Tuesday April 29, 2014

Strong storms damaged homes and businesses in the Harlan County city of Evarts Monday afternoon.  Winds ripped the roof off the Dairy Hut and blew a hole in the side of the Marathon gas station. Both businesses are located in downtown Evarts and are owned by Randy Brackett.  Winds also damaged several houses, including the home of Evarts mayor Eddie Manning.  No injuries were reported in Harlan County because of the storm.
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A fire in a Pike County railroad tunnel is causing some concern for folks in the area. Several schools cancelled class on Monday, as the Robinson Creek area fills with heavy smoke and fumes. Monday morning, firefighters from Shelby Valley worked to extinguish the flames inside the tunnel that stretches 700 feet through the mountain.  Pike County Emergency Management Director Doug Tackett says the odor is due to the old age of the tunnel and how it was built, using creosote which can emit toxic fumes..Instead of using water, officials are going to use dirt to try to smother it out.  In a statement from CSX officials they say there is significant damage to the tunnel and do not have a timeline as to when the line will reopen.  CSX is working with the state fire marshal's office to determine a cause.
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Developers are halting a three-state underground pipeline project that drew intense opposition in Kentucky from residents, activists and even a group of nuns. Williams Co. and Boardwalk Pipeline Partners said in a web posting Monday that they were not able to assemble a large enough customer base for the natural gas liquids that would be delivered by the proposed Bluegrass Pipeline. They suggested, however, that the project could be resurrected at a later date. The companies said they are no longer seeking to acquire land for the project and offices that housed land acquisition teams have been closed.
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A man is in the hospital after being struck by lightning in Powell County. It happened around 8:45 Monday morning at the Powell County Transfer Station on Highway 15 in Clay City. Officials say the man was alert and talking when crews got to the scene. He was taken by ambulance to Clark Regional Hospital in Winchester .  The victim's name and condition have not been released.
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A Perry County School brought national honors to Eastern Kentucky with rankings out last week. U.S. News and World Report awarded the school a Bronze Medal. Two qualifications earned schools Bronze Medals. Schools had to first perform better than average in the state, and economically disadvantaged students had to perform better than expected. Buckhorn's rate of economically disadvantaged students stood at 78 percent.
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Fayette County Public Schools are undergoing big zoning changes for the first time in more than ten years. The district has announced plans to build two new elementary schools, one new high school, and to create new boundaries for school districts. With two new elementary schools set to open in 2016 and a new high school in 2017, school leaders say re-working the map on attendance zones is a necessity.