News Around the State

Published 12:09 pm Friday, May 25, 2018

Report: Jobless rates down in all 120 Kentucky counties

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — State officials say unemployment rates fell in all 120 Kentucky counties between April 2017 and April 2018.

The Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics says Woodford County had the state’s lowest jobless rate at 2.7 percent.

It was followed by Campbell, Oldham and Shelby counties at 2.9 percent each. Jobless rates in Fayette, Scott and Spencer counties were 3 percent each.

Officials say Magoffin County had the state’s highest unemployment rate at 11.9 percent.

Lewis County was next at 8.1 percent, followed by Elliott County at 7.8 percent, Carter County at 7.6 percent, Menifee County at 7.5 percent and Livingston and Wayne counties at 6.9 percent each.

Hardest-hit counties to receive more hepatitis A vaccines

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky health officials say counties hardest hit by a hepatitis A outbreak will receive another round of vaccines to protect people from the contagious disease.

The acting commissioner for the Department for Public Health, Dr. Jeffrey Howard, said Thursday that 10 counties will receive funding to purchase the vaccines.

Howard says the funding will provide 1,000 additional vaccine doses for each county — for a total of 10,000 doses. The counties are Boyd, Bullitt, Carter, Greenup, Hardin, Jefferson, McCracken, Meade, Montgomery and Warren.

State officials say the department will pay for each county to purchase the vaccines, which will be shipped to local health departments. The department negotiated discounted rates with drug manufacturers.

Officials say 629 hepatitis A cases have been reported statewide since Aug. 1, 2017. Hardest hit is Jefferson County, which includes Louisville.

Former Kentucky lawmaker ordered to serve 2 more years

PIKEVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A federal judge has ordered a two-year sentence for a former Kentucky lawmaker who is already serving seven years in a separate case.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports Pikeville Democratic former state Rep. W. Keith Hall was sentenced Thursday for aggravated identity theft. He must complete the sentence he’s serving in the bribery case before beginning the new sentence.

Hall pleaded guilty in February in a deal in which five other counts were dismissed.

He was convicted in 2015 of bribing a state mine inspector to overlook violations at surface coal mines he owned.

In the identity theft case, Hall was accused of using fake documents to convince a customer he had insurance so he could keep a contract.

Kentucky safety Walker arrested on multiple drug charges

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky junior safety Marcus Walker has been charged with trafficking cocaine and marijuana following a police search of an off-campus apartment.

Lexington police arrested Walker and 23-year-old Tavon Wells early Thursday morning after finding at least five pounds of marijuana and four grams of cocaine in a search of the residence. The arrest citation stated that a large amount of cash and a cash counter were found in the search. Walker, from Lake Wales, Florida, is also charged with possessing drug paraphernalia.

The 21-year-old Walker pleaded not guilty Thursday in Fayette District Court and is being held on a $1,000 surety bond in the county jail. Kentucky athletics spokesman Tony Neely says the team is aware of Walker’s arrest and gathering more information.

The 6-foot-1, 208-pound Walker had five tackles in 12 games last season.

Ballot question arises after Kentucky judge candidate dies

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky election official says only one name will appear on the ballot in November for a judge’s race after the top vote-getter in the primary died.

Kentucky Secretary of State’s Office spokesman Bradford Queen told The Courier-Journal it’s uncertain which candidate for Jefferson County District Court judge will be listed. That’s because the apparent second-place finisher, attorney Tanisha Ann Hickerson, got only 17 more votes than attorney Karen E. Faulkner.

Queen said the close vote margin leaves the possibility that a recanvass could be requested. Faulkner declined to comment to the newspaper on whether she would make such a request.

The top vote-getter was 43-year-old Danny Alvarez. He collapsed and died the day after the primary.

He would have faced Hickerson in a November runoff.

Repairs complete at Jenny Wiley Amphitheater

PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky Tourism Cabinet says repairs on the Jenny Wiley Amphitheater in eastern Kentucky have been completed.

A statement from the agency says a reopening ceremony is planned Thursday for the Jenny Wiley State Resort Park Amphitheater in Prestonsburg. The amphitheater was closed in January due to safety concerns. In April, officials with the state parks agreed to lease the structure to the city of Prestonsburg, which accelerated repairs.

Officials say the 2018 production season begins in June.