News Around the State

Published 10:43 am Thursday, April 18, 2019

DeVos brings more money after shooting in Kentucky school

BENTON, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky school district where two students were fatally shot last year has been awarded a second federal grant to help recover from the tragedy.

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos traveled to Marshall County with Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin on Wednesday to announce the Project School Emergency Response to Violence grant. The award is for more than $460,000. A previous grant was for $138,000. The money will fund more school resource officers and hall monitors, and a school nurse will be hired.

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More than a dozen students were injured in the Jan. 23, 2018, shooting at Marshall County High School in western Kentucky. A teenage classmate is charged with murder and assault.

Kentucky education officials said students who aren’t ready to return to school can continue studying online at home.

Judge rules state must disclose records, pay legal fees

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky judge has overruled a decision by the state to release only documents with blacked-out details of allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination made by a former top social services official.

The Courier Journal reports that Franklin County Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd ruled Wednesday that the state must disclose the records and pay the newspaper’s legal costs.

The newspaper sought the records after Adria Johnson resigned last year as commissioner of the Department for Community Based Services.

Shepherd rejected the state’s argument that it could withhold the information because the state’s internal investigation hadn’t substantiated Johnson’s allegations.

A statement from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, where Johnson worked, said it would appeal the ruling in order to be able to continue to protect the privacy of public servants when allegations can’t be substantiated.

Homeless ask Kentucky city for 3-week camp clearing notice

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Some Kentuckians struggling with homelessness are asking for an ordinance that requires homeless camps be given notice of camp clearings at least 21 days in advance.

News outlets report the ordinance was proposed to a Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council committee on Tuesday. The General Government and Social Services Committee said it will revisit the issue at its May 14 meeting.

The city has removed 14 homeless camps since July, with several being taken down during winter.

The director of Lexington’s Homeless Prevention and Intervention Office, Polly Ruddick, says the city gives residents time to collect belongings before camp removals, but there’s no standard amount of time.

Ginny Ramsey is the co-founder of one of Lexington’s homeless shelters. She says the ordinance is needed to provide consistency.

Woman sues over melon linked to US salmonella outbreak

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A Kentucky woman is suing an Indiana-based company that issued a recall last week for melon products linked to a salmonella outbreak.

Fifty-year-old Tammy France of Louisville alleges in her federal lawsuit that she spent a week hospitalized with salmonella poisoning after eating pre-cut melon made by Caito Foods. She bought the fruit in late March at a Kroger store.

Her lawsuit was filed Monday against Indianapolis-based Caito Foods LLC and Cincinnati-based The Kroger Co.

Caito issued a voluntary recall last week for melon products sold in 16 states. Parent company SpartanNash Co. of Grand Rapids, Michigan, says it doesn’t comment on pending litigation. Messages seeking comment were left Wednesday for Kroger.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Caito’s recalled fruit has been linked to 93 salmonella cases in nine states.

Jim Beam donation to create Kentucky spirits institute

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Bourbon is synonymous with Kentucky, and now the state’s flagship university wants to teach the next generation of master distillers who will produce the amber spirit.

Jim Beam bourbon said Wednesday it will donate $5 million to the University of Kentucky to establish the James B. Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits.

Albert Baladi, the top executive at Beam Suntory, which owns the Jim Beam brand, says the donation is an investment in bourbon’s future.

The institute will offer courses across engineering, chemistry, business, law, horticulture, forestry, food science and entomology.

Fred Noe, Jim Beam’s seventh generation master distiller, says the industry needs to focus on educating new distillers, scientists and engineers to continue bourbon’s global growth.

The Kentucky Distillers’ Association says the bluegrass state produces 95% of the world’s bourbon supply.

Kentucky city rejects anti-discrimination ordinance

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) — Officials in a southcentral Kentucky city have voted against an ordinance that would add specific housing and employment protections for gay, lesbian and transgender residents.

The Daily News reports the Bowling Green City Commission voted 3-2 on Tuesday to reject the first reading of the ordinance, though another reading is set for May 7.

More than 100 people attended the meeting and 24 spoke in favor of the proposal while nine opposed it.

The newspaper reports Bowling Green is the largest city in the state that hasn’t added formal protections for residents based on sexual orientation and identity.

Sheriff: Kentucky toddler shot while playing with gun

COLUMBIA, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky sheriff’s office says a 2-year-old boy has been shot in the head by a loaded gun that he found outside a Columbia home.

The Adair County Sheriff’s Office tells news outlets that the toddler is in stable condition at a hospital.

The sheriff’s office says the toddler and a 5-year-old boy found the gun Sunday in an unlocked truck near the home. It says the gun then “discharged by accident” and shot the toddler, who was hospitalized that afternoon.

Authorities didn’t immediately release the identities of those involved or say who owned the truck or gun.

The sheriff’s office and child protective services are investigating.

Man pleads guilty in boy’s 2014 death in Kentucky park

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A 26-year-old man has pleaded guilty in the death of a 12-year-old boy in a Kentucky park more than four years ago.

News outlets report Joseph Cambron’s trial was set for later this month.

Cambron was originally charged with murder in the death of Ray Etheridge in Louisville’s Cherokee Park on Sept. 30, 2014. He told police he stabbed Etheridge after the boy punched him and took his wallet.

Cambron pleaded guilty last week to a lesser charge of first-degree manslaughter for 13 years in prison. Jefferson County Circuit Judge Charles Cunningham will sentence Cambron on June 21. He also pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence for disposing of the knife.

Attorneys said the plea deal was reached after the judge suppressed Cambron’s statement to police.