Kentucky Press News Service

House explodes, one dead: Welding tanks in garage; gun located among debris

June 7, 2018 - 2:23pm
UPDATED: A “sonic boom” shattered a quiet neighborhood in Georgetown's Indian Acres subdivision Wednesday morning as a house exploded scattering debris in all directions hundreds of feet. Inside the house’s charred remains investigators discovered the body of a white female. Investigators located a handgun in the debris, as well. Marijean Long, whose house is behind the explosion and suffered damage, said a review of her security cameras showed there were actually two explosions. “The first one was small, but it set off vehicle alarms,” she said. “The second explosion everything went white.” The explosion and subsequent fire damaged nearby houses, with large portions of the home’s garage door resting across the street. Other pieces of the house and its contents were literally scattered nearly a half block in all directions. 2018-06-07T09:51:08-04:00

Boy dies from accidental gunshot

June 7, 2018 - 2:23pm
UPDATED: Malachi Fryer had a loving heart and never met a stranger, New Highland Elementary School Principal Chalis Packer said. “He was a little comedian and the classroom was his stage,” she said. “He loved people and he didn’t meet a stranger.” Malachi, 6, died Tuesday morning, just days after completing first grade at New Highland, from an accidental, self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, Hardin County Coroner Dr. William Lee said. 2018-06-07T09:23:45-04:00

Physical restraint use rising in Kentucky schools; spiking at Jefferson

June 7, 2018 - 2:23pm
The use of physical restraints to control students is increasing across Kentucky, although the state legislature since 2012 has tried to reduce the practice because it is ineffective and harms children, especially those with disabilities. Between 2014 and 2017, the number of occasions during which public school staff physically restrained students because they posed a danger to themselves or others increased by 42 percent across the state — though state officials said they believe the numbers are increasing primarily because school districts are doing a better job reporting them. 2018-06-07T09:19:23-04:00

Barren judge-executive candidate demands recount

June 7, 2018 - 2:23pm
A Republican candidate for Barren County judge-executive is demanding a recount following the primary election in May. Freddie Joe Wilkerson, a retired Kentucky Army National Guardsman who lost in the primary, filed a petition Friday demanding a recount of paper ballot votes, according to Barren County Attorney Jeff Sharp. He will represent the Barren County Board of Elections at a hearing Friday that will determine the bond Wilkerson must pay for the recount. Wilkerson’s primary opponent, Gary Tilghman, received 1,707 votes, while Wilkerson garnered 1,108. A recanvass that Wilkerson demanded last week didn’t alter the vote totals. 2018-06-07T09:14:00-04:00

Coal company invests in Hopkins County

June 7, 2018 - 2:23pm
Alliance Coal continues to place bets on Hopkins County and the coal mining industry as a whole. The largest coal producer in the Illinois Basin, of which Western Kentucky is part, celebrated the opening of its newest warehouse in Madisonville on Wednesday. The company employs 500 people at mines and other facilities in Hopkins County, 260 of whom live in the county, said David Ross, Alliance Coal's vice president of operations. 2018-06-07T09:09:26-04:00

Two suspects in custody following pursuits, standoff

June 7, 2018 - 2:23pm
Two White Plains men are in custody following a series of vehicle chases and a 45-minute standoff with law enforcement on Tuesday. The Madisonville-Hopkins County VICE/Narcotics Unit reported conducting surveillance on Old Nortonville-White Plains Road Tuesday at approximately 7 p.m. Detectives observed Tyler W. Ward, 27, driving a motorcycle at a high speed and verified that Tyler Ward was operating on a suspended license. When detectives attempted to make a traffic stop, Tyler Ward fled for several miles at speeds in excess of 100 mph. The suspect eventually pulled over and was placed under arrest. 2018-06-07T09:05:52-04:00

Transportation secretary speaks on funding challenges, future of I-69

June 7, 2018 - 2:23pm
Kentucky Secretary of Transportation Greg Thomas shared some words of warning about state funding surrounding two major bridge projects – one of which is the I-69 Ohio River Crossing connecting Henderson with Indiana – but project managers and local representatives are still positive. During the Tuesday meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Transportation in Frankfort, Thomas told members of the General Assembly that the state would need to find ways to gather more funding for transportation projects like the I-69 project and the Brent Spence Bridge connecting Covington and Cincinnati. 2018-06-07T09:03:29-04:00

Cape Air drops fares to $19

June 7, 2018 - 2:23pm
Cape Air is dropping its air fares between Owensboro and St. Louis to $19 each way this summer. That's the lowest they've ever been, Bob Whitmer, airport manager, said Wednesday. 2018-06-07T09:00:04-04:00

Marshall school district adopts some additional safety measures after shooting

June 7, 2018 - 2:23pm
The Marshall County School District approved several changes to make its schools safer. A district safety committee voted Monday to adopt the changes in the wake of the Jan. 23 shooting at Marshall County High School in which two students died and 20 were injured, 12 from gunshot wounds. In a policy change, students at Marshall County High School and both middle schools will not be allowed to carry bookbags. 2018-06-07T08:53:55-04:00

Kentucky woman said she found human bones. Sheriff says she was hiding stolen artifacts.

June 7, 2018 - 2:23pm
A Carroll County woman was arrested Tuesday after the county sheriff's office said she made a false report about bones she said she discovered under an abandoned trailer. Tammy Sculley, 40, told authorities last month that a dog dug up the human bones and brought them to her, Carroll County Sheriff Phillip Marshall said in a press conference Wednesday morning. Following an investigation, it was determined that those bones were archaeological antiquities that two separate people stole from an unspecified building, Marshall said. 2018-06-07T08:50:46-04:00

Chief Justice denies request to remove judge Bevin called a 'hack' from pension case

June 7, 2018 - 2:23pm
The Chief Justice of the Kentucky Supreme Court denied a request Wednesday by lawyers for Governor Matt Bevin to remove a judge the governor called an "incompetent hack" from presiding over a lawsuit challenging Kentucky's new pension law. Bevin's attorneys "failed to demonstrate any disqualifying circumstance that would require the appointment of a special judge under Kentucky Revised Statutes..." Chief Justice John Minton wrote in a letter Wednesday afternoon. His decision came a day after Bevin's attorney's asked him to remove Franklin Circuit Court Judge Philip Shepherd from Attorney General Andy Beshear's legal challenge to the pension law, citing the fact that Shepherd is eligible to receive a judicial pension. 2018-06-07T08:44:38-04:00

Cryptocurrency group raising funds for chemical plant

June 7, 2018 - 2:23pm
Pike County received its first repayment last week on a controversial $400,000 loan it made in 2014 to RCL Chemical — a company promising hundreds of jobs in Eastern Kentucky at a proposed plant that would convert natural gas into various liquid products. Money for that $50,000 payment, though, was raised from a very unconventional source: cryptocurrency. It's an industry that has sparked warnings and scrutiny from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Last month, New York-based cryptocurrency investment company Y2X Infrastructure agreed to secure $325 million to fund RCL's proposed natural gas-to-liquids plant in Eastern Kentucky. Y2X was founded less than a month ago and defines itself as a "blockchain-centric company," which means it uses cryptocurrencies, such as Bit-coin, to fund its projects. 2018-06-07T08:35:41-04:00

FBI director calls agency criticism distracting

June 7, 2018 - 2:23pm
FBI Director Christopher Wray told officials and agency partners Wednesday in Louisville that recent criticisms from from Washington, D.C., were distracting and irrelevant to their mission. “The things that make a difference are the lives of the people we are trying to protect,” Wray said. “Not whether or not somebody is scoring points on television or the internet.” While Wray did not specifically mention President Donald Trump, a vocal critic of the FBI’s investigation into Russian influence in the 2016 election, the timing of his remarks falls as conservatives and the White House critique the agency. 2018-06-07T08:31:24-04:00

Ed board changes rule for choosing leaders

June 7, 2018 - 2:23pm
In a move that threatens to further politicize the Kentucky Department of Education, the state’s education board voted to change its rules so that any member can be appointed its chairman, regardless of time served. The move could pave the way for Hal Heiner, a close ally of Gov. Matt Bevin and frequent critic of Jefferson County Public Schools, to become chairman despite being appointed to the board by the governor less than two months ago. 2018-06-07T08:27:52-04:00

Reps seek answers on Capitol protests

June 7, 2018 - 2:23pm
Two Democrats in the Kentucky House have asked Attorney General Andy Beshear for an opinion on whether the Constitutional rights of anti-poverty activists were violated Monday when they were blocked from entering the Capitol. Reps. Attica Scott, of Louisville, and George A. Brown Jr., of Lexington, also asked Beshear in a two-page letter Tuesday if any state official with authority over public admittance to the Capitol can change the policy “without public notice and at-will.” 2018-06-07T08:14:32-04:00

Coroner: Child died from self-inflicted gun shot

June 7, 2018 - 2:23pm
A 6-year-old boy died Tuesday morning from an accidental, self-inflicted gun shot wound to the head, said Hardin County Coroner Dr. William Lee. An autopsy was performed Wednesday on Malachi Fryer at the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Louisville. Lee said it was a single shot that struck the child inside a residence on West Airview Drive in Elizabethtown. 2018-06-06T16:52:10-04:00

Russellville Walmart no longer open 24 hours

June 7, 2018 - 2:23pm
If you are heading out for a late hour ice cream fix or rather that stuffy nose has got you up at 2 a.m. and you're in need of an antihistamine, or maybe you just want to browse that clothing section for your summer swimsuit all to yourself at 4 a.m., you may have to wait a little longer if heading to the Russellville Walmart since its doors are no longer open 24-hours a day. 2018-06-06T14:36:36-04:00

Staff finds used drug needles on Corbin Preschool playground

June 7, 2018 - 2:23pm
Corbin Police were called to the Corbin Preschool Center on Master Street Tuesday after employees found two syringes in the playground area. Corbin Police Captain Coy Wilson, the department’s pubic affairs officer, said it appears the needles had been thrown over the fence along Vaughn Ave. 2018-06-06T14:24:07-04:00

#NotNormal – the missing Bevin tax returns

June 7, 2018 - 2:23pm
We start our new #NotNormal series with something most people have forgotten about … but that is definitely not normal: Governor Matt Bevin not releasing his tax returns, even though he promised to do so. In 2015, candidate Bevin refused to release his tax returns before the election, even though other candidates had done so. He said at the time that he would release his returns if he won. It has now been 945 days since the election, and still no sign of his 2014 return. Or the return for 2015. Or 2016. And, you guessed it – no release of his 2017 return, either. 2018-06-06T14:12:36-04:00

Forget reality TV - Trump has us on edge of our seats

June 7, 2018 - 2:23pm
Like most things, your personal view of the Trump administration’s decision to place tariffs on imported steel and aluminum depend upon your perspective. For those of us in Scott County such a move will likely have a big and direct impact. Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky, like all automakers, uses a lot of steel in its process and even if the steel used is domestic, tariffs would likely cause all steel — domestic or imported — to increase. That could affect jobs, but it will most certainly affect the price of cars. Trump’s protectionist attitude is of concern. He is negotiating with foreign countries much like we imagine he negotiated business deals. With a heavy hand with an eye on the bottom line. The problem is the stakes are higher than the construction of a hotel, and if Trump loses the cost will likely be jobs or worse. 2018-06-06T14:07:11-04:00

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