News Around the State

Published 1:47 pm Thursday, July 5, 2018

Woman responds to backlash over giraffe killing

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky woman vilified on social media for killing a giraffe on a 2017 hunt in Africa said she has received thousands of angry messages and death threats.

A photo of Tess Talley posing with a large giraffe went viral this week after the Twitter account of a site called Africa Digest posted two photos and called her a “white American savage.”

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Media report that Talley is from Johnson County in eastern Kentucky. She issued a statement this week saying the giraffe was not rare and she was participating in what she called “conservation through game management.”

She says in the statement “some of the most vile things have been directed at me and many other women hunters.”

Talley has been criticized on social media by celebrities such as Ricky Gervais and “Will and Grace” actress Debra Messing, who called her a “disgusting, vile, amoral, heartless, selfish murderer.”

The photos posted by Talley last year show her standing and smiling beside a dead giraffe along with the caption: “Prayers for my once in a lifetime dream hunt came true today!”

Trophy hunting is a legal practice in many African countries.

She claims in her statement that the giraffe was over 18 years old and had killed three other younger giraffes that were of breeding age.

“I get that hunting is not for everyone,” she said in the statement, but “if it was any other belief that was different, threats and insults would be deemed hideous, however for some reason it is ok to act this way because it’s hunting.”

Governor creates Economic Opportunity Commission

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A new commission created by Gov. Matt Bevin will look at creating economic opportunities for Kentuckians.

Bevin’s office says the Economic Opportunity Commission will consist of 12 voting members appointed by the governor. Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton will serve in an ex officio capacity.

Hampton says she hopes the commission eliminates economic barriers.

The commission will conduct studies and compile data about barriers faced by Kentuckians due to race, sex, ethnicity or socio-economics status.

It will help link state agencies with businesses owned by members of economically disadvantaged groups on matters including construction contracts, personal service contracts and contracts for professional services.

The commission will be attached to the Cabinet for Economic Development. It combines the Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs and the Governor’s Minority Employment, Business Affairs and Economic Development Council.

Mayor reviewing panel’s statement on Confederate statue

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The mayor of Kentucky’s largest city says a statue honoring a Confederate soldier isn’t a celebration of the secessionist cause.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer told the Courier Journal on Tuesday that the statue honoring John B. Castleman isn’t “a Confederate monument like … in some cities with Confederate generals on a horse with their guns facing north.”

An advisory committee created by Fischer has said Confederate memorials “have no place” in Louisville. The group urged the mayor to make a “timely decision” on what to do about the Castleman piece.

Fischer says he’ll review the group’s report but adds that he agrees with his panel’s assertion that Louisville isn’t a place for celebrating what the Confederacy represented.

During the Civil War, Castleman served for the Confederacy under John Hunt Morgan.

Billboard vandalized to say ‘#AbolishICE’

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Louisville billboard has been vandalized to say “#AbolishICE” as protests against President Donald Trump and his administration’s immigration policies continue in the Kentucky city.

News outlets report that the “#AbolishICE” message appeared Wednesday on a billboard along Interstate 65. The billboard is one of many in the past year to be vandalized with a political message and the tag “Resist 45,” which appears to be a reference to Trump, the 45th president.

The vandalism follows a Monday rally outside the Louisville ICE building. A small group of protesters remained at the building Wednesday, and told WAVE-TV they don’t plan on leaving anytime soon. The protesters are calling for President Trump to abolish ICE and adopt an open border policy.

Fish moved from lake where water level is down to repair dam

UNION, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky wildlife officials have removed about 300 fish from a lake where the water level is being lowered to repair a leaking dam.

The Kentucky Enquirer reports a team of fisheries biologists and technicians with the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources spent a day this week recovering fish from the lake at Big Bone Lick State Historic Site in northern Kentucky.

The fish were relocated to another lake.

Officials discovered in May that the dam — which impounds a 9-acre lake — was leaking. The dam does not appear to be in imminent danger of failing. Officials are drawing down the water level to determine the source of the leak and assess damage.

The park closed an access road to the lake and a nearby picnic shelter. Otherwise, the historic site remains open.