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Posts tagged as “External”

Beshear Recommends Postponing In-Person Schooling Until Sept. 28

Gov. Andy Beshear is recommending that Kentucky schools postpone in-person classes until Sept. 28.

Beshear announced the recommendation during his Monday briefing. It followed a meeting with school superintendents earlier in the day. By preemptively delaying in-person sessions, he said schools can avoid the disruption caused by sudden closures due to positive COVID-19 cases among students and staff.

“We are making what we believe is a realistic recommendation,” he said. “It’s a tough one, but one we believe it can give us some success. It is one where we are not going to simply say two weeks from now… and then delay it two weeks from then and potentially prevent school systems from taking some steps to do the best they can to educate our kids, even if it’s remotely during that period.”

Schools are free to start the school year with remote learning prior to the recommended date. Beshear said the state will work with districts that want to significantly alter their schedules in an effort to have more in-person school days. Several Kentucky school districts, including Jefferson County Public Schools, previously announced they would start the school year with virtual instruction.

Beshear cited several reasons that led to …

JCPS Tax Increase Headed To Voters After County Clerk Certifies Recall Petition

A petition to recall a 7-cent property tax increase supporting Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) has gathered enough signatures to put the tax increase on the November ballot, according to the Jefferson County Clerk’s Office.

A bi-partisan committee has certified 38,507 signatures out of the 40,320 submitted by a group opposed to the increase, clerk Bobbie Holsclaw said Monday. That’s about 3,000 more than the 35,517 signatures needed to put the measure on the ballot.

“We have been waiting on pins and needles to hear the results, and we are very happy to see that our effort was successful,” petition organizer and Louisville Tea Party president Theresa Camoriano told WFPL News. Camoriano gathered many signatures through a form on a website.

She said the district’s test scores are low, and that JCPS isn’t making good use of taxpayer dollars.

“JCPS’s performance is very poor, and so the taxpayers are not getting their money’s worth,” she said.

Supporters of the tax increase say the district is underfunded, and needs more investment to improve student outcomes. They point to declines in state and federal funding for JCPS over the last decade.

“Students desperately need these resources,” Jefferson County Teachers Association (JCTA) president …

Free Internet Access In Louisville’s Russell Neighborhood Set To Double

Mayor Greg Fischer says the city is making progress on a pair of initiatives to increase internet access in Louisville.

Five years ago, Louisville officials began installing free internet hotspots in parts of the Russell neighborhood. On Monday, Fischer said a firm has been selected to add an additional 30 Wi-Fi points throughout the area, doubling the neighborhood’s access to free internet.

He compared internet connections to other household necessities, such as electricity, heat and water.

“In the 21st century, that list of necessities for success and full potential for participation in society absolutely includes high-speed internet access,” Fischer said. “Today, high-speed internet is just as essential as any other utility, but far too many lack the basic access, tools and skills to take advantage of technology.”

According to Fischer, 82,000 families in Louisville do not have computers in their homes. Lack of access to digital connectivity is a prominent issue in neighborhoods like Russell, where 80% of homes currently lack internet subscriptions.

“This honestly in my view is tragic, and it’s unjust,” Fischer said. “It’s a waste of human potential. I have seen over and over that talent and potential are evenly spread throughout our city. But opportunity and …

Contura Energy Will Accelerate Exit From Thermal Coal Business, Citing Global Transition Away From Fossil Fuels

A major Ohio Valley coal producer announced last week it will speed up its exit from producing coal used to generate electricity. In a call with shareholders last week, Contura Energy, Inc., said the move is tied to the ongoing global transition away from fossil fuels.

“We recognize that the world is transitioning toward an economy that relies less on fossil fuels for power generation, and we therefore have accelerated our strategic exit from thermal coal mining,” said CEO David Stetson.

The largest market for coal has traditionally been “thermal” coal, or that used in power stations. A smaller but lucrative market exists for “metallurgical” coal, which is used in making steel.  Executives said Contura plans to focus its operations solely on producing metallurgical and expects to be out of the thermal coal business by the end of 2022.

The Tennessee-based company operates both thermal and metallurgical mines in West Virginia, Virginia and Pennsylvania. Contura in 2018 purchased Alpha Natural Resources. The companies previously split during bankruptcy in 2015.

The 2018 merger turned Contura into the largest metallurgical coal producer in the U.S. Its portfolio also includes mines owned by Massey Energy, which in 2011 was acquired by Alpha Natural