State News in Brief

Medal of Valor awarded posthumously to state trooper

FRANKFORT (AP) — A Kentucky State Police trooper killed in the line of duty will be awarded posthumously with the Governor’s Medal of Valor.

A statement from the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet says Gov. Bevin will present the award to the family of 31-year-old Cameron Ponder on Friday during the Kentucky State Police Awards ceremony in Lexington.

Ponder was fatally shot in September after a high-speed chase involving a driver with a suspended license. Police said the driver, Joseph Johnson-Shanks, fired at Ponder’s patrol car, killing the officer. Johnson-Shanks was later shot and killed by police after pointing a gun at another trooper and refusing to lower it.

Other awards for bravery and dedication will be presented at the ceremony, including Trooper of the Year and Detective of the Year.


Officials: Pastor arrested after child sex investigation

FRANKFORT (AP) — An Indiana pastor has been arrested in Kentucky after authorities say he traveled to Frankfort to meet a minor for sex.

Local news outlets report that officials arrested 46-year-old David James Brown Wednesday on a charge of prohibited use of an electronic communication system for the purpose of procuring a minor for a sex offense.

Attorney General Andy Beshear’s office said in a news release that Brown used an online messaging application to communicate with an undercover investigator posing as a minor. Brown asked the undercover investigator to have sexual relations with him.

Officials say Brown traveled to Frankfort to meet the minor and was arrested by investigators there.

Brown said he was a pastor at the First Christian Church of Jeffersonville, Indiana.

It’s unclear if he has an attorney.


Woman sentenced to 70 years in child abuse case

RICHMOND (AP) — A judge has sentenced a Madison County woman to 70 years in prison in a child abuse case.

Local news organizations report that 36-year-old Linda Richmond was sentenced Thursday after she was found guilty on multiple counts of criminal abuse against her 9-year-old daughter.

Richmond and her husband, 39-year-old Julio Valladares, were arrested in 2014 after police say they withheld food from the child. According to an indictment, the couple also forced the girl to stand in a cold shower and sprayed rubbing alcohol on wounds they had caused.

A jury recommended Richmond serve 90 years, but the judge said the maximum sentence for criminal abuse was 70 years.

In May, Valladares was sentenced to 20 years in connection with the case.


Ford cuts week off SUV plant shutdown to handle sales rise

DEARBORN, Michigan (AP) — Ford is knocking a week off the traditional two-week summer shutdown at three SUV plants to handle increased demand.

The company says it will use the extra week of production to make another 22,000 SUVs at factories in Louisville, Kentucky; Oakville, Ontario, and Chicago.

The factories make the Ford Escape, Edge, Flex and Explorer sport utility vehicles and Lincoln counterparts.

Sales of the four Ford SUVs are up 8.5 percent through May to just over 305,000.

Ford’s pickup truck plant in Louisville also will shut down for only a week as it switches to a new Super Duty F-Series truck. The rest of the company’s North American plants will close for maintenance and machine retooling for two weeks in July. Closing dates will vary.


University of Louisville president James Ramsey resigning

FRANKFORT (AP) — University of Louisville president James Ramsey is stepping down and Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin will appoint a new board of trustees at the school, which has been plagued by scandal in recent years.

Bevin announced Friday that he will disband the public university’s 17-member board and replace it with a 10-member board that he appoints. Ramsey, who has led the university for 14 years, submitted a letter saying he will offer his resignation to the newly appointed board.

Bevin says he met with Ramsey and both agreed the university needs a “fresh start.”

“This is something that needed to be done for quite some time,” Bevin said during a news conference in front of the governor’s office. Bevin lauded Ramsey’s service at the university, saying it is “so remarkably better on any measurable front” than when Ramsey arrived in 2002.

But the governor said there have been too many “bumps in the road” in recent years. Bevin said Ramsey is currently traveling out of the country.

Bevin said he did not alert board of trustee members of his decision to dismiss them.

The school is part of the Kentucky state university system.

The state’s Council of Postsecondary Education has been given two weeks to prepare a list of 30 candidates for the board, and Bevin will appoint the new board from that list. Bevin said it’s possible some current board members could be reappointed.

Among the school’s recent problems is an NCAA investigation of the basketball program related to an ex-coach arranging female escorts for players and an FBI investigation of top university officials for alleged misuse of federal money.

In February, Ramsey announced a self-imposed postseason ban for the Cardinals men’s basketball team in the aftermath of escort Katina Powell’s book allegations that former Louisville men’s basketball staffer Andre McGee paid her and other dancers to strip and have sex with Cardinals players and recruits.


River cleanups are this weekend in 6 states along Ohio River

LOUISVILLE (AP) — Cleanup day is coming this weekend for the Ohio River as well as the Kentucky River.

River Sweep 2016 is Saturday.

For the Ohio River, the event covers the entire river, from its origin in Pittsburgh to its end in Cairo, Illinois. The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission says that includes nearly 3,000 miles of shoreline and many tributaries.

The commission is an interstate water pollution agency for the Ohio River Valley. It organizes the River Sweep, along with environmental protection and natural resource agencies from Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

The commission also sponsors the Kentucky River event, along with the city of Lexington and the Kentucky River Authority.

For more information on the Ohio River event, visit . For the Kentucky River event, go to


Longtime Chattanooga newspaperman Lee Anderson dies at 90

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — Lee Stratton Anderson, former publisher and editor of the Chattanooga Free Press has died in Atlanta. He was 90.

Heritage Funeral Home in Chattanooga said Anderson died Thursday.

He was born in Trenton, Kentucky, and moved to Tennessee as a child. He was hired as a reporter for the newspaper when he was 16 as World War II reduced the newsroom staff. It turned into a 70-year career, and he became editor in 1958 and president and publisher in 1990.

Anderson continued as editor of the Free Press editorial page after the sale of the afternoon newspaper in 1998 and its merger with the morning Chattanooga Times in 1999.

The Times Free Press said Gov. Bill Haslam called Anderson “kind and polite, professional and informed” in speaking to the Rotary Club on Thursday in Chattanooga.

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