Owensboro

The president and chief executive officer for Owensboro Medical Health System announced his resignation Tuesday.

Jeff Barber made the announcement during meetings with the the OMHS management team and medical staff leadership. His retirement will begin July 26, following a nearly 40 year career in health care.

Barber joined OMHS in 2004.

A news release from OMHS says a search committee consisting of current and past board members will lead the search process for Barber's replacement.

Water Line Break Shuts Down Owensboro High School

Jan 28, 2013

A break in 4-inch water line has forced the shutdown of Owensboro High School while repairs made by Owensboro Municipal Utilities.

Workers discovered the break at 2:30 a.m. CDT. It was expected to be repaired by mid-morning Monday, but a boil water advisory -- standard procedure when a line is opened - was put into effect for the school only.

The Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer reported that only the school was affected and the break could be fixed by Tuesday.

Utilities spokeswoman Sonya Dixon said city employees alerted OMU of the break, which was blamed on ground movement caused by freezing and thawing of recent days. Similar breaks in other parts of town have occurred for the same reason.

Rogue Cinema

Owensboro filmmaker P.J. Starks is set to launch a new film series called "Unscripted Xperience", which allows audiences to meet and offer live commentary with filmmakers and actors. Starks donates to charity most of the money raised from the events, and he hopes the "Xperience" will help raise the profile of independent filmmakers in the Daviess County region.

WKYU-PBS is planning to tape the Feb. 1 film series session and produce a piece for the program Main Street that will likely air in early March.

The Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer has this profile piece of Starks and his upcoming film series.

Unique Granite and Marble Inc. plans to expand their manufacturing operations in Owensboro, creating 25 new full-time jobs and investing $400,000 in the project.

Unique Granite and Marble has been manufacturing custom granite and quartz countertops in Owensboro since 2004 after transitioning from home building and remodeling. The company currently employs 28. With the expansion, the company plans to establish a new division to produce countertops for large commercial and multi-family units throughout a six state region.

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $250,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the term of the agreement through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.

Officials in Daviess County have begun making a list of every household without water.

Daviess Judge-Executive Al Mattingly told the Messenger-Inquirer that the move is aimed at making the county the first in the state to have every home connected to water lines.

He said funding is available from the state to help pay for the extensions, and the county hopes to partner with rural water districts and homeowners to get lines extended.

Community Services Director Nate Pagan says he is making a list of homes that aren't connected and is asking those who want service to contact him at 270-685-8424, or npagan@daviessky.org.

The Messenger-Inquirer reports the 2012 General Assembly approved $160,000 in coal severance funds for extending waterlines to homes in Daviess County that are currently reliant on well weather.

Owensboro Mayor: City Needs to Remove Barriers to Business

Jan 14, 2013

A western Kentucky city plans to have a panel determine whether it can make things easier for businesses looking to locate or expand in the area.

Owensboro Mayor Ron Payne told the Messenger-Inquirer that he's heard several complaints from the business community and this is an attempt to see if there are problems and, if so, how best to address them.

"Ever since I've been mayor, I've heard complaints about problems with planning and zoning and other requirements, or difficulties dealing with City Hall, and given the amount of business activity we have and what I anticipate will occur, we want to make sure it is as easy as possible to do business," Payne said recently in calling for the appointment of a Commission on Business Development.

He said the group would talk to developers and business owners to see what kind of problems they have when they attempt to open or expand a business and determine whether issues really exist.

Wendell H. Ford GEC

Former President Bill Clinton is coming to Owensboro this spring for a benefit fundraiser. The Messenger-Inquirier reports the event will raise funds to support the Wendell H. Ford Government Education Center.

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.

The Ford Government Education Center is located downtown in the Owensboro Museum of Science and History, and has displays of pictures, artifacts, and documents from Ford’s political career.

OMHS

Based on a study, the Owensboro region needs additional primary care physicians. Owensboro Medical Health System is recruiting  two dozen doctors this year to meet the needs of the hospital's service area in western Kentucky and southern Indiana.

The local economy stands to benefit. 

OMHS spokesman Gordon Wilkerson says physician recruitment is much like starting a small business. 

"A physician is going to, just by effect, bring patients and that creates jobs in other areas like nurses, x-ray technicians, pharmacists, and so forth," said Wilkerson.

Kevin Willis

Officials say private fundraising for a planned Bluegrass Music Center in Daviess County is going well.

International Bluegrass Music Museum Terry Woodward says the drive has received pledges from large donors for $2.6 million and expects to reach a $7 million goal.

The proposal calls for turning an old state office building in Owensboro into a center that will include a museum, an indoor theater and outdoor festival seating. Woodward has said organizers want to offer fans a Bluegrass Opry, something akin to the Grand Old Opry in Nashville, Tenn.

A major fundraising drive kicked off in August, and four months later Woodward updated officials in Owensboro  on the progress.

"I'm happy to report that of the $3 million goal from large donors, right now we have $2.6 million," Woodward told commissioners last month. "We're off to a good start."

City of Owensboro

A lawmaker representing Daviess and Ohio counties hopes legislators will tackle redistricting during this upcoming General Assembly--as opposed to putting it off until 2014. Democratic Representative Tommy Thompson of Owensboro told WKU Public Radio the sooner new legislative boundaries are created, the better.

“And that way people would know what districts they’re going to be working in. If there are new districts, they’d have time to acquaint themselves with new constituents in their district. So I just think that we’d be better served to deal with it sooner rather than later,” said Thompson.

Kentucky lawmakers created new legislative maps last year, but the new boundaries were found to be unconstitutional, meaning legislators have to start from scratch.

Thompson says he wouldn't be surprised if lawmakers tackled the redistricting issue during a special session after the official 2013 legislature is over. Many lawmakers believe the worst-case scenario would be waiting until the 2014 session to redraw the lines, because a new state budget will already be taking up a great deal of legislators' attention that year.

Possible Interstate Connections for Owensboro/Daviess County Region

Business and political leaders in the Daviess County region are trying to figure out the best--and most cost-effective--way possible to link the area up with an interstate. Rep. Thompson says he's excited about the possibility of connecting the region to the I-67 project in Indiana.

Owensboro Elementary Teacher Wins National Award

Dec 30, 2012

Cravens Elementary School teacher Ryan Williams was one of 40 people nationally to receive the 2012 Milken Award and the only recipient in Kentucky. The award comes with a $25,000 gift.

Williams is a native of Henderson and began teaching in Owensboro Public Schools in 1999 after graduating from WKU. He taught first grade for 11 years before moving to third grade. He's currently on temporary assignment as curriculum facilitator at Estes Elementary School. 

"I try to ebgage the students every day, find something that interests them, something they can relate to," Williams said. "I come to work every day with a smile on my face."

Owensboro homebuilder Ed Marksberry has announced that he intends to seek the Democratic nomination to run for U.S. Senate in 2014.

It would be Marksberry's second run for a seat among Kentucky's federal delegation. Two years ago he was trounced in a lopsided race against U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie in the 2nd District.

If Marksberry wins, he would face long-serving Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, a tenacious campaigner and fundraiser who already has banked nearly $7 million.

Daviess County Family Wants to Restore Historic Cemetery

Dec 10, 2012

A Daviess County family is planning to restore a cemetery that's the resting place for a Revolutionary War soldier who counted Thomas Jefferson among his friends.

Charles Evans tells the Messenger-Inquirer the plans are to set the tombstones back up in the family plot and to fence it off. Evans also plans to apply for a historical marker.

Evans' great-great-great-grandfather, Capt. Benjamin Field, is buried there. Field was commissioned as a captain in the American Revolution by Jefferson, who was governor of Virginia at the time.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Owensboro is celebrating its 75th Jubilee with several free events.

The celebration Saturday begins with a Mass at the Owensboro Sportcenter, then moves to the RiverPark Center for concerts, food, children's activities and tours of the International Bluegrass Museum.

The Messenger-Inquirer reports the newly renovated St. Stephens Cathedral in Owensboro will be open for tours for much of the day.

Thirty-two western Kentucky counties make up the diocese, which was formed in 1937 by Pope Pius XI. It is home to 79 churches.

Owensboro Seeing Upswing in Tourism Dollars

Dec 1, 2012

Owensboro's tourism economy took a pounding after its largest hotel, the Executive Inn Rivermont, closed in 2008 as the national economy started to falter, but now things are looking better. The Owensboro-Daviess County Convention & Visitors Bureau, which is funded primarily by a hotel room tax, brought in $587,567 at the end of this fiscal year --more than the $512,000 budgeted.

Pages