News Around the State

Published 12:09 pm Friday, February 23, 2018

State could change hunting rules for sandhill cranes

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Hundreds more sandhill cranes could be hunted in Kentucky under a proposal from state wildlife officials.

The plan would end a 400-bird limit on harvest and allow as many as 1,400 cranes to be taken each year, depending on population estimates, the Courier Journal reported Monday.

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Sandhills migrate from the Great Lakes region to Florida through Kentucky. They stand as tall as 5 feet (1.5 meters) with a wingspan of roughly 6 feet (1.8 meters).

Among other proposals are changing the hunting season’s length from 30 to 56 days and extending it two weeks later to the end of January. Another is creating a no-hunting zone in Green River Lake to protect a newly discovered area where the birds gather to rest.

The changes are headed for approval to the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission, which has its next meeting March 9. Changing crane-hunting regulations would require approval from the commission and the General Assembly.

John H. Brunjes, coordinator of the state’s Migratory Bird Program, said some changes are meant to simplify regulations while others are designed to increase conservation.

Tim Grunewald, North America program director of the Wisconsin-based International Crane Foundation, said the foundation had opposed the hunt that started in 2011 and also opposed any expanded hunting.

Deadstock for sail: Cow carcass floats into inlet

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — As the Ohio River flooded with rain, the bloated carcass of a cow floated into a flooded inlet at Louisville’s waterfront.

The Courier Journal reports that the bovine body has sparked a social media flurry this week, with one Facebook post sent Tuesday garnering more than 1,800 shares.

The cow floated into a flooded inlet that’s normally a grassy area at the Waterfront Park on Thursday morning, but public works spokesman Harold Adams says the city can’t remove it until the water recedes.

Adams says the city’s dead animal removal team, which falls under Metro Public Works’ Solid Waste Division, has handled large animals in the past, including at least one horse. He did say that this is the first he’s heard of a large animal floating on the river.

Fight breaks out at high school, injuring 2 staff, 1 officer

GEORGETOWN, Ky. (AP) — Authorities say a fight involving up to seven students at a Kentucky high school left at least two school personnel and one police officer injured.

Georgetown police said in a Facebook post that a fight broke out Thursday morning at Scott County High School, during which a teacher, administrator and officer were assaulted. Scott County School Superintendent Kevin Hub and Georgetown Police Chief Mike Bosse tells the Lexington Herald-Leader that the fight involved at least four girls, though no definitive number has been released.

Hub says the students will be disciplined according to the district’s code of conduct. Georgetown police say criminal charges are anticipated.

Police say no one suffered serious injuries. The cause of the fight hasn’t been released, but police say it wasn’t related to race or gangs.

Louisville financial adviser charged with $8K fraud

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Louisville financial adviser has been charged with investment adviser fraud, money laundering, aggravated identity theft and wire fraud.

The U.S. Attorney’s office in Louisville says the indictment is part of a large sweep by law enforcement focusing on elder fraud.

The indictment against 34-year-old Derek Payne Burcham Thursday alleges the financial adviser fraudulently obtained more than $800,000 by misappropriating money from investors. Burcham was the former principal owner of Cornerstone Benefit Advisors.

The alleged fraud occurred between 2011 and 2016, and the indictment alleges Burcham used the funds to support his lifestyle and to cover operating expenses.

The wider sweep by the U.S. attorney and other law enforcement includes more than 250 defendants worldwide involved in schemes that cost elderly clients more than a half-billion dollars.