MUHLENBERG COUNTY, Ky. (8/26/13) – Several dignitaries stood outside the Muhlenberg Courthouse on Friday morning, August 23rd.
In a ceremony that included several TVA and county officials, Emily Reynolds, TVA senior vice president for Government Relations, presented a check for $5000 to the county. The funds will help in the construction of a well-deserved monument in memory of the more than 300 men and women who have given their lives mining the rich Muhlenberg coal fields.
Judge Executive Rick Newman told SurfKY News Reporters before the ceremony began that, "When we remodeled the courthouse, we really thought that we needed something to pay tribute to basically what got us here...the coal industry. So we asked the architect who was doing the work on it if there could be an area where we could put a Coal Miners Memorial."
Newman explained that when complete there will be statues of two coal miners done in bronze. Near the statues will be a replica of a large lump of coal, and behind that there will be plaques much like the ones at the nearby Veterans Mall. It will have all the names of miners who have died mining coal in Muhlenberg County. “We'll also have plaques showing the coal mines that were here through the years that have ever mined coal in the county. It will really be a great tribute to the coal mining industry, said Newman. “We are excited TVA could join us in this effort, because if it were not for TVA, the mining industry would not be in this area,” Newman noted. “Paradise burns a considerable amount of coal and TVA is a major asset to our community. I always tell people, 'Hip, hip hooray for TVA.’”
TVA’s Paradise Fossil Plant, located on the banks of the Green River in Muhlenberg County, was completed in 1970 and has a capacity to produce more than 2,200 megawatts of reliable electric power. The plant consumes more than 20,000 tons of coal per day.
“TVA supports this project to honor the service and sacrifice of those families involved in the mining industry,” said Emily Reynolds, TVA senior vice president for Government Relations. “Throughout 80 years of progress at TVA, coal remains a valuable part of our balanced generation portfolio.”
Newman noted that Chester Thomas also donated $10,000 to the memorial.
"Chester's heart is with Muhlenberg County and he has always been very supportive." Newman said.
Also on hand for the presentation was Greenville City Administrator Ben Van Hooser, Scott Fallecker, TVA Paradise Plant Manager, and Sarah Davasher-Wisdom with TVA's Nashville operation.
Judge Newman noted that the largest number of fatalities from a mining disaster in the county took place in Browder in 1910 when 34 miners were killed.
Photo by Paul McRee
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