Erica Peterson

Lawsuit Alleges Damages From “Whiskey Fungus”

by Erica Peterson on May 30, 2012

A lawsuit filed today in federal court alleges a black substance coating the homes of residents in some areas of Louisville is caused by whiskey distilling.

Attorney Bill McMurray says for years, residents have seen a black substance growing on metal surfaces, and it’s nearly impossible to remove.

“And it’s only recently been understood within the last couple of years what the actual cause for that blackening is, and it’s this particular fungus,” he said.

The so-called “whiskey fungus”—or Baudoinia compniacensis—coats metal surfaces. It’s caused by ethanol—which is released during distilling—mixing with moisture. [click to continue…]

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AEP to Reconsider Alternatives to Coal at Eastern Kentucky Plant

by Erica Peterson May 30, 2012

American Electric Power may have changed its mind about the future of the coal-fired Big Sandy Power Plant in Eastern Kentucky. The company has an application pending with the Kentucky Public Service Commission to install pollution controls at the plant to continue burning coal. But WFPL has learned that AEP filed to withdraw the application […]

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MSHA Releases Report Into Death of Two Killed in 2011 Ohio County Mine Accident

by Erica Peterson May 29, 2012

Last year, 21 coal miners died in mining accidents, and eight of them were in Kentucky. I’ve reported on many of these deaths on our website and on the air, but most only after the fact. Two of these mine deaths—the deaths of 47-year-old Darrel Alan Winstead and Samual Joe Lindsey, 23—in a roof fall […]

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Roads Closed Due to Trees, Flooding Across Louisville

by Erica Peterson May 29, 2012

UPDATE 12:37pm: Louisville Water Company spokeswoman Kelley Dearing Smith says the company has no reported water main breaks in its system. Morning rain and flooding have closed streets across Louisville. According to MetroSafe spokeswoman Jody Johnson, a water main break near the University of Louisville has exacerbated the flood conditions. The break is at Cardinal […]

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Flash Flood Warning Declared for Jefferson County, Southern Indiana

by Erica Peterson May 29, 2012

UPDATE 11:07am: The National Weather Service has revised its flash flood warning; it’s only in effect until 11:30am. UPDATE 10:22am: Flooding at the University of Louisville prompted the cancellation of classes until 11:00am. Officials say they’ll decide soon about classes for the rest of the day. UPDATE 9:40am: The National Weather Service has extended the […]

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Alltech Announces Prize for Best Eastern Kentucky Economic Development Plan

by Erica Peterson May 28, 2012

Eastern Kentucky, like much of Appalachia, is beset by high poverty and high unemployment, and the limited investment in the area from the state hasn’t changed the situation. But a new contest offers an award to the university that can create a plan to redesign economic development in Appalachia. The contest is sponsored by Alltech, […]

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Influx of Insects Could Cause Problems for Tulip Poplars This Summer

by Erica Peterson May 28, 2012

An old pest is causing new problems in the Ohio River Valley. The tulip scale insect has always preyed on tulip poplar trees, but the past two years of mild winters mean there’s a much higher population than usual. The tulip scale insect attaches to twigs on tulip poplar trees, sucks sap out of the […]

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Kentucky State Parks Begins Energy Retrofit of Nine Western Kentucky Parks

by Erica Peterson May 28, 2012

Kentucky’s state parks system is two months into a major energy savings project at nine of its parks. The project is part of Governor Steve Beshear’s Initiative for Smart Government, which is designed to reduce government waste. Kentucky  State Parks began its energy savings initiative by focusing on energy consumption in nine of the resort […]

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LG&E Plans Wall to Maximize Capacity of Ash Landfill at Cane Run

by Erica Peterson May 25, 2012

Louisville Gas and Electric has begun building a wall near its coal ash landfill at Cane Run. The wall will be made substantially out of the same material the landfill is: a mixture of flue gas desulfurization sludge and coal ash that’s concrete-like. Right now the company’s landfill resembles gently-sloping mountains. But after the wall […]

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MSHA Targets 43 Former Massey Mines in Huge Inspection Blitz

by Erica Peterson May 25, 2012

The Mine Safety and Health Administration targeted 43 mines formerly owned by Massey Energy for surprise inspections this week, as NPR’s Howard Berkes reports. The mines, in Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia, are all now owned by Alpha Natural Resources. Berkes reports that the inspection blitz was prompted by a recent incident at an Alpha […]

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