John Null

Reporter

John Null, a native of Benton, KY, is a senior at Murray State University and newswriting intern at WKMS. He is majoring in journalism and minoring in film studies. John's goal is to become a magazine columnist, film critic or screenwriter. Neither a borrower nor a lender-be, John enjoys deductive reasoning, not owning animals and regaling friends with his Tracy Ross impression.

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Business
12:24 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Damage To At Least 40% of MSU's Main Buildings Due to Power Outage and Freezing Temps

Update Tuesday,  2:50 p.m.

Murray State University's main campus will be closed again Wednesday. MSU officials say at least 40% of MSU's major buildings suffered significant damage due to frozen pipes and equipment.

Spokesperson Catherine Sivills says crews are still making rounds through buildings to assess the damage.

"As soon as we know the extent of the damage, we will make a determination on re-opening," Sivills said.

Murray State shutdown power to the main campus last night at the request of the TVA to help meet extremely high demand due to the arctic temperatures. MSU has a generator in place to carry enough load to prevent such problems from occurring. But, that generator malfunctioned last night. MSU has an "interruptible contract" with the TVA which allows the TVA to require MSU to reduce its electricity usage. Sivills says MSU receives "significant" savings for this contract.
 

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Environment
11:29 am
Tue January 7, 2014

TVA Says Peak Power Was Second Highest for Winter

Credit tva.com

Tennessee Valley Authority preliminary figures show power demand at 9 a.m. Tuesday morning reached the second highest winter peak in TVA history.

The utility reports preliminary power demand reached 32,460 megawatts as temperatures averaged 4 degrees across the region. That's 112 fewer megawatts than the record winter demand set in January 2009.

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Government
4:20 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Smith Mills Fire Dept. Receives $500,000 Grant for New Station

Credit Wikimedia Commons

Henderson's Smith Mills Volunteer Fire Department will build a new fire station thanks to a $500,000 community development block grant.

The Smith Mills Fire Department is currently based in a 112-year-old building near a busy intersection, creating hazards for firefighters.

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PGDP
12:50 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

USEC Prepares for Winter Layoffs

Credit DOE

As negotiations continue between the U.S. Department of Energy and GE Hitachi's Global Laser Enrichment for use of the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant site, the United States Enrichment Corporation is preparing for another round of layoffs beginning at the end of this month.

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Politics
4:01 pm
Wed January 1, 2014

Newberry Switches to Independent for Third Run at Office

Credit McCracken Fiscal Court

McCracken County Judge-Executive Van Newberry is running for a third term, and will do so as an independent.

Newberry was a Democrat and says he has considered the party switch since 2010. He says county level officials should be nonpartisan. Newberry's party switch, at present, allows him to avoid a primary race against Democrat Jeff Hines.

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Government
2:40 pm
Wed January 1, 2014

Thousands Apply for Tornado Recovery Assistance in Ill.

Credit John Paul Henry

Illinois officials say more than 2,000 people have applied for federal assistance following November tornadoes that prompted disaster declaration in their counties.

Gov. Pat Quinn’s office says the government has approved more than $1.6 million in federal grants and more than $5.6 million in low-interest loans.

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Education
3:57 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Ky. Education Commissioner Named President of State School Chiefs

Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday is now president of the Council of Chief State School Officers.

For the past year, Holliday has served as the group’s president-elect.

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Government
1:19 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Ky. Insurance Plan for High-Risk Individuals Ends Tomorrow

  Kentucky’s state-run insurance plan for high-risk individuals ends Tuesday, making way for mandatory health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

Kentucky state Rep. Steve Riggs of Louisville helped sponsor the legislation that implemented Kentucky Access fourteen years ago, and says the program has served a good purpose.

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Education
5:04 am
Mon December 30, 2013

MSU College of Education Helps Refine New Bully Reporting Tipline

Credit kycss.org

The Kentucky Center for School Safety, housed in the Murray State University College of Education, is testing a new tipline to help students or parents report any unsafe situation to school personnel anonymously.

The program is called the Safety Tipline Online Prevention, or STOP!.

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Society
5:04 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Paducah Police Dept. Phone Drive for Domestic Violence Victims Runs Through Jan. 5

If you received a new cell phone for the holidays, you can turn your old one over to the Paducah Police Department to help victims of domestic violence.

The PPD has partnered with Verizon Wireless’ HopeLine program. HopeLine refurbishes devices to provide support to domestic violence victims in the form of free phones and cash grants.

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