News in Brief

Some Ky. food stamp recipients losing benefits on May 1

FRANKFORT (AP) — The state says about 9,000 people living in eight Kentucky counties will lose their food stamps in about a week for not complying with federal work and training requirements.

Kentucky and dozens of other states received a statewide waiver from 2008 to 2015 from the federal requirements. The state Cabinet for Health and Family Services says as the economy recovers, the waiver no longer will cover recipients in eight Kentucky counties: Bullitt, Hardin, Jefferson, Fayette, Daviess, Henderson, McCracken and Warren.

The state’s other 112 counties remain eligible for the waiver.

The requirement taking effect May 1 applies to able-bodied adults without dependents. The federal government defines them as individuals between the ages of 18 and 49 who have no disabilities, no dependents and no other exemptions.


Jobless rates rise in 65 Ky. counties

FRANKFORT (AP) — State officials say unemployment rates increased in 65 of Kentucky’s 120 counties between March 2015 and March 2016.

The Kentucky Office of Employment Training said Thursday that jobless rates fell in 37 counties and remained the same in 18 others.

Woodford County recorded the state’s lowest jobless rate at 3.6 percent.

It was followed by Oldham County at 4 percent; Fayette County at 4.1 percent; Shelby County at 4.2 percent; and Scott County at 4.3 percent.

Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate at 20.1 percent.

It was followed by Leslie County at 13.9 percent; Harlan County at 13.3 percent; Letcher County at 12.7 percent; and Floyd and Wolfe counties at 12.6 percent each.


Jefferson Community and Technical College cuts 61 staff jobs

LOUISVILLE (AP) — Jefferson Community and Technical College has announced it is laying off 61 employees — about 14 percent of its staff.

Vice President Lisa Brosky told local media Wednesday that the college concluded its workforce “must be leaner and more efficient” in order to maintain a balanced operating budget. The cuts come from the college’s 287 full-time staff and 149 part-time staff members.

Similar cuts are expected in the ranks of faculty.

Brosky says declining enrollment has created “significant budget pressures.” Enrollment has declined from a peak of 15,000 in 2010 to 10,700 this spring. The school is facing an $8.5 million deficit. About 75 percent of the college’s budget comes from tuition dollars.

The staffers who will be let go were notified Thursday. Their last day of employment will be June 30.


School districts to decide whether to accept heroin antidote

LOUISVILLE (AP) — A heroin antidote could be coming to private and public high schools in Kentucky this fall.

Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy Executive Director Van Ingram tells The Courier-Journal it will be up to each Kentucky school district to decide whether to accept the free kits being offered by Adapt Pharma.

The pharmaceutical company announced earlier this year that it would donate Narcan, a name brand of the opioid overdose antidote naloxone, to any high school in the nation that wants it.

Ingram along with state health and education officials met this month with Adapt Pharma representatives to discuss the possibility.

“We all agreed it’s a good opportunity to provide some help to our school districts without any cost to them,” Ingram said.

Jefferson County Public Schools spokeswoman Jennifer Brislin said she could not immediately comment on whether the district would participate.

“We’re in the very early stages of exploring this option,” she said.

Kentucky Department of Education spokeswoman Nancy Rodriguez says training on using the Narcan kits is tentatively scheduled for September at the department’s annual health coordinators’ seminar.

Audrey Morrison, who has two children at St. Francis High School, said she thinks it would be a good idea.

“It can’t hurt and it might help,” she said. “There’s no way it can encourage drug use. No one decides to become a drug addict. They slip into it.”


Caretaker of veteran found dead pleads guilty to fraud

DAYTON (AP) — A woman has pleaded guilty to credit card fraud in a case involving the body of a 55-year-old Air Force veteran found under a Dalton home.

The Kentucky Enquirer reports that Tuesday, Christy Russell pleaded guilty in Campbell County Circuit Court to one count of fraudulent use of a credit card totaling $500 or more.

The charges stem from summer 2015, when Dayton police acted on a tip and found the body of veteran Steven Reis. Russell was Reis’ caretaker. Authorities say she used Reis’ credit card to steal about $30,000 of his veterans benefits while his body was buried under the house for nine months.

Reis’ body was badly decomposed and was sent to the Kentucky medical examiner. Police wouldn’t say Thursday whether a cause of death has been determined.

Russell will be sentenced May 16.


Students to plant trees at mining site to observe Arbor Day

FRANKFORT (AP) — Students at some eastern Kentucky schools will plant trees at a mine site next week in observance of Arbor Day.

A statement from the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet says students from Millard, Elkhorn City, Dorton and Shelby Valley will plant hardwood seedlings on mined lands on April 26. The event will take place at a Premier Elkhorn Coal Company surface mine operation in Pike County.

The statement says the event is a collaboration among entities including Premier Elkhorn, the Kentucky Department for Natural Resources, the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative, the American Chestnut Foundation and the state Division of Forestry.


Montgomery Co. school bus driver arrested for DUI

MOUNT STERLING (AP) — A Montgomery County Public Schools bus driver has been suspended from his job after being arrested for drunken driving at a school.

WKYT-TV reports Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputies arrested 59-year-old Brian Fletcher on Wednesday at Camargo Elementary School.

According to a citation, Fletcher’s breath alcohol content was 0.068 percent. For commercial vehicle operators in Kentucky, anything above 0.04 percent results in criminal charges.

Superintendent Matt Thompson says in a statement that the district is “working with local law enforcement” and following its “personnel guidelines, policies, procedures and state and federal laws.”

On Thursday afternoon, Fletcher was released from the Montgomery County Regional Jail on bond.


Gray runs first TV ad of his Senate campaign

LOUISVILLE (AP) — U.S. Sen. Rand Paul and Democratic candidate Jim Gray had the same amount of campaign cash on hand at the start of April, and Gray has dipped into his account for his first big ad buy.

Gray went on the air Friday with a TV ad airing across Kentucky. The 30-second ad focuses on Gray’s business experience in building a construction company with sales topping $1 billion a year.

Campaign-finance reports show both Paul and Gray had $1.5 million on hand at the end of March. Gray’s campaign account was bolstered by his $1 million loan to his campaign.

Gray, the Lexington mayor, faces six other candidates in next month’s Democratic primary.

Paul — who made an unsuccessful bid for the Republican presidential nomination — is seeking a second Senate term.

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