State News in Brief

Bevin’s spokeswoman leaving for Trump campaign

FRANKFORT (AP) — Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s spokeswoman is leaving to take a position with the Donald Trump campaign.

Jessica Ditto is resigning to become deputy communications director for the Republican nominee for president.

Before being named as Bevin’s spokeswoman last year, Ditto was communications director for his campaign and transition office. She also worked for former Republican Gov. Ernie Fletcher and the Republican Party of Kentucky.

Ditto will work in New York with Jason Miller, Trump’s senior communications adviser. Miller was a consultant for Bevin’s 2015 campaign for governor.


Laurel Co. couple charged with murder in daughter’s death

LEXINGTON (AP) — Authorities say a Laurel County mother and father have been charged with murder in the death of one of their 7-week-old twin daughters.

According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, Laurel County Sheriff John Root says that 34-year-old Gary Nicely and his wife, 31-year-old Jessica Hope Nicely, also have been indicted on charges of first-degree assault and two counts of first-degree criminal abuse. Gary Nicely was also indicted on charges of resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and menacing.

The girl died Sept. 1 at University of Kentucky Children’s Hospital. Her twin suffered leg fractures.

The couple is being held in the Laurel County jail. It was not immediately clear if they had lawyers Saturday.


More time needed for review of pipeline proposal

DANVILLE (AP) — A federal agency says it needs more time to complete an environmental review of a proposal to convert a natural gas pipeline to one that would carry natural gas liquids.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission says it now plans to complete the review by Nov. 2. The agency had originally planned to finish the review in September.

The proposal has caused concerns in some communities about safety and the Danville City Commission passed a resolution opposing the conversion.

Kinder Morgan has said the company would examine the pipeline closely, upgrade any areas in need and thoroughly test it before returning it to service.

The existing pipeline runs through 18 counties, from Greenup in the northeast to Simpson in south-central Kentucky.


Blue Grass Airport to make about $35 million in upgrades

LEXINGTON (AP) — Officials say Blue Grass Airport in Lexington is planning nearly $35 million in upgrades to allow the regional airport to serve a growing number of passengers.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that the upgrades will include additional hangars for private planes, a new baggage system, a new rental car maintenance garage and more parking.

Eric J. Frankl, the executive director of the airport, said the improvements will take two to three years to complete.

Frankl says the airport had 637,000 departures last year, a record.

Bonds for the project were approved Thursday by the Lexington Urban County Council. The airport generates its own revenue and doesn’t receive any local tax dollars, but its bonds must be issued by the city.


Police: Man with a knife fatally shot by Owensboro officers

OWENSBORO (AP) — Kentucky State Police are investigating the shooting death of a knife-wielding man by two officers in Owensboro.

State police say 29-year-old Lucas Anderson died from gunshot wounds in the incident Friday night.

Police say Owensboro Police Department officers responded to a domestic argument call. Police say the officers saw Anderson grab a woman’s hair and put a knife to her throat.

Police say officers negotiated with Anderson to get him to drop the knife and release the woman but that Anderson threw the woman aside and charged two officers with the knife.

The officers, identified as Mike Matthews and Gary Mattingly, fired multiple times, striking Anderson. He died at the scene. The woman was hospitalized with cuts on her head and neck.

The officers have been placed on paid administrative leave.

Owensboro is about 100 miles (160 kilometers) west of Louisville.


KSP taking applications for academy class

FRANKFORT (AP) — People interested in joining the Kentucky State Police can apply through the agency’s website.

The state police are taking applications for the next academy class through close of business Oct. 14.

Information at the website at includes an outline of the application process, a list of minimum requirements and disqualifications, a downloadable application form with a list of required supporting documents, a downloadable study guide for the written test, physical standards requirements and a list of testing date, times and locations.

For more information, call (866) 360-3165.


School district suspends workers amid student injury probe

LOUISVILLE (AP) — A Kentucky school district has suspended 10 employees amid investigations into incidents where students were injured as a result of staff members’ actions.

Jefferson County Public Schools spokeswoman Allison Martin tells The Courier-Journal that the employees were suspended Wednesday and will be reassigned to noninstructional duties as the district investigates.

The district says it has been working since March to review 14 past investigations dating as far back as 2005 that “involved student injuries and alleged employee misconduct” to see if those investigations were handled properly.

Among those suspended was a high school security monitor who is accused of slamming a girl’s head against a table while using an Aikido training technique to physically restrain her.


Planned needle exchange program moves forward in Boyle Co.

DANVILLE (AP) — Health officials in Boyle County are moving forward with a proposed needle exchange program.

The Advocate-Messenger reports, the county Public Health Board on Wednesday voted in favor of the program the Boyle County Health Department has been trying to create.

The program still needs final approval from the Danville City Commission, Boyle County Fiscal Court and the Board of Health.

If approved, the program will be held Friday afternoons at the health department. The Ephraim McDowell Medical Center has agreed to help supply syringes and educational materials.

To help fund the program, Boyle County Agency for Substance Abuse Policy Director Kathy Miles and BCHD Director Brent Blevins applied for a grant to receive $15,000.

The BCHD hopes to hear by late October whether it will receive that grant.


Deputies: Driver falls asleep, strikes and kills man

PADUCAH (AP) — A motorcyclist has died after McCracken County sheriff’s deputies say he was hit by a driver who fell asleep at the wheel.

The McCracken County Sheriff’s Department says in a statement that just before 5 p.m. Sunday, 55-year-old James Duncan was driving a motorcycle eastbound on Blandville Road in Paducah. At the same time, 24-year-old Andrew Davidson was driving a car westbound on the same road.

Davidson told deputies that he fell asleep while driving and crossed the center line, and that his vehicle collided with Duncan’s. Duncan was thrown from his motorcycle and landed on the south shoulder of the road.

The statement says Duncan was taken to a local hospital where he died. Davidson was uninjured.

The investigation is ongoing. The statement doesn’t mention whether criminal charges will be brought.

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