Henderson

Business Wire

A group proposing a natural gas plant in Henderson County is continuing to seek contracts needed to secure financial backing to build the facility.

HenderSun Energy LLC owns 2,000 acres in Henderson County and the proposed power generation plant would be on 40 of those acres.

Owensboro Municipal Utilities had considered signing a 10-year contract to buy electricity from the proposed plant, but decided against it earlier this month. OMU has decided to shut down its aging Elmer Smith plant with its two coal-fired generating units. One unit will be shut down by 2019 and the second by 2023. That will mark the end of coal-fired power in Owensboro after 117 years. The city is continuing to consider options for its future power needs.

Humane Society of Henderson County

The Humane Society of Henderson County has made such dramatic progress in finding homes for animals that it has not had to euthanize any adoptable pets in the past five years.

Animals have been euthanized only if they were too aggressive to be adopted or so extremely injured that the cost of medical treatment would be too high.

Humane Society Executive Director Angela Hagedorn says using an Internet pet adoption site has been a key element in the plan.

PetFinder.com was able to put the animals out onto the Internet, so that a broader audience could see the animals. Also we decided to contact various rescues, some of them are breed-specific rescues, to try to get more animals out of the shelter.”

Rhonda J Miller

The executive director of the Henderson Area Arts Alliance has only been on the job for three months. But Alex Caudill knows his territory. He’s a Henderson native who knows first-hand that there’s strong support in the region for getting more people involved in all of the arts – especially to fill the 980-seat theater.

“I think we need to provide a little more higher quality programming. We need to bring in some name acts, names that people know, to get people back in the door again. It’s kind of dwindled a little bit, our attendance has, with the shows that we’ve provided, so I think that’s something we need to work on.”

He says lots of tops artists have performed in Henderson, including Merle Haggard, Glen Campbell, Emmylou Harris, Allison Krauss and the Oak Ridge Boys.

Caudill says his other priority is getting more young people involved in the arts. He says he knows the value of the arts first-hand.

Henderson County High School

Students still have time to apply to the new School of Fine Arts at Henderson County High School. The original deadline for students to apply was Jan. 10, but because Henderson County schools were closed for two snow days recently, the deadline has been moved to Tuesday, Jan. 17.  The high school is creating the school within a school to offer tracks, called pathways, in visual arts, dance, theater, voice and instrumental music. 

Andrew Miller is choir director at Henderson County High School and says he's seeing interest in the project among area students.

Creative Commons

A new $700 million power generating plant in Henderson is expected to create as many as 500 temporary construction jobs.

Thirty permanent jobs will be created once HenderSun is up and running.

HenderSun will burn natural gas to produce electricity.

Construction on the 100 acre plant will begin next year. An opening date of 2020 is planned.

Henderson Police Department

A Henderson man will appear in court Wednesday after being charged with vandalizing the city’s Memorial Day display.

Police say 27-year-old Anthony Burrus drove his car through a display of more than 5,000 crosses in the city’s Central Park early Saturday morning.

As many as 160 of the crosses were damaged or destroyed.

Henderson police officer Jennifer Richmond said the city’s Memorial Day observance went off as scheduled Monday, thanks to some fast repair work.

“To my knowledge, they were able to get the crosses back in the ground, and repair some others that had been destroyed,” Richmond said.

The crosses were repaired by members of the Henderson fire department, the American Legion and local residents.

Burrus told police he has no memory of what happened.

He’s been charged with criminal mischief in the first degree and leaving the scene of an accident.

Kentucky State Police

Henderson police and Kentucky State Police are doing some "spring cleaning" in that town and in Evansville, IN., but they're not using brooms and rakes.

A joint drug sweep dubbed "Operation Clean Sweep" began early Thursday morning targeting as many as 38 suspects. As of Thursday night, 21 were in custody and police say they should have the rest within the month.

Henderson Police Chief Chip Stauffer told The Gleaner newspaper the investigation began as long as six months ago after he and some of his officers met with Audubon Kid Zone, Engage Henderson and other groups looking to improve the city's East End neighborhood. "A focused investigation into illegal drug trafficking is a way the Henderson Police Department can show we hear the concerns of residents," the chief said, " We understand their frustrations and are trying to help."

Flickr/Creative Commons/Ann Gordon

An estimated 80,000 Kentuckians are serving as caregivers to family members suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia.

The Greater Kentucky-Southern Indiana chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association wants more of those caregivers to be better informed about resources available to them.

Community Outreach Coordinator Helene French says one of the most important lessons she tries to get across to caregivers is that they can’t do it alone.

“You need to build a team, and think about what that team is going to look like--of family and friends, neighbors, people in your community, your physician, and nurses, and community resources.”

French says caregivers should look into government and private programs that provide help with respite care for those with dementia. Some of the governmental services available are income-based, while others aren’t.

Ellis Park To Boost Purses

Jul 17, 2014

Kentucky horse racing authorities have approved a plan for Ellis Park to increase the purses for many of its thoroughbred races starting in August, helping make it more competitive with other tracks.

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission voted Wednesday to authorize the Henderson racetrack to use $300,000 from the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund.

Ellis Park initially hoped to use half of that money to help fund a pair of new stakes races for two year olds this summer. The track's Director of Operations, Bob Jackson, said that wouldn't be possible this year.

The Commission authorized the track to use $200,000 to bolster purse money for Kentucky-bred horses competing in maiden and allowance races this summer. The Commission also agreed to allow Ellis Park to hold the remaining $100,000 until next year.

Henderson PD

Henderson has a new police chief.  Major Chip Stauffer was promoted Tuesday night by the Henderson City Commission.  Stauffer joined the department in 1994 and was promoted to Major in 2013.

He's been involved in traffic and patrol, criminal investigations and operations with the Henderson PD.

Stauffer received his master’s degree in public administration from WKU after earning his bachelor’s degree from Kentucky Wesleyan.

Mine Complex Near Henderson Idled For Repairs

May 12, 2014
Patriot Coal Corp.

Highland Mine complex near Henderson is being idled while repairs are made to a preparation plant damaged by a structural failure last week.

Patriot Coal Corp. announced Monday that the complex was stopping all coal production and expects full production to be restored by June 30.

Patriot said in a statement that limited production may resume earlier when sufficient repairs have been made to the preparation plant to resume partial coal processing operations.

More than 500 people work at the complex at full operation. It ships approximately 3.8 million tons of coal annually.

A portion of the preparation plant was damaged in the failure on Tuesday.

Patriot Coal produces and markets coal in the eastern U.S. and has 10 active mining complexes in Appalachia and the Illinois Basin.

A Henderson County program that helps troubled high school students turn their lives around is getting statewide attention because of its success rate.

Since the Center for Youth Justice Services opened a year and a half ago at Henderson County High School, it has served about 130 students and cut down the number referred to court. The center offers services for behavioral, family and school-related problems.

Student Le-Onta Carey told The Gleaner that the center gave her the support and resources she needed to turn her life around. She says last year, she was struggling in classes and on the path to court. Now, she has clear goals and direction.

Steve Steiner, who is director of pupil personnel at Henderson County schools, says there is interest in expanding the program to other schools.

Three industries have filed notice that they intend to appeal a recent decision allowing Big Rivers Electric Corp. to increase rates.
   
Last month, the Kentucky Public Service Commission approved agreements allowing Century Aluminum - the utility's biggest customer - to leave the Big Rivers system and purchase power on the open market. That led Big Rivers to request a rate increase for its remaining 112,000 customers in western Kentucky.
   
The PSC hasn't approved the increase, but it did allow the utility to begin charging higher rates subject to refunding customers money if a smaller hike is approved.
   
The Gleaner reports that Kentucky Industrial Utility Customers filed the notice of appeal with Franklin Circuit Court on behalf of Kimberly Clark paper mill, Domtar paper mill and Aleris aluminum rolling mill.

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.

Henderson Company Expands, Adds Jobs

May 30, 2013

Gov. Steve Beshear joined local and company officials Wednesday in announcing that Gibbs Die Casting is expanding operations at its world headquarters in Henderson, adding 160 jobs and investing more than $22.8 million.

Gibbs Die Casting, established in 1965 and owned by Koch Enterprises, has grown into one of the world’s largest die casting companies, operating eight factories for aluminum and magnesium casting, machining, assembly and die building with facilities in Hungary, Brazil and China. The Henderson facility currently employs more than 560 people.

The expansion project includes adding new manufacturing lines for eight-speed transmission parts and rear axles for the automotive industry.

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