Kentucky is taking another step toward creating a six-lane Interstate 65 stretching from the Tennessee border to the Ohio River.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has awarded a nearly $139 million contract to the Bowling Green-based Scotty’s Contracting to rebuild 17 miles of I-65 in Hardin, Hart, and Larue counties. The effort would widen the road to six lanes from its current four, with three running both north and south.
The project is expected to be completed in 2017, and will stretch from mile point 65 in Hart County, near Munfordville, through Larue County and on to mile point 82 near Sonora in Hardin County. Once the latest widening is completed, only ten lanes of I-65 south of Elizabethtown will be four lanes.
The highway is already six lanes between Elizabethtown and Louisville.
The I-65 widening project began in 2000, with over $600 million dollars in contracts awarded for the effort.
The LaRue County Republican Party has passed a resolution urging state lawmakers to fund and fix Kentucky’s underfunded pension system, which commands tens of billions of dollars worth of debt. The action is the latest example of growing statewide concern over the issue.
From a mental health nonprofit in Louisville, to a small northern Kentucky city, the LaRue County GOP is the latest in a line of concerned groups actively trying to get Frankfort to do something about the state’s pension system, which has been underfunded by the General Assembly for years, causing liabilities to swell and threatening their abilities to pay public employees.
“An overlooked, underappreciated major financial problem statewide in Kentucky,” said Gil Myers, the LaRue County GOP Secretary. “One that affects every resident, every hard working family, every business and farm, now and in the future.”
The resolution expresses support for a bipartisan task force to examine the issue, which was championed by GOP Floor Leader Rep. Jeff Hoover this year, but died in the Democratic- controlled House of Representatives.
The Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park is planning special events to celebrate the 205th birthday of the nation's 16th president.
Park Superintendent Bill Justice told The News-Enterprise that a wreath will be placed at the symbolic birth cabin, a newly donated item will be unveiled and a documentary film about Yosemite National Park will be shown.
Lincoln's birthday is Wednesday. The events at the park in Hodgenville will begin at 2 p.m.
Justice said everyone is invited to join the park in remembering Lincoln and his legacy.
This week’s snowfall and ice across parts of Kentucky are taking a toll on the Transportation Cabinet’s salt supply. Spokesman Chris Jessie says District 4 – which includes Hardin, Hart, Larue and eight other surrounding counties, has had to order reinforcements and borrow from the reserve stock in Louisville.
“We’re keeping close watch on the forecast through this upcoming week,” said Jessie. “So while we have salt on hand in our District 4 counties, if we continue to get these rounds of snow and ice as we’ve had over the past week, our situation will become more critical.”
He says crews are currently using salt “wisely”, but if supplies continue to diminish they may have to resort to conservation efforts. He says that means treating only main routes and those roadways with the highest volume of traffic.
“We want to be sure motorists understand this potential conservation method before we have to implement it,” said Jessie.
As of last week, the Transportation Cabinet said that crews had spread more than 220,000 tons of salt across the state this winter.
Two Hodgenville city officials have pleaded not guilty to charges of theft and abusing public trust. The News-Enterprise reports Hodenville mayor Terry L. Cruse and city clerk Madonna Hornback entered the pleas Tuesday in Larue District Court.
An indictment issued last month by a grand jury accuses both of using a city-issued fuel credit card to make personal purchases and taking money from the city.
Cruse and Hornback have denied the charges.
Larue County prosecutor Terry Geoghegan said the indictment stems from a lengthy investigation spurred by "citizen complaints." Judge Charles Simms III set a trial date for June 9.
The 150th anniversary of the Civil War will be commemorated Saturday at Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park in Hodgenville with two performances by the band Privates by Choice.
The park says the band will perform original musical scores highlighting the nation's difficulties during the war. The band features guitar, mandolin, violin, hammered dulcimer, cello, mountain dulcimer, bass and some light percussion.
The free performances will be at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. EDT.
Visitors should bring a blanket or lawn chair for the concert. Parking is available in the visitor center lot on a first-come, first-served basis.
For more information, call (270) 358-3137 or click here.
The excessive heat and drought in Kentucky this summer have drawn natural disaster area designations for seven counties. Surrounding counties are also affected as well as two counties each in Indiana and Tennessee.
The Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park is temporarily closing some trails so that hazardous trees can be removed. A statement says trails in the picnic area the Lincoln's birthplace will be closed Wednesday through Saturday.