Friday December 15, 2017
News Topics

Photo: Kentucky Derby Museum

The Kentucky Derby Museum received a grant from the Kentucky Colonels in the amount of $7,150 to help purchase a new golf cart for the Museum. After the success of both the Around the Golf Cart and Race Day Golf Cart tours, adding a second golf cart to the Museum’s fleet will help keep up with demand for the specialty tours, especially as Derby season fast approaches.

The Kentucky Colonels is an organization of talented and capable men and women appointed by the Governor because of their citizenship and service. Their primary objective is to support Kentucky organizations who stand ready to help our citizens everywhere. The Kentucky Colonels, through their Good Works Program, distributed $1.5 million to support 171 worthy causes this year, which will impact over 3 million people across the state.

“A Kentucky Colonel is more than just a certificate, it’s a group of compassionate individuals that care about the citizens of Kentucky and who want to make a difference. We harness our members’ generous donations and award grants to not-for-profits to help those most in need throughout the Commonwealth,” Barbara Dutschke, Commanding General of the Board of Trustees of the Kentucky Colonels said.

The golf cart will be ready for tours this spring. If you are interested in reserving your spring or Derby season tour, visit

Tickets are now on sale for the 50th annual Championship Tractor Pull sponsored by Syngenta. The scream of monster engines, the smell of burning rubber and the ground-pounding vibrations of the country’s largest, loudest and most powerful pulling machines returns to Freedom Hall. More than 70,000 fans will watch as the nation’s top drivers compete for the title of Grand Champion and a share of over $200,000 in prize money.

The four day event starts February 14 and continues until the February 17. Tickets range in price from $20 to $45. All events start at 7:00 PM, except for Saturday where there are two events (the first is at 12:00 PM and the second is at 7:00 PM). Parking will be $8 per vehicle.

Tickets are available at the Kentucky Exposition Center Ticket Office, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 or online at Ticketmaster.

A Glorious Christmas Tour featuring For King & Country and Casting Crowns is coming to Louisville with special guest Rebecca St. James. Celebrate the holiday season with Christmas classics, carols and original songs.

The show is scheduled for Saturday, December 16 at 7:00 PM in Freedom Hall at the Kentucky Exposition center.

Tickets range from $16 to $79 per seat and parking will be $8 per vehicle. Tickets can be purchased at the Kentucky Exposition Center Ticket Office, over the phone by calling 1-800-745-3000 or online at Ticketmaster.


Thoughts of snow and ice may be far from the minds of Kentuckians with warm temperatures hovering over the state, but the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) is sounding the battle cry “Winter is Coming” to alert motorists to prepare for the impending wintery conditions. The KYTC stands ready to tackle the elements with sharpened plow blades, stocked salt supplies and trained maintenance crews.

“Snow and ice season is upon us,” said KYTC Secretary Greg Thomas. “Transportation crews are prepared to serve the public over the next few months by responding to winter weather events that may affect travel. We encourage Kentucky motorists to be equally prepared.”

With a strategy reminiscent of combat, nearly 2,000 professional “snowfighters” and support staff have been briefed and trained on best practices for snow and ice removal in an effort to keep motorists moving on Kentucky roadways. A statewide brigade of trucks and plows stands ready, and a strike force of eight plows is positioned for district deployment from the state capital during major winter weather events.

“Our mission for snow and ice removal is to keep traffic moving safely with an emphasis on maintaining mobility along critical corridors and priority routes,” said Patty Dunaway, state highway engineer. “Our teams will strive to provide a uniform response statewide to achieve safe driving conditions on roadways while considering environmental and economic factors to steward taxpayer money responsibly.”

During routine snow and ice occurrences, KYTC will operate using snow and ice priority route maps. In 2016, the Cabinet updated snow and ice removal policies for operational efficiency and cost effectiveness. While many aspects of the policy remain the same, treatment turnaround time adjustments were made to allow crews to focus on removing snow and ice from interstates and other priority routes. These adjustments improve statewide mobility, help alleviate potential safety challenges and curb increased costs caused by weather conditions that lead to inoperable equipment or ineffective treatment.

Launched last winter, the Cabinet’s snow and ice information website,, provides details about priority routes, helpful winter weather tips, fact sheets and videos on salt application and snow removal.

For severe winter storm events, the Cabinet has established a snow emergency plan similar to state emergency plans for other major weather events (e.g., floods, hurricanes and earthquakes). The snow emergency plan will allow available resources within each county to be diverted as needed to ensure optimal mobility for the highest priority routes that lead to critical locations, such as medical facilities. Emergency priority route maps for severe snow and ice events are accessible at

Featured this season communicates additional information to Kentucky travelers, detailing KYTC’s snow and ice removal response, including treatment and plowing of roadways. Visitors to GoKY can access the latest information about what’s happening in their local counties.

Thousands of men and women serve on the frontlines and behind the scenes of the Cabinet’s snow and ice removal efforts. Throughout the season, the KYTC will be highlighting select district snowfighters on Facebook and Twitter and sharing their sage advice on how to stay safe on the roads.

A new strike force of retrofit snow plows housed in Frankfort was available last year for statewide deployment as needed during winter weather emergencies. Reserved for high priority routes to ensure interstates remain open, the strike force is again in place this winter.

Inventory of materials and equipment

Winter-ready, the Cabinet is stocked to capacity with a supply of 481,000 tons of salt, 1 million gallons of salt brine for anti-icing and 1 million gallons of calcium chloride, an additive to salt for deicing.

The Cabinet is equipped with approximately 980 deployable trucks and plows among the 125 snow and ice maintenance locations. Another 431 contracted trucks are available to assist in snow and ice operations.

Maintenance crews have prepared rosters and schedules, calibrated salting equipment, prepped plows, reviewed plowing strategies and completed safety training.

The Cabinet will continue to manage equipment, salt supplies and other snow-fighting materials efficiently. Using reverse auction procurement on new salt contracts for this winter, KYTC has reduced the cost of salt purchases by as much as $20 per ton in districts throughout the state. Districts will continue to look for opportunities to shift resources for sharing with other districts as needed, focusing on the statewide team goal of serving all Kentucky citizens.

Public preparation

KYTC encourages motorists to prepare for winter and remain safe by following these tips:

  • Pay attention to weather advisories. Weather will impact your commute on some level.
  • Travel only as necessary during major snow events. It’s better to be stuck at home than to be stuck on the road.
  • Maintain a safe distance from snowplows and other heavy highway equipment.
  • Do not pass snowplows on the shoulder.
  • Allow time for a slower commute.
  • Winterize vehicles.
  • Stock vehicles with blankets, flash light and an emergency supply kit.
  • Know before you go. Visit and download the free Waze app to check traffic conditions before you travel.
  • Eliminate distractions (e.g. using phone and eating) while driving.
  • Cooperate with the expectations of the Quick Clearance law, which requires drivers to move vehicles to the shoulder in the event of a non-injury crash.

WWE’s Smackdown Live is back in the Commonwealth for another round on Tuesday night.  For the first time in nearly six years, a live televised WWE event will be held at Rupp Arena in Lexington.

“It’s great to have WWE back in Kentucky for another live televised show,” said Kentucky Boxing and Wrestling Commission (KBWC) Chairman Chad Miller.  “More shows translate to more dollars for local economies, and the Commission is thrilled that our efforts are paying off for our wrestling fans, athletes, local businesses, and the combat sports industry in Kentucky.”

Since 2016, the Commission has repealed nearly 40 percent of the state’s combat sports regulations as part of Gov. Bevin’s Red Tape Reduction Initiative. The “cut rule,” repealed as part of the initiative, required an athlete to leave a match if he or she bled.  The regulation prevented live televised matches from being held in Kentucky. Since the repeal, WWE has hosted several shows in Kentucky, including a Smackdown Live show earlier this year at the KFC Yum! Center.

“There is no doubt that the growth we are seeing in combat sports is directly tied to a transparent and fair regulatory environment,” added Miller.  “The Commission continues to look for ways to promote efficiency while also ensuring athlete safety.  Athletes can now apply for licenses online, and the Commission has streamlined and repealed approximately 55 percent of the forms an athlete could be required to complete for licensure.  We believe that all of these measures will further a strong combat sports industry in Kentucky.”

As of Oct. 26, Governor Bevin’s Red Tape Reduction Initiative is responsible for repealing 188 regulations and targeting an additional 341 regulations for repeal. Over 2,208 of Kentucky’s 4,700 regulations have been reviewed as part of the initiative. Visit to learn more.

The KBWC oversees all professional boxing, wrestling, and full contact competitive bouts and exhibitions in Kentucky. Learn more about the commission at

Credit: KY State Parks

Barren River Lake State Resort Park will host its Sandhill Cranes tours on two weekends in late January, 2018.

Thousands of sandhill cranes make Barren River Lake a winter stop as they congregate in huge numbers to migrate. The lake’s exposed mud flats in winter provide the birds with a perfect spot to rest and socialize as they settle in for the night. Area farmlands and wet meadows offer plenty of food.

Sandhill cranes are tall, gray birds reaching heights up to 4 feet, weighing up to 12 pounds with a wingspan of 6-7 feet. They have two distinct features about them: one is their appearance of a crimson, red-crowned forehead, white cheeks, and fluffy rear end; the other is when in flight, the long dark legs trail behind and the long neck is kept straight out rather than tucked in towards the body.

Barren River offers van tours for guests to learn more about these intriguing birds with a unique sound. The tours will be Jan. 20-21 and Jan. 27, 2018. Registration is required due to limited seating.

Each weekend also includes an educational session conducted by a wildlife biologist with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources on Friday evening at 7 p.m. Registration is $45 per adult and $30 per child 8-12 years old (must be at least 8 years old to go on van tours). The fee includes all educational sessions, a box lunch, and a T-shirt. Free guided nature hikes are also available at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Jan. 20 and 27.

Discounted senior tours for guests ages 55 and older will be on Wednesdays, Jan. 17 and Jan. 24, at $40 per person.

Families and individuals can enjoy other entertainment and lodging opportunities at the park. Barren River Lake State Resort Park features a lodge, cottages, the Driftwood Restaurant, a seasonal campground, 18-hole golf course, marina, fishing, tennis courts, hiking trails, and gift shop. For more information about Barren River Lake and other Kentucky State Parks, visit

The park is located at 1149 State Park Road in Lucas. From the Louis B. Nunn Parkway, take the Highway 31E exit south toward Scottsville.

For more information contact Kody Thompson at or call 270-646-2151.

Credit: KY State Parks

The Kentucky State Parks are open for the Christmas holidays with decorations, candlelight tours, special meals, entertainment and other unique events.

The historic homes, Waveland, White Hall, and My Old Kentucky Home, all have special Christmas tours planned. Resort parks are planning special meals and events for the children. See a list of events at:

State parks are a great place for Christmas and holiday gatherings. The resort parks have restaurants, meeting areas and gift shops that offer unique gift ideas. That includes Kentucky Unbridled Spirit gift cards, which are valid at Kentucky State Parks, the Kentucky Horse Park, the Kentucky Historical Society and the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea.

All resort parks will be open for lodging seven days a week this winter and make for a wonderful weekend getaway or a holiday party.

Many state resort parks will also hold New Year’s Eve parties and dinners Dec. 31. To get more information, buy a gift card or to make a reservation, visit