KENTUCKY (WEHT) – Governor Andy Beshear provided a Team Kentucky update on Thursday. The governor discussed the water shortage in the city of Marion, efforts to ease the burden of rising costs for Kentuckians, the Commonwealth Sheltering Program, western Kentucky tornado recovery, Christmas in July events for families impacted by the tornadoes, the state’s electric vehicle infrastructure deployment plan and COVID-19.

Fallen officers honored

Governor Beshear recognized three officers and a K-9 who were killed in the line of duty on June 30 in Floyd County. Governor Beshear honored Captain Ralph Frasure, Deputy William Petry and Officer Jacob Chaffins for their service and dedication to protecting the commonwealth.

“Last Thursday was a tragic night for our commonwealth. Heartbreakingly, we lost three heroic officers and a K-9, making the shooting Kentucky’s deadliest incident for law enforcement in nearly 100 years,” said Gov. Beshear. “Please continue to think about Capt. Ralph Frasure, Deputy William Petry and Officer Jacob Chaffins. They will never be forgotten.”

Marion water shortage

The governor said progress is being made toward short and long-term solutions to the city of Marion’s water emergency thanks to the coordinated efforts of numerous state agencies, local officials and private companies. To address a boil water advisory issued earlier today, bottled water is being brought in and distributed three days a week for drinking and cooling use.

The National Guard has been bringing in tankers of water from nearby rivers and adding it to Old City Lake, which now feeds the water treatment plant. The governor said the city is now receiving 144,000 gallons of water per day from the Crittenden-Lingston Water District through an interconnect with Webster County, significantly increasing the volume of water.

Commonwealth Sheltering Program

Almost seven months after the December 2021 tornadoes, the governor says everyone eligible for a travel trailer has been provided with one. The Commonwealth Sheltering Program, administered through Kentucky Division of Emergency Management and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, no longer has a wait list for the medium-term housing option.

Governor urged EPA to allow butane gas additive

Last week, Governor Beshear sent a letter to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrators asking them to issue a waiver allowing for the use of butane as an additive blend for gasoline. This comes after the agency issued a waiver that increased the amount of ethanol that can be blended with gasoline.

According to a press release from the governor, butane has historically been relied upon as a cost-effective way to blend gasoline during periods of supply disruption.

Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief fund

The Governor announced on Thursday an increase in the funding from the Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund to the Graves County Grain Assistance Program.

“We are happy to get this money to local farmers who need a way to process their crops after the Mayfield Grain Co. was devastated by tornado damage,” said Gov. Beshear.

The Graves County Grain Assistance Program was established when the administration was contacted by Graves County Judge Executive Jesse Perry and local farmers. According to the governor, the assistance application has received nearly 100 applications in the two weeks it has been open.

Kentucky farmers who conduct business with Mayfield Grain Co. can get more information and apply for assistance here.

Electric vehicle infrastructure plan

Governor Beshear announced the initial plan for the state’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure on Thursday.

Kentucky’s plan for Alternative Fuel Corridors was approved on Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Transportation and Energy. The alternative fuel corridors will be developed to support wider use of vehicles that run on electricity. Kentucky’s AFCs include all 11 interstate routes and eight parkways. The charging stations are required to be fast charging and will be located every 50 miles, with four chargers per station. Through the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure program, Kentucky will receive $69.5 million in federal funding over five years for this project.

“This is a good start, but it is only the start. With electric vehicles being the future and Kentucky leading the way, we are going to continue to build this out to make sure everybody is included,” said Gov. Beshear.

COVID-19

Finally, Governor Beshear said the state is experiencing a slight escalation of cases of COVID-19, with 10,191 cases announced June 27 through July 3. The positivity rate is also experiencing a slight increase at 15.75% on July 3.