Daviess County

Owensboro Health

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.

A Memorial Day ceremony at Fort Knox will honor a Daviess County native who received the military’s highest decoration—the Medal of Honor.

Monday’s ceremony at the Brooks Parade Field at Ft. Knox will honor U.S. military troops, both past and present, for their service. Part of the “past” will be a remembrance of P.F.C. David Paul Nash, a native of the Daviess County town of Whitesville.

As a member of the 9th Infantry Division, the 21-year-old Nash was serving in Dinh Tuong Province in Vietnam. According to his Medal of Honor citation, Nash and three fellow soldiers were on an overnight patrol December 29th, 1968. An enemy grenade exploded near them, wounding two of the soldiers.

Seconds later, a second grenade landed nearby. Nash shouted a warning to his comrades and threw himself on the grenade.

His citation says Nash “saved the lives of the three men in the area at the sacrifice of his life.”

Nash is buried at Saint Mary of the Woods Cemetary in Whitesville, and a section of Highway 54 that runs through the town is named “The David P. “Paulie” Nash Memorial Highway.”

Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corp.

The incoming chief of the Owensboro Public School system says fully-funding pre-Kindergarten programs would be the best education investment state lawmakers could make.

Nick Brake will take over as leader of Owensboro's school system July 1, following seven years with the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation.

He told WKU Public Radio increased pre-K funding is money well spent.

"If you fully fund those programs, not only do you contribute three-to-one to their earnings later, but every dollar you spend there ends up saving the state money on the back end with benefit programs, criminal justice, and other savings," Brake said. "It's a long-term investment and sometimes those are difficult for public policy makers to swallow, but I think it's an investment that needs to be made."

Brake signed a four-year contract Monday to take over as leader of the Owensboro Public School system.

Owensboro Public Schools didn’t have to go far to find the new chief of its city school system. Nick Brake, president and CEO of the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation, has signed a four-year contract to lead Owensboro Public Schools.

The Messenger-Inquirer reports Brake will earn an initial annual salary of $144,000.

Current Owensboro schools superintendent Larry Vick will serve his last day on the job June 30.

A proposed budget for Daviess County includes a $1 million increase in spending on general fund operations, and a two-percent cost of living increase for county employees.

Daviess County Judge-Executive Al Mattingly presented an 87 page document outlining a $23.5 million dollar plan for general fund spending next fiscal year, a nearly 5 percent increase over the current year.

The Messenger-Inquirer reports the new budget keeps property and payroll tax rates at the same levels, and contains one-million-dollars less for the Daviess County Detention Center. The facility has generated more revenue on its one, and that $1 million will instead be freed up for capitol projects.

Mattingly says he’s happy the proposed county budget contains $2.5 million less in overall debt than the current fiscal year, with no new debt taken on next year.

A Daviess County native who is an Alaska-based military policeman will serve 16 years in prison and will be dishonorably discharged for selling secrets to an FBI undercover agent who he believed was a Russian spy, a panel of eight military members decided Monday.

Spec. William Colton Millay of Owensboro, pleaded guilty last month to attempted espionage and other counts.

Military prosecutors painted him as a white supremacist who was fed up with the Army and the United States, and was willing to sell secrets to an enemy agent, even if that would cost fellow soldiers their lives.

Defense attorneys said Millay was emotionally stunted, was only seeking attention and was a candidate for rehabilitation.

U.S. Army

Gov. Steve Beshear has ordered that flags at all state office buildings be lowered to half-staff Saturday in honor of a Daviess County soldier killed in Afghanistan. Twenty-six-year-old Sergeant Michael Cable of Philpot died March 27 from injuries he sustained when he was attacked by a knife-wielding Afghan teenager.

Sgt. Cable was a member of the 101st Airborne Division based at Fort Campbell.

Funeral services for Cable are being held Saturay at 1 p.m. at Haley-McGuiness Funeral Home in Owensboro, with burial services immediately following at Rose Hill Cemetery.

U.S. Army

A 26-year-old Daviess County native has died serving in Afghanistan. A Department of Defense press release says Sgt. Michael Cable of Philpot came under enemy attack Wednesday while on duty in an Afghan province.  

He graduated from Daviess County High School in 2004. Cross Country Coach Tony Rowe recalls Cable as a talented runner who will be missed by many.

"Especially that group that ran together and his close friends," replies Rowe. "They all kept up with each other after high school.  It's just a big loss."

Cable was based at Fort Campbell. He was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division.

Richard Brown was re-appointed to the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights earlier this year. He was also inducted into the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame for his life-long work fighting for racial equality.

Joe Corcoran spoke with Richard Brown about his decades of leading the struggle for equality.

Two western Kentucky airports will close their air traffic control facilities in April after the Federal Aviation Administration on Friday mandated the shutdowns because of budget cuts.

Pilots flying into and out of Owensboro-Daviess County Airport in Owensboro and Barkley Regional Airport in Paducah will be responsible for keeping proper distance from each other while in the air and for their own safety during takeoffs and landings.

During bad weather, the FAA tower in Memphis, Tenn., will monitor the airspace around Paducah. The FAA tower in Evansville, Ind., about 34 miles away, will monitor Owensboro's airspace in rough weather.

The two control towers were among 149 hit with closure by the FAA, which is being forced to trim $637 million for the rest of the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30. Both the Owensboro and Paducah airports host commercial commuter airlines.

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