State News in Brief


Logan plant plans to expand, add jobs in eastern Ky.

FRANKFORT (AP) — An eastern Kentucky manufacturing plant on the brink of closing last year now plans to expand and hire 70 more workers.

A statement from the governor’s office says West Virginia-based Logan Corp.’s plant in Martin County has shifted from making mining equipment to designing and building custom dump truck beds. The venture has been so successful that the company is now moving from its 27,000 square-foot building to a 137,000 square-foot facility in Magoffin County, which has one of the state’s highest unemployment rates due to the downturn in the coal economy.

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority approved a loan and incentive package last week that allows Logan to make the move.

The statement says the new facility could be operational by this fall.

Logan, based in Nitro, West Virginia, provides services for the mining, railroad, industrial, construction and power-generation industries.

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Dual credit program for Ky. juniors announced

VERSAILLES (AP) — Kentucky public high school juniors will have an opportunity to earn free high school and college credit at the same time starting this fall.

The Kentucky Community and Technical College System said in a news release that the program for juniors aligns with Gov. Matt Bevin’s new dual credit initiative primarily for high school seniors. That program provides the opportunity to take two college courses through the dual credit scholarship.

There’s no cost to students for either program unless they choose to take more classes than the scholarship covers.

The release said Bevin wants graduates to leave high school with at least nine postsecondary credit hours.

KCTCS is committing $600,000 to the scholarship program for juniors.

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Bevin announces review of business regulations

FRANKFORT (AP) — Republican Gov. Matt Bevin says he wants to eliminate or revise some of the state’s 4,500 regulations governing private businesses.

Bevin announced his Red Tape Reduction Initiative on Wednesday. He has ordered cabinet secretaries and state employees to review the state’s business regulations. And he has set up a website, RedTapeReduction.com , to solicit recommendations from businesses and the general public.

The review is modeled after a similar review performed in the Canadian province of British Columbia. A study by George Mason University said the reform resulted in 37 percent of regulations being eliminated.

Bevin’s office says it will partner with George Mason University to analyze Kentucky’s regulations to determine which industries are the most affected.

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Severe weather leaves thousands without power in western Ky.

PADUCAH (AP) — Severe weather that struck parts of western Kentucky has left thousands of residents without electric power.

Heavy rains and harsh winds blew through the area on Wednesday, knocking down power lines and damaging buildings in the far western part of the state, including Paducah.

Media report that a small tornado hit in Metropolis, Illinois, as winds gusted up to 105 miles per hour. No life-threatening injuries were reported.

More than an inch of rain fell in the Paducah area while about three quarters of an inch fell in Mayfield and Murray, flooding some roadways.

West Kentucky Rural Electric reported about 3,600 customers without power early Thursday, while about 2,200 Jackson Purchase Energy customers had no power.

Severe weather in Paducah could return as there is a 40 percent chance of thunderstorms through Saturday.

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University of Louisville awarded pediatric research grant

LOUISVILLE (AP) — Norton Healthcare is giving a $1.25 million grant to the University of Louisville for pediatric research.

Norton Healthcare says in a news release that the grant will provide one year of funding to research areas including pediatric cardiac medicine, surgery and clinical research — each of which will receive $100,000.

About $400,000 will go to the Kosair Children’s Hospital Research Institute for research into multi-organ diseases that stem from diabetes or obesity; $300,000 will go to the Child and Adolescent Health Research Design and Support Unit to reduce the number of psychiatric prescriptions that give too much medicine to children; and $250,000 will go to the University of Louisville Autism Center at Kosair Charities.

Norton Healthcare chief medical officer Dr. Steven Hester says research is vital to advancing pediatric care.

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Workforce development district director announces retirement

BOWLING GREEN (AP) — The leader of a south-central Kentucky workforce development district has announced his retirement.

News outlets report 69-year-old Barren River Area Development District Executive Director Rodney Kirtley sent a letter to the district’s board members Wednesday announcing his retirement while citing a disagreement over a recent payment to the state.

The board voted Tuesday to pay back nearly $83,000 to the Kentucky Department of Aging and Independent Living. BRADD had used the money to pay salary bonuses from 2009 through 2014. Kirtley had referred to the money as salary adjustments.

Kirtley, who has held his position for nine years, says he is leaving Friday on good terms with the board.

BRADD Executive Council Chairman Greg Wilson says the board will meet Friday in the hopes of naming an interim executive director.

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