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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Politics
12:44 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Bevin Reports $900K Raised in Fourth Quarter of 2013

The Louisville businessman looking to defeat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in May’s Republican primary raised more than $900,000  in the fourth quarter of 2013.

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Government
7:25 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

PACRO Official: "Matter of a Few Months" Before Agreement Is Reached for PGDP Site

The director of the Paducah Area Community Reuse Organization, or PACRO, says negotiations are going well between the U.S. Department of Energy and General Electric-Hitachi Global Laser Enrichment for use of the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant site.

Charlie Martin said the two parties have had multiple meetings in Lexington, Ky. and Washington D.C. since beginning negotiations in November and thinks an agreement will be reached soon.

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Government
12:38 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Coursey Pushes for Higher Minimum Wage for Tipped Employees

Kentucky state Rep. Will Coursey of Symsonia wants the state to raise the minimum wage for tipped employees. 

The three-term Democrat’s bill would first boost the wage from $2.13 per hour to $3.00 if passed this session. Then starting July 2015 the minimum wage would increase by 95 cents each year until it is 70 percent of the hourly minimum wage of non-tipped employees - currently $7.25.

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Government
4:22 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Former Deputy Clerk Gets $345,000 in Settlement with McCracken Fiscal Court

Credit facebook

The McCracken County Fiscal Court has agreed to settle a lawsuit with a former deputy county clerk.

The county and its insurance company will pay Leslie Hannan a total of $345,000, with $195,000 coming from the county.

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Government
2:32 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

KYTC Awards $30M Contract for Madisonville I-69 Interchange

Credit Wikimedia Commons

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has awarded a $30 million dollar contract to reconstruct a major interchange in Hopkins County, as part of the ongoing Interstate 69 project.

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Government
9:45 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Murray City Council Mulls Approaches to Keeping Gentry House Open

Credit facebook

The Murray City Council is asking the board of a non-profit that provides homeless housing to rescind its decision to close at the end of January.

The Gentry House, which houses four homeless families, decided to close last year due to lack of funding and staffing difficulties - four executive directors in six years.

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Environment
4:30 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

MSU Only Interruptible Service Contract Exercised in West KY

A Tennessee Valley Authority spokesman says at least 1,200 interruptible service contract customers participated in helping the utility get through the high demand for power during this week’s arctic cold.

Duncan Mansfield said Murray State University, which shut down power Monday night, was the only such customer in western Kentucky.

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Education
4:32 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

TVA Power Shutdown, Failed Generator Lead to Damages at MSU

Credit flickr

Murray State Chief Facilities Officer Kim Oatman discusses the extent of damage to MSU buildings with Kate Lochte.

The Murray State University main campus remains closed through at least Wednesday night, as damage to buildings is surveyed after Monday's extreme cold.

MSU facilities management has yet to file a complete report, but estimates at least 40 percent of main campus buildings sustained damage, with frozen pipes and equipment. University vehicles were also damaged.

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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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