Daviess County has the largest caseload of any county in Kentucky without a family court. The Kentucky Supreme Court last year certified the need for two family court positions in Daviess County, but budget constraints have delayed any action.
"The money has not been allocated,” says Kentucky Supreme Court Chief Justice John Minton, Jr. “The budgets have been so strained in the last few years that expansion of any sort has been put on hold. I've not met any resistance from legislators in terms of the need, it's just a matter of the funding."
Minton says family judgeships could possibly be created without additional state appropriations. He says when a judge retires in one part of the state, that judgeship could be moved to a county in need of a family court. The retiring judge would not be replaced if he or she had a small caseload. The Administrative Office of the Courts can decertify a judgeship if deemed no longer necessary because of declining caseloads.
"There are places where the populations and caseloads have grown and there are places where the populations and caseloads have shrunk over time," says Minton. "It's been several generations since we have addressed the deployment of judicial resources around the state, so it needs another look."
The long-term transit needs in Owensboro will be the subject of a final report issued next week at City Hall.
The Corradino Group will present its final report on the study which makes proposals to improve Owensboro’s transit options. The Messenger-Inquirer reports a public hearing will be held Thursday, August 1, where Owensboro residents can comment on the study’s findings.
Owensboro transit manager Michael Hughes has said the study will recommend that the city’s transit system expand to eight routes from six, with all routes taking no longer than half-an-hour to complete. The study is also expected to call for the city’s bus system to expand its coverage area and include new transfer points that would allow riders to reach their destinations more efficiently.
The public hearing on the transit plan is August 1 at 11 a.m. in Owensboro’s City Hall.
A one-room schoolhouse in Owensboro has been added to a national database of schools built for black children in the early 20th century.
The schoolhouse is in Pioneer Village at Yellow Creek Park. It was one of 5,357 public schools, manual training shops and teacher cottages built in the South with grants from the Rosenwald Fund between 1912 and 1932.
A total of 158 of them were built in 41 Kentucky counties.
Fisk University in Nashville maintains a database of Rosenwald Schools around the country.
Friends of Pioneer Village Executive Director Sean Dysinger told the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer the head of the project at Fisk thought the Owensboro school had been torn down, which is why it wasn't included on the list until now.
Owensboro's Independence Day fireworks show will be held in November.
The event was canceled last week due to the rainy weather. Owensboro Mayor Ron Payne announced Thursday morning that the show will be held Nov. 9, in conjuction with Veteran's Day. Special recognition will be given to Korean War veterans on the 60th anniversary of that war.
City leaders also considered having the fireworks show during New Year's Eve, or during the grand opening of the new downtown convention center.
Payne says the city is leaning toward holding the fireworks show as part of the grand opening of the convention center. The official completion date of the convention center is Jan. 27, although an earlier opening date has not been ruled out.
If the fireworks are held on New Year's Eve, it will be a revival of the First Night celebrations in the city.
Payne said he wasn't sure if the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra will be involved with the fireworks show.
A former chairman of the International Bluegrass Music Museum’s board believes attendance to last week’s River of Music Party will approach 25,000. That would be up from last year’s ROMP attendance of 21,000.
Terry Woodward told the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer that he didn’t hear a single negative comment about the bluegrass music festival at Yellow Creek Park, adding that he couldn’t “imagine it being any better than this.”
ROMP was named the event of the year for 2012 by the International Bluegrass Music Association.
A truck crash at the Natcher Parkway/US 60 Interchange in Owensboro will require some of the ramps to be closed for most of Friday.
The northbound Natcher to westbound US 60 ramp and eastboud US 60 ramp to southbound Natcher will be closed to allow recovery of the truck.
Motorists may use the remaining open ramps to maneuver around this crash site. Caution is required due to emergency personnel in the area.
Due to spilled fuel, damage to guardrail, and the need for emergency personnel to continue their work at the crash site, these ramps are expected to remain closed most of the day for clean up and repair work.
Kevin's interview with Owensboro Health's Gordon Wilkerson
It's the last week of preparations before Saturday's official opening of the new Owensboro Health Regional Hospital. The 447-bed facility sits on 162 acres of land in eastern Owensboro, and is opening this weekend after three years of construction.
Owensboro Health spokesman Gordon Wilkerson says the hospital has been trying to make the transition as painless as possible.
"We'll be identifying patients who will still be in the hospital Saturday morning and who will need to be moved to the new facility. And we're working closely with their family members to ensure they have at least one family member present during the move," said Wilkerson.
The final price tag for the new hospital on Pleasant Valley drive was $385 million, and was paid for by a bond issue in 2010. Wilkerson said the costs associated with the new facility will not lead to increased care costs for patients.