Special Projects

  • Our precious loss: A home destroyed, a life renewed

    On May 14, 1988, Lee Williams’ life ceased to make sense. Family was replaced with emptiness, routine swallowed up by chaos.

    He lost everything in a bus crash on Interstate 71 that killed 27 people, leaving him alone to contemplate the senseless violence of one destructive decision by a drunken driver.

  • Our precious loss: Old glove still catches memories

    Before Larry Mahoney chose to consume alcohol, climb behind the wheel of a pickup truck and drive the wrong way on Interstate 71, a young girl returned to the U.S. from Germany and told her parents she wanted to play softball.

    Before a group of children and chaperones from Radcliff First Assembly of God cheerfully prepared for a trip to King’s Island, their hopes and dreams intact, there was a worn ball glove belonging to the girl’s father, its dimensions never quite conforming to her small hand.

  • Our precious loss: Bus safety improved after crash

    Twenty-five years ago, 15-year-old Quinton Higgins spent about a month in Kosair Children’s Hospital after suffering lung damage and second- and third-degree burns  in the fiery bus crash.

    Today, Higgins drives a Hardin County Schools bus.

    The differences between the bus he drives every school day and the repurposed 1977 Ford B-700 school bus he was in that night in 1988 are like “night and day,” Higgins said.

    “It’s just a totally different bus today,” he said.

  • Our precious loss: DUI statutes toughened, judicial tolerance lowered

    If a Kentucky resident was found driving under the influence on intoxicants in 1988, there was no mandatory jail time or alcohol and drug education. According to officials, license suspension was significantly reduced or waived if an offender sought treatment.

    Locally, one out of five motorists who were presumed to be under the influence of alcohol in 1988 received lesser charges than a DUI, according to The News-Enterprise archives.

  • Safety is legacy of bus tragedy

    ISSUE: Reactions to the bus crash
    Lasting legacy of safety improvements

    Signs standing on the shoulders of Interstate 71 in rural Carroll County mark the site of one of our country’s most deadly bus disasters. Flowers, crosses, messages and other items can be seen around this sign, left as tokens to honor the lives lost on this stretch of highway.

  • Our precious loss: 25 years after the bus crash

    Some days, without warning, Darrin Jaquess is taken back to that dark place on Interstate 71 late on a Saturday night in May, nearly 25 years ago, after a fun-filled, memory-making day at King’s Island.

    Harold Dennis, Carey Aurentz Cummins and Ciaran Foran Madden are reminded of that night with a look in the mirror or when they get out of bed each day.

     Jaquess remembers the smell from the burning school bus that had carried 67 people to the amusement park and the start of the return trip to Radcliff. Only 40 would make it home alive.

  • Carrollton: One night, one action doesn't define town

    CARROLLTON — You can find many of the characteristics of Carrollton in most towns across Kentucky and around the country.

    Off Interstate 71 at exit 44, motorists are greeted by Taco Bell, Burger King and McDonald’s restaurants. Drive downtown along U.S. 227 and you pass a Subway, a few banks, the Family Worship Center and a Wal-Mart.

    Along the streets near the Ohio River, you can find a few residents on their front porches on a spring day and a man mowing his lawn after a few days of rain.

  • Our precious loss: Impact resonated through Meadow View Elementary

    It was Friday the 13th, 1988. The last bell rang at Meadow View Elementary School and fourth-grade students Robin “Jill” Williams and Patty Nunnallee were the last two students in the classroom.

  • Loss remains so very precious

    ISSUE: 25 years after the crash
    OUR VIEW: A life-alerting moment

    You want it all to mean something. So much horror and so much pain. There must be a higher purpose, lessons to be learned.

  • Guthrie: Credit downgrade 'embarrassing' for U.S.

    U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Bowling Green, said the United States’ credit downgrade from AAA to AA+ by Standard & Poor’s is an embarrassment for a country that has allowed its debt to spiral out of control.
    Guthrie sat down with The News-Enterprise on Friday to discuss the debt ceiling agreement and recent stock market fluctuations.
    America now holds credit worthiness lower than France, Guthrie said, but the downgrade is more of a failure by the U.S. to meet S&P’s desire to see a larger reduction in the national debt.