News in Brief

FCC chair to discuss broadband opportunities in E.Ky.

FRANKFORT (AP) — The head of the Federal Communications Commission plans to travel to eastern Kentucky to discuss broadband-based economic opportunities.

Republican U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers says FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler will visit his district on Monday to meet with local leaders.

Wheeler’s first stop will be in Jackson County at the People’s Rural Telephone Cooperative’s conference center in McKee. The next stop will be in Perry County at Hazard Community and Technical College.

With the Appalachian coal industry in decline, politicians and entrepreneurs are looking for something to replace it. One solution being offered is a 3,400-mile network of fiber optic cables.

State and private sector officials hope it will result in one of the country’s fastest networks in one of the nation’s worst areas for high-speed Internet access.


Automotive supplier creating jobs in southern Ky.

FRANKFORT (AP) — Kentucky officials say an automotive supplier plans to create several dozen jobs with new operations in Simpson County.

Gov. Matt Bevin’s office said Thursday that the $5.6 million investment by TMM USA Inc. will create 42 jobs in the southern Kentucky county.

The operations will supply stamped and welded components to its parent company, Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd. TMM will lease space in the newly expanded Toyo Automotive Parts USA Inc. factory in Franklin.

The Franklin location will be TMM’s first U.S. facility. At its Franklin facility, Toyo Automotive Parts makes anti-vibration components including engine mounts, bushings and strut mounts. Company executives expect to save on metal and raw materials, as well as on shipping and storage, by locating TMM in Simpson County.


Man’s trial delayed in Ky. woman’s slaying on Ohio road

LEBANON, Ohio (AP) — A death penalty trial has been postponed until August for an Illinois man charged with kidnapping a Kentucky woman and fatally shooting her along Interstate 75 in southwest Ohio.

The trial of Terry Froman, of Brookport, Illinois, had been scheduled to begin Feb. 22 in Lebanon. The Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News reports the trial was continued Thursday to Aug. 15 due to medical issues with a mental health expert.

The judge says a new expert is set to testify.

Froman has pleaded not guilty to charges including aggravated murder and kidnapping in the September 2014 slaying of 34-year-old Kim Thomas of Mayfield, Kentucky.

Authorities say Froman killed his estranged girlfriend’s 17-year-old son in Kentucky and then kidnapped and killed her along the highway about 30 miles north of Cincinnati.


Man charged with murder after crash kills teenage bicyclist

MORGANFIELD (AP) — The Kentucky State Police charged a Morganfield man with murder after he allegedly hit a 17-year-old bicyclist while driving under the influence.

Steven W. Freeman, 22, is being held at the Union County Detention Center.

State Police said Freeman was driving under the influence on a highway in Union County around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday when he hit the boy on the bicycle. Damon W. Collins, 17, was flown to a hospital in Evansville, Ind., where he died from his injuries.

Freeman is charged with murder, aggravated operating a motor vehicle under the influence and driving on a suspended license.

The Union County Sheriff’s Office asked the Kentucky State Police to assist in the investigation.


Unruly bus riders prompts Jefferson Co. to crack down

LOUISVILLE (AP) — A union official says more than 60 percent of Jefferson County Public Schools say they have felt unsafe on the job.

School district Chief Operations Officer Michael Raisor tells The Courier-Journal that school officials will be tougher on misbehaving students by suspending bus privileges or expelling students from the bus in the most extreme cases. He also says the district is going to work closer with drivers.

The district’s database records show that drivers submitted 2,763 official complaints during the first 70 days of the school year. Among them was a complaint by a driver about having to mop up blood caused by a violent fight.

School district spokeswoman Allison Martin says that the complaint rate this year amounts to only 0.04 percent per student trip.

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