News Around the State

Published 12:13 pm Friday, December 21, 2018

Ky.’s jobless rate unchanged in November

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky officials say the state’s unemployment rate remained steady in November.

The Kentucky Center for Statistics says the state’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate for November was 4.5 percent. The preliminary statewide figure was unchanged from the prior month.

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Officials say the November jobless rate was the same as in November 2017.

They say Kentucky added 277 people to its civilian labor force last month, bringing the state’s labor force to 2,075,664.

Officials say employment increased last month in the state’s professional and business services sector and the manufacturing sector. Other gains occurred in the trade, transportation and utilities sector, the education and health services sector and the leisure and hospital sector.

They say the sectors showing employment decreases last month included financial activities and construction.

Court zaps Ky.’s $870M win against online poker

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky appeals court has overturned one of the largest judgments in state history by ruling an online poker company does not have to pay the state $870 million plus interest.

The Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet sued the company that owns PokerStars in 2010, arguing 34,000 people lost $240 million in illegal wagers on the website between 2006 and 2011. In 2015, a state judge ruled the company had to pay the money back, times three with interest.

Friday, a three-judge panel on the Kentucky Court of Appeals overturned that judgment. The court ruled Kentucky’s government does not have the legal right to sue to recover the money.

Justice and Public Safety Cabinet spokesman Mike Wynn said officials are disappointed and will appeal to the state Supreme Court.

Man shot multiple times by wildlife officer

MORGANTOWN, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky State Police say a wildlife officer has shot and critically wounded a man while responding to the scene of a domestic dispute.

News outlets report that 55-year-old Gary L. Ranburger was shot several times early Thursday and flown to a hospital in Nashville, Tennessee, where he is said to be in critical but stable condition.

Police say the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Officer had been called to assist the Butler County Sheriff’s Office and was first to the scene.

Police say the officer found Ranburger armed and standing outside of his Morgantown residence. The two exchanged gunfire and Ranburger was shot several times.

The wildlife officer has been placed on administrative leave amid the investigation.

Master Trooper Jeremy Hodges says charges are likely to be filed against Ranburger upon his release from the hospital.

Officer indicted on assault charge

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky grand jury has indicted a police officer who knocked an 18-year-old handcuffed man to the ground.

News outlets report a Jefferson County grand jury indicted Louisville Metro Police Officer Lonzo McConico on Thursday on a misdemeanor assault count instead of a felony based on injuries Tanner Brown suffered. McConico arrested Brown in February on charges of alcohol intoxication and resisting arrest and cellphone video shows him knocking the teen to the ground.

Prosecutor Tom Wine says the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor assault charge is “whether the injury suffered by Brown amounted to serious physical injury or physical injury.”

Brown’s family has said he suffered a brain injury.

McConico’s attorney, Steve Schroring, called the incident unfortunate and said the officer would plead not guilty to the charge.

Aluminum manufacturing plant expansion to add 90 jobs

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky aluminum manufacturer is expanding and adding jobs.

The Daily News reports management at Kobelco Aluminum Products & Extrusions Inc. announced the $42 million expansion Wednesday. Officials say the company’s Bowling Green plant will add a melting furnace and extrusion press and create 90 jobs. Kobelco makes aluminum extrusion bumpers and frame components for automobiles.

A statement from the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development says Kobelco plans to begin construction in January and hopes to start production in the expansion the following year.

Parent company Kobe Steel Senior Managing Executive Officer Hiroaki Matsubara says the expansion is due to “robust demand for our products.”