News Around the State

Published 11:47 am Thursday, May 30, 2019

Motorist killed during storm in eastern Kentucky city

PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (AP) — Officials say one person was killed during a severe storm in eastern Kentucky when the roof of a building was blown off and landed on a moving vehicle.

Prestonsburg Mayor Les Stapleton told a news conference Wednesday that the motorist was driving down a street when the roof crashed onto the vehicle. Stapleton said a passenger in the vehicle was able to escape unharmed. He did not immediately provide further details about the storm victim or the type of vehicle involved.

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Storms packing strong winds and rain moved through eastern Kentucky on Wednesday. Forecasters say more bad weather could affect the region later Wednesday.

The mayor said a few other vehicles were damaged, and trees and power lines are down. Emergency crews are working to clear roadways and restore power.

Feedback sought for new assessment designs

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky Department of Education is seeking feedback from teachers, parents and others to help shape tests students will take under new standards for reading, writing, mathematics and social studies.

The Daily News reports the agency is asking for input through online surveys before the assessment designs are submitted to the Kentucky Board of Education for approval.

Policy adviser Michael Hackworth said assessment designs provide targets for test development and information for teachers as they make decisions about how to instruct classes. The designs help determine what areas are assessed and how much they should count.

The initiative is part of a broader review of Kentucky’s academic standards that began with the passage of Senate Bill 1 in 2017.

Former state lawmaker to challenge McConnell in GOP primary

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A former one-term state lawmaker says he will challenge Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in next year’s Republican primary in Kentucky.

Ex-state Rep. C. Wesley Morgan on Wednesday called McConnell a “self-serving senator” who waits to see “which way the wind is blowing” before taking a stand.

Morgan acknowledges he’s voted for McConnell except in the 2014 GOP primary, when the senator was challenged by Matt Bevin. Bevin is now Kentucky’s governor.

Morgan, a Richmond liquor store owner, says he supports congressional term limits.

McConnell’s campaign says Morgan’s challenge will “end no differently” than anyone else who has challenged the senator. McConnell has been a senator since 1985 and touts his work to win Senate confirmation for President Donald Trump’s judicial choices.

Morgan was elected to the Kentucky House in 2016 but was defeated two years later.

4 school employees suspended after test scores invalidated

PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky superintendent says he has suspended four employees at an eastern Kentucky elementary school following an investigation of standardized test scores that led to 2017 results being invalidated.

WYMT-TV reports Floyd County Superintendent Danny Adkins said in a statement on Tuesday that he suspended the Betsy Layne Elementary School employees with pay and that they would not be rehired by the district. He did not name the employees.

The Kentucky Department of Education launched an investigation of K-Prep test scores at Betsy Layne and results released earlier this month said there was evidence that staff “deliberately altered student exams and provided inappropriate assistance” to improve scores.

The report said three administrators and a teacher would be reported to Kentucky’s Education Professional Standards Board, which oversees educators’ state licenses.

Kentucky county expected to have $890K budget shortfall

PADUCAH, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky county of McCracken is expected to have a $890,000 budget shortfall this upcoming fiscal year.

The Paducah Sun reports the county fiscal court held the first reading of its proposed 2019-20 budget on Wednesday.

Deputy Judge-Executive Steve Doolittle says the county for years has been spending more than it brings in and covering the costs with savings from earlier years. But Doolittle says he expects half of the remaining $2.8 million in savings to be gone by the end of this fiscal year.

He proposed a 5% reduction in the proposed budget of nearly $30 million.

Judge-Executive Craig Clymer called the forecast “a pretty bleak picture,” saying the county needs to draw the line and act fiscally responsible.

The fiscal court will meet again on June 10.

Reunion offers chance to learn about Fort Boonesborough

RICHMOND, Ky. (AP) — Fort Boonesborough State Park in Kentucky is hosting a reunion for anyone who had ancestors in the area of the historic fort during the 18th century.

Kentucky officials say the reunion, called “A Gathering of Descendants,” will be a chance to learn about the history of Fort Boonesborough and its inhabitants. The event is scheduled for June 15 and is free with paid admission to the fort.

While Daniel Boone is the most famous fort resident, the event is open to the public and any other descendants of families who were there.

Fort Boonesborough was established in 1775 along the Kentucky River by Boone and other settlers. The fort became a center of pioneer life and survived attacks by Native Americans during the Revolutionary War.