Kentucky News Now – March 14th 2016
West Kentucky Community president retiring
PADUCAH, Ky. (AP) — West Kentucky Community and Technical College President Barbara Veazey is retiring after becoming the school's founding president in 2003.
Veazey will leave her post in June. She told staff and faculty she was "inspired each day by the brightest, most forward thinking group of individuals."
West Kentucky CTC enrolls more than 9,000 students in western Kentucky and online.
Veazey was appointed president of Paducah Community College in 2002, and when the school consolidated with West Kentucky Technical College in 2003, Veazey was named its first president.
Kentucky Community and Technical College System President Jay Box will visit the campus later in the month to explain the search process for the next president.
Eastern Kentucky college to offer broadband tech degree
VERSAILLES, Ky. (AP) — The Big Sandy Community and Technical College in eastern Kentucky will launch the state's first broadband technology program this fall.
The new associate degree program, the third of its kind in the nation, is designed to train workers as the state moves to expand broadband across Kentucky in an attempt to revive the floundering Appalachian economy.
The Kentucky Community and Technical College's Board of Regents greenlighted the program Friday. It will prepare students to work in installing and splicing fiber optic cable, maintenance, pole climbing and electrical construction.
The program is an outgrowth of the Shaping Our Appalachian Region initiative to expand broadband to eastern Kentucky coalfields in an attempt to bring high-tech job opportunities to the region's struggling job market.
Environmental groups sound alarm on coal ash proposal
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A coalition of environmentalists is sounding the alarm about a plan the Tennessee Valley Authority is considering for storing coal ash involving 10 cites.
The TVA is closing down ash storage at 10 power plants.
The Southern Environmental Law Center and 10 other groups are warning there is a danger that toxic chemicals at sites near rivers in Tennessee, Kentucky and Alabama will leach into groundwater if TVA decides to leave the ash in place, drain it and cover it. The groups say it would be safer if TVA moved the ash into lined storage facilities
A TVA spokesman says the agency has not made a decision yet on what to do. He said federal environmental officials say either method of storage is safe if done properly.
Travelers urged to take steps to prevent mosquito bites
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky health officials are urging spring break travelers to take steps to prevent mosquito bites if traveling to areas of the globe where the Zika virus has been documented.
The Department for Public Health recently said a Louisville man has tested positive for the virus. The man had traveled to a Central American country where the virus is circulating.
Health officials say the man is doing well and is expected to fully recover from the illness.
Zika is an infectious disease spread by the bite of a mosquito. The virus is currently circulating in many warm-weather areas outside the United States.
Health officials say anyone planning to travel during the spring break season is encouraged to learn more about the virus, where it is spreading and ways to avoid mosquito bites.
Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.