Drought Conditions Raising Concerns in Western, Central Kentucky

Thanks to Stu Johnson, Kentucky Public Radio

Kentucky farmers are concerned about an early drought that’s affecting western and central sections of the state.

A level one drought has been declared for 24 counties, meaning conditions have developed that affect soil moisture and vegetative health.

University of Kentucky Agricultural Meteorologist Tom Priddy says the drought could quickly settle into other areas of the state.

“Now everything’s still pretty green, but it won’t take long, without getting a good shot of rain. And you know we’d like to have an inch of rain a week for agriculture. And we’re not getting that. Even in the Bluegrass area we’re not getting that,” Priddy said.

Priddy says the dry conditions starting to take a toll on some western Kentucky corn crops.

The outlook for the next ten days shows warm temperatures and only a slight chance of rain for much of the commonwealth.

(Drought monitor map courtesy of National Drought Mitigation Center)

Noise & Notes Podcast: The Killing Fields of Parkland

The brazen shootings in west Louisville’s Parkland neighborhood is still being felt almost two weeks later, with a new task force being formed by the mayor’s office to deal with long-term violence.

Several city leaders and community activists have held press conferences to discuss the matter, but there are still many unanswered questions about the incident itself.

What led to a shooting that left three dead and three injured? What role did gang affiliations or past conflicts play, if any? And how does the city’s public safety policies in Metro Police and the Commonwealth’s Attorney office impact these sorts of events?

For this week’s show, I sat down The Courier-Journal‘s crime reporter Jessie Halladay, LIFE Institute CEO Eddie Woods and defense attorney Brandon Lawrence.

Listen below:

Audio MP3

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

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 is built, it will allow the company to fill in the ash at a near-vertical slope, and fit more ash in the landfill.

The wall won’t expand the landfill either horizontally or vertically, and permits don’t specify a certain volume for the landfill. In an email, Solid Waste Branch Manager Ron Gruzesky said: “After an examination of the governing regulation, the DWM determined that this interior wall did not qualify as a permit modification. Therefore there is nothing to approve, and no public notice requirement.” Continue reading “LG&E Plans Wall to Maximize Capacity of Ash Landfill at Cane Run”

Fischer Forms Work Group to Address West End Issues

Mayor Greg Fischer has assembled a work group to address violence in west Louisville.

U of L Arts and Sciences Dean Blaine Hudson will chair the group, and the rest of the members will be chosen from civic organizations, government, churches and the business community. The group will first take count of all the youth services programs and charities in West Louisville. The next step is to create a crisis response team to help victims of violence.

The group is a response to two shootings last week that occurred minutes and blocks apart. In a statement, Police Chief Steve conrad said having a crisis response team on hand at the crime scene may have prevented the second shooting.

Bluegrass Boardwalk Could Delay Opening Until 2014

Bluegrass Boardwalk theme park is not on track to reopen next May and its unclear which of the large attractions that made the former Kentucky Kingdom park popular will be operating.

Members of Indiana’s Koch family, who also operate Holiday World, were hoping to open in spring of next year, but that relied on having a signed lease from the state last month, wrote spokeswoman Paula Werne in an email to WFPL. The group has been slow to secure the tax incentives it says it needs from the state to proceed with the project, despite having been approved for the lease by the Kentucky State Fair Board in February. Continue reading “Bluegrass Boardwalk Could Delay Opening Until 2014”