News Around the State

Published 11:19 am Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Ky. gets grant to help clean up petroleum contamination

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded a nearly $1.2 million grant to help Kentucky clean up petroleum contamination from leaking underground storage tanks.

Last fiscal year, Kentucky officials reported 109 new confirmed discharges, 162 cleanups completed and 636 remaining to be addressed. Officials say Kentucky’s goals for this year are to complete 130 cleanups.

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EPA officials say the grant is being awarded to the Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection.

They say the grant is funded through the Leaking Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund. Officials say states may use the funds to support staff employees who oversee the cleanup projects or to pay for contractual services to perform cleanup projects.

The grant was announced while EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler visited Kentucky on Friday.

New grant to provide coolers to food pantries

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — More than two dozen food pantries in Kentucky are benefiting from a new grant from the state’s Department of Agriculture.

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles is unveiling new coolers that will help the pantries feed the state’s hungry.

Quarles’ office says 25 food pantries around the state will benefit from the additional cold storage space.

The grants are part of the Kentucky Hunger Initiative, which brings together farmers, charitable organizations, faith groups, community leaders and government officials to look for ways to reduce hunger. Quarles launched the effort in 2016.

Quarles is announcing the new grant at an event in Louisville on Monday.

Google Fiber to leave city, pay $3.8M for removal

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Google Fiber is leaving Louisville, Kentucky, and has agreed to pay the city to remove its infrastructure.

The Courier Journal reports the office of Mayor Greg Fischer announced on Monday that Google will pay $3.8 million over 20 months. The city will work to remove items such as fiber cables and restore roads and other public spaces damaged by the service.

Google abruptly announced in February that it was leaving Louisville by mid-April. It cited several reasons for its departure, including a failed experiment to bury fiber optic cables in shallower trenches than used in other cities.

A Google Fiber general manager, Mark Strama, says the company will also donate $150,000 to the Community Foundation of Louisville’s Digital Inclusion Fund and 275 refurbished computers to the city’s housing authority.

Deputies: Substitute teacher downed vodka, endangered kids

GEORGETOWN, Ky. (AP) — A substitute teacher in Kentucky has been jailed for allegedly endangering middle school students by teaching while drunk.

WKYT-TV reports 32-year-old Brook Ellen West was arrested Monday on charges of public intoxication and endangering the welfare of a minor.

Scott County Sheriff’s deputies say she told authorities she had four shots of vodka while teaching a class at Royal Springs Middle School in Georgetown. They say she smelled of alcohol, was unsteady on her feet, yelled and cursed at the children, and had a blood alcohol content level of .317.

Scott County Schools says the teacher is no longer employed by the district in any capacity.

Woman accused of slamming son, 2, on concrete, running away

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) — Police in Kentucky say a woman slammed her 2-year-old son onto concrete and then ran away during a fight she was having with a man.

News outlets report that Noelle Gray had fled and left her son injured on the ground on Friday. Bowling Green police spokesman Officer Ronnie Ward said Monday afternoon that the child has been released from a hospital.

Gray was arrested Friday evening on charges including wanton endangerment and child abuse. Her arrest citation says officers had been called about a disturbance, and met a woman who took the boy in after witnessing the fight.

Police say the child was taken to a hospital, and then flown to one in Nashville, Tennessee, for further treatment.

It is unclear if Gray has a lawyer who could comment.

Fire destroys large barn with horses

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Fire officials say a large central Kentucky barn with horses inside has been destroyed by a fire.

Lexington Fire Maj. Jordan Saas told news outlets that crews were called to the blaze Sunday afternoon and were told up to eight horses were inside the barn.

Saas said the roof collapsed and the barn was not structurally stable, so firefighters had not been able to get inside to confirm the number of horses.

He said plenty of hay in the barn, which provided fuel to burn, and intense winds made fighting the fire more difficult.

Officials are trying to determine the case of the blaze.

Ky. diocese IDs priests ‘credibly’ accused of abuse

OWENSBORO, Ky. (AP) — The diocese of Owensboro, Kentucky, has released a list of priests it says have been “credibly accused” of sexually abusing minors.

The Paducah Sun reports the bishop of the diocese, The Most Rev. William Medley, released the list of 15 priests Friday.

Medley says the priests have substantiated allegations against them. He says that means the allegations weren’t contested, guilt was admitted or ruled by a court, or an objective investigation supported the allegations.

The list says some of the priests have died or been convicted of sex offenses. Medley says the list will be updated as more information comes to light.

He denounced the alleged actions by the priests, saying the evil perpetuated by some has hurt the priesthood.