State News in Brief


Judge denies Bevin’s request to block testimony in UofL case

FRANKFORT (AP) — A state judge has denied Republican Gov. Matt Bevin’s request to block an expert witness’ testimony about the University of Louisville’s accreditation.

Bevin abolished and replaced the University of Louisville board of trustees earlier this year. Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear sued him, saying the order was illegal. Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd temporarily blocked Bevin’s order, but asked both sides to present testimony from expert witnesses about how Bevin’s order would impact the school’s accreditation.

Bevin attorney Chad Meredith declined to present an expert witness, and asked Shepherd to block a witness called by Beshear. He said the testimony was not relevant to the issue of whether Bevin has the authority to replace the board.

Shepherd called Bevin’s request a “dramatic change in direction” and denied it. The hearing is continuing Thursday morning.

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West Nile virus death reported in Louisville

LOUISVILLE (AP) — The state says a 73-year-old Louisville man has died of West Nile virus.

Health and Family Services Cabinet spokeswoman Beth Fisher told The Courier-Journal it is Kentucky’s first death from the virus reported this year.

The state Health Department says Jefferson County typically reports a few cases of the virus each year, mostly during late summer and early fall.

The Clark County Health Department in southern Indiana, across the Ohio River from Louisville, identified two samples of mosquitoes infected with the virus this week in Charlestown and Jeffersonville.

The cabinet advises wearing bug repellent and protective clothing outdoors and staying indoors at dawn, dusk and early evening when mosquitoes are most active.

The cabinet’s website says symptoms of West Nile may include a slight fever or headache, possibly with skin rash and swollen lymph glands.

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IRS cutting 1,800 jobs in northern Ky.

COVINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Internal Revenue Service is consolidating processing facilities due to an increase in online filing, meaning a loss of 1,800 jobs in northern Kentucky in 2019.

The Kentucky Enquirer reports the agency announced the cuts Wednesday. Some employees will remain in Covington at other facilities.

Leaders with the IRS’s National Treasury Employees Union said the union will work to avoid or mitigate the impact. The union said the IRS also plans to phase out 3,000 workers in Fresno, California, in 2021 and 2,400 in Austin, Texas, in 2024.

The IRS is Covington’s second largest employer.

City Manager Larry Klein said the job losses will have a big impact. He said the city wasn’t notified in advance.

Klein said the consolidation will free up prime riverfront property for redevelopment.

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Bourbon Hall of Fame inducts 4, gives achievement award

BARDSTOWN (AP) — Four new members have been inducted into the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame, and a charter member of the Hall of Fame has been honored with a lifetime achievement award.

Kentucky Distillers’ Association President Eric Gregory says the accomplishments of the five have driven the popularity of bourbon, creating jobs, investment and recognition for the state.

Wild Turkey Master Distiller Jimmy Russell, a 2001 inductee, was given the Parker Beam Lifetime Achievement Award during a ceremony Wednesday at My Old Kentucky Home in Bardstown.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame were former Brown-Forman Corp. President William M. Street; former Four Roses Distillery Chief Operating Officer John Rhea; Diageo North America Senior Director of State Government Affairs Barry Becton; and author and award-winning Louisville bartender Joy Perrine of Equus Restaurant and Jack’s Lounge.

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Jury acquits 2 men accused of killing 2 prostitutes in 1994

HOPKINSVILLE (AP) — Two men, including a former police officer, have been acquitted in the slayings of two western Kentucky brothel workers 22 years ago.

The Kentucky New Era reports a jury acquitted 46-year-old Ed Carter and 42-year-old Frank Black of murder Wednesday in the cold-case deaths of 18-year-old Gloria Ross and 22-year-old Candace Belt. The women were shot and stabbed at New Life Massage Parlor in Oak Grove in September 1994.

Carter was an Oak Grove police officer who authorities say was seeing a prostitute and taking money from the brothel’s owners. Carter and Black were charged in 2013.

The prosecution never presented evidence linking Carter and Black, who lived in Clarksville and worked at a Nashville hotel.

Carter’s attorney Michael Bufkin says the case was based on suspicion, not evidence.

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Land Between the Lakes seeks volunteers on Public Lands Day

GOLDEN POND (AP) — Officials at Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area are looking for volunteers on National Public Lands Day to help clean up trails.

A statement from Land Between the Lakes says it wants people who are available to work the morning of Sept. 24. Afterward, participants are encouraged to visit the Homeplace 1850s Working Farm. Admission is free in honor of National Public Lands Day.

Emily Cleaver, who is the volunteer coordinator with Friends of Land Between the Lakes, says volunteering is a great way to give back, meet people and help maintain trails. Land Between The Lakes manages more than 170,000 acres in western Kentucky and Tennessee.

Volunteers should bring water and snacks; bug spray, garbage bags, lunch and additional water will be provided.

For more information, visit www.landbetweenthelakes.us .

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