Thursday, July 24, 2014

Governor orders flags to half-staff

Gov. Steve Beshear has directed that flags at all state office buildings be lowered to half-staff today in honor of a Kentucky airman who recently died as a result of non-combat related injuries. 
Staff Sgt. Dirk Shelton, 29, of Corbin, died July 16 in Washington D.C., from injuries sustained from a training mission in Fairfax, Va.  He was assigned to the Joint Special Operations Command, based at Fort Bragg, N.C. 
Funeral services for Staff Sgt. Shelton will be held today in Corbin.  Gov. Beshear encourages individuals, businesses, organizations and government agencies to join in this tribute.

Area death

Robert D. "Bob" Brantley, 71, of Douglasville, Ga., formerly of Crittenden County, died July 20, 2014, at his home. Whitley Garner at Rosehaven Funeral Home in Douglasville is handing arrangements.

Beshear announces award of Interstate 69 contract in Webster County

Sen. Dorsey Ridley
Gov. Steve Beshear on Wednesday announced the awarding of a contract for more of the improvements needed for bringing a portion of the Ned Breathitt-Pennyrile Parkway up to interstate highway standards and eventual designation as Interstate 69.

The project involves reconstruction of the parkway’s Ky. 56 interchange near Sebree, in Webster County. Dumey Contracting was awarded the contract on a low bid of $10 million. The project has a completion date of Oct. 1, 2015.

“This is another important step toward completion of I-69 in western Kentucky,” Beshear said in a news release. “An additional interstate route means additional opportunity for economic development in western Kentucky and, indeed, throughout the Commonwealth. And the improvements being made in the I-69 corridor will result in safer, more efficient travel through the region.”

The contract to Dumey was the second awarded this year for the I-69 corridor. The first, to Hall Contracting of Kentucky Inc., was for improvement of a 36.4-mile stretch of the Breathitt-Pennyrile Parkway in Hopkins, Webster and Henderson counties. It has a completion date of August 2015.

Once complete, I-69 in Kentucky will run north to south from the Ohio River at Henderson to the Tennessee border at Fulton. Completion of the corridor requires improvements to portions of three Kentucky parkways, all of which originally were toll roads – the Breathitt-Pennyrile, Ford-Western Kentucky and Carroll-Purchase parkways.

“I-69 is the most important infrastructure project Western Kentucky has seen in decades,” state Sen. Dorsey Ridley of Henderson said in the release. “It is an integral part of western Kentucky’s future and these improvements will lead to economic benefits for our region and state. I am very pleased to see this project moving forward because of the positive impact that will ensue. Thanks to the leadership of Gov. Steve Beshear, I-69 will be a reality before his term ends.”

“I-69 is extremely important for our region, and this updated interchange will play a key role in that development,” said Rep. Jim Gooch of Providence. “Making it easier for drivers to merge with traffic will also increase the safety for those of us who use this interchange. I’m certainly pleased to see this project move ahead and want to thank Gov. Beshear and the Transportation Cabinet for making it possible.”

To date, 55 miles of the corridor are complete – from roughly Nortonville to the interchange of I-24 and the Carroll-Purchase Parkway near Gilbertsville – and bear the red, white and blue shields of I-69. The first shield was unveiled by Beshear and then-Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez in October 2011.

A major challenge of the I-69 corridor project has been the need to rebuild interchanges that were designed to accommodate drivers who were slowing and stopping at toll plazas – as opposed to merging with or exiting from 70 mph interstate traffic.

Reconstruction of the KY 416 interchange in Henderson County is underway, as is reconstruction of the Pennyrile Parkway-Western Kentucky Parkway interchange, near Nortonville. With the awarding of a contract for a new interchange near Sebree, the only interchange remaining is the Ky. 813 interchange with the Breathitt-Pennyrile near Mortons Gap. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet expects to put it out for bids in January 2015.

CCMS SBDM to meet Friday

Crittenden County Middle School SBDM Council will meet at 9 a.m. Friday for the purpose of interviewing and consultation in hiring an eighth-grade social studies teacher.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Area death

Bobby Gerald McDowell, 75, of Joy died July 22, 2014, at Salem Springlake Health and Rehabilitation Center. Boyd Funeral Directors in Salem is handling arrangements.

Garage Sale

Garage Sale at 2003 Ky. 506, about 1 ½ miles past Marion Baptist Church. Too many items to mention.Rain or shine, Fri. and Sat., 7 a.m.-?, home of Bill and Ketrina Meyers.

Demolition of old Ledbetter Bridge progressing

A contractor for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KyTC) has completed saw-cutting of decking on the main three spans of the old Ledbetter Bridge. This morning, a crew started some initial demolition work that included jack-hammering along the end of the main span nearest the McCracken County side of the Tennessee River.

The contractor plans to complete the initial dismantling of concrete along the end of the span by hand. Once the crew loosens the concrete decking along the edge, the contractor plans to start using mechanized equipment to take out the concrete decking. The crew will be working from west to east along the bridge.

The contractor submitted plans for the demolition to the U.S. Coast Guard for approval several weeks ago. The Coast Guard has indicated it would take about 30 days to fully review the plan.

Once that plan is approved, the contractor will be able to provide a timetable for the ongoing demolition work through the summer. The contractor has indicated the safety of workers, the public and river traffic will be the top priority throughout the demolition process.

Also known as the George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge, the old Ledbetter Bridge was opened to traffic in 1931. KyTC has issued a $5.6 million demolition contract that requires the old bridge to be removed by Dec. 1 of this year.

The old Ledbetter Bridge has been closed since July of 2013, when traffic was moved to the new U.S. 60 Tennessee River Bridge just upstream.

At the end of April a section of the west approach on the old Ledbetter Bridge dropped several feet due to land movement along the bluff on the McCracken County side of the river. Due to the continued land slippage along the bluff, one land-based approach pier and two approach spans at the west end of the bridge collapsed in the early morning hours of June 22, prompting engineers to expedite demolition of the structure.

Demolition of the bridge will require close coordination with the U.S. Coast Guard to help minimize disruptions to navigation along the Tennessee River.

Disaster assistance for 2012 frost or freeze fruit crop losses announced by USDA

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Tuesday announced Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) assistance for losses to bush or tree fruit crops due to frost or freeze during the 2012 crop year. The program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill, provides supplemental NAP payment to eligible producers.

Farmers who did not have access to crop insurance and are in primary and adjacent counties that received a Secretarial disaster designation because of frost or freeze in 2012 are eligible for NAP assistance. Losses due to weather damage or other adverse natural occurrences may also qualify for program assistance.

NAP enrollment began Tuesday. Applications must be submitted to Farm Service Agency county offices by Sept. 22, 2014.

“After the 2014 Farm Bill was enacted into law, USDA expedited the restart of disaster assistance programs as a top priority,” said FSA Administrator Juan Garcia. “Fruit producers experienced significant financial losses from weather-related damage in 2012. NAP provides them with long-awaited disaster relief.”

To expedite applications, producers who experienced losses are encouraged to collect records documenting these losses in preparation for the sign-up in this program. Producers also are encouraged to contact their FSA county office to schedule an appointment. Limited resource, socially disadvantaged, and beginning producers are eligible for premium reductions and also may be eligible for fee reductions.

Interested producers can view the 2012 NAP Coverage for Frost, Freeze or Weather Related Fruit Losses Fact Sheet at http://go.usa.gov/5kSQ, or visit a local FSA office. To find out if land is located in an eligible frost/freeze county, visit http://go.usa.gov/53rz.

Tuesday's announcement was made possible through the 2014 Farm Bill, which builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past five years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for the taxpayer. Since enactment, USDA has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America.

For more information, visit www.usda.gov/farmbill.

What's News in Marion?

Today's Crittenden Press printed edition has a variety of local articles and information about upcoming events in the community. Don't miss what's News in Crittenden County. Among the things you will find are:

  • Reward is offered in theft of public property.
  • Fair pageants start this week, other events next week.
  • Officer Chuck Hoover is leaving Marion PD for another agency.
  • Man with local ties is now a New York Yankee.
  • Moxley is Veteran of the Month.
  • Back to School information. Classes start Aug. 12.
  • CCHS is now short a basketball coach.
  • Underdown's History: Election of 1918.
Get the details from these and other stories in this week's printed edition of The Crittenden Press. On sale this afternoon at newsstands or available by subscription.

School Supplies: Get a Voucher

Click Image to Enlarge