State News in Brief

UK says attorney general should intervene in Kernel lawsuit

FRANKFORT (AP) — The University of Kentucky says it does not object to Attorney General Andy Beshear intervening in its lawsuit against the student newspaper.

The university is suing the Kentucky Kernel over its efforts to obtain documents relating to the sexual assault investigation involving a former professor. The Kernel sought the school’s investigative documents, but the school refused. The Kernel appealed to the attorney general, who ruled the university violated state open records law.

The university then appealed the attorney general’s ruling by suing the Kernel.

Beshear has filed a motion to intervene in the case. In a motion filed Tuesday, lawyers for the university say “a clear controversy” exists between the university and the attorney general. A judge has scheduled a hearing on the issue for 1 p.m. Friday.


Woman charged with murder in crash that killed daughter

JAMESTOWN (AP) — A Russell County woman has been charged with murder after authorities say she used methamphetamine and caused a crash that killed her 3-year-old daughter.

Media outlets report that 26-year-old Jessica G. Warriner was arrested Tuesday.

According to a Russell County Sheriff’s Department arrest warrant, Warriner was under the influence of meth Saturday evening when she drove her Honda Civic into the path of an oncoming 2008 Dodge Ram pickup. After the crash, Warriner’s daughter, Chloe Fortenberry, was flown to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital where she later died.

The sheriff’s department says Warriner was flown to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She was charged with murder when she was released.

The driver of the pickup was treated and released from Russell County Hospital.

It’s unclear if Warriner has an attorney.


Committee to review proposals for workforce training grants

FRANKFORT (AP) — Communities across Kentucky will compete for $100 million in state funding to pay for projects to train Kentucky’s workforce.

The Work Ready Skills Advisory Committee, appointed by Republican Gov. Matt Bevin and legislative leaders, is scheduled to meet Wednesday to review 114 proposals for the money.

The 10-member committee led by Education and Workforce Development Secretary Hal Heiner will discuss the proposals in a closed meeting. But the committee will announce the results in an open meeting Wednesday afternoon. The winners will be invited to submit formal applications.

Full applications are due by late October. The Bevin administration plans to announce the winners by the end of the year.


New bourbon distillery opens in Ky.

BARDSTOWN (AP) — A new distillery in the heart of Kentucky bourbon country is starting commercial production.

Bardstown Bourbon Co. reached the milestone Wednesday at the $25 million distillery at Bardstown. The distillery will make whiskey for its own brands and for small distillers and brand owners lacking sufficient distilling operations.

The company says it’s already preparing to expand due to demand. It says the distillery’s 1.5 million proof gallon capacity can be expanded to more than 6 million proof gallons within the current design. It says the expansion will allow the company to take on new customers.

The distillery plans to open its visitors and events center to the public in early 2017.

Leading its whiskey-distilling team is Steve Nally, a 40-year veteran of the spirits industry.


Complicity charge dropped against former officer in slayings

HOPKINSVILLE (AP) — A complicity to murder charge against a former police officer has been dropped in the middle of a trial over the cold-case slayings of two western Kentucky brothel workers.

The Kentucky New Era reports Special Judge Philip Patton told jurors on Wednesday morning that the complicity charge against Leslie Duncan was no longer a factor in the trial. The newspaper reports the judge granted a motion filed by Duncan’s lawyer asking for a directed verdict of acquittal after the prosecution rested its case on Tuesday.

Duncan led the original investigation of the 1994 slayings of Candace Belt and Gloria Ross, who were shot and stabbed at New Life Massage Parlor in Oak Grove.

Two others defendants, Frank Black and former Oak Grove police officer Ed Carter, remain on trial in the slayings.

Police brought charges against the men in 2013.


Riverports in 5 cities get grant funding

FRANKFORT (AP) — Riverports in five western Kentucky cities are being awarded a total of $500,000 in grants for improvements and repairs.

The money from the state’s Riverport Financial Assistance Trust Fund will go to ports in Hickman, Paducah, Eddyville, Owensboro and Henderson. Some of the work includes dock dredging, pavement rehab, railroad repair and a crane restoration.

State Sen. Joe Bowen says Owensboro’s $33,000 grant will enhance its riverport, making it more competitive and connected to a global market.

The largest grant of $220,000 will go to Henderson for crane repair.

State Rep. Steven Rudy says Paducah’s funds are critical to ensuring the city’s economic growth.

The grant system, which is administered by the state Transportation Cabinet, has awarded $500,000 for public riverport upgrades each year since 2013.


Bottoms up: Jim Beam opens cocktail bar at distillery

CLERMONT (AP) — The bar’s open at a Jim Beam distillery, and some visitors shared a toast with the great-grandson of the brand’s namesake.

The bourbon producer opened its cocktail bar on Wednesday at its Clermont distillery.

Beam obtained a license to serve cocktails thanks to a new Kentucky law aimed at building on the state’s bourbon tourism. The law allows visitors to sip cocktails and purchase more whiskey during distillery tours.

Master distiller Fred Noe shared a toast with women who were among the first customers at Beam’s bar.

Noe calls the bourbon tours “an adult’s Disney World” and says the bar will add to the experience.

The limit is one drink per customer at Beam. Cocktails include 1.5 ounces of bourbon.

At least 15 distilleries have obtained licenses to serve cocktails.

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