The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has issued this traffic advisory Friday morning:
The left and the center lanes are closed on northbound I-65 at mile point 108 in Bullitt County due to an overturned tractor-trailer. Kentucky Transportation Cabinet crew members and law enforcement are on the scene trying to clear the crash. Lane closures may last for 2-3 hours. Motorists should expect heavy delays.
A company that aims to manufacture steel tubes for the energy industry is expanding its operations and employment in Hopkinsville.
PTC Seemless Tube Corporation announced Thursday that it plans to create nearly 300 jobs and invest over $100 million in a new manufacturing facility. It’s a return to the Hopkinsville area for the company, which previously closed its Christian County facility in order to move closer to its customer base.
PTC Seemless now says it wants to return to the region by retrofitting and expanding its former facility. The new manufacturing operation will involve 256,000 square feet of building area.
The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority has given preliminary approval for $12 million in tax incentives for the project.
The Louisville Courier-Journal is citing other local judges and political insiders in reporting that Bowling Green attorney Greg Stivers is being considered to fill a vacant federal judgeship in Kentucky.
U.S. Attorney David J. Hale is reportedly also being considered.
The paper says two Warren Circuit Court judges and others have indicated they've been interviewed by the Justice Department as part of the vetting process of Stivers who is outside counsel for Western Kentucky University and a partner in the 14-lawyer Bowling Green firm of Kerrick, Stivers and Coyle. The firm is an underwriter for WKU Public Radio. Federal district judges are paid $174,000 a year and are appointed for life.
Stivers' name is expected to be put forth by Kentucky senator Rand Paul, a neighbor and close friend of Stivers. According to the Warren County Clerk's office, the 53 year old Stivers was a registered Democrat until November 2009 when he switched parties as Paul was mounting his Senate campaign. Paul's Bowling Green Senate office is in a building that also houses Stivers' law firm. Federal records show Stivers contributed $800 to Paul's campaign.
Update at 2:01 p.m. : Cleanup continues on Northbound I-65 in Hart County. The Kentucky Transportation cabinet estimates the work will take another four hours. Detour information below...
Update at 10:33 a.m.:
The closure of the northbound I-65 lanes in Hart County is now expected to last until 6:30 p.m central/ 7:30 eastern time:
Northbound Interstate 65 is now closed at Mile Point 56 in Hart County. A semi crash occurred earlier, initially reducing the interstate to one lane. The vehicle’s cargo includes used batteries. Due to safety concerns, northbound traffic is now being detoured off of I65 at Cave City (Exit 53), onto KY 70 east, to US 31W north, to KY 218 west and rejoin the interstate at Horse Cave (Exit 58).
A study conducted by the University of Kentucky contains mixed results concerning the economic viability of growing hemp. Hemp supporters have been pushing to get the crop legalized at both the state and federal levels, saying it could create thousands of jobs and help boost the bottom lines of farmers.
The UK study says hemp could be a profitable option for some farmers in central Kentucky, but not everywhere.
The Chairman of UK’s agriculture economics department told the Courier-Journal that he didn’t want to portray the study as a “negative outcome”, saying the crop “should be viewed as one more opportunity amid many opportunities for farmers." Leigh Maynard said there would be a big “learning curve” for producers and processes to climb, given that growing hemp in the U.S. has been illegal for decades.
Maynard said it's likely hemp could become a niche crop for some farmers. Hemp seeds can be used to make fuel, foods, and personal care products.
Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer has made hemp legalization his chief legislative priority, and says he’s optimistic about the crop’s future despite the study. According to Comer, it’s difficult to estimate the economic impact of an industry that doesn’t exist.
Bowling Green police continue their search for a suspect following a deadly armed robbery in the city early Monday morning.
The shooting happened just after midnight at the Domino's on Stonehenge Avenue. WBKO-TV is quoting police as saying a black man came in the back door shortly after the store closed at midnight. Witnesses say there was a struggle and a lot of yelling. When police arrived, they say a white man was found shot to death by the side of the building.
His name has not yet been released.
Employees were inside the building during the robbery but there were no other injuries reported.
Police say they're not sure if the suspect took any money. Surveillance video shows the man to be about 6'1" tall but his face was covered.
Governor Beshear is announcing a major Race to the Top educational grant to several Kentucky school district cooperatives. The governor will be joined by state education commissioner Terry Holliday, the leaders of several educational co-ops, the Hart County Schools superintendent, and other education leaders.
A news release issued by the Governor’s office said Beshear will announce in Shelby County Monday morning $41 million in Race to the Top grant money to be shared by Kentucky school district co-ops.
Those groups include the Green River Regional Educational Cooperative, which includes districts across south-central Kentucky, and the Ohio Valley Educational Cooperative, a consortium of school districts in north-central Kentucky.
Twenty-two districts from those two co-ops joined in an application and were awarded one of the nation’s two largest District-Race to the Top grants.
Race to the Top is a federal education program created to spur innovation and reforms in state and local district K through 12 education.
WKU President Gary Ransdell told faculty and staff that it's unlikely that significant new state funding for higher education will come from the next Kentucky budget.
Speaking at Friday's annual convocation, President Ransdell said the recent state funding declines make it all the more important for the school to attract the highest-achieving students possible, and do everything possible to see them through to graduation.
Ransdell said WKU is challenged by a drop in the number of high school graduates in the commonwealth.
"The number of U.S. high-school graduates peaked at 3.4 million in 2010-2011 and is projected to fall to 3.2 million by 2013-14, according to the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. Kentucky is projected to have a 6.1 percent decline in the number of high school graduates by 2020," said Dr. Ransdell.
"An era of aggressive tuition increases and enrollment growth strategies that carried us from 1998 to 2008 cannot serve us well going forward. We have penetrated well the Kentucky market place, but the paradigm has shifted. The numbers in Kentucky just are not there in the future."
The leader of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association says he’s pleased with the job WKU has done in hosting the state football finals. That might quiet any talk about the finals moving from Bowling Green to Louisville.
WKU has hosted the state high school football finals since 2009, and is under contract to remain host through 2014. Before that, the city of Louisville hosted the events stretching back to 1979.
In a text message to a Courier-Journal sports reporter, KHSAA commissioner Julian Tackett said his group is happy with Bowling Green as the location for the football finals, saying WKU’s L.T. Smith Stadium gives fans and player a more intimate setting than the larger Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium in Louisville. Tackett says WKU “appears to maximize all desired factors.”
The U of L Cardinals’ upcoming move to a new athletic conference means the team won’t be playing at home the first weekend in December, the weekend the high school football finals are traditionally held. Because of that availability, some have speculated the KHSAA might consider moving the high school finals back to Louisville.
Kentucky is implementing a statewide screening system for kindergarteners this year. Governor Beshear, First Lady Jane Beshear, and Education Commissioner Terry Holliday made the announcement in Frankfort Thursday.
"As a former teacher, I understand how getting to know a student's needs and abilities early in the school year can make a big difference in helping that child to succeed," said Mrs. Beshear.
Every school district in the state will use the Brigance Kindergarten Screener, a tool used by many states to gauge a child's school readiness. Courtney Daniel in the Governor's Office of Early Childhood says a student cannot fail the screening.
"The screener is a moment in time snapshot of the child's development," Daniel explained. "It's not an entrance exam for kindergarten, and it's not going to be used to track or label children."
The screening system was piloted in 109 Kentucky school districts last year. Data collected from those districts indicate that a majority of children are socially and emotionally ready to enter kindergarten. However, many students did not achieve at high levels in the areas of cognition, language, and motor skills.