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.
The Owensboro fire chief says lightning accompanying a storm likely caused a blaze that gutted the auditorium of a church in Owensboro and cut off power to the neighborhood, including Brescia University.
The fire started at about 3:30 CDT Monday and burned throughout the morning as firefighters poured more than 3,000 gallons of water a minute onto the First Christian Church Disciples of Christ Church. There were no injuries.
Fire Chief Steve Mitchell told the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer the attic above the church auditorium was engulfed in flames and it wasn't long before the roof collapsed.
Five nearby houses were evacuated. A power grid was shut down, cutting power to several blocks of homes and Brescia University.
No life-threatening injuries are reported following a bus crash in Tennessee involving students from an Owensboro college. Members of the Kentucky Wesleyan Singers and Chamber Singers were aboard the charter bus that went over a small hill beside a road in Signal Mountain, Tennessee, late Sunday night.
A Chattanooga TV station reports 22 people were taken to hospitals.
A Kentucky Wesleyan College spokeswoman told WKU Public Radio the rest of the group’s week-long tour has been cancelled following the accident. The singers began their tour with stops in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, Nashville and Signal Mountain, Tennessee. They were on their way to sing in Atlanta when the bus accident occurred.
A contract has been awarded to an Ohio company that will be responsible for painting Owensboro's "Blue Bridge." The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet announced the winning $10 million bid placed by Spartan Contracting, LLC, was less than half of the engineer's estimate for the project.
The Glover Cary Bridge crosses the Ohio River and connects Owensboro and southern Indiana. Transportation Cabinet spokesman KeithTodd says the bridge is scheduled to be closed May 13-November 15 during the first phase of the painting project.
"The bridge was scheduled to be painted in 2017, and some of the community leaders in Owensboro wanted to go ahead and move up the painting date of the project. They have just completed a renovation of the Owensboro riverfront, and they wanted the bridge--which is right in downtown Owensboro--to get a new paint job," Todd told WKU Public Radio.
Kentucky and Indiana are splitting the cost of the project.
An estimated 8,500 vehicles cross the Glover Cary Bridge on an average day.
Owensboro will be playing host this week to one of the most recognizable faces in Democratic politics. President Bill Clinton is attending a fundraiser to benefit a cause championed by an old friend.
President Clinton will be in Owensboro Wednesday to help raise money for the Wendell H. Ford Government Education Center. The fundraiser at the Riverpark Performing Arts Center costs $1,000 a person, and includes a VIP reception with President Clinton and dinner.
In addition to serving as Kentucky Governor, Ford served in the U.S. Senate from 1974 to 1999, and was Democratic Whip the first six years of Clinton’s presidencies.
President Clinton has appeared in Daviess County before: in 2000, he presented an education award to Audubon Elementary School, and he campaigned at Kentucky Wesleyan College in 2008 on behalf of his wife, Hillary Clinton, who was seeking the Democratic presidential nomination.