News in Brief

Bill to split up pension funds put on hold by sponsor

FRANKFORT (AP) — A lawmaker says he’s following Gov. Matt Bevin’s request to temporarily shelve his bill to let local government pension funds break away from the Kentucky Retirement Systems.

Bevin and Sen. Joe Bowen said Thursday the proposed split will be discussed when lawmakers meet in a special session to deal with Kentucky’s underfunded pension system.

Bevin says the proposed separation potentially has “great merit.” But he says lawmakers should await completion of an audit of KRS.

The bill would allow the County Employees Retirement System to leave KRS.

CERS pension funds cover about 230,000 local government workers and retirees. They’re in better shape financially than pension funds covering state workers and retirees.

Bowen, an Owensboro Republican, says his bill should be part of the “broader conversation” about shoring up pension funds.

The legislation is Senate Bill 226.


3 tornadoes confirmed in Middle Tennessee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The National Weather Service says at least three tornadoes have been confirmed to have hit central Tennessee during severe thunderstorms.

Justyn Jackson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Nashville, said one confirmed tornado Wednesday was in Wilson County, just north of Watertown. Jackson said there was structural damage to homes, outbuildings, barns and trees. He said it appeared to be an EF-1 tornado — one of the weakest kinds— but meteorologists would have to get a better look Thursday.

He said EF-1 tornadoes also touched down in southeast Nashville and Williamson County.

Jackson said a 12-year-old boy was hurt in Clarksville when a tree fell through his mobile home.

The Tennessean said country singer Carrie Underwood tweeted there was damage to her home in the Nashville area.


Partnership to receive $1.9M to help homeless youth

FRANKFORT (AP) — A partnership in Kentucky has been selected to receive $1.9 million as part of an effort to end youth homelessness.

The Kentucky Housing Corporation said in a statement Wednesday that it worked with the Kentucky Balance of State Continuum of Care and Partners for Education at Berea College to apply for the funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The money will go to develop and provide housing options in eight southeastern Kentucky counties.

The counties, which comprise a federally designated Promise Zone, have higher rates of poverty and youth homelessness than state and national averages.

The statement says the partnership will work with state and local agencies to come up with a plan to submit to HUD. After the federal agency approves the plan, the communities can begin to access funding.


Oscar winner Viola Davis to speak at University of Kentucky

LEXINGTON (AP) — Oscar-winning actress Viola Davis is going to speak at the University of Kentucky.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports a sold-out crowd will hear Davis talk Thursday night about her life and experience of growing up in poverty in Central Falls, Rhode Island, as well as her acting roles.

The UK Student Activities Board has been working for years to bring Davis to campus.

Many say now, the timing is perfect. Davis on Sunday won the best supporting actress Oscar for “Fences,” a role she originated in a Broadway revival seven years ago for which she won a Tony Award.

Two years ago, she became the first black woman to win for lead actress in a drama series, and she’s the first black woman to win an Oscar, Emmy and Tony.

Information from: Lexington Herald-Leader,


Navy: ‘Corrective measures’ taken after Trump flag display

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — The Navy has found that members of a special warfare unit violated regulations when their military vehicle displayed a Donald Trump presidential campaign flag while training in Kentucky.

Lt. Jacqueline Maxwell released a statement this week that said “corrective measures were taken with each individual based on their respective responsibility.” It did not elaborate on what those corrective measures were.

The military convoy that displayed the flag in January belonged to a special warfare unit based in Virginia Beach. Images of a pro-Trump flag on a vehicle’s antenna then circulated on social media. News reports said the Navy has repeatedly warned sailors against appearing to endorse political candidates while on the job.


Police: Man undergoes surgery after being shot by officer

LOUISVILLE (AP) — Authorities say a Kentucky police officer shot a man hiding in a vacant house after ordering him to show his hands.

The man was taken to a hospital, where he underwent surgery for a gunshot wound to his abdomen. No officers were injured.

Louisville Police Chief Steve Conrad said the shooting happened Wednesday after a search of the house by three officers responding to a report of a man using drugs there. As they were leaving, one of the officers saw the man hiding behind an upright mattress.

Conrad did not release the man’s identity or his physical condition. He said the man is black and the female officer who shot him is white.

The officer’s police powers were suspended, as Conrad said is customary.


Salato Wildlife Center to unveil black bear exhibit

FRANKFORT (AP) — The Salato Wildlife Education Center in Frankfort has reopened for the season and will unveil its new “Be Bear Aware” exhibit this month.

The exhibit focuses on the status of black bears in Kentucky and shows how people and bears can coexist.

Conservation Educator Geoff Roberts says black bears are going through a natural comeback in Kentucky.

The exhibit also shows the bear’s population range within the state and the role of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources in bear management.

The official unveiling will be at 10 a.m. March 17.

The center is off U.S. 60, about 1 ½ miles west of the U.S. 127 intersection. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Salato is closed Sundays, Mondays and state holidays.

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