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'Not so fast, Kentucky': Reminding drivers to slow down, observe speed limits – NKyTribune

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'Not so fast, Kentucky': Reminding drivers to slow down, observe speed limits – NKyTribune


As travel increases this summer, Kentuckians are reminded to slow down and pay attention to posted speed limits to keep all road users safe.

Slow Down Kentucky (KYTC photo)

Speed limits are the law and enforceable if not obeyed. Driving over the limit greatly reduces a driver’s ability to respond to unexpected situations, such as stopped or slowed traffic, an object in the road, or encountering vulnerable road users such as highway workers, pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists.

“We want families to get out and enjoy all the great things Kentucky has to offer this summer – and that means asking everyone to take the steps necessary to stay safe,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “Please slow down and be patient with others so you can get to your destination safely.”

Approximately 33% of crashes in Kentucky involve a speeding or aggressive driver, so the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s (KYTC) Office of Highway Safety (KOHS) is partnering with law enforcement agencies across the state on the “Not So Fast, Kentucky” speed awareness campaign through July 31.
   
Funds for the campaign are provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and distributed by KOHS to law enforcement agencies that applied and were approved for full-year grants.
   
“Law enforcement would rather write a ticket than inform a family member their loved one passed away in a vehicle crash,” said KYTC Secretary Jim Gray. “Following the speed limit will not only protect you from expensive fines and costs, but it could also save your life or the life of someone else.”

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National Traffic Safety Administrationphoto

With construction season in full swing, motorists should be extra cautious in work zones. A work zone is a portion of highway where construction, reconstruction, resurfacing, maintenance, inspection or other similar work is conducted by a government agency, private contractor or utility company.
 
New legislation this year, Senate Bill 107, increases fines for speeding and aggressive driving in work zones. In addition to fines of $500 or more, drivers may have their license revoked, depending on the violation.
   
The KOHS provides the following tips for dealing with speeding and/or aggressive drivers:

• Wear your seat belt! It is your best defense against injury and death.

• Do not challenge the driver by speeding up or attempting to hold your lane.

• Give them plenty of space, as they may lose control of their vehicle more easily.

• Avoid eye contact and ignore gestures.

• If you can safely report an aggressive driver to law enforcement, provide a vehicle description, license number, location and, if possible, direction of travel.

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• If an aggressive driver is following you, drive to a safe place such as the nearest police or fire station, gas station or other areas where there are people. Use your horn to get someone’s attention. Do not get out of your car and do not drive home.

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet



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Kentucky

‘It’s just a miracle’: Man found alive after 14 days in the Kentucky wilderness

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‘It’s just a miracle’: Man found alive after 14 days in the Kentucky wilderness



Scott Hern, a 48-year-old from Ohio, was found alive Saturday after spending 14 days in Kentucky’s Daniel Boone National Forest. Rescuers had all but given up hope and were ready for ‘sad news.’

A man was found alive after 14 days in the Kentucky wilderness in what rescuers are calling a miracle for the 48-year-old.

The Wolfe County Search and Rescue Team had been actively searching for Scott Hern since July 16, about 10 days after he was last was seen on Tower Rock Trail in southern Kentucky’s Daniel Boone National Forest.

Multiple agencies helped look for Hern through “heavy terrain” until Saturday afternoon, when they found a shoe print and evidence of a walking stick “in an area that few travel” near Bell Falls, the Wolfe County team posted on Facebook.

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“They continued pushing up the creek when they heard someone yell for help,” the agency said. “The five-person team then worked for some time to locate Scott up a steep embankment below a cliff line.”

The team “couldn’t be happier” to have found Hern after after he was gone for two weeks and went “12 days without any food or water,” the team wrote. “We were persistent in our search, but hope was fading.”

Hern was carried, airlifted and transported to a local hospital. He was discharged from the hospital on Tuesday and is currently recovering at home.

‘Best hug of both our lives,’ searcher says

Eric Wolterman, a Wolfe County Search & Rescue team member, took to Facebook to share a few thoughts a day after Hern was rescued. 

Wolterman, who doesn’t consider himself a particularly religious person, took some time to say a prayer for “Scott Hern and his family” early Saturday morning. 

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“To be honest, praying isn’t something that I do too often. We were working on this operation since Tuesday, and most of the team went into the day pretty much with the thought that this was going to be a recovery mission,” Wolterman wrote. “So, I said a prayer knowing the family would probably be getting some very sad news that day.”

They were set to embark on one last search in the hopes of finding Hern. 

“We were in the roughest terrain you could imagine and it’s very dangerous for anyone to even be out there,” he said.

Wolterman and his team spent hours cutting through vegetation in the search area, eventually finding a few muddy footprints. 

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They had stopped to regroup when another team member heard a “faint noise.”

“We paused and we shouted ‘who is that?’ Thinking it was another search team,” he wrote. “I then heard ‘help.’ We took off in the direction. As we got closer (we) asked what his name was and he (said) ‘Scott Hern’ I have never moved faster uphill in my entire life.”

Wolterman was the first to make contact with Hern, introducing himself and reassuring him they were going to get him out. 

“He looked at me and said ‘’Thank you so much. Will you give me a hug?’” he wrote. “I got teary-eyed and gave him a big hug. I think it was the best hug of both of our lives.”

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Hern is in ‘recovery mode,’ lucky to be alive

Hern is currently recovering from his stint in the wild, with the Wolfe County Search and Rescue Team reporting earlier this week that he had begun to consume solid food. 

John May, Wolfe County Search and Rescue Team chief, told USA TODAY on Wednesday that Hern is still “extremely weak,” struggling to walk and talk.

“I think he’s still in recovery mode, but he is home now,” May said.

“We were very concerned about his survivability at that point,” May said. “And on Saturday morning, I even met with the family again and said, ‘It’s not looking really good.’ We’ve not found him. We’re two weeks into this.”

May says the likelihood of survivability was “unheard of” since Hern was a fairly new hiker, had little experience and didn’t have many camping supplies with him.

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“We didn’t expect to find him alive. We really didn’t,” May said.

Hern’s family was “super appreciative” of all the support received, sharing a picture of Hern on Monday sporting a “big smile.” 

Democratic Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear also extended kudos to the team on Facebook. 

“What a remarkable outcome,” Beshear said. First lady Britainy Beshear “and I are praying for a speedy recovery for Mr. Hern. Thank you to the Wolfe County Search & Rescue Team and everyone who assisted in rescue efforts.”



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What to know about potential Harris VP Andy Beshear, Kentucky Gov. and Vance critic

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What to know about potential Harris VP Andy Beshear, Kentucky Gov. and Vance critic


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Just days after Joe Biden exited the 2024 race on Sunday, Kamala Harris’ presidential campaign and speculation about who will join her on the Democratic ticket are in full swing.

Within three days, the vice president secured key endorsements, received more than $100 million in donations and gained widespread support from delegates. With the debate about who will replace Biden all but over, the focus has shifted to discussions about who Harris will select as her running mate.

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According to earlier reporting by USA TODAY, the Harris campaign has already requested vetting materials from at least seven Democrats under consideration to be her vice president.

While the campaign has not yet publicly confirmed any potential vice presidential nominees, the conversation about Beshear being a candidate has not stopped. ABC News also reported that the campaign was vetting him.

More: Harris’ VP options: From Josh Shapiro to Mark Kelly, sizing up the slate’s pros and cons

Who is Andy Beshear?

Beshear, 46, was first elected governor of the Bluegrass State in 2018, and his current term ends in 2027. Like Harris, he is a former state attorney general. He served Kentucky in that position from 2016 to 2019.

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As a Democrat representing a reliably red state, the governor explained that the party needs a “unifying message” to win in November.

“The message ought to be: I’m in this to build a better life for everyone. Not just Democrats. Not just Republicans,” he said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Monday.

In 2019, the governor signed an executive order restoring the voting rights of more than 140,000 convicted felons with completed sentences, addressing one of the country’s highest rates of voter disenfranchisement. The order was similar to one his father and former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear issued in 2015, which was promptly rescinded by former Gov. Matt Bevin shortly after he took office the same year.

Will Harris select Beshear for VP?

Beshear said Harris has his “full endorsement” in the presidential race and would do all he could to support her during his MSNBC appearance. When asked if her campaign had reached out to vet him as a potential running mate, he said, “I don’t know how that process is going to work, (but) it’s flattering to be a part of it.

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He also criticized former President Donald Trump’s running mate, JD Vance, proving he could be an effective attack dog for the Harris campaign.

“I want the American people to know what a Kentuckian is and what they look like because let me just tell you that JD Vance ain’t from here,” Beshear said.

The VP nominee short-list is believed to include Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, and Cedric Richmond, a former congressman from Louisiana who served as a top aide in the Biden White House and on his campaign.

On Wednesday, comments from the Harris campaign downplayed the VP rumors and said any reporting on developments or updates in Vice President Harris’ running mate search is “premature and speculative.”

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Rachel Barber is a 2024 election fellow at USA TODAY, focusing on politics and education. Follow her on X, formerly Twitter, at @rachelbarber_



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Boston College 2024 Opponent Previews: Western Kentucky

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Boston College 2024 Opponent Previews: Western Kentucky


Out of the heart of ACC play, we move on to Boston College’s final out-of-conference opponent in 2024. The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers finished 8-5 last year, their third consecutive winning season in a row and fourth in five seasons under head coach Tyson Helton.



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