State News in Brief

Donald Trump heading to Ky. for fundraiser

LEXINGTON (AP) — Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is making a stop in Kentucky next month for a fundraiser.

The Courier-Journal reports Joe and Kelly Craft are hosting the event July 11 in Lexington. Joe Craft is president and CEO of Alliance Resource Partners, the third largest coal producer in the country. His wife, Kelly Craft, is a top GOP fundraiser.

The cost to get in and have a photo made with Trump is $5,400 per couple. Admission, with no photo, to the reception at the Aviation Museum of Kentucky is $1,000 per person.

Trump began June with $1.3 million in the bank.


Bevin administration to defend actions in court

FRANKFORT (AP) — Republican Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration is heading to court to defend the governor’s vetoes of the state budget and his reorganization of a board that recommends some state judges.

Kentucky Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo has challenged Bevin’s vetoes of the state’s two-year operating budget, arguing Bevin did not follow the law when he filed the vetoes in April. If Stumbo wins, it would restore $9.4 million for a program providing community college scholarships to most Kentucky high school graduates. Bevin has said his vetoes are valid. The first hearing in the case is scheduled for Wednesday morning.

Also on Wednesday, Bevin’s lawyers will ask a judge to dismiss a lawsuit challenging his order reorganizing the Workers Compensation Nominating Commission. A state judge ruled against Bevin in that case earlier this month.


Bevin order strips officials of appointments to ethics board

FRANKFORT (AP) — Kentucky’s attorney general and state auditor will no longer be able to nominate members of the Executive Branch Ethics Commission under a new executive order from Republican Gov. Matt Bevin.

The Courier Journal reports the governor appoints the members of the commission, which investigates allegations of state ethics code violations in the state’s executive branch. But in 2008, then-Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear issued an executive order requiring the governor to appoint two members of the commission that had been recommended by the attorney general and the state auditor.

Tuesday, Bevin repealed that order, effectively allowing him to control all of the appointments to the board assigned to hold his administration accountable.

Bevin spokeswoman Jessica Ditto said the order simply returns the appointment process to the system state lawmakers intended.


Gov. who fired entire board makes new appointments

LOUISVILLE (AP) — Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin has appointed 10 new University of Louisville trustees, less than two weeks after he disbanded the previous board amid turmoil over the status of embattled school President James Ramsey.

Bevin said Wednesday that his appointment of the founder of the Papa John’s pizza company and nine others represents “a new day” for UofL.

The Republican governor’s decision to disband the former board on June 17 is being challenged in court by Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear.

Bevin says the new board will be more effective. The new appointments include John Schnatter, the founder, chairman and CEO of Papa John’s International Inc. Another appointee is Ulysses “Junior” Bridgeman, a Louisville businessman and former UofL basketball standout.

Bridgeman is among three African-Americans appointed as trustees.


Danville approves resolution opposing pipeline proposal

DANVILLE (AP) — The Danville City Commission has passed a resolution opposing the conversion of a natural gas pipeline to carry potentially hazardous natural gas solids through Boyle County.

The Advocate-Messenger reports the resolution, passed Monday, cites concerns over the volatility of Natural Gas Solids and the potential harm a leak could cause to important local areas, like Centre College and a hospital.

The resolution opposes an application by the owner of the pipeline, Kinder Morgan, to formally abandon the pipeline for transporting natural gas — a step toward allowing the pipeline flow to be reversed for the transport of NGLs. It also asks for an environmental impact study.

Kinder Morgan’s proposal would affect the Tennessee Natural Gas Pipeline, a 960-mile, 24-inch pipeline from Louisiana to Ohio that was completed in 1944.


Agriculture secretary to talk opioid abuse in Appalachia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack is heading to Appalachia to talk about the scourge of opioid addiction devastating the region.

Vilsack will be in Abingdon, Virginia, for a Thursday afternoon round-table discussion on substance abuse. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam will also attend.

The event comes as Congress negotiates new drug abuse bills. President Barack Obama’s administration wants about $1 billion more for substance abuse treatment to be added to the legislation.

Vilsack says Congress is passing drug abuse bills that let the administration do what it’s already doing. He says they include very little new money.

Obama has tapped Vilsack to head an interagency team dedicated to addressing opioid abuse.

In October, Obama visited Charleston, West Virginia, for a substance abuse discussion.


Ky., auto owners could receive $100M in VW settlement

FRANKFORT (AP) — Volkswagen has agreed to pay the state of Kentucky nearly $3.5 million in civil penalties in a settlement that could result in up to $100 million for the state and its residents.

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear on Tuesday announced the state’s part in the automaker’s agreement to pay up to $15.3 billion to settle lawsuits and allegations that it cheated on emissions tests.

Beshear’s office said nearly 3,200 owners of the high-performance diesel vehicles will receive payments of at least $5,100 as well as either having their vehicles bought back by the company or modified to reduce emissions. Beshear’s office said the buyback could be worth up to $80 million.

The attorney general’s office said in a news release the state is eligible for more than $19 million in environmental damages from a trust funded by VW.


Police: Indiana pastor facing sex charge killed himself

MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) — Georgia police say an Indiana pastor accused of going to Kentucky earlier this month to try to have sex with a minor has died in an apparent suicide.

Cobb County police Sgt. Dana Pierce tells the Lexington Herald-Leader that 46-year-old David J. Brown’s body was found Monday in a Marietta storage unit.

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear’s office said in a June 16 news release that Brown used an online messaging application to communicate with an undercover investigator posing as a minor. Officials say Brown was arrested in Frankfort, Kentucky, after traveling to meet the minor.

Brown, who was the senior pastor at First Christian Church in Jeffersonville, Indiana, had been placed on administrative leave after the arrest.

Brown’s body was set to undergo an autopsy to determine a cause of death.


Louisville Zoo announces birth of Saharan addax

LOUISVILLE (AP) — The Louisville Zoo is announcing the birth of a Saharan addax.

The zoo said in a statement on Tuesday that the male addax is the first to be born at the facility in over a decade. The birth took place on June 14.

The animal is facing imminent extinction according to the International Union for conservation of Nature.

The calf will be displayed daily in the addax exhibit, which is hear the bongo and elephant areas in the African zone.

The zoo says it will be named in coming weeks.


All clear given after chlorine leak at sewer plant

TOMPKINSVILLE (AP) — Officials in a southcentral Kentucky town say they’ve given the all clear after a chlorine leak at a sewer treatment plant prompted evacuations.

Monroe County Emergency Management Director David Rich told the Glasgow Daily Times that those who were evacuated have been allowed to return to their homes. He said the leak happened Tuesday morning as workers attempted to change a filter.

Monroe County dispatcher J.W. Coomer said homes within 200 feet of the Tompkinsville plant were evacuated and those who live within 2,000 feet of the plant were asked to shelter in place. Coomer said he estimated a couple dozen homes were evacuated in addition to an apartment complex.

Rich said the evacuation lasted about two hours.


Mayfield votes ‘Yes’ on packaged alcohol

MAYFIELD (AP) — All nine precincts in the western Kentucky city of Mayfield have voted to allow package alcohol sales in the city limits.

News outlets report that 58.35 percent of the 2,324 Mayfield residents who voted in the local option election Tuesday were in favor of the alcohol sales.

Mayfield’s vote came after Graves County voters turned down alcohol sales for the county in January.

Phil Myers, chairman of Yes For Mayfield, says the Mayfield City Council will soon work on establishing ordinances setting the parameters in which liquor stores and beer sellers will operate.

Harold Humphrey, treasurer of the dry group Concerned Citizens for Graves County, says he hopes the city adopts strict regulations for establishments selling alcohol.

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