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Fatal Accident on Hwy 527 Near St. Francis

Posted by on Oct 3, 2010

(Marion County, KY) Trooper John Adams is investigating a fatal collision that occurred @ approximately 1:40 a.m. James Pinkston, age 36, of Bardstown, was traveling north on Hwy 527 four miles north of St. Francis. Pinkston lost control of his vehicle and left the roadway, striking a tree.

Pinkston was ejecting from the vehicle. A passenger, Shannon Pinkston, age 34, of Bardstown, was pronounced dead at the scene by the Marion County coroner. Mr. Pinkston was transported to the University of Louisville hospital by Marion County E.M.S. Neither driver nor passenger were wearing seat belts and air bags were deployed.

Trooper Adams was assisted by Marion County fire and rescue, St Francis fire and rescue and the Marion County Sheriff’s office. Alcohol is believed to be a factor, the accident is still under investigation by Trooper Adams.

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Marion County Declared Level 1 Drought Status

Posted by on Oct 2, 2010

The Office of the State Climatologist and the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, in coordination with the Kentucky Drought Mitigation Team (KDMT), are issuing a Level I drought declaration for counties in six drought management areas (DMAs) in central and eastern Kentucky. These new counties bring the total to 69 counties in 11 DMAs under a Level 1 declaration.
Counties within the new Level I drought declaration areas:

Barren River DMA: Allen
Bluegrass DMA: Bourbon, Clark, Fayette, Jessamine, Powell
Buffalo Trace DMA: Bracken, Mason, Robertson
Gateway DMA:  Bath, Menifee, Montgomery
Kentucky River DMA: Wolfe
Lincoln Trail DMA: LaRue, Marion, Nelson, Washington

Counties already within the Level I drought declaration areas:

Barren River DMA: Butler, Logan, Simpson
Bluegrass DMA: Anderson, Franklin, Harrison, Nicholas, Scott, Woodford
Green River DMA: Daviess, Hancock, Henderson, McLean, Ohio, Union, Webster
KIPDA DMA: Bullitt, Henry, Jefferson, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer, Trimble
Lincoln Trail DMA: Breckinridge, Grayson, Hardin, Meade
Northern Kentucky DMA: Boone, Campbell, Carroll, Gallatin, Grant, Kenton, Owen, Pendleton
Purchase DMA:  Ballard, Calloway, Carlisle, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Marshall, McCracken
Pennyrile DMA: Caldwell, Christian, Crittenden, Hopkins, Livingston, Lyon, Muhlenberg, Todd, Trigg

Counties that are considered abnormally dry but not in the Level I drought declaration:

Barren River DMA: Edmonson, Hart, Warren
Bluegrass DMA: Boyle, Estill, Garrard, Lincoln, Madison, Mercer
Buffalo Trace DMA: Fleming, Lewis
Gateway DMA: Morgan, Rowan
Kentucky River DMA: Breathitt, Lee
Lake Cumberland DMA: Green, Taylor

A Level I drought indicates moderate drought conditions have developed primarily affecting soil moisture and vegetative health. Serious impacts to agricultural water needs, an increased wildfire risk, water supply shortages with systems on small lakes and reservoirs, and other water-sensitive sectors can be expected in the designated areas.

The current Level I drought declaration has been expanded into more of the Bluegrass and into parts of eastern Kentucky to cover areas that have widespread dryness throughout with precipitation totals of only 50 to 60 percent of normal for several consecutive months. Significant rainfall has been restricted to southern and eastern parts of the state, while the rest of the state has experienced extremely dry to, in some locations, record dryness during the months of August and September.

Several counties in the central and eastern part of the state that are not within the Level I drought declaration are developing drought-like conditions and impacts. These conditions are the result of the rapid change to a dry weather pattern over the past 30 to 60 days. If this pattern persists, it is expected that drought declarations will be declared for additional counties.

Streamflows on larger rivers (Green, Kentucky, Licking, Big Sandy and Ohio rivers) have remained at normal levels due to the releases from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) lakes and timely rains in their headwaters. USACE reports their lakes are at normal water levels and many have undergone releases to lower levels to winter pool to help maintain, and even increase, flows on the rivers they supply. Water levels in many smaller streams are extremely low, including the Drakes Creek watershed in Simpson and Allen counties, Elkhorn Creek in Central Kentucky, Rolling Fork River in the Lincoln Trail Region, Eagle Creek in Northern Kentucky, and the Red River in Powell and Wolfe counties.

Most of Kentucky’s potable water supply sources are currently at safe levels. However, a few water systems relying on small lakes or reservoirs may begin to experience low water supplies. If these conditions continue to develop, water supply shortage watches will be issued by the Division of Water for the affected areas.

Wildfires have become a serious issue in areas experiencing drought conditions. The Division of Forestry reports a very large increase in wildfires during the month of September. The largest number of fires have been located in the Big Sandy, Pennyrile, Green River, Lincoln Trail and Kentuckiana Regional Planning and Development Agency drought management areas. The public is urged to take steps to prevent wildfires from starting.

The Fall Forest Fire Hazard Season begins today and a number of counties are already under burn bans.  A list of counties currently under a burn ban can be found at http://forestry.ky.gov/wildlandfiremanagement/Pages/CountyBurnBans.aspx

The National Weather Service offices have begun their fire weather forecasts early due to the increased wildfire risk. These are the office links:
Louisville Office: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/lmk/?n=fireweather
Paducah Office: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/pah/?n=firewx
Jackson Office: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/jkl/fire.php
Charleston, W. Va. Office: http://www.erh.noaa.gov/rlx/firewx.html
Wilmington, Ohio Office: http://www.erh.noaa.gov/iln/fireweather.php

The drought significantly affected agriculture. The dry conditions have sped up harvests, significantly reduced corn and soybean yields and caused over-drying of tobacco. The poor quality of many pastures has forced many producers to begin feeding hay to livestock.

Many livestock water supplies have dried up and are forcing producers to rely on municipal suppliers or water districts. These alternate sources result in higher costs for producers and increased demand on public water supplies. Urban landscaping has also been impacted resulting in the browning of lawns and the early loss of leaves on some trees.

Weather outlooks provided by the National Weather Service indicate that chances are slight over the next two months for widespread soaking rainfall events needed to alleviate the drought..  Isolated, spotty events with no real regional improvements in drought status are expected to continue. This will likely exacerbate the current impacts including wildfires, possible water shortages for drought-vulnerable systems, an increased need for livestock water supplies, the selling off of livestock herds, difficulty planting winter wheat fields and hay shortages.

The state Drought Mitigation and Response Plan defines a tiered approach to classifying drought severity using multiple indicators to assess the intensity and location of developing drought. These indicators include the Drought Monitor, Palmer Drought Index, Crop Moisture Index, and precipitation and streamflow measurements.

More information about drought declaration criteria can be found in the Kentucky Drought Mitigation and Response Plan at http://water.ky.gov/wa/Documents/State%20Plan_Final.pdf.
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KSP Investigates Death in Marion County

Posted by on Sep 28, 2010

The Kentucky State Police are investigating the Death of 21-year-old Robert T. Hughes of Lebanon, KY.  He was found today at approximately 4:52 PM EDT in his residence by family members.  An autopsy is scheduled for tomorrow morning at the State Medical Examiner’s office to determine a cause of death.  No foul play is expected at this time.  Detective B.J. Burton is investigating.

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Marion County Wildlife Management Area Dedication set for Sept. 16

Posted by on Sep 15, 2010

The public is invited to the dedication of the new 1,293-acre Marion County Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and State Forest at 6 p.m. Eastern time Thursday, Sept. 16. The ceremony is being held at the WMA parking lot, located southeast of Lebanon off Siloam Road.

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, the Kentucky Division of Forestry and the Marion County Fiscal Court — co-owners of the property — will recognize the partners and acknowledge the funding sources that made the new WMA possible.

The property was purchased with money from the Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund, the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act and the Kentucky Fish and Game Fund.
The Heritage Land Conservation Fund receives part of its land acquisition funding from the nature license plate program. The federal aid money is derived from federal excise taxes collected from manufacturers of sporting firearms, ammunition, pistols and archery equipment. Fish and Game Fund money, which comes from Kentucky Fish and Wildlife, is derived from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses, as well as boat licensing.

The Marion County WMA and State Forest opened for public hunting and use Aug. 21, 2010. The area is currently subject to statewide hunting regulations applicable to Marion County. Boundaries are marked with signs and blazed with yellow paint.

To get to Kentucky’s newest wildlife management area, take U.S. 68 east from Lebanon. Turn right (south) onto Penick-Tatum Loop, right (south) onto Tatum Lane, and then right onto Siloam Road. The parking lot is approximately a ½ mile on the right (west) side of Siloam Road. Visitors will find an information kiosk with a map at the parking lot. Maps are available online at www.fw.ky.gov

[googleMap name=”Marion County WMA” width=”500″ height=”400″ mousewheel=”false” directions_to=”false”]1961 Siloam Rd, Gravel Switch, Ky[/googleMap]

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