State News in Brief

Ky. to send 60 delegates to DNC this week

FRANKFORT (AP) — Kentucky is sending 60 delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia this week.

The convention kicks off on Monday and culminates on Thursday when Hillary Clinton is expected to accept the party’s nomination for president. Clinton will face Republican nominee Donald Trump in November.

Kentucky’s delegation includes nine African-Americans, two Latinos, one Native American, one Asian-American and five members of the LGBT community. Twelve delegates have a disability, and half of the delegation is comprised of women.

Delegates include former Gov. Steve Beshear, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, state Sen. Gerald Neal and Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, who is scheduled to address the convention at some point.

The delegates have a number of events planned throughout the week, including a party on the USS New Jersey, a decommissioned battleship.


Zika infection confirmed in Ky. infant

LEXINGTON (AP) — Public health officials in Lexington say the Zika virus has been confirmed in an infant born to a woman who traveled during pregnancy to an area where the virus is circulating.

According to news media reports, test results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate the infant was exposed to the virus in the womb. Health officials say neither mother nor child is capable of spreading the virus to others or to mosquitoes in the area.

The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department says even though the infant’s mother never described symptoms of illness, antibodies against Zika found in her infant suggest maternal infection during an early stage of pregnancy.

Health officials say the infant doesn’t have obvious physical abnormalities, but close follow-up and testing is recommended.


Paul reports more than $2M, leading Senate challenger

FRANKFORT (AP) — Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul has raised more than $1.2 million in the fundraising quarter that ended June 30.

The haul is in addition to the more than $97,000 Paul raised in the one-month period leading up to the May primary, giving the first-term Senator more than $2.2 million in cash available to spend from his campaign account.

Records show Paul’s Democratic challenger Jim Gray has just over $1 million in cash available to spend.

Rand Paul Victory Kentucky, a joint fundraising organization between Paul and the Republican Party of Kentucky, has just over $10,000 in cash available to spend.

Paul spokeswoman Kelsey Cooper said the campaign is “extremely pleased” with its fundraising efforts and confident Paul will have the resources necessary to spread his message to voters.


Louisville panel holds meeting on Confederate monument

LOUISVILLE (AP) — Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s public art commission is holding a public meeting about relocation sites for a Confederate monument near the University of Louisville.

The move comes after a judge last month ruled that Fischer has the authority to remove the monument.

The Courier-Journal reports the art commission has been receiving public comments on potential new sites for the stone obelisk that was built as a tribute to dead Confederate soldiers. Suggestions include the Perryville Battlefield State Park of the Pewee Valley Confederate Cemetery.

Jefferson Circuit Judge Judith McDonald-Burkman in her ruling noted the historical significance of the century-old monument but wrote that it’s also a divisive symbol in Louisville.


East Kentucky Power Cooperative applies to build solar farm

WINCHESTER (AP) — The East Kentucky Power Cooperative is applying to build a 60-acre solar facility in Clark County.

The Winchester Sun reports that the utility has filed its application with the Kentucky Public Service Commission to install 32,000 photovoltaic panels on property next to its offices on U.S. Highway 60.

Spokesman Kevin Osbourn says the 8.5 megawatt project could be completed by the end of next year if gains approval by the PSC.

Funding for the $18 million project would come from New Clean Energy Renewable Energy Bonds with federal incentives to offset interest.

The solar facility is part of the utility’s plan to diversify its power generation capabilities and to give customers a choice to buy renewable energy.


Death row inmate kicked out of Kosher program sues state

EDDYVILLE (AP) — A Kentucky death row inmate has filed a federal lawsuit against the state claiming he is being denied kosher food at the state penitentiary.

The Courier-Journal reported that Jewish prisoner William Harry Meece was kicked out of the prison’s kosher program for eating a rotisserie chicken that wasn’t marked “kosher,” a violation of the Department of Corrections’ requirement that those on religious diets adhere to them strictly.

The newspaper reported that Meece, sentenced to death in 2006 for killing three members of an Adair County family, says in his lawsuit that only Orthodox Jews are limited to food stamped “kosher.” Reformed Jews can merely avoid pork and shellfish and maintain other dietary restrictions.

The Courier-Journal reported Kosher meals cost 72 percent more and thousands of inmates are believed to falsely identify as Jewish.


Former Bullitt Co. deputy convicted in false arrest

LOUISVILLE (AP) — A former central Kentucky sheriff’s deputy has been convicted on charges that he arrested a man for crimes he didn’t commit.

A federal grand jury on Friday convicted Matthew Corder of Louisville, who was a Bullitt County sheriff’s deputy. Corder was charged with two counts of willfully depriving a man identified in in the indictment only as “D.B.” of his constitutional rights.

Evidence presented at the four-day trial included body-camera footage of the arrest after Corder in 2014 entered the home of the man who had insulted him, tased him in the back and arrested for crimes he did not commit, causing the man to be jailed for weeks and lose his job.

The charges of disorderly conduct and fleeing and evading were ultimately dismissed.

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, the head of the Justice Department’s civil rights division, said in a release that the deputy had abused his authority.

“No insult justifies depriving the victim of his constitutional rights, ” she said. “And anytime law enforcement officers act like Corder did here, they do a disservice to the vast majority of their colleagues who safeguard our communities with fidelity, professionalism and distinction.”

Corder faces a maximum sentence of 10 years on one charge, and one year on the other. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 17.

This case was investigated by the FBI’s Louisville Division, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Gregory of the Western District of Kentucky and Trial Attorney Christopher Perras of the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section.


FedEx working on $150 million expansion in northern Ky.

BURLINGTON (AP) — A package-delivery company is working on a $150 million expansion in northern Kentucky that will add dozens of full-time jobs and hundreds of part-time jobs.

As part of the project, FedEx Ground Package System wants to secure industrial building revenue bonds to help offset costs, The Kentucky Enquirer reported.

The Boone County Fiscal Court heard a first reading for the revenue bonds on July 19.

The FedEx expansion will add 62 new full-time jobs and 378 part-time jobs. The revenue bonds would help pay for construction, land purchase and filling the building.

County Administrator Jeff Earlywine said the project is a different type of economic development project than the county normally does.

“We usually employ elements of the Kentucky business incentive program to incent job growth and job creation and tax expansion to create new jobs and a portion of the wage assessments are applied and can then be used to support the project,” Earlywine said.

“We’re not using KBI in this particular project, it’s a little unique. There is not a high number of jobs but there is a significant amount of capital investment, about $150 million to be exact, half for real estate and building and half for tangible personnel property inside the building.”

The company has bought about 80 acres and will add 355,000 square feet of space to its existing distribution center. FedEx plans to spend about $7 million on land, $70 million on building construction, and $73 million on equipment, according to estimates provided by the company.

The new project would be exempt from 80 percent of county and state real estate and tangible taxes. FedEx would pay 20 percent of those taxes, but would pay the full amount of taxes for the school districts and others.

Judge-Executive Gary Moore said FedEx is a good resource for the county, because it brings other businesses into the area. FedEx currently has 116 full-time employees and 538 part-time employees.

Second reading for the ordinance is scheduled for Aug. 16.


Dismembered body found in Kentucky river

MUNFORDVILLE (AP) — Authorities are investigating the discovery of a dismembered body found in a container floating in the Green River in central Kentucky.

According to media reports, the body was found by someone fishing in Hart County on Saturday.

Hart County Coroner Reggie Pettit took the remains to the state medical examiner’s office, where an autopsy was to be performed. No additional information was immediately available.


Manufacturer opens expanded operations in Ky.

FRANKFORT (AP) — A manufacturer that produces grills, stoves and fireplaces has opened a 30-job, $2.3 million-plus expansion at its facility in Grant County in northern Kentucky.

Gov. Matt Bevin’s office says Wolf Steel’s new warehouse adjoins its current facility in Crittenden. Bevin says the latest expansion is the second in seven years at Wolf Steel.

Wolf Steel also makes furnaces and HVAC units and accessories under the Napoleon brand.

To encourage the latest company’s investment and job growth, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority has given preliminary approval for Wolf Steel to receive up to $450,000 in tax incentives.

Wolf Steel’s Kentucky operations opened in 2001 with 23 employees. It expanded in 2009, adding 15 employees and nearly tripling its square footage.


UofL trustees set to decide Ramsey’s status Tuesday

LOUISVILLE (AP) — University of Louisville trustees appear ready to decide the status of embattled campus President James Ramsey.

The school said Monday its board of trustees is scheduled to convene a special meeting Tuesday. Topping the agenda is consideration of Ramsey’s offer to resign.

This will be the board’s third meeting since its formation last month, when Gov. Matt Bevin disbanded the former board amid turmoil over Ramsey.

Following a meeting last week, board Chairman Junior Bridgeman said he hoped trustees would act on Ramsey’s resignation at their next meeting.

Perhaps foreshadowing the board’s action, the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting includes “discussion of next steps, including transition planning and search process for next president.”

Adding to the uncertainty hanging over UofL is a lawsuit challenging Bevin’s authority to disband the former board.


Man found dead in rubble of collapsed building in Louisville

LOUISVILLE (AP) — Authorities say a man has been found dead after a building partially collapsed in Louisville.

News media reports say the front of a building in the city’s Parkland neighborhood collapsed Friday.

Capt. Salvador Melendez of the Louisville Fire Department says the body of a man believed to be in his 70s was found in the rubble, which spilled into the street.

Media reports say there was a secondary collapse, but it occurred away from firefighters. Melendez says the fire department has submitted an emergency request to the city for demolition of the building.

Authorities are investigating.

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