TVA to cut more than 2,000 jobs
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — The nation’s largest public utility is eliminating more than 2,000 jobs as part of a $500 million cost-cutting campaign.
The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports the Tennessee Valley Authority is making the cuts this year to pare expenses and make electric rates in the Tennessee Valley more competitive with neighboring utilities.
Most of the staff reductions are being made by not filling vacant jobs and through retirements and resignations by the end of next month.
TVA President Bill Johnson said this week that the voluntary reduction offers were well received and avoided the need for massive firings, although some employees are being laid off.
The staff cuts are the agency’s largest in more than two decades.
Floating eatery is sinking into Ohio River
COVINGTON (AP) — A famous floating restaurant on the Kentucky side of the Ohio River is sinking.
It’s the latest bit of bad luck for owner Jeff Ruby’s Waterfront restaurant, which is docked at a marina across the river from Cincinnati. Part of it is submerged and already resting on the shallow bottom of the river.
Ruby tells The Cincinnati Enquirer that he doesn’t know what happened, but he intends to find out. Ruby has said he plans to rebuild the restaurant on dry land.
The restaurant has been closed since March 2011 when it became partially unmoored from its spot and drifted about 100 feet downriver with 84 diners on board. In February, a large chunk of ice hit the restaurant and again knocked it free of its moorings.
Conference highlights coal mine reforestation
FROSTBURG, Md. (AP) — Discussions of birds and coal mines usually involve canaries. Now researchers say golden-winged warblers are finding a foothold in reclaimed Appalachian strip mines.
Restored woodlands are common ground for the biologists, foresters and coal-industry representatives meeting at the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative conference Wednesday at Frostburg State University.
Organizers say more than 80 people are attending the event highlighting the restoration of landscapes altered by coal mining in the Eastern United States.
Researchers at Indiana University of Pennsylvania say reclaimed strip mines provide attractive habitat for golden-winged warblers, a species listed as rare to uncommon in Maryland.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources says it’s using computers to identify priority areas for actively managing the birds’ habitat in western Maryland.
Police: Mother-son firefighters hurt, killed
LOUISVILLE (AP) — A mother and her son, both firefighters, were responding to a vehicle blaze when a semitrailer slammed into a fire truck, killing the son and injuring the mother.
Kentucky State Police Trooper Jeff Gregory said Jonathan French died and his mother, Lisa French, was taken to a hospital with what appeared to be non-life threatening injuries.
The crash occurred in central Kentucky along Interstate 65 about 3:30 a.m. Wednesday, about a mile north of Glendale.
The mother and son were getting equipment off the fire truck when it was hit.
Firefighting runs in the French family. Lisa French is the sister of the chief of the Glendale volunteer fire department.
Police say firefighters had been called to a vehicle fire on the interstate’s shoulder.
No charges have been filed.
Gay marriage cases in Ohio draw activists
CINCINNATI (AP) — Hundreds of gay marriage supporters are rallying in downtown Cincinnati near the federal courthouse where judges will consider arguments about the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans in four states.
Advocates are holding up banners and signs urging “Freedom to Marry” or other messages in favor of legal challenges to bans in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee.
The Fountain Square crowd included couples who married in states where same-sex marriages are legal and other longtime couples who say they are waiting for it to become legal in their home states.
There was little sign of public opposition near the courthouse; opponents say they planned to pray that the judges uphold “traditional marriage.”
A Michigan man who married his male partner this year camped out overnight to secure a courtroom seat Wednesday.
Western Ky. ferry closing for repairs
HICKMAN (AP) — A Mississippi River ferry that connects western Kentucky to Missouri is ceasing operations for repairs.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says the Dorena-Hickman Ferry is heading to a dry dock for barge repairs.
Ferry Capt. Ed Floyd says he doesn’t know how long the repairs will take. The ferry connects Kentucky 1354 at Hickman, Kentucky, with Missouri Route A and Route 77 near Dorena, Missouri.
The ferry is a transportation link for commuters but also serves as a tourist attraction for the region.
The Transportation Cabinet says Missouri and Kentucky are the only border states in the U.S. that are not directly connected by a road. The ferry is the only connection.