Massac, IL – The Metropolis city council last night discussed a budget deficit, a sewer separation project and rising water bills. The city has a 2.5 million dollar deficit due to an EPA ordered separation of sewer and runoff pipes. Also the water bills can no longer be subsidized by the local gaming industry because of a drop in revenue. City officials have applied for government loans and grants to help buffer citizens from large sudden hikes to sewer and water rates. The financial committee meets on the issue August 20th and there will be a full city council meeting August 24th.
Paducah, KY – Paducah Power System officials say a balloon was the cause of a power outage in the downtown area yesterday afternoon. The helium-filled foil balloon created an arc when it touched two electrical power line switches on Sixth Street. The Paducah Sun reports the resulting surge caused partial power loss to building between Second and Sixth Streets for about two hours. No injuries were reported.
Kentucky – Kentucky Transportation Secretary Joe Prather has resigned effective September 30. The nearly 70-year-old Prather says he's stepping down to return to private life in Hardin County. Before heading up the Cabinet under Governor Steve Beshear, Prather served several terms in the General Assembly and was finance secretary under former Governor Brereton Jones. Governor Beshear has appointed State Highway Engineer Mike Hancock as acting secretary for the Transportation Cabinet.
Clarksville, TN – After the first of September, people will legally be allowed to carry guns with valid permits in Montgomery County parks. The Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle reports that inaction by the county's Conservation Board last night, effectively stopped a resolution to continue the ban on guns in parks. Montgomery County voted in June to keep guns out of their four parks in the wake of Tennessee's newly passed state law. Other dangerous weapons like crossbows, knives, and boomerangs are still on the ban list.
Madisonville, KY – An initiative to replenish Hopkins County's tree population has taken root. The Re-Leaf Project is a move by the Community Improvement Foundation to restore area tree canopies, decimated by January's ice storm. It plans to plant one thousand trees a year for the next five. The Madisonville Messenger reports the group is hosting a public meeting at 10 A-M tomorrow in the second floor conference room of U-S Bank in Madisonville.