Members of the public who would be impacted by a potential rate increase by Big Rivers Electric Corporation have opportunities to speak out this week. The Kentucky Public Service Commission is holding meetings in Owensboro and Henderson, and a chance for Brandenburg residents to link via video conferencing.
The Henderson-based Big Rivers wants approval for a rate adjustment that will raise $74.5 million dollars in increased revenue. The possible 20 percent increase would account for an extra $24 per month for the average customer. Industrial customers would see nearly 17 percent rate increases.
The utility says most of that new revenue is needed to offset the loss of the Century Aluminum smelter in Hawesville, which will cease to be a Big Rivers client in mid-August. Big Rivers provides power to a region extending from Meade County through Owensboro and Henderson and into Paducah in far western Kentucky.
The Public Service Commission will hold two meetings this Thursday for public comments on the proposed rate hike. The first is at South Middle School in Henderson at 1 p.m., and the second will be at the Owensboro Community and Technical College that evening at 5:30.
Big Rivers customers in the Brandenburg area can watch the Owensboro meeting via a video-conference at Meade County High School starting at 6:30 p.m. eastern.
The 20 year old Summit Golf and Country Club is for sale through sealed bid offerings, according to a report by the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer.
The Summit Drive property, which is still in good shape and and still operating, was shown last week to prospective buyers with another preview scheduled for June 26th. The broker for the sale, Hilda Allen, says qualified buyers can submit a sealed bid which will be opened in private with the seller on July 17th. The owner has the right to accept or reject the offers.
A lawsuit filed against TJ Samson Community Hospital in Glasgow seeks to seat a new board of trustees at the hospital.
The Bowling Green Daily-News reports the suit was filed Thursday in Barren Circuit Court by Warren County attorney Alan Simpson. The suit claims that the original agreement incorporating the hospital in 1926 called for a board of trustees to be elected by those who had contributed more than $25 to the establishment of the hospital.
Those suing say a change to the articles of incorporation in 1968 disenfranchised those original shareholders.
An attorney for TJ Samson says the lawsuit is baseless and without merit, adding that the way the governing board is selected has never before been challenged.
A group of Barren County citizens has mobilized to challenge recent changes at the hospital, including a 2011 decision that only one corporate member, TJ Regional Health, would act and vote through its board of directors. The lawsuit says the for-profit TJ Health Partners was later formed and is thought to be a subsidiary of TJ Regional Health.
Many local doctors’ practices have recently been purchased by the Health Partners, a growing trend nationally as the health care environment undergoes fast changes.
Kentucky’s two U.S. Senators are upset that an industrial hemp measure will not be a part of a farm bill taken up next week. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul both say they will vote against the measure, calling it “regrettable” that different amendments including the Senator’s hemp addition won’t be considered.
The amendment supported by the Kentuckians would have exempted hemp with 0.3 percent less of THC from the list of banned drugs prohibited by the federal government. THC is the psychoactive compound present in marijuana that creates a high when the drug is smoked.
In a joint statement, Senators McConnell and Paul said they weren’t giving up on getting industrial hemp legalized, and would look at other ways to get federal law changed.
The actions follow this year’s vote by Kentucky lawmakers to create a regulatory framework for hemp production if the federal government legalizes the crop.
Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer has made hemp legalization his number one legislative priority, and led a bi-partisan group to Washington D.C. in May to lobby lawmakers, White House officials, and others on the issue.
All lanes of I-65 southbound in Bullitt County have been reopened following Thursday morning's wreck involving a semi and a car.
Update at 10:28 a.m.:
I-65 southbound was closed around 8 a.m. at Mile Point 105 in southern Bullitt County due to a crash involving a semi and a car. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says that the middle and right (outside) lanes are currently open, allowing traffic to funnel through at a slow pace.
The left (inside) lane remains closed. Earlier rains have subsided allowing cleanup to progress at a quicker pace.