3:34 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

First Corvettes Pulled from Museum Sinkhole

After weeks of preparation, the ZR-1, weighing about 3,500 pounds was hoisted above the sinkhole in seconds.
Lisa Autry

The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green put on quite a show Monday.  Construction crews began the slow, methodical process of removing eight cars that fell into a 50-foot sinkhole last month in the Skydome exhibit area. 

Crews did a few test runs over the weekend, but the moment of truth came at 10:35a.m. when first out of the depths of the hole was a blue 2009 ZR-1.

As a crane safely lifted to the surface the 3,500-pound car known as the ‘Blue Devil,’ Museum Director Wendell Strode smiled and gave a thumbs up. 

“It was a wonderful feeling and something we have been building for ever since the first day when this all happened," commented Strode.  “The pride, you could just see it.  We’re happy for everyone who has had a hand in it to this point and certainly all the supporters worldwide.  It’s a great feeling and we’re thrilled to share it with so many others."

Strode was amazed at the car’s good condition.

“The pictures we had seen previously looked as though it had been delicately placed on top of the soil, but when it was coming out, it looked like it could be started right up and driven off," he added. "It’s a great tribute to the engineering and everything that goes into the Corvette.”

Besides some fiberglass damage, an oil leak, and some scrapes, the ‘Blue Devil’ defied the odds.  Cheers erupted when the car cranked up and drove a few feet.  Construction Manager Mike Murphy was shocked.

“I could not believe it fired up and they could drive it out the door.  After taking a 40-foot fall, that’s amazing," said Murphy.

The ‘Blue Devil’ was loaded onto a flatbed trailer and moved to the museum’s exhibit area where all eight cars as they are recovered, will be on display through August 3.

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2:39 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Winter Storm Brings Multi-inch Snowfall, But 'Could've Been Much Worse'

Snow covers the ground at Western Kentucky University, even as a patch of blue sky breaks through the clouds Monday afternoon

Most of Kentucky received between 2-3 inches snow Sunday night into Monday morning. Mike Callahan with the National Weather Service office in Louisville says that snow was preceded by quite a bit of freezing rain and sleet

“Then, the cold air aloft came in and changed the freezing rain over to sleet, and it sleeted for quite a while,” said Callahan. “In the Bowling Green area, we had reports of as much as two inches of sleet. And finally, after midnight in changed into snow.”

Callahan says the storm "could have been much worse" had there been more freezing rain Sunday night.  He says temperatures should climb above freezing Tuesday and we should see a warming trend for the rest of the week. 

But will this mark the final winter storm of the season?

“Unfortunately, it is too early to tell,” said Callahan.  “However, our long-range patterns are starting to show perhaps a break in this cold pattern, maybe starting in mid-March.”

7:52 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Snow, Ice Leads to Several Monday Closures

Credit Mammoth Cave National Park

Update: 9:36 a.m.

Legislators in Frankfort also have the day off Monday.  The Kentucky House and Senate will not convene because of the inclement weather.  They're set to meet again Tuesday afternoon.

Original Post:

Several local school districts along with all WKU campuses are closed Monday because of the snow and ice that moved into the area on Sunday.  

Also, Mammoth Cave National Park says all roads and facilities are closed Monday. The park tweeted this photo taken by one of its park rangers. 

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says crews put down salt and calcium on Sunday afternoon and crews continue efforts to clear roadways today with snow plows. 

Warren County officials say they've responded to several accidents this morning. 

Stay with WKU Public Radio, on air and online throughout the day for the latest weather updates. 

5:00 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Warren County Man Due in Court for Cold Case Murder

Leland Neal
Credit Warren County Regional Jail

A Warren County man under indictment 16 years later for allegedly murdering his wife is due in court Monday morning. 

Leland Neal was in a Mexican jail earlier this month, accused of taking part in an armed robbery.  That’s when authorities there learned he was wanted in the U.S. 

Neal fled to Mexico in 2008 and a warrant was issued last year, charging him in the death of his estranged wife Carol Neal in 1998.  At the time, the couple was in the middle of a divorce. 

Her body was never found, but a portion of her skull was located in the Daniel Boone National Forest in 2003. 

A Warren County grand jury indicted Leland Neal last Wednesday on a murder charge.  The following day, he was returned to Warren County from Mexico.  He's being held on more than one million dollars bond.

8:13 pm
Sun March 2, 2014

All WKU Campuses Closed Monday Due to Winter Weather

WKU released the following statement Sunday:

ALL WKU campuses will be closed Monday, March 3. Essential dining and facilities personnel should report to work, but all other operations will be closed. If you must travel, please use caution. Follow the latest updates on and on official social media platforms.

9:47 am
Sun March 2, 2014

Winter Storm Moving Into Kentucky Sunday, Bringing Snow, Ice, and Sleet

Much of our region is under a winter storm warning from Sunday afternoon through Monday at noon.
Credit NWS

The winter storm moving into and through Kentucky Sunday is expected to bring rain, sleet, and ice.

A winter storm warning in effect for much of the region, lasting from 3 pm central Sunday through noon Monday.

One to three inches of snow is predicted by the National Weather Service, along with four tenths to three quarters of an inch of ice accumulation. Travel could became dangerous at times, with tree damage and power outages likely.

The Kentucky State Police issued the following advisory to motorists on Sunday:

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5:46 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Latest Tug-of-War Over I-69 Route Pits Owensboro against Evansville, Henderson

The latest debate over the route for Interstate 69 revolves around the highway's path from Southern Indiana into Kentucky

 While researching his book, “Interstate 69: The Unfinished History of the Last Great American Highway”, Matt Dellinger traced the very early history of I-69 to a southern Indiana landowner, who in the early ‘90s, wanted to build a toll road from Evansville to Indianapolis.  

“This man, David Graham, in Washington, Indiana, had been talking to this economist who said ‘look, your problem is, that it is too small a project. If you continued this proposed highway  all the way to Mexico, then the numbers would change and the economics of it would look a lot more attractive if it was an international trade route,’” said Dellinger.

Twenty years and billions of dollars later, I-69 remains incomplete, although there has been progress, If I-69 ever is complete, it will extend from Canada to the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. Dellinger says funding issues and sometimes, the proposed route of the interstate have impeded progress as each mayor, congressman or senator along the way has tried to steer it in a way that would most benefit his or her constituents.

“These arguments about the route have been going on since the idea was very, very young. It is about politics and it is about economic development,” said Dellinger.  “The bridges are obviously key points in the route.  They’re kind of the pillars that the rest of the route is defined by.”

The latest dust up over I-69 doesn’t take place far Washington, Indiana.  

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2:11 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Kentucky Court Clerks Await Guidance on Same-Sex Marriage

Clerks across Kentucky are awaiting legal guidance on when and how to handle requests for name changes and other legal benefits of marriage from same-sex couples a day after a federal judge officially struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriage.

Jefferson County clerk's spokesman Nore Ghibaudy says as of Friday state officials have offered no notice that the law has changed.

U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II is scheduled to meet with attorneys in the case Friday afternoon about a request by the Kentucky attorney general's office to delay the ruling overturning the ban.

Attorneys for one couple say two of their clients went to a Department of Motor Vehicles office in Bardstown earlier in the day for a name change and were turned away.

3:37 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Both Sides React to Ruling Partially Lifting Kentucky's Gay Marriage Ban

31-year-old Ross Ewing and his partner 46-year-old David Cupps cut the cake during their 2009 commitment ceremony.
Credit Ross Ewing

A Lexington couple is celebrating a federal judge’s final ruling that orders Kentucky to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. 

Ross Ewing has been with his partner for eight years.  The couple had planned to marry this summer in New York.

“By happy coincidence, we were and still are, planning on being in New York on the first weekend in June which is our anniversary. My partner sings in Lexington Singers and they are performing in Carnegie Hall that weekend. We were just going to get married while we were up there,” explained Ewing.

Now, Ewing says the couple is thinking about waiting a little longer for the opportunity to get married in their home state. With the ruling partially lifting Kentucky’s ban on same-sex marriage, Ewing believes it’s only a matter of time before Kentucky fully legalizes gay marriage. 

“I just cannot help but see the comparison to inter-racial marriage. That didn’t happen overnight and it didn’t happen in all 50 states simultaneously, but it happened, and I just can’t help but see the parallel.”

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3:34 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Three Corvettes Could Be Out of Bowling Green Sinkhole by Wednesday

The sinkhole opened up at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green on Feb. 12.
Credit Abbey Oldham

Engineers expect to start pulling out Corvettes from a Bowling Green sinkhole next week.

Eight vintage versions of the car fell into the sinkhole that opened up two weeks ago beneath the National Corvette Museum. The construction company Scott, Murphy, and Daniel says the removal of the first three cars could begin next Monday, with the hopes of having those vehicles out of the sinkhole by Wednesday.

The construction team has been told it can bring excavation equipment into the Skydome area of the museum where the sinkhole opened up.

Workers will be allowed to set up cranes that will suspend engineers and contractors into the hole so that they can better examine the condition of the sinkhole and create a recovery plan.

The company estimates the crane will be in place by Saturday.