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  1. Officials Announce $75,000 Grant for Paducah Park
    Department for Local Government Commissioner Tony Wilder joined local leaders Thursday to announce a $75,000 Land and Water Conservation Fund grant to help fund the first phase of a multi-use park in Paducah.

    According to a press release, the funding will allow the city of Paducah to complete the excavation and grading necessary to develop a two-block section between 13th and 14th streets, formerly home to 28 blighted residential tracts.  Once completed, the 14th Street Park will feature a walking path, fountain park, play fields, community garden and picnic areas, boosting residents’ overall health and welfare.

    “Our LCWF funding helps improve recreational projects and provide Kentuckians safe spaces to be active, go camping, play sports and live overall healthier lifestyles,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “Parks and recreational facilities like the 14th Street Park are important to enhancing the quality of life in our Kentucky communities.”

    “Safe, clean, local parks are an important addition to any thriving community,” Wilder said. “Thanks to this LCWF funding, the city of Paducah will repurpose the blighted property to enhance the area’s appeal and offer residents a sound place to enjoy outdoor city living.”

    The LWCF is a grant matching reimbursement program for the development and maintenance of public outdoor recreation areas and facilities, such as campgrounds, sports and fields, swimming and fishing areas, boating facilities and trails.

    “The city of Paducah is grateful for this Land and Water Conservation Fund grant.  The 14th Street Park is a diamond in the rough.  It’s a wonderful green area adjacent to the city’s Fountain Avenue Neighborhood Revitalization Project,” said Paducah Mayor Gayle Kaler. “This grant will enable us to begin the development of a great space for families to enjoy the great outdoors right in their own backyard.”

    In addition to the LWCF grant, the City of Paducah will contribute just under $86,000 in cash and in-kind services for the completion of Phase I, which is estimated to cost $160,925.

  2. Boil Water Order Lifted for Hickory Residents
    UPDATE: The boil water order was lifted at about 4:20 pm.

    Original Story:
    Mayfield Electric & Water Systems has issued a boil water advisory for the southern part of the Hickory area in Graves County Water District.

    Residents included in the order are those who live on State Route 45 North from State Route 1241 back to Mayfield, all of State Route 1241 and side roads, State Route 121 from State Route 945 back to Mayfield, State Route 440 from State Route 945 to State Route 121, Jimtown Road, Keybottom Road. This advisory also includes any side roads off of these main highways back to Mayfield city limits.

    If you live in these areas, please boil your water for three minutes before consumption until further notice. The utility has alerted residents with a recorded phone message. If you live in the affected area and did not get a One-Call, please call the Sheriff’s Office to update your information at 270-247-4501.

    Residents can track the situation by following Mayfield Electric and Water on their Facebook page or twitter feed (@MEWSPublic). Anyone with questions should call 270-247-4661.
  3. JPEC President Nuckols Retiring In April
    Jackson Purchase Energy Corporation and its board of directors have announced the upcoming retirement of their President and CEO, G. Kelly Nuckols. Nuckols’ retirement date is April 30, 2015, and he will be acting in a consulting capacity until then to ensure a smooth transition for the Company.

    Nuckols came to JPEC in 1997 in the midst of the Big Rivers’ bankruptcy. Nuckols has been an active member of the local and state community, having served as President of the Paducah/McCracken Chamber of Commerce, member of Paducah Symphony board, member of United Way board, member of Paducah Economic Development board, member of Industrial Development Authority and many others. On the statewide level, Nuckols is a member of Leadership Kentucky, has served two terms on the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce board, and is currently serving on the Kentucky Workforce Investment board. Nuckols also serves in leadership roles on various utility related organizations.

    When asked about acknowledgements over the past 17 years, Nuckols replied with five major items:

    · An employee safety record that is one of the best in the state, having received the Governor’s Safety Award the last two years having worked 493,000 days without a lost-time accident.

    · A well trained and hard working group of employees who care about the members they serve.

    · Maintaining the lowest rates in the state and having maintained the lowest rates for the last 10 years.

    · Elevated the public image and awareness of JPEC in all areas served and throughout the state and nation.

    · Established a working relationship with Paducah Power on a number of issues, including service rights.

    Gary Joiner, Chairman of the JPEC board of directors, expressed the board’s appreciation for the hard work and many accomplishments of Nuckols saying, “JPEC is much different and better than when Nuckols assumed the role of President and CEO. JPEC has assumed a leadership position, is viewed in a positive and favorable manner and is well respected through the electric industry.”

    Nuckols indicated he would be spending more time with his family, especially his two grandsons. He also indicated he would continue to be actively involved in various activities in the community.  

    Joiner said the entire board wishes Nuckols a long, healthy and productive retirement.

  4. 2nd Round of Illinois Marijuana Patients to Apply
    Aspiring medical marijuana patients whose last names start with M through Z can soon apply to the Illinois Department of Public Health for a registry card.

    The department begins accepting applications from that group starting Saturday.

    Illinois has been processing paperwork from thousands of applicants whose last names begin with A through L. Others have been asked to wait until Nov. 1 to apply.

    Most patients must have a written certification from their doctor to use medical marijuana in the state's new program. Only military veterans getting Veterans Affairs care won't need a doctor to sign off. VA doctors, as federal employees, aren't permitted to recommend controlled substances.

    More information is available online at the program's website at the link below.
  5. Obama on Ebola Fight: US Can't Seal Itself Off
    President Barack Obama says the United States can't hermetically seal itself off from the world in the fight against Ebola.

    Obama says doctors and nurses from the United States who have volunteered to fight Ebola in West Africa are American heroes who must be treated with dignity and respect. He cautions against discouraging their work with restrictive measures that confine them upon their return.

    Obama spoke Wednesday at the White House surrounded by health care workers who have volunteered or will volunteer to serve in Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea, where the disease has killed nearly 5,000.

    Obama says the U.S. medical system is better prepared to handle any cases of Ebola in the United States.
  6. Health Official Suggests Post Using State Resource
    Tennessee's top health department official is recommending that Fort Campbell use the state lab facility for testing for specific diseases, including Ebola.

    Dr. John Dreyzehner, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Health, told a round table at the military post on Tuesday that the state lab is close to Fort Campbell and could provide assistance.

    Some Fort Campbell troops recently deployed, as the 101st Airborne (Air Assault) assumed a role Saturday as the headquarters unit for the military mission in Liberia. The troops joined soldiers from all five services who are providing engineering, health care training and logistical support to USAID, the Armed Forces of Liberia, and the Government of Liberia.

    The round table was held between military and civilian health administrators at Blanchfield Army Community Hospital at Fort Campbell.

  7. McConnell Set To Return To Paducah Monday
    A day after Senator Mitch McConnell was in Paducah, comes an announcement that he will return to Paducah with Senator Rand Paul on Election Eve.

    The Senator's campaign office sent out a news release calling the tour around the state the "Countdown to Victory", which will take place through out the day on Monday.

    Senators' McConnell and Paul will arrive at Barkley Airport at 2 pm.

    West Kentucky Star has not received information from the Alison Lundergan-Grimes campaign on her plans for any visits to the West Kentucky Star region.  Both President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton will be in Kentucky over the next several days campaigning with Grimes, but no Paducah or stops within this region, are on the agenda.


  8. Historic Halloween Chill, Weekend Freeze Watch

    The National Weather Service office in Paducah says this Halloween could be one of the five chilliest on the books, and they have issued a freeze watch for the region for Friday night through Sunday morning.

    After collecting historical Halloween data for Paducah, meteorologists say that if Friday's forecast high doesn't reach 50 degrees, it would be only the 5th Halloween in 77 years with a high in the 40s. Even if the high does reach 50, it would still be in the top ten percent for the chilliest trick-or-treating.

    The bulk of Halloween highs (73%) have been in the 60s and 70s. Paducah has basked in the 80s on seven different Halloweens since 1938.

    Meanwhile, a freeze watch has been issued for which is in effect from late Friday night through Sunday morning. This watch covers all of southeast Missouri, southern Illinois, southwest Indiana and west Kentucky.

    Temperatures will drop below at or below the freezing mark by  midnight Friday night over southwest Illinois, then spread  southeast across the rest of the region through the overnight  hours Saturday morning.

    Temperatures Saturday morning will range from 26 to 31 degrees. For Saturday night and Sunday temperatures should drop below freezing no later than 10 PM Saturday night, with lows ranging between 26 and 32 degrees.

     Temperatures should rise above freezing after 9 am on Saturday and 8 am on Sunday.

    Impacts will be twofold. Cold temperatures Saturday and Sunday will damage sensitive plants left uncovered and left outdoors. Moderate to heavy frost expected Saturday night and Sunday will also damage plants.

    The cold temperatures will essentially end the outdoor growing season. These conditions could kill crops and other sensitive vegetation.

  9. Historic Halloween Chill, Weekend Freeze Watch

    The National Weather Service office in Paducah says this Halloween could be one of the five chilliest on the books, and they have issued a freeze watch for the region for Friday night through Sunday morning.

    After collecting historical Halloween data for Paducah, meteorologists say that if Friday's forecast high doesn't reach 50 degrees, it would be only the 5th Halloween in 77 years with a high in the 40s. Even if the high does reach 50, it would still be in the top ten percent for the chilliest trick-or-treating.

    The bulk of Halloween highs (73%) have been in the 60s and 70s. Paducah has basked in the 80s on seven different Halloweens since 1938.

    Meanwhile, a freeze watch has been issued for which is in effect from late Friday night through Sunday morning. This watch covers all of southeast Missouri, southern Illinois, southwest Indiana and west Kentucky.

    Temperatures will drop below at or below the freezing mark by  midnight Friday night over southwest Illinois, then spread  southeast across the rest of the region through the overnight  hours Saturday morning.

    Temperatures Saturday morning will range from 26 to 31 degrees. For Saturday night and Sunday temperatures should drop below freezing no later than 10 PM Saturday night, with lows ranging between 26 and 32 degrees.

     Temperatures should rise above freezing after 9 am on Saturday and 8 am on Sunday.

    Impacts will be twofold. Cold temperatures Saturday and Sunday will damage sensitive plants left uncovered and left outdoors. Moderate to heavy frost expected Saturday night and Sunday will also damage plants.

    The cold temperatures will essentially end the outdoor growing season. These conditions could kill crops and other sensitive vegetation.

  10. Historic Halloween Chill, Weekend Freeze Watch

    The National Weather Service office in Paducah says this Halloween could be one of the five chilliest on the books, and they have issued a freeze watch for the region for Friday night through Sunday morning.

    After collecting historical Halloween data for Paducah, meteorologists say that if Friday's forecast high doesn't reach 50 degrees, it would be only the 5th Halloween in 77 years with a high in the 40s. Even if the high does reach 50, it would still be in the top ten percent for the chilliest trick-or-treating.

    The bulk of Halloween highs (73%) have been in the 60s and 70s. Paducah has basked in the 80s on seven different Halloweens since 1938.

    Meanwhile, a freeze watch has been issued for which is in effect from late Friday night through Sunday morning. This watch covers all of southeast Missouri, southern Illinois, southwest Indiana and west Kentucky.

    Temperatures will drop below at or below the freezing mark by  midnight Friday night over southwest Illinois, then spread  southeast across the rest of the region through the overnight  hours Saturday morning.

    Temperatures Saturday morning will range from 26 to 31 degrees. For Saturday night and Sunday temperatures should drop below freezing no later than 10 PM Saturday night, with lows ranging between 26 and 32 degrees.

     Temperatures should rise above freezing after 9 am on Saturday and 8 am on Sunday.

    Impacts will be twofold. Cold temperatures Saturday and Sunday will damage sensitive plants left uncovered and left outdoors. Moderate to heavy frost expected Saturday night and Sunday will also damage plants.

    The cold temperatures will essentially end the outdoor growing season. These conditions could kill crops and other sensitive vegetation.

  11. Convicted Priest Making Bid for Prison Release
    A priest convicted earlier this year of sexually abusing a teenage boy in the 1970s is making a bid to be released from prison after serving six months of his 15-year sentence.

    An attorney for the Rev. James Schook notified a judge he will ask that Schook be released on shock probation because he realizes the importance of conforming to the community's rules.

    In April, a jury convicted Schook of three counts of sodomy and one count of indecent and immoral behavior with an individual.

    Schook suffers from terminal cancer. Shock probation allows inmates to be released after serving one to six months of their sentence.

    Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney John Balliet told WDRB-TV in Louisville he anticipates opposing early release for Schook but would talk to the victims first.


  12. KY Man Who Posted Song Lyrics Won't Face Charges
    Prosecutors have dismissed a felony charge against a western Kentucky man arrested for posting violent song lyrics to his Facebook page. 

    The lyrics James E. Evans posted in August included the words "student bodies lying dead in the halls'' and prompted complaints to school officials in Muhlenberg County.

    Evans was charged with terroristic threatening and spent eight days in jail, because he said he could not afford the $1,000 bond. 

    The case attracted the attention of the American Civil Liberties Union, which called for his case to be dismissed. His attorney, Bill Sharp with the Kentucky ACLU, said the charge was dismissed on Monday. 

    Evans had posted the lyrics from the song "Class Dismissed (A Hate Primer)'' by the California band Exodus.
  13. Benton Woman Injured in Three Car Collision
    A Benton woman was injured in a three vehicle crash on Interstate 24 Wednesday evening.

    According to the McCracken County Sheriff's Department, at around 6:45 P.M. deputies were called to the 10 mile marker for a three vehicle crash.

    When deputies arrived, their investigation determined that a car driven by 21-year-old Kathryn Kennedy of Metropolis was eastbound on I-24. When she approached traffic congestion caused by construction on the interstate, when for an unknown reason, she struck the rear end of a van, driven by 63-year-old Vicki Koehler of Benton.

    That initial crash caused a chain reaction, causing Koehler's van to strike another car, driven by 58-year-old Cynthia Dunigan of Calvert City.

    Koehler was taken to Baptist Health for possible non-life threatening injuries. 
  14. I-24 Ramp Closed Thursday Night for Anti Skid Work
    A contractor for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet plans one more night of work along the ramp that connects the Purchase Parkway northbound lanes to Interstate 24 eastbound in Marshall County starting at 7:00 pm Thursday.

    The contractor will close the ramp for some finish work on the high-friction, anti-skid coating that was applied to curved portions of the ramp last week. The ramp will be closed for about 4 to 6 hours starting at 7:00 pm Thursday. There will be no marked detour, but drivers may self-detour via US 62 eastbound to I-24 Exit 27 at Calvert City.

    While the high-friction, anti-skid coating is designed to improve traction along the ramp, motorists are asked to do their part by slowing down and being aware of their speed.

    The ramp is at Purchase Parkway Exit 52 and I-24 Exit 25 near Calvert City.
  15. Beshear Brings Funds for Street, Park Improvements
    Governor Steve Beshear came to western Kentucky Wednesday to announce one project and deliver funding to another.

    Beshear was in Lyon County about 2:00 pm to spotlight two projects that will bring lasting benefits to the Lake Barkley region – a multi-use bike or pedestrian trail along the lake front and a new amphitheater on the northern shore.  

    “Lyon County and the entire Lake Barkley region comprise one of Kentucky’s jewels,” Gov. Beshear said. “The funding we’re presenting today will further enhance an already excellent quality of life.”

    The governor presented a ceremonial check for $322,300, part of the federal Transportation Alternatives Program for continued development of a multi-use trail system and a scenic lookout adjacent to Lake Barkley. The trail is a three-phase project, compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, which will connect three sections of Kuttawa. The project has been years in the making, with the city completing phase 1 in 2004, and set to begin construction on Phase 2. The TAP funding from Beshear's trip is for the third and final phase.

    “Kuttawa is setting an example for other small communities looking for ways to encourage walking and biking as a healthy, enjoyable alternative to vehicle travel,” Gov. Beshear said. “This trail will help tie together the community, giving local residents a safe means of pedestrian and bicycle access.”

    Later in the day, Beshear announced a project in Paducah that will accomplish two important goals – the badly needed rehabilitation of a mile of Kentucky Avenue, coupled with the relocation of water, sewer and gas lines that run at a shallow depth beneath the street. Beshear said the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is aiming offer the project for bids in January.

      “Our engineers in the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet saw this as an opportunity to accomplish two goals with one project and have worked closely with the city and the utility companies to carry it out,” Beshear said. “The end result will be a much-improved, mile-long section of Kentucky Avenue whose needs go far beyond what the public is able to see on the surface.”

    The project area is between Kentucky Avenue’s intersections with Otis Dinning Drive and Walter Jetton Boulevard. The plan is to remove the old asphalt and replace it with full-depth concrete pavement. Curbs and gutters will be reconstructed to improve drainage, and utility lines for Paducah Water, Paducah-McCracken Joint Sewer Agency and Atmos Energy Co. will be moved.

    “Kentucky Avenue is a main state road that takes people in and out of downtown Paducah.  Improvements to the pavement, curbs, gutters, and drainage are important to the citizens who travel it daily,” said Paducah Mayor Gayle Kaler.  “I’m proud of the partnership the City of Paducah has with the state in working to keep Paducah’s roads safe. 

    The state’s improvements to Kentucky Avenue coupled with the work underway by the city to rehabilitate a segment of Broadway will provide much need enhancements to Paducah’s infrastructure.” 

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