State News in Brief

Community colleges in coal counties get grants

VERSAILLES (AP) — Eight Kentucky Community and Technical College System sites are receiving coal county grants from the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority.

The $366,857 in grants to the college sites were provided through the Kentucky Coal County College Completion Student Services Grant program. The funding helps students who attend schools in coal-producing counties.

Ashland, Big Sandy, Henderson and Owensboro community college sites received $50,000 each under the grant program. Other colleges receiving funding were sites in Hazard, Madisonville, Somerset and the Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College.

The grant program was enacted during the 2014 session of the Kentucky General Assembly.


Judge hands out tissues as crying inmate meets infant son

LOUISVILLE (AP) — A judge handed out tissues in court as a teary Kentucky jail inmate was allowed to hold his infant son for the first time.

News organizations report Jefferson County Judge Amber Wolf allowed 24-year-old James Roeder to meet his 1-month-old son during the unexpected encounter last week.

Roeder and his wife, Ashley Roeder, are co-defendants in a burglary case and had been ordered not to have contact with each other.

On Friday, in between the couple’s hearings, Wolf made a temporary exception to the order when she heard James Roeder hadn’t seen his son yet.

Video of the encounter has been widely shared on social media.

Court records show the Roeders are accused of stealing six flat-screen televisions from a warehouse.


Man faces DUI charge in school bus crash that injured 2 kids

LAWRENCEBURG (AP) — A Lawrenceburg man is facing a drunk-driving charge involving a school bus crash that sent two children to the hospital.

News outlets report that Lawrenceburg police say 35-year-old Billy Cecil was arrested Wednesday afternoon and charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence, possession of an open alcoholic beverage in a motor vehicle and disorderly conduct.

Police say a bus carrying students in grades ranging from elementary to high school backed into Cecil’s car.

Two unidentified students were taken to a hospital with minor injuries.

Police say Cecil had a blood alcohol level that was more than three times the legal limit of .08.

It isn’t immediately clear if he has an attorney.


Veteran faculty member chosen as UofL’s acting provost

LOUISVILLE (AP) — The University of Louisville has turned to a 38-year faculty member to serve as its acting executive vice president and provost.

The school said Wednesday that Dale Billingsley was selected by acting President Neville Pinto. Billingsley’s appointment takes effect on Monday.

Billingsley is currently vice provost for undergraduate affairs and enrollment management. He also has served as an English professor in addition to his vice provost duties. He is a former Faculty Senate chair and a 21-year member of the provost’s senior staff.

Pinto says Billingsley will oversee the continued implementation of the school’s long-term strategic plan, known as the 21st Century University Initiative.

Pinto was elevated from provost to acting president after the departure of school President James Ramsey. Pinto will lead UofL until a new president is selected.


Skeletal remains found on island near Henderson

DIAMOND ISLAND (AP) — Authorities say a fisherman found human skeletal remains on an island outside of Henderson.

Kentucky State Police said in a news release that the remains were found Tuesday on Diamond Island in the Ohio River by a passing fisherman. Troopers confirmed the remains were human.

Police believe the remains have been there for at least three years. They have not determined the person’s identity, gender or cause of death.

Anyone who may have information about the remains is asked to contact KSP Post 16 at (270) 826-3312.

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