News in Brief

Published 10:11 am Thursday, October 5, 2017

Sheriff: Man robbed at gunpoint after setting up online date

CORBIN (AP) — A Kentucky man says he was robbed by four men after setting up a date with a woman online.

News outlets report the 23-year-old man told Whitley County sheriff’s deputies that four men burst through his door shortly after his date arrived Monday night. The victim says the men dragged him back inside after he ran out the back door and robbed him at gunpoint.

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Sheriff Colan Harrell says a PlayStation 4, $400 in cash, a revolver, an Apple iPhone and a .22 rifle were taken.

Authorities believe the woman was an accomplice to what happened.

The victim was not injured in the incident.

Regulators schedule 3 public meetings in rate case

FRANKFORT (AP) — Utility regulators have scheduled three meetings in eastern Kentucky to receive public comments on a proposed rate increase by Kentucky Power Co.

The Kentucky Public Service Commission says the first meeting is set for Nov. 2 in Prestonsburg, followed by a meeting in Hazard on Nov. 6 and a session in Ashland on Nov. 8.

Kentucky Power is seeking to increase its annual base revenue by about $63.3 million, or about 15 percent. The utility says the increase is needed to offset the impact of a declining customer base and decreasing electric usage by remaining customers.

Kentucky Power says the proposal would boost the total average monthly residential bill by almost $21, from the current $142.20 to nearly $163.

Kentucky Power has about 168,000 customers in 20 eastern Kentucky counties.

W.Va. lawmakers back miner pension bill

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Four West Virginia lawmakers are backing new legislation in Congress to fund pensions for about 87,000 retired and 20,000 vested coal miners, saying it fulfills a promise made by President Harry Truman in 1946.

U.S. Sens. Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito, Reps. David McKinley and Evan Jenkins say about 26,000 live in West Virginia.

It would shore up the 1974 United Mine Workers of America Pension Plan hurt by coal company bankruptcies and the 2008 financial crisis.

Funding would come from excess funds from the federal Abandoned Mine Land program and low-interest Treasury Department loans.

It follows congressional approval earlier this year to fund promised lifetime health benefits for nearly 23,000 retired miners and widows.

UMWA President Cecil Roberts says a secure loan now beats big taxpayer liability later.

Dems targeting Ky. GOP congressman in radio ad

LOUISVILLE (AP) — National Democrats are targeting a Kentucky congressman in a radio ad campaign attacking Republican efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said Thursday the radio ad will run in 11 GOP-held districts, including the 6th District in Kentucky.

The Kentucky seat is held by Rep. Andy Barr.

DCCC spokesman Jacob Peters says Democrats are making a strong, early pitch to 6th District voters with a message that as long as Barr is in office, he’ll keep trying to repeal the health care law championed by former President Barack Obama.

When Barr voted in the spring for the replacement legislation, he called it a “great day for freedom.” The repeal effort died in the Senate.

So far, three Democrats are vying to challenge Barr next year.

Police: Man drank beer, ate corn dog while shoplifting

SHEPHERDSVILLE (AP) — Police say a man had drunk a beer and eaten a corn dog at a Walmart in Kentucky before being arrested for shoplifting.

Shepherdsville police said in a Facebook post on Friday that store employees saw 55-year-old David Pethel also load his cart with merchandise valued at nearly $250 before attempting to leave without paying.

Pethel is charged with one count of theft by unlawful taking. He had been held at the Bullitt County Jail, and it is unclear if he has a lawyer.

Children treated after school bus struck

LOUISVILLE (AP) — Officials say four children have been treated at a hospital after a school bus crash in Kentucky.

WAVE-TV reports the bus was struck on a highway in Louisville by a car that was involved in a collision with another car Tuesday afternoon.

Jefferson County Public Schools spokesman Daniel Kemp says none of the injuries the four children suffered appeared to be serious.

An adult from one of the cars involved was also treated, but the extent of their injuries is unknown.

Westbound traffic on Interstate 64 was reopened roughly an hour after the accident. The students who had been onboard were placed on another bus.

Louisville Orchestra has best-selling album

LOUISVILLE (AP) — The Louisville Orchestra has released an album that hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Classical chart.

The orchestra’s album “All In” with conductor Teddy Abrams was released last month. It features an original work, “Unified Field,” composed by Abrams. Abrams is also a clarinet soloist on a version of Aaron Copland’s “Clarinet Concerto.” The album is in the top spot this week on Billboard’s Traditional Classical Albums chart.

A release from the orchestra says it has been reinvigorated by the young conductor who has a “commitment to championing new works, education, and community engagement.” The orchestra has seen growth in concert attendance since he took over.

The album, the first from the Louisville Orchestra in 30 years, was released by the label Decca Gold.

High schools students invited to paint snow plows

FLEMINGSBURG (AP) — The Kentucky Department of Highways is inviting high school students in the northeastern part of the state to paint snow plow blades in a new initiative aimed at promoting learning and safety.

The highway department’s District 9 says in a statement that schools must get the agency’s approval to participate, and then the local maintenance facility will drop off a plow blade for students to paint. The statement says artists are encouraged to paint themes that include traffic safety and winter weather.

Once painted, the blades will be attached to snow plows and used on roads throughout the winter season to enhance community pride and urge roadway safety.

The program is open to high schools in the following counties: Bath, Boyd, Carter, Elliott, Fleming, Greenup, Lewis, Mason, Nicholas and Rowan.

Gov. Bevin fills judicial vacancy

FRANKFORT (AP) — Gov. Matt Bevin has selected a longtime attorney to fill a judicial vacancy in northern Kentucky.

The governor appointed Daniel Zalla of Fort Thomas to serve as a circuit judge in Kentucky’s 17th Judicial Circuit, which covers Campbell County.

Zalla replaces former Judge Fred Stine, who retired in August.

Bevin’s office says Zalla will serve as a judge until next year’s election.

Zalla is a graduate of Northern Kentucky University’s law school and began his legal career in 1974. He has practiced contract, real estate, probate, personal injury and family law.

In 2006, he was appointed to fill a judicial vacancy on the Kenton County Circuit Court.