Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The real cost of the “War on Coal”

 Part Two of a three part series that looks at the impact of mine closings in the area

J-E Editor

Hopkins and Webster counties were born with coal in their veins, so it’s no surprise that many of the industries located here rely on the mines for their business just as those in early mining towns did. From staffing services to trucking companies, those businesses were founded to fill a need.

That design has created a lot of successful business relationships throughout the coal regions of the United States, but it has also set local economies up like a series of dominoes just waiting to be knocked over.

Possible winter weather results in area schools dismissing early.

J-E Editor
The National Weather Service (NWS) in Paducah has issued a Winter Storm Warning for areas of southern Illinois, south-east Missouri and western Kentucky for later today. As of 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, February 24, Hopkins County Schools were already making preperations to dismiss students at 12:45 p.m. Webster County Schools have yet to make an announcement.

“We are looking at that and I am in touch with Dr. Yarbrough and our transportation director,” said Todd Marshall, district DPP. “We haven’t made a final determination, but once we make a decision it will go out by OneCall.”

Currently there are no warnings in effect for Webster County, but the NWS has issued a winter weather warning in areas to our west that is calling for three to six inches of snow

 at 270-667-2068 or

Friday, February 19, 2016

Legislation could raise age for tobacco use

by Matt Hughes
J-E Editor

Kentucky has traditionally been known for the export of four products: coal, tobacco, bourbon and race horses. While
the horse racing industry and bourbon business are booming in other parts of the state, coal and tobacco continue come under fire.

Everyone is aware of the situation facing the coal industry, but the issues facing tobacco in the Bluegrass state aren’t as well publicized. Considering Kentucky is second only to North Carolina in tobacco production, any news that affects the industry could be very important to local tobacco growers.

The real cost of the “War on Coal”

Part One of a three part series that looks at the impact of mine closings in the area

 by Matt Hughes
J-E Editor

Last week the Supreme Court of the United States  (SCOTUS) made the decision to freeze the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan regulations. Some call it a large victory in the War on Coal, but has the much applauded SCOTUS ruling come too late for Kentucky and other coal reliant areas?

“Today’s Supreme Court ruling is a huge win in the fight against Obama’s disastrous Clean Power Plan,” Governor Matt Bevin said on Thursday. “The Court’s decision to freeze these illegal climate regulations is a victory in our efforts to save our coal jobs and protect Kentucky families from skyrocketing energy prices. We will continue to challenge these regulations as the litigations continue in court.”

Kentucky is among a coalition of states challenging the EPA rules. On January 21, the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet joined with other states and stakeholders to submit comments to the EPA regarding the Federal Plan Requirements for Greenhouse Gas Emissions and implementation of the Clean Power Plan.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Webster County inmate walks away from work release

On Thursday, February 4, at approximately 2:24 p.m., the Kentucky State Police Post 2 Madisonville was contacted by the Webster County Detention Center in reference to an escapee.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Mine contracting firm relocates to Clay

The coal industry is so ingrained in the history of Webster County, we give little thought to how it all works anymore.

So the daily operations of S & L Industries may be a bit foreign, even to those who have worked in the mines or been part a mining family most of their lives.

“We are primarily underground contractors,” said office manager Bob Bridges. “We deal with anything from providing manpower to building seals to building overcasts and undercasts.”
In other words, if a mine operation needs a job done, but can’t divert its own workforce to the task, S & L steps in.
The company recently moved to Clay and set up offices in the empty building next to Clay One Stop on Hwy. 109. The move allows the company to be closer to southern Illinois, where much of their contracting business is needed these days.