Regional

A national animal rights organization has asked a federal agency to investigate what it calls preventable animal deaths at a southern Indiana wildlife refuge.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wednesday, asking officials to determine whether the deaths of several bears, lemurs, and spotted leopards violated the Animal Welfare Act.

TVA

The Tennessee Valley Authority experienced record-breaking power demand Thursday morning. At 6 a.m. central time, demand was at 32, 109 megawatts, the highest the utility has experienced for the month of February in 82 years.

The all-time power demand record is 33,482 megawatts set in the summer of 2007.

TVA is still asking consumers to conserve power where possible through noon tomorrow as temperatures are expected to remain in single digits tonight.

TVA sells electricity to Kentucky utilities powering more than 204,000 households in 28 western and central Kentucky counties.

Kevin Willis

Campbellsville University Cancels Classes Remainder of the Week

There are no classes tonight, Thursday, Feb 19, at all Campbellsville University locations.

There are also no classes tomorrow, Friday, Feb. 20, at all locations, according to Dr. Frank Cheatham, senior vice president for academic affairs.

Staff are to travel to work at their own discretion.

WKU Closed Thursday and Friday

All WKU campuses are closed the remainder of the week.

Kentucky House Won't Meet Remainder of the Week

The Kentucky House of Representatives is taking the rest of the week off due to the winter weather. A statement issued by House Speaker Greg Stumbo Wednesday afternoon said the chamber would reconvene at 4 pm on Monday.

The House was initially set to meet today, but lawmakers decided the combination of snowfall and record-low temperatures made travel to the state capitol too dangerous.

As of late Wednesday afternoon, the Senate was still planning to meet Thursday at 2 pm.

Kentucky State Police

Update at 3:23 p.m.:

I-65 northbound at mile point 61 in Hart County has been reopened following a Wednesday morning accident involving a tractor trailer on the Green River Bridge.

It will take awhile for backed up traffic to clear the interstate and detour route.

Update at 5:45 pm:

All lanes of I-65 north at mile point 49 in Barren County have been reopened following a Wednesday afternoon wreck involving three tractor trailers and a passenger car.

Update at 1:54 pm:

KSP is estimating that the northbound lanes of I-65 at the 49 MM will be closed until about 5 pm central/6 eastern. The injured have been removed and transported and the processes of removing the vehicles are underway, along with clean-up of another diesel fuel spill. Crews are in the process of establishing a detour at this location at this time.

Original post:

The Kentucky State Police reports there has been an injury collision on Interstate 65 northbound Wednesday afternoon at mile marker 49 northbound involving 3 tractor trailers and a passenger car. 

All northbound lanes are closed at this time and updates will come when available.

TVA

With potential record cold weather on the way, the Tennessee Valley Authority is urging consumers to begin reducing electric usage as much as possible beginning Wednesday afternoon at 3:00 Central, 4:00 Eastern time. The utility is calling it a "proactive move".

TVA says arctic temperatures are causing greater demands on their electric system which could affect reliability.

There haven't been any wide-spread power outages in Kentucky because of this week's storm, but Shelley Lowe with Bowling Green Municipal Utilities says they're just "trying to get ahead of the game." She said, "we're trying to be proactive in doing this so we have plenty of power across the TVA valley."

Lowe said everyone doing a little bit can make a big difference. Consumers are asked to not run appliances if they're not needed, unplug power cords and, most importantly, turn down the thermostat. "Even if it's just a couple of degrees," she said, "that will help us with energy consumption."

Lowering the thermostat just one degree, say from 68 degrees down to 67, can save as much as 3% on a monthly bill.

And Lowe says BGMU is putting their money where their mouth is. They've begun wearing sweaters and coats at their downtown office building after they turned their thermostats down to 60 degrees.

James Madison (Madisonville Police Department) / Facebook

Snow-induced emergency response needs have the Madisonville Police Department gassing up its fleet of surplus military equipment.

Chief Wade Williams said the department has 4 unarmored utility hummers to be used in adverse conditions like these. He said both police and emergency responders are using the vehicles for residential calls.

“Someone may be out of a critical medicine or oxygen, or someone that’s home-ridden. From that end all the way over to we’ve had several large scale accidents involving semis and trying to get people into shelter that were stuck on the roadway. Normal vehicles wouldn’t travel in a lot of this,” Williams said.

He says the hummers are unarmored and usually only rolled out during extreme weather, but are also used in drug enforcement.

“Unfortunately we have methamphetamine issue here in Kentucky and sometimes those labs are ad-hoc, off road, in some desolate area that we need some of these vehicles to get to,” Williams said.

A new winter storm is working its way across the country's midsection and is forecast to bring rain, ice and snow to a wide swath of the Mid-Atlantic before potentially bringing another round of snow to New England.

Update at 12:22 pm: 

There will be no day classes (those 5 p.m. and earlier) tomorrow Tuesday, Feb. 17 at Campbellsville University.

Dr. Frank Cheatham, senior vice president for academic affairs, said a decision on night classes for tomorrow will be announced later.

Staff members are to travel to work at their own discretion tomorrow.

Original post:

All WKU campuses will be closed Monday in anticipation of the winter storm.  Essential personnel should report as scheduled.

As Alabama becomes the most recent state to issue same sex marriages, some lawmakers there are decrying a federal judge’s decision to strike down the ban and the U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to intervene. Kentucky, another largely conservative state, may receive a final decision on its gay marriage ban this summer. The impending decision has some public officials reexamining their role as marriage officiants.


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