State News in Brief

New Pulaski Co. wildlife area could open this fall

SOMERSET (AP) — The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources has purchased 2,900 acres in eastern Pulaski County and could open it as a wildlife area this fall.

The Courier-Journal reports that the nearly 5-square-mile property will be called the Rockcastle River Wildlife Management Area. It is located near the Rockcastle River, a designated Kentucky wild river.

Department spokesman Mark Marraccini says the area will “provide outstanding recreational opportunities for hunters, anglers and wildlife watchers.”

Marraccini says officials will release a map of the property after the department completes parking areas and makes other improvements required for public use.

Officials said they will hold a public meeting July 19 to provide additional information and to ask the public about management ideas for the area, which was purchased using federal funds.


Clark Co. constable arrested on drug trafficking charge

WINCHESTER (AP) — A Clark County constable has been arrested for allegedly trafficking drugs.

WKYT-TV reports that Kentucky State Police arrested 52-year-old Glenn Witt on Wednesday afternoon. Witt is a constable in Clark County.

According to an arrest citation, Witt was arrested after he sold seven pills for $320 to a cooperating witness. A Clark County Sheriff’s Office deputy later stopped Witt’s vehicle, according to the citation, and found cash and Witt’s constable badge.

The citation also says the drug transaction was recorded.

It wasn’t immediately clear if Witt has an attorney.


Louisville corrections officer suspended after Facebook post

LOUISVILLE (AP) — The Louisville Department of Corrections says a corrections sergeant who apparently shared a controversial Facebook post on his personal page has been suspended.

WDRB-TV reports that Metro Corrections Director Mark Bolton suspended Sgt. Derek Hale on Wednesday and began an investigation. The post showed an image of a white police officer with the words “If we really wanted you dead all we’d have to do is stop patrolling your neighborhoods. And wait.” Hale reportedly wrote, “Ha … truth,” and posted it on his personal account.

Bolton said in a statement that his agency works to improve race relations and the post hurt those efforts.

Louisville officials and community activists have called on the city to band together after the shooting of the two black men and shootings in Dallas that left five police officers dead and six injured.


State police taking applications for accelerated class

FRANKFORT (AP) — Kentucky State Police are taking applications for the agency’s next class of law enforcement officers aspiring to become state police troopers.

KSP’s fourth Law Enforcement Accelerated Program is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2017. The 11-week program is offered to current law officers who want to become state troopers.

Applicants must have three years of Kentucky Police Office Professional Standards law enforcement experience by March 1, 2017.

State police say all application materials must be completed and returned to the nearest state police post by this coming Sept. 30. Applications must include a recommendation from a state police trooper and a KSP post commander.


Grant Co. votes to close troubled jail after feud

WILLIAMSTOWN (AP) — Grant County’s fiscal court has voted to close the county’s only jail after the latest fight between the judge-executive’s office and the jail administration.

News outlets report the fiscal court unanimously voted Tuesday to close the jail, which has been plagued by inmate lawsuits, personnel lawsuits, prisoner escapes and maintenance issues for more than a decade.

Officials have four months to find a new jail for 72 county prisoners and 226 state prisoners.

The jail’s impending closure is the culmination of an 18-month-long feud between Judge-Executive Steve Wood and Jailer Chris Hankins.

Bill Adkins, a lawyer for some of the jail employees, called the court’s decision personal.

Wood says the fiscal court closed the jail after the jailer refused to house 69 state prisoners, depriving the county of state revenue.


Indictment: Doctor’s painkillers led to death, injury

BOWLING GREEN (AP) — A federal grand jury has indicted a former Kentucky cardiologist on new charges that he prescribed painkillers that caused serious physical injury or death to three patients.

Dr. C. Fred Gott had been arrested in June 2015 and indicted on charges of unlawful distribution of controlled substances, among other charges.

The Western District of Kentucky U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a news release that Wednesday’s 50-count superseding indictment against the 63-year-old doctor from Bowling Green adds multiple charges. They include three counts of unlawful distribution and dispensing of controlled substances resulting in serious physical injury or the death of a patient.

Officials say those three charges stem from incidents in 2011 and 2012.

Gott’s attorney, David Broderick, says he is prepared to go to trial next year.


Kentucky Power moving headquarters back to Ashland

FRANKFORT (AP) — Kentucky Power says it is moving its headquarters back to Ashland.

The utility currently has its headquarters in Frankfort, where it moved to be closer to government operations. Company President Greg Pauley said in a statement on Wednesday that employees will make the move on Jan. 1. He says the company plans to maintain a regulatory presence in the state capital.

The move comes on the heels of the electric provider announcing a re-organization to streamline operations, improve reliability and better serve customers in eastern Kentucky.

Kentucky Power has about 169,000 customers in 20 counties in eastern Kentucky.


Soldier swept away in severe weather is identified

FORT CAMPBELL (AP) — The military has identified a soldier from Fort Campbell who died after being swept away by strong currents during severe weather.

The post said he is 34-year-old Spc. Dhaifal Ali of Arlington, Texas. Ali was assigned to the 372nd Inland Cargo Transfer Company, 129th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 101st Airborne Division Sustainment Brigade and had been at Fort Campbell since February.

Workers found Ali’s body on Tuesday less than a half-mile from the low-water crossing over Little West Fork Creek where he was swept away Friday.

Civilian and military agencies were called to help find the soldier.

Jerry Buchanan, emergency management director in Montgomery County, Tennessee, told The Leaf-Chronicle that the creek had been swollen by heavy rain.


Ky. distilleries can begin selling mixed drinks Friday

FRANKFORT (AP) — Kentucky bourbon distilleries can begin selling mixed drinks to tourists on Friday as one of about 90 new state laws goes into effect.

The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control says 10 of the state’s 54 distilleries have filed applications. Two distilleries, MB Roland Distillery in Pembroke and Dueling Grounds Distillery of Franklin, are scheduled to receive licenses on Friday. Others are still in the application process.

Most state laws passed by the state legislature earlier this year take effect on Friday. Others have specific start dates written into the law.

Other laws taking effect include allowing some drivers to stop their cars on a highway for up to 15 minutes to pick up litter, removing the names of county clerks from marriage licenses and allowing people convicted of certain low-level felonies to clear their records.

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