Henderson

Rhonda J. Miller

A manufacturer of recycled plastic products in Evansville, Indiana is experiencing a surge in business due, in part, to China halting the import of plastic trash last year. Green Tree Plastics is now expanding partnerships with major corporations.

The family-owned company is also meeting the growing demand from student groups to produce benches and picnic tables from what most Americans have been sending to landfills -  plastic bottle caps.

The playground at Holy Name Catholic School in Henderson, Kentucky has a couple of special benches. They’re made from recycled plastic caps and lids, from water  bottles, milk jugs, yogurt cups, toothpaste, coffee cans, peanut butter, and lots of other containers.


Isaiah Seibert, Side Effects Public Media

There’s an endless stream of advice online about how to make friends as an adult. The listicles and blog posts often mention that it’s harder for twentysomethings to form meaningful friendships. 

Making friends can be even harder if you’re on the autism spectrum, especially if you don’t live in a major city. But one group is trying to build those connections in rural America.

It’s pretty quiet in downtown Henderson, a town in western Kentucky. A lot of daytime workers have left, and the streets and sidewalks are mostly clear.


U.S. Fish and Wildlife

Henderson could become home to Kentucky’s second national wildlife refuge.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering the preservation of a 24,000-acre site.

The Green River area of Henderson County is valued for its habitat for fish and wildlife and recreational opportunities such as hunting and fishing.  The area would become known as the Green River National Wildlife Refuge.  The land is located south of Evansville, Indiana near the confluence of the Green and Ohio Rivers. 


Colin Jackson

The leader of a Kentucky LGBTQ-rights group is optimistic another city in the state will pass a Fairness Ordinance by the end of August.

Chris Hartman, executive director of the Fairness Campaign, made the prediction on the heels of the Henderson City Commission adopting a Fairness Ordinance at its meeting Tuesday night.

Hartman said advocates in other cities are encouraged whenever laws are passed that expand legal protections for the LGBTQ community.

Flickr/Creative Commons

The Henderson City Commission Tuesday night approved the second reading of a measure that will provide greater legal protections for LGBTQ individuals. 

The Fairness Ordiance passed on a 3-2 vote, the same margin of victory the proposal saw when it passed its first reading earlier this month. The measure prohibits discrimination against LGBTQ individuals in the areas of employment, housing, and public accommodations. 

It's the second time Henderson has passed a Fairness Ordinance. The city commission also passed a similar measure in 1999, but it was repealed 18 months later when the makeup of the commission changed.

Henderson is one step closer to becoming the 11th Kentucky city with a law that bans discrimination against the LGBTQ community when it comes to employment, housing, and public accommodations. 

The city commission voted 3-to-2 in favor of a so-called fairness ordinance during a first reading at Tuesday’s meeting.  Mayor Steve Austin cast one of the two ‘no’ votes but realizes opinions have changed in the past couple of decades.

Wikipedia

A report from the National Transportation Safety Board about the crash of a small plane in Henderson, Kentucky shows the pilot was not supposed to be carrying passengers.

The crash killed two people and left questions about money and drugs found inside the wreckage.

The preliminary NTSB report shows the student pilot, 48-year-old George Tucker, had a Federal Aviation Administration certificate issued in February 2018 that specifically said “carrying passengers is prohibited.” 

  

Lisa Autry

Kentucky has the highest rate of children being raised in kinship care situations in the nation.

Kinship care means a child is being taken care of by a relative other than a parent. Most of those relatives are over the age of 50, and many of them struggle with their health and live on fixed incomes. 

Some 96,000 children in Kentucky are being cared for by kinship providers or close family friends known as fictive kin. 

In the first of a two-part series of reports on the state of kinship care in Kentucky, we have a look at one western Kentucky school district that's doing what it can to help kinship families get through the new normal.


WFPL

A western Kentucky town may repeat history by passing a Fairness Ordinance. 

A public meeting will be held in Henderson on Monday evening to gauge interest in a law that would give civil rights protections to the LGBTQ population. 

Former Mayor Joan Hoffman helped pass a fairness law in 1999 that was repealed 18 months later because of changes on the city commission.

Henderson City-County Airport

The two victims in Wednesday’s plane crash in Henderson County have been identified.

Barry Hill, 47, and George Tucker, 48,  were killed when the small, private aircraft they were in crashed about 50 yards off the runway at the Henderson airport.

Both men were from Sanford, North Carolina, and were the only people aboard the plane.

A statement from the Kentucky State Police post in Henderson says neither Hill or Tucker was a certified pilot, and investigators believe the plane was either stolen, or being used without the authorization of its registered owner.

Crews from the Henderson Water Utility are working to repair a water main break which has placed two businesses and a few residents under a boil water advisory. 

The breach occurred Monday morning on the southbound ramp from Interstate 69 to Kentucky 56 at the Sebree Interchange. 

Tyson Hatchery, the Beef and Bacon Custom Processing shop, and at least three residential customers in McLean County are without water until the repair is complete.

HWU's Director of Operations, Kevin Roberts, says the work is expected to be finished by mid-morning on Tuesday.  The boil water advisory will remain in effect until then.

Ellis Park

Kentucky horse racing regulators have approved the sale of Ellis Park racetrack to a group that's had a minority ownership in the track for several years.

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission Tuesday approved the sale of the track in Henderson County to the Saratoga and Hospitality Group.

The track's primary owner has been Ron Geary, who purchased Ellis Park from Churchill Downs in 2006.

Business Wire

A group proposing a natural gas plant in Henderson County is continuing to seek contracts needed to secure financial backing to build the facility.

HenderSun Energy LLC owns 2,000 acres in Henderson County and the proposed power generation plant would be on 40 of those acres.

Owensboro Municipal Utilities had considered signing a 10-year contract to buy electricity from the proposed plant, but decided against it earlier this month. OMU has decided to shut down its aging Elmer Smith plant with its two coal-fired generating units. One unit will be shut down by 2019 and the second by 2023. That will mark the end of coal-fired power in Owensboro after 117 years. The city is continuing to consider options for its future power needs.

Humane Society of Henderson County

The Humane Society of Henderson County has made such dramatic progress in finding homes for animals that it has not had to euthanize any adoptable pets in the past five years.

Animals have been euthanized only if they were too aggressive to be adopted or so extremely injured that the cost of medical treatment would be too high.

Humane Society Executive Director Angela Hagedorn says using an Internet pet adoption site has been a key element in the plan.

PetFinder.com was able to put the animals out onto the Internet, so that a broader audience could see the animals. Also we decided to contact various rescues, some of them are breed-specific rescues, to try to get more animals out of the shelter.”

Rhonda J Miller

The executive director of the Henderson Area Arts Alliance has only been on the job for three months. But Alex Caudill knows his territory. He’s a Henderson native who knows first-hand that there’s strong support in the region for getting more people involved in all of the arts – especially to fill the 980-seat theater.

“I think we need to provide a little more higher quality programming. We need to bring in some name acts, names that people know, to get people back in the door again. It’s kind of dwindled a little bit, our attendance has, with the shows that we’ve provided, so I think that’s something we need to work on.”

He says lots of tops artists have performed in Henderson, including Merle Haggard, Glen Campbell, Emmylou Harris, Allison Krauss and the Oak Ridge Boys.

Caudill says his other priority is getting more young people involved in the arts. He says he knows the value of the arts first-hand.

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