Daviess County Judge-Executive Al Mattingly on proposed trail
Leaders in five Kentucky counties are gauging public support for an 80 mile trail that could be used for hiking, biking, and horseback riding.
The proposed trail would begin in Audobon State Park in Henderson County, and run through Daviess, Ohio, and Grayson counties before ending at Rough River Dam State Resort Park in Breckinridge County.
Daviess County Judge-Executive Al Mattingly told WKU Public Radio that local leaders are taking the idea to the public.
"All the county judges and mayors are going back to their communities to set up meetings where they can gauge the support in their communities,” Mattingly said. “We've kinda formed a loose coalition of the counties involved, so that we can apply for a federal grant."
Mattingly says the federal grant would fund a study that would look at the direction the trail would follow.
The Daviess County Judge-Executive cautions that it would take decades to plan and create an 80 mile trail. Mattingly says it took 25 years to finish the 15 mile greenbelt that rings Owensboro.
A Tennessee-based company that provides online services for fans of bluegrass music is establishing a presence in Daviess County.
Terry Herd, co-founder of Nashville-based Bluegrass Today, told the Messenger-Inquirer that the decision indicates how significant Owensboro, Ky., is in the bluegrass music industry.
The city is home to the International Bluegrass Museum and hosts the annual ROMP: Bluegrass Roots and Branches Festival, which was named the "event of the year" in 2012 by the International Bluegrass Music Association.
Bluegrass Today, which launched about two years ago, includes news, airplay charts, forums and directories for fans.
The company said Sean Dysinger will head up its presence in Owensboro.
The new Owensboro Convention Center opens for business Wednesday as the Ag Expo begins. The city also has grand opening festivities slated for this weekend.
Work began on the 170,000 square foot, $40-million dollar facility in March 2012. Owensboro Mayor Ron Payne says the finished product is impressive.
“You go in and the lobby is 60 feet high and you have a lot of lot of unique artwork in there and two huge ballrooms up on the third floor. Off those ballrooms to the north and you have a balcony overlooking the Ohio River,” said Payne.
Payne says despite the facility’s size, it will be able to play host to events large and small.
“The exhibit hall can actually be separated into three separate exhibit halls if you want to do it," said Payne. "Or you can take the panels and open up the entire thing. So, lots of versatility which gives you a lot of options.”
Kentucky’s newest House member was sworn into office Tuesday on the opening day of the 2014 General Assembly session.
Representative Suzanne Miles of Owensboro was also appointed to serve on the House Agriculture, Judiciary, and State Government Committees.
“I’m excited about serving on these committees, and hope to utilize my background as a small business owner, an advocate for our farming community, and my passion for government to help move our Commonwealth forward,” said Rep. Miles.
Miles, a Republican, won a special election in December to serve the remaining term of former Representative John Arnold.
Miles' victory eroded the Kentucky Democratic Party’s margin of control in the House. The Democrats now have 54 seats against the Republicans’ 46.
For five days in October a group made up of both student and professional photojournalists made their way to Owensboro to find interesting people and stories that could be told through still and video images.
WKU Photojournalist-in-Residence Josh Meltzer, who helps direct the Mountain Workshops, met WKU Public Radio’s Kevin Willis at the gallery to talk about how some of the images came to life.
Transportation officials say they won’t hit the Nov. 15 target date for re-opening the “Blue Bridge” in downtown Owensboro. But Kevin McClearn with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says the extra work this month will reduce the number of traffic disruptions next year.
Crews have been re-painting the bridge and repairing beams, joints and concrete on older sections of the bridge deck. No timeline was announced for re-opening the bridge, but crews are expected to continue working for a “few more weeks”, trying to take advantage of milder weather.
The bridge has been closed since mid-May. When open, an average of 8,500 cross the Blue Bridge each day.
Kevin's audio feature about the 8th annual Bill Monroe Style Mandolin Camp in Owensboro
On an unseasonably cool Friday afternoon in Owensboro recently, the sounds of an unusual summer camp were being heard in the city's downtown.
About 50 campers from across the country--and some from other countries--were in Daviess County to learn the finer points of one of the great instruments of bluegrass music during the eighth annual Bill Monroe Style Mandolin Camp.
Held at the International Bluegrass Music Museum, the camp is a three-day affair focusing exclusively on the instrument Bill Monroe played as he gained the reputation of being the "Father of Bluegrass Music."
"This is the only camp that I know of that specializes specifically on mandolin style. And it's no other instruments--it's all mandolin players, all Bill Monroe, all the time," says Mike Compton, the camp's director.
Compton is a Mississippi native who now lives in Nashville. He says it's an honor to be a part of a camp that pays tribute to an American musical genius.
Even those who don't consider themselves bluegrass fans are likely familiar with the name Bill Monroe. The Rosine, Kentucky, native gained acclaim for his technical wizardry on the mandolin, inspiring legions of fans throughout the U.S. and beyond.
A spectator has been killed and two others injured during a crash at a raceway in western Kentucky.
Daviess County Coroner Jeff Jones told the Messenger-Inquirer that 21-year-old Ryan Peters died Sunday night from injuries suffered when a car hit him after crashing at the Windy Hollow Raceway. Jones said several spectators in the pit area were struck.
Two others were taken to Owensboro Health Regional Hospital with injuries, but information on their conditions hasn't been released.
The Daviess County Sheriff's Department said emergency crews were called to the track after two cars apparently crashed and one hit the wall in a turn before striking spectators in the pit.
The Sheriff's Department is investigating the incident.
The repainting of Owensboro's "Blue Bridge" is running ahead of schedule. Kentucky Transportation Cabinet spokesman Keith Todd says the original plan called for the bridge to be closed until late this year to allow painting to be completed on the main truss of the span, which connects Daviess County to southern Indiana.
"We think we'll be finished with the main truss around the middle of next week," Todd told WKU Public Radio Friday. "That will allow them to turn around and then begin painting the approach spans."
Todd says two full work crews have worked a combined twelve hours a day, seven days a week throughout the summer to get the main bulk of the work done on the span officially known as the Glover H. Cary bridge.
The contractor is hoping to have the approach spans painted before November 15th, when the bridge is set to re-open. An estimated 8,500 vehicles cross the Owensboro Blue Bridge daily.