Sen. Sanders, ex-lawmaker Booker attend Kentucky rally
LOUISVILLE — Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders attended a rally Sunday with former Kentucky state Rep. Charles Booker, who is considering another run for the U.S. Senate.
The “Rally for Kentucky’s Working Class” was held outside the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville.
Booker, a Democrat whose unabashedly progressive campaign in Kentucky came up just short in last year’s Senate primary, is forming an exploratory committee as he weighs a follow-up race in 2022 against Republican incumbent Sen. Rand Paul.
Sanders thanked Booker ”not just for being here today but for showing this state and this country what grassroots activism can mean. And despite being heavily outspent, Charles ran a campaign that the whole country looked at and I have a feeling that the next time around, the results are going to be different.”
Last year, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell trounced well-funded Democratic challenger Amy McGrath, who narrowly defeated Booker in the state’s Democratic primary.
“I got a little bit of nostalgia here standing on this stage,” Booker, a Black former state lawmaker, told the crowd Sunday. “We were starting to tell a story, and I think we’re not done telling that story, if you understand what I’m saying.”
Booker seized momentum late in last year’s Democratic Senate primary on the strength of a “Hood to the Holler” campaign that highlighted the common interests of Black Democrats in the cities and middle- and low-income white people in the mountains of eastern Kentucky.
“We’re here today not to just rally for the sake of feeling good, but to get ready for the work that comes after we leave here,” Booker said.
Indiana port readies to handle big cargo for cement plant
JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. — A southern Indiana port on the Ohio River is preparing to handle barges loaded with parts as heavy as 100 tons for a cement plant’s $600 million expansion.
The Ports of Indiana-Jeffersonville will receive more than 30 cargo-laden barges by June 30 destined for Lehigh Cement Inc.’s plant in Mitchell, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northwest of the port.
More than 350 pieces of equipment and parts, some as large as 100 tons, are being shipped from New Orleans by barge to the port in Jeffersonville, just north of Louisville, Kentucky.
The cargo will be unloaded and stored until it’s ready to be hauled by truck to the Mitchell plant site, the News and Tribune reported.
The Indiana Department of Transportation will be accommodating an estimated 80 super loads, those over 18 feet in height, that will traverse southern Indiana highways and roads later this year.
Lehigh Cement’s plant expansion in Mitchell is expected to create about 50 new jobs once the new plant becomes operational in 2023.
The plant’s manager, Tracy Crowther, said it’s convenient that the project will be able to utilize a “port that also happens to be in our back yard.”
“The expansion project has a lot of moving pieces and given the delay last year, timing, cost-savings and logistics is critical to keep things moving forward,” Crowther said.