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Local News

Thousands Without Power in Louisville, Restoration for Most Expected Tonight

Thousands of LG&E customers in Louisville are without power following severe weather late this morning.

According to LG&E’s outage map, about 1,400 Louisville homes and business have no power. Fewer than 1,000 homes and businesses in Indiana are without power.

LG&E plans to have power restored to most customers tonight, with the final few homes coming online tomorrow morning.

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Local News Noise & Notes Politics

James Launches First Annual ‘Light Up California’ Event

Seeking to bring a west Louisville neighborhood together, Councilman David James, D-6, is launching the first ever “Light Up California” event.

Similar to Light Up Louisville, the event will include live musical performances by the choir of First Gethsemane Baptist Church and the River City Drum Corps. The festivities will also include James welcoming a man playing Santa Claus and other city officials to the event.

James says the event is about encouraging unity amongst the resident and promoting public safety in the neighborhood.

“Light Up California will be a great opportunity for residents of the California neighborhood to come together for a fun evening in the heart of their community. I look forward to starting this new tradition with our friends in California,” James said in a news release.

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Local News

Coal Ash News Special [Audio]

On Thursday we spent an hour looking at Coal Ash — what it is, whether it’s dangerous, and how it’s regulated.

We spoke with John Voyles, Vice President of Transmission and Generation Services for LG&E; Tom Fitzgerald Founder and Director of the the Kentucky Resources Council; Tom Robl, Associate Director of Environmental and Coal Technologies at University of Kentucky; and Scott Slesinger, Legislative Director at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The show will be rebroadcast Thursday night at 9pm, or you can listen to it below.

Audio MP3
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Local News

News Special: Coal Ash

More than 90% of Kentucky’s electricity comes from burning coal, and coal ash is a byproduct. It’s the second-largest industrial waste stream in the nation — and as more pollution controls are put on power plants, the amount of caol ash is growing. Most of it ends up in landfills, but about 40% of the ash is recycled and used to make things like cement, and structural fill.

Residents living near power plants, like the Cane Run Power Station in Louisville, complain about air and water contamination, and say the industry should be better regulated. Utility companies, on the other hand, argue that they can safely store coal ash.

Today at 1pm, we’ll talk with coal ash experts — utility company representatives, academics, and environmentalists — and take your questions and thoughts about coal ash. Join us at 502-814-TALK (8255).

Need a refresher? You can listen back to our series on coal ash here:

Audio MP3
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Local News State of the News

State of the News 9/16/11 [Audio]

Segment A: We looked back at the week’s metro news, including the removal of Councilwoman Judy Green and the planned changes at some LG&E plants.

Segment B: Shea Van Hoy and Daniel Suddeath from News and Tribune joined our own Gabe Bullard & Phillip M. Bailey to talk about week one without the Sherman-Minton Bridge. Shea & Daniel also filled us in on some other Southern Indiana news.

Segment C: We spoke with NPR’s Tom Bowman about Cpl. Dakota Meyer, yesterday’s recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, then closed the show with look at this weekend’s Uofl/UK football game, with sports reporter Eric Crawford.

Audio MP3
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Local News Politics

Businesses and Organizations Prepare for Hurricane Relief

Several Louisville-area organizations are preparing to help eastern states in the path of Hurricane Irene.

Louisville Gas and Electric crews have been sent to Pennsylvania and Virginia to help restore power, should lines be damaged. Crews from other states often come to Kentucky during severe outages.

The Bluegrass chapter of the American Red Cross has sent volunteers to the east as well to help with any necessary relief efforts. While many Salvation Army chapters in the hurricane’s path have been mobilized, the Louisville chapter has been put on standby.

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Local News

6am Update: No School, Still Some Customers Without Power

As of 6:00am this morning, 10,800 LG&E customers in Jefferson County are without power.

LG&E/KU Outage Map

There are still many intersections without working traffic lights, so be careful as you approach and treat such intersections as a four-way stop.

LG&E officials say power could be restored to most customers by the middle of the week.

And this reminder: no classes at Jefferson County Public Schools for a second day. JCPS Superintendent Donna Hargens says the district will make the call on Wednesday classes as early as possible today.

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Here and Now

Today on Here and Now

Today we’re looking back at the weekend. On the national level, that means a review of the action at the Iowa Straw Poll in Ames. And on the local level, it means an update on where things stand after Saturday’s storm. In total, about 30,000 customers of Duke and LG&E are waiting for the power to come back, and the big question is whether there will be school tomorrow.

A new wave of violence ripped through more than a dozen Iraqi cities from the north to the south today, killing nearly 60 people.

Intelligence sources are saying that Pakistan gave the Chinese military access to the downed helicopter that was used in the raid to capture Osama bin Laden. We’ll chat with Mark Mazzetti of the New York Times about what this might mean.

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Local News

6:40am Update: No Classes, More Residents Get Power

As of 6:30am this morning, 31,600 LG&E customers in Jefferson County are without power. In southern Indiana, 1,600 Duke Energy customers are without power.

LG&E/KU Outage Map
Duke Outage information

There are still many intersections without working traffic lights, so be careful as you approach and treat such intersections as a four-way stop.

LG&E officials say power could be restored to most customers by the middle of the week.

Jefferson County Public Schools are closed today. Trinity and Assumption high schools are also closed. The first day of classes will be tomorrow.

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Local News

Schools Close as Power Restoration Continues

The first day of classes at Jefferson County Public Schools has been postponed due to power outages.

Saturday’s storm knocked out power to about 30 schools and dozens of traffic lights, making teaching and transportation difficult.

“With the uncertainty, the best thing to do is what’s certain,” says Superintendent Donna Hargens. “Our top priority is to make students safe so they can learn and we will make up the day.”

No decision has been made on classes for Tuesday, but schools do have priority for power restoration, behind hospitals and police and fire stations.

“During the ice storm and the wind storm we had 80 schools down, to give you an idea of the complexity of this. We’re not as bad as we were in those instances,” says director of facilities Mike Mulheirn.

As of 2:00, 59,000 LG&E customers in Jefferson County were without power. In southern Indiana, 12,000 Duke Energy customers were without power.

LG&E/KU Outage Map
Duke Outage information

Utility crews have been called in from other states and LG&E is still assessing the extent of the damage.

“We are gonna hit it hard, fast and aggressively. That’s why we’re pulling every resource we can from that wide array of states. We’re on it. We’ve got all the mutual aid communications open and we’re getting what we’re asking for,” says LG&E Senior Vice President Chris Hermann.

Hermann says it’s too early to give a more precise estimate, but power could be restored to most customers by the middle of the week.

An LG&E spokesman says the company will try to recoup the cost of recovery through a rate increase. LG&E is currently seeking a rate increase to cover the cost of bringing power plants into compliance with federal regulations.