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  1. 101st Airborne's Col. Daub to Speak at Ceremony
    The annual Marshall County Memorial Day Ceremony will be held Monday, May 25 at 11:00 am at Veterans Plaza in Mike Miller Park in Draffenville. The annual ceremony is held to honor fallen men and women of the Armed Forces.

    Keynote speaker for the event is Colonel Kimberly Daub, Commander of the 101st Sustainment Brigade, the logistical component of the 101st Airborne Division at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. Colonel Daub is the first female brigade commander in the history of the 101st Airborne.

    A native of Ridgewood, New Jersey, Daub recently served as the senior commander for the U.S. response to the Ebola Virus in West Africa. Colonel Daub’s awards and decorations include: the Defense Superior Service Medal, Bronze Star Medal (2 OLC), Meritorious Service Medal (4 OLC), Army Commendation Medal (1 OLC), Army Achievement Medal (3 OLC), National Defense Service Medal (one Service Star), Southwest Asia Service Medal (3 Stars), Afghanistan Campaign Medal (1 star), Iraqi Campaign Medal (3 Stars), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korea Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Medal (Numeral 4), NATO Medal, Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia), Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait), Meritorious Unit Commendation, Combat Action Badge, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge and the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge.
     
    In the event of rain, the ceremony will be moved inside the main office next to the plaza.
  2. Free Craft Distillery Seminar at WKCTC on June 11
    The second Kentucky Crafts Beverage Conference will be held at West Kentucky Community and Technical College to discuss how and why to establish a craft distillery in western Kentucky. The event is sponsored by the Kentucky Innovation Network.

    The conference is free and open to the public, and will be held Thursday, June 11 from 6-8 pm in Crounse Hall, Room 101.

    Community members will have the opportunity to learn from local experts on why the western part of Kentucky is the “safest and easiest places to establish a craft distillery,” said Dan Lazarevic, director of the Kentucky Innovations Network’s Paducah office.

    The City of Paducah’s Deputy Chief/Fire Marshal Greg Cherry and Chief Building Inspector Les Fugate will discuss how to safely and legally establish a craft distillery, including the planning, purchasing and building location for a distillery.

    Matt Haney, owner of Hillbilly Stills, will focus on styles and features to look for when purchasing a still, and explain the extras and add-ons needed based on use and type of distilling.

    For more information about the conference, call the Kentucky Innovation Network Office at 270-201-2361 or email wkyinnovation@kctcs.edu.

    The Kentucky Innovation Network is a network of business leaders and mentors that encourage relationships, grow companies new and existing, and create jobs. The Network, managed in partnership with the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation, consists of 13 offices throughout Kentucky. West Kentucky Community and Technical College is the local partner for the Paducah office. 
  3. Tennessee Nears High School Graduation Rate Goal
    Tennessee is coming close to reaching the national goal of a 90 percent high school graduation rate by 2020.

    The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports 86.3 percent of the state's high school students graduated on time in 2013, according to the "Building a Grad Nation" report. Tennessee ranks eighth in the U.S. for its high school graduations.

    Researchers used data compiled by the National Center for Education Statistics at the U.S. Department of Education.

    The state led the Southeast or came close to it in some subcategories such as on-time graduation rates for students who come from low-income backgrounds. In 2013, 80.7 percent of those students graduated, compared to the national average of 73.3 percent.

    The report shows Iowa ranked No. 1 with an 89.7 percent graduation rate.
  4. Periodic Closures on Kentucky Ave. Next Week
    There will be some changes in the work zone along Kentucky Avenue in Paducah.

    The contractor plans some daytime closures in the area starting Wednesday, May 27. The one lane used for outbound traffic between Walter Jetton Boulevard and South 24th Street will be closed for several hours at a time on Wednesday, Thursday, and possibly Friday. The periodic closures are likely between 8:00 am and 3:30 pm, and will be in place as the weather allows. If rain stops progress, it will resume the next day until the work is done.

    Access to this 1-mile stretch of Kentucky Avenue (U.S. Highway 45) will available using rear and side streets. Walter Jetton Boulevard, 16th Street and 21st Street are the only cross-streets that will be open.

    Traffic going toward the river must use Broadway or another alternate route, and outbound drivers are encouraged to find another route, especially during this three-day period.

    This is a high-activity area, so drivers in the area should use caution.
     
  5. Two Area Students Among 'Dream Out Loud' Winners
    The families of six Kentucky students, including one from Paducah and one from Madisonville, have won $1,500 college savings accounts with the Kentucky Education Savings Plan Trust (KESPT) through the 2015 KESPT Dream Out Loud Challenge.

    The Challenge invited students in grades K-6 to submit an original poem, drawing, video or essay answering the question, “How will I change the world after college?”  Each winner’s school will also receive $500.

    More than 1,400 students from across Kentucky participated in the challenge for a chance to win a KESPT college savings account.

    The 2015 Dream Out Loud winners are:

    •Jacob Julian, a third-grader at Clark Elementary in Paducah, who submitted a video.
    •Lillian Norman, a first-grader at Jesse Stuart Elementary in Madisonville, who submitted a video.
    •Henry Haag, a first-grader at Robertson County School in Mount Olivet, who submitted an essay.
    •Anna Curry, a third-grader at Sandersville Elementary in Lexington, who submitted an essay.
    •Rasia Graves, a fifth-grader at Rineyville Elementary in Rineyville, who submitted a video.
    •Jaleah Halcomb, a sixth-grader at Oakland Elementary in Bowling Green, who submitted an essay.

    The Dream Out Loud contest challenged students to imagine how a college education would help them change the world and encouraged families to start thinking about saving for college. Children who entered the contest wanted to change the world as doctors, veterinarians, teachers, farmers, architects, engineers and more.

    “Dream Out Loud reaches children across the state and gets them excited about their future and how education will play an important role,” said David Lawhorn, KESPT program administrator. “It also reminds parents and grandparents that it is never too early to start saving for college.”

    A panel of local business executives, writers and education professionals served as judges for the Dream Out Loud entries. Winning submissions are displayed at kysaves.com (see a link below).

    KESPT helps parents, other relatives and friends save for college expenses with tax benefits. A KESPT account can be started with as little as $25 and can be used at any qualified institution in the nation. TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc., is the plan manager.

    For more information on KESPT and the Plan Disclosure Booklet, visit kysaves.com or call toll-free 1-877-598-7878.
  6. Loaded Truck Overturns, Blocks Husband Road
    A portion of Husband Road in Paducah was blocked for several hours after a loaded semi-tractor trailer overturned.

    The truck was loaded with used furniture and clothing, according to the McCracken County Sheriff's Department, and overturned between Krebs Station Road and Geibe Road about 8:15 pm.

    A deputy said the cargo had to be off-loaded so the truck could be returned to an upright position. That work lasted until the early morning hours of Sunday.
  7. Kentucky Wesleyan Adds Paducah Native
    Kentucky Wesleyan College announced the additions of Paducah native M. Blake Harrison as director of development and donor relations.   

    Harrison will oversee annual giving for the development office. He comes to Wesleyan from Georgetown College, where he served as a development officer for the past year. Previously, he worked at Western Kentucky University in development and marketing roles with the College Heights Foundation, Department of Athletics, and alumni relations and annual giving. The Paducah native earned a bachelor of arts in news and editorial journalism and a master’s degree in recreation and sport administration from WKU.    

    In addition, Jenna Brashear will work in both a development and alumni relations capacity. She previously served as a student affairs officer with the College of Fine Arts at the University of Kentucky after earning her master’s degree in education policy from Peabody College at Vanderbilt University in 2013. While at Vanderbilt, she was a graduate research assistant and served as a graduate fellow for the State Collaborative on Reforming Education in Nashville.  

  8. Opinion: EPA Rules Threaten Aluminum's Revival
    Aluminum may not cost as much as it did when special guests at banquets hosted by Napoleon III were offered a prized set of cutlery made from the metal while less-favored guests used knives and forks laden only with gold.

    However, its value to Kentucky's economy – and threats looming against it on the horizon – must be understood.

    I reported in July 2012 that the Environmental Protection Agency's regulatory jolts cast a net much wider than just over the coal mines the Obama administration promised to bankrupt.
     
    The EPA's proposed rules fired in the direction of Kentucky's new and existing power plants also threaten the aluminum industry, which is attracted to states where energy supplies are plentiful and cheap. Thus, the Bluegrass State – which has lots of coal and among the nation's lowest electric bills – has proven so attractive to the industry that nearly 40 percent of America's aluminum is produced within our borders.

    Just a few short years ago, not only were Century Aluminum and Rio Tinto-Alcan considering shutting down their two Kentucky smelters, but the commonwealth itself questioned whether the industry deserved help.

    A 2012 report commissioned by the General Assembly concluded that in light of rising electric rates, competitive factors, the location of new smelters (China now has 120 smelters compared to the United States' 15 such facilities, two of which are in Kentucky) and "the long-term decline of the smelter industry in the U.S., a reasonable person might wonder whether the U.S. smelter business is a good long-term bet."

    Yet the aluminum industry less than three years later is enjoying a renaissance unlike any other segment of Kentucky's manufacturing landscape.

    The industry not only kept its doors open, but it's expanding  – not because of handouts from Frankfort, but due to some old-fashioned market magic reflecting the automotive industry's desire for lighter-weight auto parts.

    InsiderLouisville's David Serchuk reports in an article entitled "Aluminum: Kentucky's fast-growing stealth mega-industry" that we're in the "beginning stages of sea changes that will result in far more cars and trucks being made of aluminum, not steel."

    Serchuk reports that the Kentucky Center for Economic Development projects the use of aluminum sheet for vehicle bodies will "increase from 200 million pounds in 2012 to 4 billion pounds by 2025."

    Contributing to such growth are plans by Ford to build the newest edition of its iconic F-150 pickup truck mostly from aluminum, resulting in a vehicle that's 700 pounds lighter with improved fuel economy.

    Serchuk reports that aluminum production accounted for $2 billion in Kentucky's 2013 gross domestic product, employed 20,000 Kentuckians – more than twice the bourbon industry – and paid an average – average – wage of $86,000.

    Still, while talk of closing down smelters has faded, it hasn't completely disappeared.

    Lurking in the shadows are ongoing concerns about whether the EPA's power-plant regulations, which remain "proposed" at this point, will be enacted and demonstrate that supply drives demand in reverse as well: less coal means higher electricity costs – at least 17 percent higher, according to the National Economic Research Associates.  

    Increased demand in the marketplace granted Kentucky's aluminum industry a reprieve from concerns it would be forced to close its doors because of higher energy rates caused by mine closures. Still, the EPA's stifling regulations have yet to move from the proposal stage to actual implementation.

    What could happen to the commonwealth's aluminum industry – because of what might happen to our coal industry because of what might happen to other manufacturers – when those rules actually are executed?

    The very real possibility exists that an industry just beginning to flourish again might still be forced to close its smelters and move from rural Kentucky to the vast mainland of China.

    Jim Waters is president of the Bluegrass Institute, Kentucky's free-market think tank. Reach him at jwaters@freedomkentucky.com. Read previously published columns at www.bipps.org.

  9. Police Find Robbery Suspect, Looking for Two More
    UPDATE (Saturday): Murray Police investigators, in cooperation with the Calloway County Sheriff's Office, arrested Patience Ahart Friday, May 22. Ahart is charged with robbery 1st degree and unlawful imprisonment 2nd degree in connection with with a robbery in an apartment on Diuguid Drive on Thursday. Ahart was taken to the Calloway County Jail.  

    Murray Police are currently seeking Veronica Teague and Vera Howard of Paris, TN on similar charges in connection with this investigation.


    Original Story:

    Police are looking for suspects in a Thursday night robbery at a Murray home.

    At around 11:00 pm Thursday, officers responded to a report of a robber at an apartment on Duiguid Drive. Police said the suspects went into the home and took cash and other personal items. 

    Police said they are looking for 19-year-old Patience Ahart, of Almo and other suspects who have not yet been named on charges of 1st degree robbery and 2nd degree unlawful imprisonment. Ahart is a white female and is 5’5” tall, with an average build. 

    Anyone with knowledge of Ahart’s whereabouts or other information regarding this crime is asked to call the Murray Police Department at 270-753-1621.
  10. McConnell, Whitfield Comment on Memorial Day
    Legislators from Kentucky have issued statements for this weekend's observance of Memorial Day.

    U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell issued the following statement:

    “This Monday we’ll honor our nation’s greatest heroes: Every American who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of freedom, democracy, and the American way of life. We’ll proudly fly the flag that these brave heroes sought to protect.

    “Memorial Day is also a time to express our gratitude to the families of the fallen, to let them know they are not forgotten. Kentucky has always played a vital role in the defense of our nation, and I want to especially remember the heroes of the Bluegrass State on this day. I’m honored to represent Kentuckians in the Armed Forces, including those stationed at Fort Knox, Fort Campbell, the Blue Grass Army Depot, and members of the Reserves and Kentucky National Guard.”


    U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield released the following statement: 

    “I would like to recognize all the courageous men and women in uniform who have made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our freedom and liberty,” said Whitfield. “It is because of these sacrifices that we have the privilege of living in the land of the free and the home of the brave. I hope everyone will take a moment today to honor those who lost their lives, those who serve us today, and the families who support them. Words cannot express the thanks I have for the service and sacrifice these great Americans have made for our country. God bless our soldiers and their families.”

    The holiday, which is celebrated every year on the final Monday of May, was formerly known as Decoration Day and originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the soldiers who died in the Civil War. As the 20th century approached, Memorial Day was extended to honor all Americans who have given their lives in the military while serving our country.
  11. Distillery Owner, Injured Worker Sue Still Maker
    A distillery owner and one of his employees are suing a still-maker after an explosion last month that killed another worker.

    The April 24 explosion at Marshall County's Silver Trail Distillery left employees Jay and Kyle Rogers with burns over 80 percent of their bodies. Kyle Rogers died from his injuries and Jay Rogers continues to recover.

    Rogers and Silver Trail owner Spencer Balentine filed their lawsuit against the Oregon-based Revenoor Company on Monday.

    The Kentucky Fire Marshal is still investigating the explosion, which it has said was caused by a "catastrophic equipment failure."

    The Silver Trail Distillery produces "LBL Moonshine," named for the nearby Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area.

  12. Egg Prices Surge To Record 238% Due to Bird Flu
    Egg prices surged to a record on Friday, a month after bird flu was first detected in the chicken flock in Iowa, the nation's leading egg producer.

    Midwest large eggs reached $2.32 a dozen.

    Rick Brown, a senior vice president for Urner Barry, a commodity market analyst says that's a 95 percent increase in the month since bird flu first hit Iowa chickens. He says the previous record was $2.27 set on Dec 4.

    Eggs used to make ice cream, mayonnaise and other processed foods set a record Friday of $2.13 a dozen, up 238 percent from the selling price of April 22 around the date Iowa's first chicken farm tested positive.

    More than 21 million of Iowa's egg-laying hens have been killed.



  13. KY's Election to be Filled with Political Firsts
    Kentucky voters could make history several times over this November.

    Voters could elect the state's first African-American to statewide office, the first millennial and the first governor from Louisville in more than a century.

    Jenean Hampton, the lieutenant governor candidate running with Republican Matt Bevin, could be the first African-American elected to statewide office if Bevin's 83-vote lead over James Comer in the Republican primary holds up after a recanvass this week.

    Ryan Quarles, the 31-year-old Republican nominee for Agriculture Commissioner, could become one of the youngest statewide elected officials in the country. He joins Republican nominee for treasurer Allison Ball, 33, and 34-year-old Attorney General nominee Whitney Westerfield for a particularly young ticket.

    Both Bevin and Democratic nominee Jack Conway live in Louisville.


  14. KY's Election to be Filled with Political Firsts
    Kentucky voters could make history several times over this November.

    Voters could elect the state's first African-American to statewide office, the first millennial and the first governor from Louisville in more than a century.

    Jenean Hampton, the lieutenant governor candidate running with Republican Matt Bevin, could be the first African-American elected to statewide office if Bevin's 83-vote lead over James Comer in the Republican primary holds up after a recanvass this week.

    Ryan Quarles, the 31-year-old Republican nominee for Agriculture Commissioner, could become one of the youngest statewide elected officials in the country. He joins Republican nominee for treasurer Allison Ball, 33, and 34-year-old Attorney General nominee Whitney Westerfield for a particularly young ticket.

    Both Bevin and Democratic nominee Jack Conway live in Louisville.


  15. KY's Election to be Filled with Political Firsts
    Kentucky voters could make history several times over this November.

    Voters could elect the state's first African-American to statewide office, the first millennial and the first governor from Louisville in more than a century.

    Jenean Hampton, the lieutenant governor candidate running with Republican Matt Bevin, could be the first African-American elected to statewide office if Bevin's 83-vote lead over James Comer in the Republican primary holds up after a recanvass this week.

    Ryan Quarles, the 31-year-old Republican nominee for Agriculture Commissioner, could become one of the youngest statewide elected officials in the country. He joins Republican nominee for treasurer Allison Ball, 33, and 34-year-old Attorney General nominee Whitney Westerfield for a particularly young ticket.

    Both Bevin and Democratic nominee Jack Conway live in Louisville.


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