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Weather Report
Contact: Sara George, Information Officer, Highway District 12

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Lawrence Schools are closed for the rest of the week...
Vince Williams. (Photos compliments of Dist 12's Sara George)Vince Williams. (Photos compliments of Dist 12's Sara George)

HIGHWAY DISTRICT 12 – Single-digit temperatures combined with snow on top of ice present unusual challenges for District 12’s Snowfighters. And weather forecasts well into next week suggest that bitter cold and slick roads may stay with us longer than anything we’ve experienced in more than a decade.
Darold Slone, Engineering Branch Manager, elaborated on the difficulty clearing the region’s highways during the current weather event. “We’ve barely seen any relief, even with the daytime sunshine on Wednesday,” he said. “Not only do the road conditions present problems that are not typical for this area, the fact that we’re running our plows non-stop, hauling salt, treating and plowing several thousand miles of highway, presents more equipment issues than we normally encounter.”
Here are things that make Winter 2014 – so far – different than the usual snow and ice events in D-12’s seven counties:

  • The materials applied to the roads in recent days to break up ice and keep snow from bonding with pavement do not work in the continuing low temperatures that exist. Rock salt works to about 22 degrees. Liquid calcium chloride takes over down to about 12-15 degrees. “We are experiencing sustained temperatures considerably lower than those at which our materials are efficient,” Slone explained.
  • Running snowplows continuously for several days in the current conditions causes extraordinary wear and tear, meaning more downtime as the district’s mechanics tend to everything from blown hydraulic hoses to bent plow blades to brake issues.
  • When a truck is taken off the road for repairs, other operators’ routes are stretched or trucks are moved around to compensate. This slows down the clearing process. 
  • The length of this particular event challenges crews that are already short-staffed. “For example,” Slone pointed out, “the crew out of Canada Maintenance in Pike County, which takes care of US 119 from Pikeville to the West Virginia state line, is truly stretched to capacity. Our guys at Phelps Maintenance pitch in to assist, but that slows the time it takes Phelps to clear its roads. We operate with a mandate to clear ‘A’ routes first; that is, those with the highest traffic counts, the ones that are most used by first responders. If it takes longer to get these roads in good shape, the ‘B’ and ‘C’ routes get full attention later in the day than usual.”

Unloading salt at MartinUnloading salt at MartinTemperatures in the teens on Wednesday afternoon and a bright, shining sun are helping, Slone said. By about 1 p.m. Wednesday, most “A” routes were in pretty good shape, crews had moved to “B” routes, while “C” routes remained mostly covered. Slone expects that all state roads will be worked thoroughly before Wednesday evening, but warned that falling temperatures tonight will mean similar conditions Thursday morning that motorists faced this morning.
January’s weather has not depleted the district’s supplies, although there is little doubt that more rock salt, liquid calcium chloride, and calcium pellets have been used than during the same period last year. Since January 1, the district has ordered 52,000 gallons of liquid calcium chloride and 10,200 tons of salt. Salt domes at each maintenance facility – there are 10 throughout the seven-county district – stay full, despite the fact that one ton of salt treats just about eight lane miles. The district has nearly 3,000 lane miles to cover.
Terry Tackett, the engineering technologist responsible for snow and ice materials inventory, said maintaining sufficient salt and LCC are not among the district’s challenges. “We have an excellent supplier. We place orders as needed and they are almost always filled the next day.”
“Our goal is to clear the roads as quickly as weather conditions and safety permit,” Slone said. “We are grateful that people are patient and that they understand that this kind of weather is different than what we typically face. It’s not the kind of weather than you can get in front of. But we are working consistently and continuously. With everyone either staying off the roads or driving with extreme caution and care, we will all get through this difficult time, hopefully with no serious wrecks and only temporary, minor inconveniences.”

Note: All Lawrence County Schools will be closed on Thursday and Friday (January 23-24, 2014).

Vernon Hall
Director of Pupil Personnel & District Personnel
Lawrence County Schools


UPDATED: 4:42 pm Tuesday, Jan. 21

Fred Vinson birthday celebration to be rescheduled;

WEATHER BULLETIN: Both courthouses to close at 2:00pm today due to storm; BOE meeting OFF...

 This Highway District 12 snowplow slid into the ditchline around 12:45 p.m. while traveling eastbound on KY 32This Highway District 12 snowplow slid into the ditchline around 12:45 p.m. while traveling eastbound on KY 32

How bad is it?  --snow plow driver hits ditchline

Lawrence Schools off Wednesday, too...

Both the county courthouse and the courts building will close at 2:00 pm today (Tuesday, Jan. 21. due to the snow storm early this morning according to a press release issued by Judge Executive John Osborne and Circuit Judge John D. Preston.

Vernon Hall, a Lawrence BOE spokesperson said about 2:00pm; "Due to snow covered roads and sub-freezing temperatures, there will be no school in Lawrence County, Kentucky on Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014.

 UPDATE: Due to inclement weather, tonight’s regularly scheduled meeting of the Lawrence County (KY) Board of Education is cancelled, --Mike Armstrong

A special meeting has been scheduled for Monday, January 27th at 6:00 p.m. at the Lawrence County High School library to address the January, 2014 agenda.  A new media notice with accompanying agenda will be e-mailed.

But The Fred M. Vinson birthday celebration originally scheduled for Wednesday, January 22, 2014 will be rescheduled for a later date due to inclement weather, a spokesperson said today.


Date: 01-21-2014

Snow continues falling over Kentucky

Kentucky Press News Service

A handful of Kentucky counties have seen their winter weather advisories upgraded to winter storm warnings today. The counties include Jefferson, Oldham, Trimble, Carroll, Gallatin, Owen, Grant, Pendleton, Boone, Kenton and Campbell. The National Weather Service now predicts this region could receive 3-6 inches of snow before the warning expires this afternoon.

Meanwhile, a large section of central and southern Kentucky is likely to see 1-3 inches of snowfall and gusty winds continue until this afternoon. A winter weather advisory from the weather service continues until 7 o'clock this evening.

Snowfall amounts in Western Kentucky will average 1-2 inches, the National Weather Service said. Strong winds with gusts up to 30-40 mph are also possible.

In Eastern Kentucky, snowfall accumulations of 2-3 inches are possible by this evening. And up to 4 inches is possible in the areas of highest elevation.

In southeast Kentucky, snow could total 1-2 inches by this evening with wind gusts of 10-20 mph.


Rt. 23 in Lawrence Co. had a slick sheet of ice this morning. Lazer photo by Catrina Vargo.Rt. 23 in Lawrence Co. had a slick sheet of ice this morning. Lazer photo by Catrina Vargo.


January 21, 2014, 4:22 PM
On Tuesday, January 21, winter weather continued to create treacherous conditions for drivers in Lawrence County as the day wore on.

This Highway District 12 snowplow slid into the ditchline around 12:45 p.m. while traveling eastbound on KY32. No other vehicles were involved and the driver of the plow was not injured, according to Todd Moran, D-12 superintendent for Lawrence County.

Side roads in Lawrence Co. were nearly impassable this morning. Lazer photo by Catrina Vargo.Side roads in Lawrence Co. were nearly impassable this morning. Lazer photo by Catrina Vargo.Sara George, D-12 Information Officer, said that motorists should stay off the roads this afternoon and evening.

“When conditions are such that an experienced snowplow operator has difficulty keeping a vehicle on the highway, the rest of us need to stay at the house,” she said. “Seriously, people should think twice about whether they really need to be out in this weather.

Temperatures are dropping. Roads are already slick in spots and bound to get slicker. Below about 12-15 degrees, even liquid calcium chloride does not work. Rock salt quits working below about 22 degrees. Our crews have been out since this weather event started, and we will continue to work until it is over. But we can’t get to black pavement until the snow quits falling, and even then, depending on how cold it is, we may not be able to break up any ice that’s on the roadway. If you absolutely must get out, remember to buckle up, drive slowly, and be safe.”

Stay connected on the Lazer...we will post updates as we acquire new information.

You can also see frequently updated weather information 24 hours a day on the Lazer's Weather Chanel connection on main page.


Lawrence Co. grand jury indicts six; Kidnapping, Auto theft, burglary child porn among charges...

UhlmannUhlmannAaron Uhlmann, 43, Louisa, KY, was indicted on charges of Kidnapping and Robbery 1st Degree.  According to the Indictment, on or about Dec. 21, 2013, Aaron Uhlmann knowingly and unlawfully restrained Mr. Peter Woodward of Louisa, KY, with the intent to use that individual to accomplish or advance the commission of a felony crime, and that in the course of committing a theft, used or threatened to intimidate  use of physical force with the intent to accomplish theft while armed with a deadly weapon.


PurdomPurdomEdgar N. Purdom Jr.,  68, Louisa, KY, was indicted on charges of Distribution of Matter Portraying a Sexual Performance By A Minor (4 counts) and Possession of Matter Portraying A Sexual Performance By A Minor. According to the Incictment, on or about Feb 24, 25, July 16 and July 17, Edgar B Purdom Jr.,  had knowledge of said matter, sending or caused to be sent, into the state for sale or distribution , while in this state, he exhibited the matter for profit or gain, for distribution or offer of distribution or having been in possession of this matter with intent to distribute, exhibit for profit or gain or to offer to distribute any matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor.  The Indictment further states that on February 24-October 3, 2013, Edgar N. Purdom Jr. had knowledge of aforesaid matter of content sent or caused to be sent into the state for sale or distribution, while in this state he exhibited the matter for profit or gain, for distribution or having been in possession of this matter with intent to distribute, exhibit for profit or gain, for distribution or offer of distribution or having been in possession of this matter with intent to distribute, exhibit for profit or gain or to offer to distribute any matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor. (See separate story from Att. General Jack Conway's office in Lazer)

MaynardMaynardChristy Maynard, 42, Louisa, KY, was indicted on the charge of Theft By Unlawful Taking (Auto) according to the Indictment, on or about Nov. 20, 2013, Christy Maynard committed said offense by knowingly and unlawfully  taking jewelry valued at $990 belonging to Mr. Paul Price, Louisa, KY, namely a diamond ring valued at $180, a 14 kt necklace with pendant valued at $150, and two 10 kt. solitaire rings valued at $200 each. Value of items exceeded $500.



Alison Fitzgerald, 26, Louisa, KY, was indicted on charges of Burglary 2nd Degree and Criminal Mischief 3rd Degree. According to the Indictment, on of about Dec. 20, 2013, Alison Fitzgerald knowingly and unlawfully entered the dwelling house of Ruth Sparks located on Raven Rock Fork of Louisa with the intent therein to commit the crime of theft.  Defendant also damaged property owned by Ruth Sparks, namely, a window and window frame.

Terry Lynn Jones, 44, Gastonia, NC, was indicted on charge of Theft By Unlawful Taking Over $500/Complicity. According to the Indictment, on or about Oct. 10, 2013, Terry Lynn Jones acted alone or in complicity with  Tammy R. Hicks and others by knowingly and unlawfully taking $7,500 worth of various models of IPods and IPhones from Wal-Mart of Louisa, KY.

Virgil Jason Vanhoose, 36, Louisa, KY, was indicted on a charge of Receiving Stolen Property Under $500. According to the Indictment, on or about Sept. 1, 2013, Virgil Jason Vanhoose knowingly and unlawfully was in possession of an aluminum Starcraft boat , 35 horsepower motor, and a Cherokee boat stolen from Roy and Brenda Murphy of Ashland, KY, and sold at  TNB Recycling for $346.

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