State News in Brief

Dozens attend Louisville vigil to protest violence

LOUISVILLE (AP) — Dozens of people attended a vigil in Louisville to protest the recent police killings of black men.

The Courier-Journal reports the “Breaking White Silence” event began at noon on Monday outside Metro Louisville Police Department headquarters. It was organized by Louisville Showing Up for Racial Justice. A statement from the group says the gathering is part of a national effort to get more white people to voice concerns about racial justice.

Tensions between black citizens and police have risen since last week’s killings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge and Philando Castile in Minnesota by white officers, and a retaliatory attack on police by a black sniper in Dallas that killed five officers and wounded others.

The group said it will read the names of people killed by police and the names of the officers killed in Dallas.


Veterans nursing home to celebrate 25 years

FRANKFORT (AP) — A nursing care facility for veterans in central Kentucky is nearing its 25th anniversary and the state is planning a celebration.

The Thomson-Hood Veterans Center’s milestone will be celebrated with a ceremony Aug. 11 with Gov. Matt Bevin as the guest speaker.

The center opened in 1991 in Wilmore as the first state veterans nursing home in Kentucky. Back then it was called the Kentucky Veterans Center. With 285 beds, it was built to handle all the state’s veterans’ needs at the time.

In 1998 it was renamed to honor George B. Thomson and Beatrice Elizabeth Greenwell Hood. Thomson served in the Army in World War II, and the Korean and Vietnam Wars, while Hood was the first administrator of the Kentucky Veterans Center.


Paducah set to host US Capitol Christmas tree stopover

PADUCAH (AP) — In the heat of the summer, a committee is working on hosting a November stopover in Paducah for a Christmas tree on its way to Washington, D.C.

The Paducah Sun reports Paducah will be the only planned stop in Kentucky for the U.S. Capitol Christmas tree, which will originate from Idaho’s Payette National Forest.

Spokeswoman Jan Bush of the U.S. Forest Service at Land Between the Lakes says the committee wants to showcase Paducah as much as it can during the Nov. 22 event.

The committee includes representatives of the Forest Service, the Paducah Convention and Visitors Bureau, the city’s parks department and other volunteers.


Officials: Inmate found unresponsive in restraint chair dies

LIBERTY (AP) — Officials say a Kentucky jail inmate is dead after he was found unresponsive in a restraint chair.

The Advocate-Messenger reports that Casey County Coroner Curt Demrow says 34-year-old Jerry Dale Hardwick was discovered by jailers on Tuesday evening.

Demrow says Hardwick had been brought to the jail earlier in the day by the county sheriff’s office.

He says Hardwick was being restrained in the chair because of combative behavior.

Trooper Billy Gregory says Kentucky State Police are conducting an investigation into the death, which he says is believed to be due to natural causes. The cause of death is pending toxicology results.

Sheriff Jerry Coffman says Hardwick had been arrested on several charges including public intoxication and fleeing or evading police on foot.


Ky. oral history projects awarded $55,000 in grants

FRANKFORT (AP) — Twenty oral history projects will receive about $55,000 in grants to support work on topics ranging from the Kentucky Chili Bun Trail in eastern Kentucky to the African-American experience in Hopkinsville.

The Kentucky Oral History Commission announced the grants last week. The grants are for new projects as well as transcriptions and indexing of existing oral history interviews.

The commission said the grants are intended to encourage statewide collection, preservation and access to historically valuable interviews.

The Kentucky Historical Society administers and houses the commission and says it’s the only one of its kind in the U.S. dedicated to providing financial and technical assistance to oral history repositories and oral historians.


Police officer suffers head injury during ATV traffic stop

ELIZABETHTOWN (AP) — An Elizabethtown police officer suffered a fractured skull after being dragged by a fleeing all-terrain vehicle during a traffic stop.

The Elizabethtown Police Department says in a news release that 54-year-old officer Ron Caffee is in stable condition following the Saturday night incident.

Authorities say 34-year-old ATV driver Alex Dowell fled a traffic stop after police received a call about reckless driving. Dowell had two outstanding warrants for his arrest. Caffee, who tried to grab Dowell, was dragged several feet, struck his head on the pavement and suffered two brain bleeds.

Dowell was arrested without incident later that night. He is charged with first-degree assault, a felony punishable by 10 to 20 years in prison. He was wanted for fleeing and drug possession. It’s unclear whether he has an attorney.


Kentucky State Police searching for escaped inmate

MAYFIELD (AP) — Kentucky State Police are looking for an escaped inmate from a facility in Mayfield.

State police say in a news release that 28-year-old Capus Cain Adams of Mortons Gap jumped over a fence at the Graves County Restricted Custody Center on Friday night.

Adams was serving a sentence for theft.

The release says Adams is white and 6 feet tall with a bald head and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a gray T-shirt and red-and-white striped jail pants.


Groundbreaking set this month for Methodist youth facility

NICHOLASVILLE (AP) — Ground will be broken later this month in Jessamine County on a replacement residential facility for abused, neglected or abandoned children.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports the nonprofit Kentucky United Methodist Homes for Children and Youth will hold a groundbreaking July 18 for the $15 million campus in Nicholasville.

The program has been located in Woodford County since the 1930s.

Homes for Children and Youth vice president of advancement Melinda Ryles-Smith says the new campus will include offices for expanded community services. It will feature residential facilities for 20 teens ages 12 to 17, a school staffed by Jessamine County Schools alternative teachers, and paddocks for equine therapy.


Southern lawmakers pack 80K meals for Lexington food bank

LEXINGTON (AP) — Lawmakers from 15 southern states took time out of the Southern Legislative Conference to help the hungry.

Media outlets report that hundreds of volunteers packed meals Sunday morning at God’s Pantry Food Bank in Lexington.

Conference attendees have volunteered at the food bank for the past six years. This year, they hoped to break the SLC record and package 80,000 meals.

The meals will be distributed to 50 Kentucky counties.

Kentucky District 8 Senator Joe Bowen says the volunteers are doing collectively what they do individually as lawmakers in their own districts.

The lawmaker volunteers also presented God’s Pantry Food Bank with a check for $2,500.

The conference continues through Wednesday.

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