State News in Brief

Gray calls for roads, technology to help coal regions

PIKEVILLE (AP) — Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jim Gray says he would spend more money on technology and improve roads in eastern Kentucky to help the region recover from the devastating effects of a declining coal industry.

Gray revealed his plan on Tuesday along with other state Democratic leaders. Gray said his plan would increase funding for the federal Office of Fossil Energy’s carbon capture storage technology research and would work to widen the Hal Rogers parkway to four lanes from Hazard to Somerset.

Republicans have criticized Gray and other Democrats as being anti-coal after presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said she would put coal miners and coal companies out of business. Gray told reporters he still supports Clinton but said she was wrong about coal. Clinton has since said she was mistaken in her remarks.


Other towns want Louisville’s Confederate monument

LOUISVILLE (AP) — If Louisville doesn’t want its 121-year-old Confederate monument, other towns are willing to take it.

The Courier-Journal reports the city’s Commission on Public Art held a special meeting on Monday to consider the monument’s relocation.

Brandenburg Mayor Ronnie Joyner said the 70-foot-tall stone obelisk would boost tourism in his town.

“We feel like we would be a very good home for this monument,” he told the commission. “We have a re-enactment every two years and it would be very visible.”

Most speakers offered suggestions for new homes for the monument.

“If you’re a Civil War buff, you like the idea of it being in a battlefield,” said state Rep. Steve Riggs, D-Louisville, suggesting that it be placed at the Perryville Battlefield State Park. “Perryville has more tourists than anybody, and it would receive great publicity if we give the monument over to them.”

But some speakers suggested the monument should be destroyed.

Dwayne Bell, an African-American who identified himself as a military veteran, offered to help drop it in the Ohio River.

“I don’t particularly care to see the Confederate flag or anything Confederate,” Bell told the commission.

Other speakers, like Stacy Grimm, said the monument should stay in Louisville. Grimm told the commission that preserving history is not about taking sides in the Civil War.

A Jefferson County judge ruled last month that Mayor Greg Fischer has the authority to remove the controversial monument, now located near the University of Louisville. Officials have agreed not to take any action until the city finds a new site for it.

Louisville arts commission chairwoman Anna Tatman said she wants the monument to be moved to a location “with the context it deserves.

“We’re often faced with artistic expressions that raise some sort of ire, and art is meant to create those conversations,” she said.


Ex-pharmacy owner gets prison time for stealing from charity

LEXINGTON (AP) — A former Lexington pharmacy owner has been sentenced to more than six years behind bars after he was accused of stealing $1.1 million from a charity that helps with patients’ medication costs.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that 37-year-old Adam K. Sloan admitted to using customers’ personal information to apply for and receive money from a Texas-based charity called Chronic Disease Fund. The charity helps people pay out-of-pocket costs for medicine.

Sloan was sentenced Saturday to six years and three months in prison following his guilty plea to charges including aggravated identity theft.

Court records show Sloan agreed to pay back about $815,000 to the charity. The government already seized the other $313,000 he was accused of stealing.

Sloan co-owned Bluegrass Pharmacy of Lexington from October 2010 through June 2015.


Witness to helicopter crash reports abrupt rotor tilt

HICKORY (AP) — A Tennessee Valley Authority lineman who witnessed a fatal helicopter crash in western Kentucky this month has told investigators he saw the main rotor tilt abruptly just before the helicopter banked right and fell to the ground.

The National Transportation Safety Board reports the witness described the impact as very hard, with no sliding or bouncing, and saw the rotor blades break apart.

Kentucky State Police previously identified the pilot who was killed as John R. Love of Maryville, Tennessee. The NTSB preliminary report said the pilot was 58 years old and recently reported more than 18,000 total hours of flight experience.

The crash happened July 11 in Graves County at TVA’s Mayfield Customer Service Center. The NTSB said the flight originated in Clarksville, Tennessee, where the pilot refueled.


UofL board delays meeting to consider status of president

LOUISVILLE (AP) — University of Louisville trustees have postponed a meeting to decide the status of school President James Ramsey.

The school’s board of trustees had scheduled a special meeting on Tuesday. The agenda included consideration of Ramsey’s offer to resign.

About an hour before the meeting, the school announced the meeting had been postponed, and the date of a rescheduled meeting would be determined soon.

The school says there are no changes to the agenda.

Another agenda item had called for “discussion of next steps, including transition planning and search process for next president.”

During his 14-year tenure, Ramsey has led successful fundraising drives and helped boost the university’s graduation rate. But he came under increasing attack for embezzlement scandals and other campus embarrassments, including an investigation of a health care executive.

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