Proposal would axe weather monitoring stations in Kentucky

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A network of 69 weather monitoring stations used to issue warnings for tornados and flash floods across Kentucky would be eliminated under the latest budget proposal from the state's Republican governor.

Gov. Matt Bevin has proposed cutting the $750,000 annual budget for the Kentucky Mesonet at Western Kentucky University. The program started in 2006 with a $3 million federal grant secured by Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell.

The automated monitoring stations measure weather conditions every five minutes and send that data to the National Weather Service in Louisville, which uses the information to help prepare forecasts. Republican state Rep. Rob Rothenburger said he hopes to work with the governor's office to prevent the program from closing.

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