Daviess County


The 2020 Census has been overshadowed by information overload and concern about COVID-19. But a community census group in Daviess County has kept up its efforts to get residents to participate.

The Daviess County Complete Count Committee has about 35 members combining their skills to get residents to fill out their household information.

Committee chair Keith Sanders said with strategies like electronic message boards, yard signs and social media, results are good, so far. He said about 70 percent of Daviess County residents have filled out their census information by mail, phone or online.

“We’re likely to get to 85 percent. We certainly hope so, because that just simply reduces the number that have to be accounted for by going door-to-door," said Sanders. "And as we all well know, this is going to be more challenging than it would have been, because of the pandemic.”


Another of Kentucky’s coal-fired power units will be shut down in the next few years, further reducing the state’s carbon dioxide emissions.

Owensboro Municipal Utilities announced last week that it plans to shut down Unit 1 of the Elmer Smith Power Plant sometime between 2019 and 2021.

The Elmer Smith plant has two coal-fired units; Unit 2, the larger of the two, will continue to operate for the foreseeable future.

The plant is the latest of the state’s coal-fired power plants to be shut down. As the state’s coal fleet ages — more than half of the coal plants operating in 2011 were built before 1970 — utilities are being forced to decide whether it will save money to update the plants or shut them down. In many cases, the decision is influenced by stricter environmental regulations and the low cost of other fuels, like natural gas.

Elmer Smith Unit 1 produced more than a million tons of carbon dioxide in 2014. Kentucky is facing steep carbon dioxide emissions cuts under the federal Clean Power Plan, and the unit’s retirement will get Kentucky’s projected emissions a little bit closer to compliance with the federal standard.

Owensboro Grain Co. is exploring the possibility of using natural gas-fired turbines to generate its own electricity for a soybean plant. CEO Jeff Erb called the idea "pie in the sky" for now, but the company's board has approved looking into the co-generation option.