Mammoth Cave in Kentucky has become the first national park to be powered entirely with alternative fuel. That’s what the executive director of the Kentucky clean fuels coalition told state lawmakers in Frankfort Wednesday.
UPDATE: 3:48 p.m. National Weather Service Forecasters predict wind gusts up to and possibly exceeding 40 m-p-h in advance of a cold front that will bring severe thunderstorms to southeast Missouri, southern Illinois and the purchase region of western Kentucky. Forecasters say the storm system will impact our region between 4:00 p.m.
Madisonville’s new curbside recycling program is bringing down city sanitation costs. City Sanitation Superintendent Robert Janes says when more people recycle the city makes more money from material sales, and spends less money on dumping fees. Janes says about 25 percent of city residents are using the free program, which started October first. He says they’re now trying to expand it. He says,
“The ultimate goal for us is to do curbside recycling every week instead of every other week, and then doing our trash pickup every other week. That’s our ultimate goal.”
Tennessee health officials reported that the number of cases of rare fungal meningitis has increased by five to 49 cases. The number of deaths in Tennessee from the outbreak remained at six as of noon today. At least one person in our region has been diagnosed, according to the Union City Daily Messenger. Six Kentuckians have fallen ill, and one has died. The Kentuckians were infected in Tennessee and Indiana hospitals.
It could be next year before Kentucky agriculture officials will know how much drought affected state agritourism. Visits and tours of working farms peak in August, September and October, but drought has caused some farmers to scale back their events, like corn mazes and apple picking. State Agritourism Director Ben Shaffar says some Kentucky farmers realize as much as a 200 percent revenue boost from agritourism activities. But until the season ends, Shaffar can’t say what the numbers will look like this year.
The Tennessee Valley Authority's reliance on coal has dropped and the use of natural gas as fuel to generate electricity has increased. The Commercial Appeal reports TVA's use of gas climbed 70 percent in the fiscal year ended September 30. At the same time, coal-fired generation declined 30 percent from fiscal year 2011.
Officials with the Kentucky Division of Forestry say this summer’s lack of rain, along with tornadoes that have knocked down trees have created the conditions for a potentially bad wildfire season. The recent drought has dried out state forests in the Commonwealth, and fallen trees and limbs means there’s plenty of fuel for wildfires. State forester Leah MacSwords says this could lead to an active fire season and be dangerous for firefighters. She says people should take extra precautions and watch out for forest arson, the leading cause of Kentucky’s wildfires. This fall’s fire season
Joe LaFleur lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Georgia, but his Better Birdwatching business brings him to Kentucky on a long weekend. The twenty year collector of bird videos and songs gives programs and birdwalks at both Kenlake State Resort Park (9 to 10:30 a.m) and Pennyrile State Resort Park (1 to 2:30 p.m.) on Sunday. See more about the Kentucky bird walks at his website betterbirdwatching.com. He spoke with Kate Lochte Tuesday on Sounds Good.
A federal court ruling on power plant emissions has prompted a settlement cutting the cost of Big Rivers Electric’s pollution control plan by $225 million. The Kentucky Public Service Commission announced the settlement Monday. The electric company had proposed spending more than $283 million on pollution control systems for the plants in Hawesville, Centertown and two in Sebree in order to comply with federal rules. But in August, a federal court overruled some emission control regulations set by the Environmental Protection Agency.
This year’s drought hasn’t just lessened corn crops in our region. It’s also left stalks too low for the fall tradition of corn mazes.
Sam Brown of Mayfield’s A-Maize-ing Farms says instead of the usual 20-acre corn maze, it will offer other activities such as a petting zoo and paintball. The owners of Paducah’s Blooms ‘N Gardens say if it hadn’t been for their irrigation system, they would’ve lost their 8-acre maze.