Friday, April 29, 2016

West Virginia Gov. Tomblin endorses Clinton for president

(AP) — West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is endorsing Hillary Clinton for president.

The Democratic governor announced his support Friday.

In a news release, Tomblin said he remains concerned about some of Clinton's positions on fossil fuels.

But he said Clinton is the best choice to unite the Democratic Party and the country.
Tomblin said he has talked with former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton's campaign. He believes she is committed to working with West Virginia to diversify its economy and find ways to use the state's coal and natural gas.

Clinton is scheduled to visit Williamson, West Virginia, on Monday and another, yet-to-be-named part of the state on Tuesday.

Clinton to campaign in Appalachia next week

(AP) — Hillary Clinton will campaign in Kentucky, West Virginia and Ohio next week.

The front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination is scheduled to visit Ashland, Kentucky, and Williamson, West Virginia, on Monday. She will visit West Virginia and Ohio on Tuesday, but details of those stops are not yet available.

In a news release, the campaign said Clinton will meet with voters and discuss her plans to raise incomes for people in overlooked or underserved communities. The Appalachian region has been economically devastated by the decline in the coal industry.

Republicans have criticized Clinton for her comments earlier this year that her policies would put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business. Clinton later said she was mistaken and said she is committed to coalfield workers and communities.

New section of US 460 in Pike County tapped for two prestigious engineering awards

The first eight miles of new US 460 in Pike County opened in December 2014. Even though the rest of the 16.7-mile highway is still under construction, the roadway project has been honored with engineering awards by both the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) and the American Society of Highway Engineers (ASHE).

The project is considered an on-site laboratory for how to deal with difficult mountainous terrain issues. The innovative cost-effective measures developed for the project have been shared through tours and professional meeting presentations with staff from KYTC, the Federal Highway Administration, and the Virginia Department of Transportation.

The design awards noted several innovative features incorporated into the project:
  • Modified interchange configurations
  • Original structure design using micropile foundations
  • Innovative design for excess material sites
  • A fresh approach to using coal synergy
  • Creative roadway and drainage design solutions

ACEC Kentucky’s 2016 Grand Conceptor Award for Engineering Excellence put the project in national competition where it earned an honorable mention when pitted against projects from throughout the United States. The project also captured the ASHE/Derby City Section 2015 Transportation Improvement Award.

Owned by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, Highway District 12, the project designer is Palmer Engineering of Winchester, Kentucky. Primary contractors on the section opened to traffic in 2014 include Bizzack Construction, Elmo Greer & Sons, Kay & Kay Contracting, and Mountain Enterprises.

“The 8.3-mile segment of US 460 Corridor Q project was in line with the original planning study and was less than the amount spent per mile by other states with similar corridors,” said David Lindeman, lead design engineer with Palmer Engineering.

Mary Westfall-Holbrook, Chief District Engineer, Highway District 12, pointed out that KYTC and its contractors designated and permitted excess material sites in advance, further reducing costs. “These sites are designated for future economic development purposes,” she said, “giving Pike County several excellent locations that can be used to recruit businesses or develop residential communities. Highway District 12 and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet have been pioneers in this important use of excess material sites in Kentucky. We are proud and gratified that the US 460 project has been recognized nationally as well as statewide for its design excellence.”

Highway District 12 and Palmer Engineering officials gathered recently on the new section of US 460 with the engineering design awards the project earned from the American Society of Highway Engineers and the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC). From left, Sam Hale, D-12 Project Development Branch Manager; Jeff Cowan  and David Lindeman, both with Palmer Engineering; John Michael Johnson, D-12 Preconstruction Project Manager; Mary Westfall-Holbrook, D-12 Chief District Engineer; and Kevin Damron of Palmer Engineering. Absent when the photo was taken was Paxton Weddington, Construction Project Manager.

West Virginia billionaire spends $2M for governor primary

(AP) — In his bid for governor, West Virginia billionaire businessman Jim Justice has spent more than $2 million before the May 10 Democratic primary.

In campaign finance filings tracking through April 24, Justice spent $2.1 million since his campaign started. He put almost $2 million of his money in the race and has raised $683,700.

Ex-U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin has spent $302,100 and raised $367,600 in the race.
The third Democratic candidate, Senate Minority Leader Jeff Kessler, didn't immediately report fundraising numbers. Through late March, Kessler spent $140,500 and raised $213,800.

Reports are due by the end of Friday.

The winner faces Republican Senate President Bill Cole in November.

Cole's latest report wasn't yet available. Through late March, he spent $467,300 and raised $1.1 million.

All four are running TV ads.

Embankment failure repair work starts Monday on KY 2381 in Johnson County

JOHNSON COUNTY – Friday, April 29, 2016 -- Work starts Monday, May 2, to repair a 305-foot long embankment failure on KY 2381 at Johns Creek in Johnson County.

According to Highway District 12 Engineer Tim Spencer, the work consists of excavating the road break and replacing it with a design from GeoStabilization International.

GSI recently completed a rockfall mitigation project in Pike County and is repairing an embankment failure on KY 292 in Pike County using similar techniques. In areas where there is not enough rock underneath the road surface to support drilling railroad steel, GSI uses a soil nail technique. This involves placing rebar underneath the pavement, perpendicular to the roadway, from the break to the hillside, shooting the opening with concrete, and then facing the break with concrete that has built-in drainage.

The contractor plans to work from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, with some Saturday work possible. The repairs will take about three weeks to complete. Traffic will be down to one lane, Spencer said, so delays are possible. “We apologize for the temporary inconvenience,” Spencer said, “but the delays in using this process instead of drilling railroad steel will be minimal by comparison. Even though traffic will be reduced to one lane, the road will not be completely blocked at any time, so traffic should keep moving and delays should be minimal.”

KSP Participating in National Drug Take Back Day

Kentucky State Police (KSP) is partnering with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) on April 30, 2016 in a collaborative effort to remove potentially dangerous controlled substances from home medicine cabinets.  Collection activities will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in every KSP Post area across the state. 

Sgt. Michael Webb, spokesperson for KSP, advised that the program is designed to be easy for citizens and offered the following tips for those interested in participating:

  • Participants may dispose of medication in its original container or by removing the medication from its container and disposing of it directly into the disposal box located at the drop off location. 

  • All solid dosage pharmaceutical products and liquids in consumer containers will be accepted. Liquid products, such as cough syrup, should remain sealed in original containers. The depositor should ensure that the cap is tightly sealed to prevent leakage.

  • Intravenous solutions, injectables and syringes will not be accepted due to potential hazard posed by blood-borne pathogens.  

  • Illicit substances such as marijuana or methamphetamine are not a part of this initiative and should not be placed in collection containers.

For more information about the ‘Take Back’ program, contact KSP at 502-782-1780 or visit the DEA website at

Attorney general's office participating in Drug Take-Back

(AP) — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey's office is participating in the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday with a drop off site at the state Capitol.

The attorney general's office is participating in coordination with Capitol Police. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. near the East Rotunda on the California Street side of the Capitol. It is one of almost 120 collection locations in the state. Other locations can be found at .

The event involves local and state law enforcement agencies collecting unused medication and properly disposing of it.

Morrisey says disposing of unused medication safely is important to keep drugs from getting into the wrong hands.