Tuesday February 11, 2014

The Kentucky House has voted to expand a scholarship program for students in the state's coal regions. The measure is aimed at increasing the number of people achieving four-year college degrees in the eastern and western Kentucky coalfields. The scholarships would be awarded to students who, for the most part, attend four-year college campuses in coal counties, in hopes they stay there after getting their degrees. The measure seeks to make permanent a pilot project.
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Only 30 tons is left in the Laurel County road garage and that was borrowed from the state. Laurel crews are already close to doubling their usual usage of a thousand tons a year.  The state, they are getting low, too. Kind of cutting cities and counties off on borrowing salt from them. There are more than 1,200 miles of county roadways in Laurel County. In times like these, not all of those miles of roadway will be covered. A salt shortage means some roads will only be spot treated. Laurel County has ordered 800 tons from Michigan when normally they’d be able to get it from Louisville.
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The ARH Foundation for Healthier Communities announced today it has received a $1 million gift from Hazard native and energy industry leader Joe Craft towards the $47 million expansion project at the Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center. In recognition of this gift, the new patient tower will be named in his honor. The newly named Joe Craft Tower has three floors and more than 100,000 square feet of space and includes units for patients with the most critical care needs.
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The conditions of a father and daughter who were the only survivors in a Kentucky house fire that killed nine family members have been upgraded. Vanderbilt University Medical Center officials said Monday that 36-year-old Chad Watson and his 11-year-old daughter, Kylie, are both in stable condition. two had been in critical but stable condition since they arrived on Jan. 30 but were upgraded over the weekend. Police say the fire started when a combustible material fell against an electric heater in a bedroom overnight.
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The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has launched a web portal that makes vast amounts of information available to the public. With a click of a mouse, someone can find out how many electric vehicles are registered in Kentucky, how much was spent last year on highway projects in each county and where state-maintained bridges are located. The new Web portal is called Kentucky Transportation Cabinet DataMart. Other details accessible through the portal will include traffic counts, highway crash data and organizational performance measures.
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A Congressional hearing into last month's chemical leak into the Elk River is scheduled for Monday at 9 a.m. at the Kanawha County Courthouse in Charleston. An estimated 10,000 gallons of the chemical MCHM leaked from a tank at Freedom Industries and tainted the water supply for about 100,000 West Virginia American Water customers in nine counties.  The president of West Virginia American Water is scheduled to testify at the hearing, as is the chairman of the U.S. chemical Safety Board and the director of the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.