd. 

A lifelong congregant of the stump speech mecca’s St. Jerome Catholic parish, where the event is held alongside raffles and bingo, Wilson says local and state officeholders, as well as both of Kentucky’s U.S. Senators, will be present at Fancy Farm.

He says he anticipates Kentucky Agricultural Commissioner James Comer to keep with a tried and true Fancy Farm tradition and announce his rumored gubernatorial candidacy. 

“There’s speculation that he’s going to announce his intentions to run for governor on the Republican side of the aisle, and we think there’s a very good possibility he will make that announcement on our political platform on Saturday.”

Wilson says the event will also feature its other signature offering: Several thousand pounds of barbeque mutton, chicken, and pork to aid the digestion of what could be the biggest Fancy Farm ever.

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