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Bluegrass Pipeline can't take land, judge says
Developers of the controversial Bluegrass Pipeline do not have the legal authority to condemn land to pipe natural gas liquids across Kentucky, a judge ruled Tuesday.
In an 18-page order, Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd granted a summary judgment in favor of the group Kentuckians United to Restrain Eminent Domain, or KURE, which has fought the pipeline project, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported.
Shepherd ruled that a private corporation would need an “undeniably clear mandate from the legislature” before being able to seize citizen's property rights: “There has been no such clear and explicit delegation of this power to Bluegrass.”
Penny Greathouse, a cattle farmer from Franklin County and member of KURE, said, “I'm elated that the judge stood up for landowners. It's what we were hoping for,” she said.
A spokesman for Williams Co., one of two companies that comprise Bluegrass Pipeline Co., said it would appeal.
At issue are Bluegrass’ plans to run about 150 miles of 24-inch diameter pipe through Kentucky, carrying natural gas liquids from Pennsylvania to the Gulf Coast.
The proposed route comes across the Ohio River at Bracken County and runs southwest, just next to the southeast corner of Shelby County. It would link with an existing pipeline in Breckenridge County.
The judge also stated that Bluegrass couldn’t even suggest to landowners who do not want to sell that it has eminent domain power. “Landowners ... are entitled to know that the law does not support Bluegrass’ assertion of the power of eminent domain.”
Gov. declares today Blue and Red Day
Gov. Steve Beshear has proclaimed Friday as “Blue and Red Day” in honor of the NCAA men’s tournament matchup between the University of Kentucky Wildcats and the University of Louisville Cardinals.
“March Madness is truly living up to its name here in the Bluegrass State,” Beshear said in a statement. “This Friday, intra-state rivals UK and U of L are matching up to play one of the most anticipated games of the NCAA tournament so far. In Kentucky, this means there will be heated divide between fans of both teams — one that can pit neighbors, friends and even families against each other. To honor the teams’ talents and fans’ passion, I’m proclaiming Friday as ‘Blue and Red Day’ in the Commonwealth. Best of luck to the Cats and the Cards on a great game!”
Lawmakers reach deal on school snow days
Kentucky’s lawmakers reached a likely deal Wednesday that would allow school districts to end school on June 6.
The plan, if approved, would call on districts to provide 1,062 instructional hours before concluding the 2014 academic year. They could extend the school day up to seven hours to meet the standard, but could not hold class on Saturdays.
Any district that cannot provide 1,062 hours by June 6 can request assistance from Education Commissioner Terry Holliday, who would have authority to waive some hours so long as districts make a good faith effort to maximize instructional time.
Any district that wants to extend its school year beyond June 6 would be allowed to do so.
The bill will not affect Shelby County Public Schools. The school board was set Thursday to vote on a plan that would end school on May 30 while still meeting state requirements.
Kindergarten registration starts this evening
Shelby County Public Schools will have kindergarten registration from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 on April 22. Registration will be held at the student’s home school, and parents will need to bring 2 proofs of residence – like utility bills, mortgage or lease agreement – an official birth certificate, social security card, immunization certificate, current physical and eye and dental exams.
For any other questions or concerns, contact your home school or the Office of Student Services, 633-2375.
Hinkle to address Rotary
Kimberly Hinkle, with CASA, will be the speaker at the Shelbyville Rotary Club’s meeting on April 1.
Rotary meets at noon at the Centenary United Methodist Church, located at the corner of Washington and 5th Streets in Shelbyville. Programs are open to the public, but there is a nominal charge for the luncheon.
City of Shelbyville cleanup
The City of Shelbyville’s Department of Public Works will have its citywide clean-up April 7-11. The cleanup is for city residents only and business pickups will not be permitted. To schedule a pickup, contact Public Works at 633-1094. Yard waste is allowed, but limbs must be no longer than 6-feet, no larger than 6-inches in diameter and in stacks no taller than 4-feet. Appliances, except microwaves, will be picked up but must have doors secured for safety reasons. Items that will not be included are standard household garbage or truck bodies, asbestos, propane containers, dead animals, chemicals, microwaves, hazardous waste or large quantities of material from building demolition or remodeling. Public Works reserves the right to leave any debris, if these stipulations are not met.
Road repairs, delays
The Kentucky Press News Service contributed to this report.