State News in Brief


Police: Teens hit by train were laying on tracks

WILLIAMSBURG (AP) — Kentucky State Police say two teenagers were hit by a train in southern Kentucky and were found dead on the tracks.

Police said in a news release on Tuesday that both 18-year-old males were laying on the tracks early Tuesday when they were hit. Police identified them as Cody E. Stevens of Barbourville and Jordan X. Carr of Williamsburg.

The Whitley County coroner pronounced both dead at the scene. Their bodies were sent to Frankfort for autopsies.

No further information was immediately available.

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Republicans set to nominate Comer for special election

FRANKFORT (AP) — Republicans in Kentucky’s 1st Congressional district are expected to nominate James Comer for a special election to replace U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield.

Whitfield is resigning from Congress at 6 p.m. Tuesday. He announced his resignation last week, about one year after announcing he would not seek re-election this year.

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin said he will call a special election for Nov. 8 to elect someone to fulfill the remainder of Whitfield’s term, which expires in January. Rick Grana, the state Republican Party’s 1st District chairman, said he expects Comer will be nominated without opposition.

Comer is already on the Nov. 8 ballot as he seeks a full, two-year term in Congress. He faces Democrat Sam Gaskins, who is also likely to be the Democrats’ nominee for the special election.

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Missing Ky. teen found unharmed in New Mexico

DANVILLE (AP) — Kentucky State Police say a teenager has been found unharmed in New Mexico two days after being reported missing.

State police say in a news release that 15-year-old Jenna Oakley of Danville was located in a motel parking lot in Tucumcari, New Mexico.

The statement says Oakley and 20-year-old Kenneth R. Nigh of Arlington, Indiana, were found sitting in a car that had been reported stolen Thursday following the death of Oakley’s stepmother.

The statement says Nigh was charged with one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

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Body found in burning vehicle in Lexington

LEXINGTON (AP) — Lexington police are investigating the discovery of a body in a burning vehicle.

Media outets report firefighters found the vehicle in flames along the side of a rural, one-lane road Sunday night.

Police Lt. Richard Willoby says after putting out the fire, firefighters found a body in the back seat.

Willoby says the victim’s identity was not immediately determined. A coroner will determine the cause of death.

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Democrat Jim Gray unveils jobs, economic plan on Labor Day

LOUISVILLE (AP) — Democrat Jim Gray used Labor Day to unveil his jobs plan as he tries to unseat Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul.

Media outlets report Gray released his economic agenda Monday at the United Auto Workers union hall in Louisville.

Gray said he wants to invest in infrastructure, broadband internet and education to bring more jobs and attract businesses to Kentucky. That includes repairing and rebuilding roads and bridges.

“We’re living today on the infrastructure of our parents and our grandparents,” Gray said. “America has always built ourselves out of adversity. All the way back to the Great Depression.”

He also stressed the importance of small businesses and increasing access to small business loans. He said the economies in regions of Kentucky hit by the rapid decline of the coal industry need to be diversified.

“Cities and regions change,” Gray said. “It doesn’t happen overnight, but diversifying your economy is the only real route. The only real way to success over time is a diversified economy. Regrettably, one industry towns, one industry regions often struggle for long cycles and that’s what we’re seeing.”

Gray co-owns a construction company and has been Lexington’s mayor since 2011. Paul was elected to the Senate in 2010.

Gray said he would be open to all options to finance federal investments in infrastructure and education, including borrowing money.

“If our company hadn’t been able to borrow money when we were flat on our backs broke we never would have been able to work our way out of insolvency,” he said. “So debt is not a bad thing. It has to be understood, it has to be measured and the investment needs to make sense, but debt on its face is not a bad thing.”

Paul wants to require a balanced federal budget and has said the national debt that is approaching $20 trillion is “ruining the country.”

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Caldwell Co. teenager killed in four-wheeler wreck

PRINCETON (AP) — A Caldwell County teenager has died after the all-terrain vehicle that he was riding crashed.

Caldwell County Coroner Dewayne Trafford tells local media that 14-year-old Avery Warfield died from a head injury that he sustained Sunday evening.

Warfield was riding the ATV with an adult and another child in a field when the crash occurred. Trafford says the ATV may have hit a bump or a hole that caused Warfield to be thrown from the vehicle. Warfield was wearing a helmet, but still sustained a severe head injury.

The boy died at Caldwell County Medical Center. He was a freshman at Caldwell County High School.

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$10M gift to boost science education at UK

LEXINGTON (AP) — The University of Kentucky says undergraduate science education on its campus will get a boost from a $10 million gift.

The state’s flagship university announced Tuesday that $8 million of the gift from The Don Jacobs Sr. Charitable Foundation will go toward the new science building on the Lexington campus. The structure will be named the Don & Cathy Jacobs Science Building.

UK says the other $2 million will fund future academic and research investments.

With the latest gift, Don and Cathy Jacobs have donated more than $20 million to UK in areas ranging from science and health to the Gatton College of Business and Economics.

UK President Eli Capilouto says the new science building will transform science education at UK, preparing the next generation of researchers, doctors and teachers.

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2 E.Ky. state parks offering elk viewing tours

FRANKFORT (AP) — Visitors to two state parks in eastern Kentucky can participate in elk viewing tours beginning this month and continuing into March.

The Kentucky Parks Department said in a news release that the tours offer rare opportunities for the public to see the greatest number of elk. The largest elk herds are on privately owned lands that are normally closed to the public.

Elk were returned to the state about 20 years ago after being gone for 150 years. They now number around 10,000.

The tours begin Saturday at Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park in Buckhorn and on Sept. 17 at Jenny Wiley State Resort Park in Prestonsburg. Prices for the tours vary.

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U of L ‘Earn-A-Bike’ program shows to be successful

LOUISVILLE (AP) — A University of Louisville program that encourages students, faculty and staff to ride a bike to campus instead of driving is increasing in popularity.

The Courier-Journal reports that the Earn-A-Bike Program, created in 2012, provides participants with a $400 voucher they can use toward the purchase of a bicycle, helmet, lock and other equipment.

There were 1,550 participants in the program’s first four years. Assistant to the Provost for Sustainability Initiatives Justin Mog says he expects another 380 participants this year.

The program is now being mimicked by other campuses nationwide, including the University of Kentucky.

Funding for the vouchers come from U of L’s base budget. Mog says the program costs about $160,000 per year.

He says the program is helping the university reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

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Big South Fork park movie being shown in McCreary Co.

STEARNS (AP) — Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area is showing its new park movie “Generations” on Saturday in McCreary County, Kentucky.

McCreary Central High School National FFA Organization, choir and Junior ROTC are hosting the program at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at the school in Stearns.

The park says the new movie was in the making for more than a year, and footage was shot through all four seasons. The film features many park activities such as hiking, mountain biking, hunting, horseback riding, whitewater paddling, camping, fishing and rock climbing.

The event is free, and no reservations are required.

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