Kentucky Press News Service

Missing persons case resolved

September 21, 2018 - 10:03am
An almost decade-old missing persons case has finally been solved. According to the official media release, on Feb. 1, 2009, Middlesboro woman Katherine Heck was reported missing by her family after she walked away from her home on KY 441 in Middlesboro. The statements taken at the time of the disappearance indicated that Heck might have been walking toward the mountainous area on the south side of town. Clothing items that belonged to her were discovered near a railroad on South 43rd Street and several searches were conducted in the area, but she was not discovered. 2018-09-21T08:24:27-04:00

Kentucky State unveils latest variety of pawpaw fruit

September 21, 2018 - 10:03am
Kentucky State University’s own line of fruit has its latest addition. KSU unveiled its third unique variety of pawpaw trees, which bear fruit that is typically yellowish-green in hue and large in size, during the “Third Thursday Thing” at the Harold R. Benson Research and Demonstration Farm. Compared to previous cultivars, this variety of pawpaw fruit has a “creamy, sweet, mild banana-pineapple flavor with floral notes” and contains fewer seeds, the school said. 2018-09-21T08:19:27-04:00

Elizabethtown caregiver accused of stealing from elderly men

September 21, 2018 - 10:03am
Employed to help the elderly with life responsibilities, an Eliza­bethtown woman has been charged with improperly using bank account cards of men she was hired to assist. Dawn Desiree Brown, 35, faces four felony charges. She was arrested Wednesday night following a Ken­tucky State Police investigation. According to police, she used clients’ bank cards to help make her car payments, pay cellphone bills and have her nails done. 2018-09-21T08:16:18-04:00

Northern Kentucky city employee wrote herself $5K in checks, docs show

September 21, 2018 - 10:03am
A city employee in northern Kentucky may be checking into a prison sentence that could last anywhere from one to five years. Rhonda Halpin was indicted this week on abuse of public trust by a Kenton County Grand Jury, according to the county’s commonwealth attorney Rob Sanders. Halpin worked for the city of Fairview, which is located in Kenton County. A criminal complaint states she “admitted to taking money from the city.” A police investigation shows she stole $5,509.63 in 2017. 2018-09-21T08:12:10-04:00

State enforcing right of way rules, Nelson County will follow suit on signs

September 21, 2018 - 10:03am
Some see politics behind decisions to remove political signs, but it’s policy. That’s what Nelson County Judge-Executive Dean Watts conveyed to candidates who attended a Fiscal Court meeting Tuesday. Last week, the state Transportation Cabinet’s District 4 office in Elizabethtown sent out an email notice that its crews were removing illegally placed objects in state road rights of way, including political signs. Watts then sent out an email Monday letting candidates know that the county’s code enforcement officer, too, would be removing signs from rights of way starting next week. 2018-09-21T08:06:49-04:00

Drunk driving is not a joke

September 20, 2018 - 1:02pm
The devastating loss of a young child caused by alleged impaired driving is a stark reminder that we cannot stress enough the importance of sober driving. Four-year-old Marco Shemwell of Winchester died Monday at UK Healthcare’s Kentucky Children’s Hospital from injuries caused when he was struck by a car Saturday afternoon on Cooper Drive in Lexington. UK student Jacob Heil, 18, allegedly later told police he had been drinking at a tailgating event prior to the accident. 2018-09-20T12:01:03-04:00

Taking stock of hemp’s economic potential in Kentucky

September 20, 2018 - 1:02pm
In states like Colorado, the prospect of legalized marijuana in early 2014 caused excitement about the potential economic boon that would follow. By legalizing a recreational drug, the state stood to generate millions of dollars in new tax revenue. And, years later, data from the Colorado Department of Revenue show still-increasing sales tax revenue from the plant. Barring a major shakeup in state politics, an identical step in Kentucky remains unlikely, but a burgeoning pilot program for hemp farmers and processors poses similar potential for the commonwealth’s economy. There are now hundreds of farmers who grow hemp on thousands of acres across Kentucky. Some do it for the plant’s flowers, which can be used in health-related products. While less lucrative, others grow hemp in Kentucky for its fiber and grain. 2018-09-20T11:58:19-04:00

Making digital workers

September 20, 2018 - 1:02pm
In today’s workforce, having a resume with inconsistent work history can be a deterrent for many employers. At the same time, employers struggle with finding and retaining skilled talent. In our local area, 35 percent of able-bodied adults are not working. Each sector is facing significant employment voids, including information technology. Digital Works, a program of Connected Nations, has provided a solution for a segment of the community. A one-of-a-kind workforce training program, Digital Works focuses specifically on training military spouses and veterans. 2018-09-20T11:55:23-04:00

Senate hit a low 27 years ago by demeaning Anita Hill. McConnell should avert a repeat.

September 20, 2018 - 1:02pm
It’s not, as Mitch McConnell says, the 11th hour. The Senate is under no deadline to confirm a Supreme Court nominee and has time for a proper investigation of the sexual abuse allegation against Brett Kavanaugh before awarding him a lifetime vote on the Supreme Court. Remember, Majority Leader McConnell kept a Supreme Court seat vacant for 10 months after it became open in 2016. McConnell insisted on letting the court go for almost a year with a vacancy. What harm can there be now in devoting a few weeks to fulfilling the Senate’s duty to thoroughly vet and consider would-be justices? 2018-09-20T11:51:16-04:00

Post, not to be outdone, prints hit job of its own

September 20, 2018 - 1:02pm
Recently, we chronicled The New York Times' hasty retreat from a hit job on Nikki Haley, President Donald Trump's ambassador to the U.N. The newspaper skewered Haley for installing $53,000 curtains in her $58,000-a-month official residence. But it was forced to capitulate when the fact emerged that both the lease for the residence and the purchase of the curtains were the work of the Obama administration. Down the road in Washington, D.C., a similar fate was befalling the Times' arch-rival, The Washington Post. The Post had published its own hit job on the Trump administration, alleging it had orchestrated a campaign to systematically deny passports to Latinos born along the U.S. border. 2018-09-20T11:48:04-04:00

Americans for Prosperity already gearing up against gas tax hike

September 20, 2018 - 1:02pm
Next year’s session of the Kentucky General Assembly is still four months away, but the conservative political advocacy group Americans for Prosperity-Kentucky is getting a head start with a new digital campaign to oppose any legislation to increase the state’s gas tax. Despite bipartisan support and backing by chambers of commerce, House Bill 609 failed to receive a vote in this year’s session of the General Assembly, which would have raised the gas tax by 10 cents a gallon and created new fees for hybrid and electric cars. 2018-09-20T11:44:07-04:00

Bourbon swap: Big moves at Maker’s Mark, Jim Beam, Heaven Hill

September 20, 2018 - 1:02pm
Master distillers for some of bourbon’s biggest brands are moving. Greg Davis, who has been the master distiller at Maker’s Mark since 2010, has been named director of distillation for Jim Beam’s Clermont and Boston plants, according to an announcement from Beam Suntory, which owns both Maker’s Mark and Jim Beam. Davis, who spearheaded the installation of the third still at Maker’s Mark as well as the brand’s expansion, will focus on Jim Beam and the Small Batch Bourbon Collection, according to the announcement from Rob Samuels, global general manager and chief distillery officer of Maker’s Mark. And the new master distiller for Maker’s Mark will be Denny Potter, most recently master distiller for Heaven Hill. 2018-09-20T11:39:09-04:00

The whitewater season just got two weeks longer on Eastern Kentucky’s Russell Fork

September 20, 2018 - 1:02pm
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will extend the whitewater season on Eastern Kentucky’s Russell Fork this year by two weeks as part of a pilot program that Kentucky’s whitewater kayaking and rafting community has sought for years. Officials hope the extended season — which will now include the first two weekends of November, as well as four weekends in October — will bring more tourists and revenue to Pike County and Eastern Kentucky. If the extension is welcomed by local residents and does not create any negative unintended consequences, the Corps could make the extension permanent. 2018-09-20T11:32:43-04:00

Death of 4-month-old in Lexington ruled a homicide, coroner says.

September 20, 2018 - 1:02pm
The Fayette County Coroner’s Office is investigating the death of a 4-month-old boy. The Sept. 8 death of Landon Mays is being ruled a homicide, the coroner said. Preliminary autopsy findings are consistent with abusive head trauma, according to a release from the coroner. 2018-09-20T11:29:58-04:00

Statewide flu prevention campaign kicks off in Frankfort

September 20, 2018 - 10:02am
A group of health advocates gathered in Frankfort Tuesday to announce a statewide campaign aimed at lessening the impact of seasonal flu in Kentucky. As part of the “Focus on Flu” campaign, the Kentucky Medical Association, the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and the Kentucky Foundation for Medical Care are urging Kentuckians to get vaccinated on Kentucky Flu Shot Day, Sept. 26, or by the end of October. Last flu season was particularly harsh in Kentucky, sickening more than 10,000 people and resulting in at least 325 deaths, including those of five children, according to the campaign organizers, who are collaborating with state officials, such as Public Health Commissioner Jeffrey Howard. 2018-09-20T09:10:12-04:00

Nearly 1,000 homeless veterans served

September 20, 2018 - 10:02am
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates that more than 40,000 veterans are homeless on any given night. It would be more if not for the Pennyroyal Veterans Center. While only a dent in the homeless veteran population, the center on Boales Street in Hopkinsville is closing in on 1,000 veterans that it has helped off the streets and into more stable lives. 2018-09-20T09:07:21-04:00

Judge denies change of venue for murder suspect

September 20, 2018 - 10:02am
Questioning the release of confidential information and saturated media coverage of the December 2016 robbery and shooting death of Jared Banta, the attorney for one of the suspects slammed both the commonwealth’s attorney and local media during a Wednesday hearing on her request to have the trial moved out of Franklin County. Circuit Court Judge Thomas Wingate denied the request. 2018-09-20T08:59:35-04:00

Delay of casino ferry launch continues

September 20, 2018 - 10:02am
Weather has kept the MS Lucky Lady in waiting. August was the expected launch of the Rising Star Casino ferry connecting the Indiana town of Rising Sun with rural Rabbit Hash in Boone County, Kentucky. The launch has been delayed, however, because of weather and paving the road to and from the ferry launch ramp, according to casino spokeswoman Jackie Reau. 2018-09-20T08:55:47-04:00

Woman pleads in connection to 2017 murder charge

September 20, 2018 - 10:02am
A Turkey Creek woman charged with the murder of a West Virginia man whose body was found in a shallow grave on her property last year entered into a plea agreement Wednesday in Pike Circuit Court, saying she was the victim of domestic violence. Jennifer Blankenship, 32, of Turkey Creek, had been arrested in connection with the finding of the body of Samuel Kimberlain in a shallow grave on her property in June 2017. Pike Commonwealth’s Attorney Rick Bartley said during the plea hearing Wednesday that Blankenship will qualify as a victim of domestic violence for an exemption in her sentencing. 2018-09-20T08:51:33-04:00

Current and former Owensboro detectives to discuss old murder case on 'Fatal Vows'

September 20, 2018 - 10:02am
When Chris Castlen, a retired lieutenant from the Owensboro Police Department, received a phone call from an official with "Fatal Vows" asking him to appear on the show, he was a little dubious. "When you first hear about something like this, you wonder if it's something real," Castlen said Wednesday. "But my daughter likes true crime shows. When I told her they'd called, she knew exactly what I was talking about." On Saturday, Castlen, retired OPD Detective Randy Boling and Detective Mark Saffran, who is still with the department, will appear on a "Fatal Vows" broadcast highlighting the case of Corrine Stoudt, who was killed by her husband in 2006. 2018-09-20T08:44:20-04:00

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