News in Brief

EKU cancels classes, cites threat

LOUISVILLE (AP) — Eastern Kentucky University says it has canceled classes for the rest of the week because of an escalating threat after the discovery of graffiti that threatened to “kill all” this week.

The school said Wednesday that it increased police presence around the campus in Richmond, Kentucky.

Officials say classes were canceled midmorning Wednesday on the campus of about 16,000 students.

The school says there’s no evidence of imminent danger but reported an escalating threat, originating from social media.

On Monday, campus police issued a public safety alert after a threat was found in a campus bathroom. The graffiti said: “Kill All By 10/8/15.”

The action comes in the wake of a recent shooting at an Oregon college. The shooter killed nine people and himself.


Fort Campbell soldier shot, killed during training exercise

FORT CAMPBELL (AP) — A Fort Campbell soldier has been shot and killed during a training exercise.

Post spokesman Bob Jenkins says the soldier died at approximately 10:20 a.m. Tuesday at Blanchfield Army Community Hospital. The shooting happened on the sprawling base on the Kentucky-Tennessee line. No one else was injured.

Lt. Col. Brian DeSantis, public affairs officer for the 101st Airborne Division, said initial indications are that the shooting was accidental.

Jenkins said the post is withholding the soldier’s name until the family has been notified. The incident is still under investigation.


Manchester is state’s latest ‘Trail Town’

MANCHESTER (AP) — The community of Manchester in eastern Kentucky has been designated Kentucky’s ninth “Trail Town,” designed to help connect communities to trail systems and develop them as tourist destinations.

The Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet announced the designation Tuesday and said it helps communities improve their tourism economy.

Other Trail Towns in Kentucky are Dawson Springs, Livingston, Morehead, Olive Hill, London, Stearns, Elkhorn City and Jamestown.

Located in the Daniel Boone National Forest, Manchester is near Goose Creek, the Redbird River and the South Fork of the Kentucky River, streams that provide paddling and fishing opportunities.

There are also hiking, camping, ATV trails, horseback trails and cycling routes in the area, as well as swinging bridges.

The state helps promote Trail Towns and services being offered. More than 30 communities have started the application process.


Wildlife agency investigating possible mountain lion photo

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is investigating after receiving a photo of what appears to be a mountain lion in Obion County near the Kentucky border.

A statement from the agency says the photo was taken Sept. 20 by a trail camera on private land. Wildlife experts are investigating, but said no further evidence has been found. Biologists say the animal is likely a young male that has left its home range in the West in search of new territory.

The statement says there have been documented sightings of mountain lions in other nearby states including Kentucky. In that sighting, a concerned caller reported spotting the animal on a central Kentucky farm. A conservation officer shot and killed it due to public safety concerns.


Breckinridge Co. sheriff jailed on charges including DUI

BOWLING GREEN (AP) — A central Kentucky sheriff has been jailed on charges including drunken driving and terroristic threatening.

Kentucky State Police Sgt. Michael Webb said Breckinridge County Sheriff Todd Pate was arrested Monday night in Warren County. He said officers began looking for Pate after his wife swore out a warrant against him on charges of terroristic threatening.

Webb said when officers found Pate, he was also charged with drunken driving, reckless driving, possession of an open alcoholic beverage, improper signal and failure to wear seat belt.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether he has an attorney. A woman who answered the phone Tuesday at the sheriff’s office referred calls to state police.

According to jail records, a court date has been set on Friday.


Versailles encouraged to draft LGBT Fairness ordinance

VERSAILLES (AP) — The Versailles City Council is moving forward with a plan to draft an ordinance prohibiting discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations based on sexual orientation or gender identity

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that Mayor Brian Traugott on Tuesday asked council member Carl Ellis, chairman of the council’s administrative and legal committee, to begin researching and drafting an ordinance.

On June 1, Midway became the eighth city in the state to adopt an anti-bias ordinance. Other cities that have passed similar laws are Lexington, Louisville, Covington, Danville, Frankfort, Morehead and Vicco in Perry County.

A statewide law — which would eliminate city-by-city campaigns — has not passed the legislature, although another effort will be made in 2016.


Kentucky Board of Education approves commissioner contract

FRANKFORT (AP) — The Kentucky Board of Education approved a contract Tuesday with the new state education commissioner, Stephen Pruitt.

The board approved a four-year contract with an annual salary of $240,000.

Pruitt made a brief statement, saying he was humbled by the appointment and excited to help improve educational opportunities in the state.

“I want everyone on the planet talking about what’s going on in Kentucky,” he said.

The board voted last month to hire Pruitt to succeed Terry Holliday, who retired in August. Associate Commissioner Kevin Brown has been serving as interim commissioner.

Pruitt has been an educator in Georgia and most recently senior vice president of an independent education reform organization, Achieve Inc., where he has been since 2010.

In Georgia, he was chief of staff, associate state superintendent, director of academic standards, and science and mathematics program manager with the Georgia Department of Education. He was also a high school chemistry teacher in Fayetteville and Tyrone, Georgia.

Pruitt earned a bachelor’s degree from North Georgia College and State University, a master’s from the University of West Georgia and a doctorate from Auburn University.

He is expected to begin work in Kentucky officially on Oct. 16.


Company opens facility to process Asian carp

FARMINGTON (AP) — A new Kentucky company is creating several dozen jobs in western Kentucky and turning the invasive Asian carp into a wholesale foods business.

Gov. Steve Beshear’s office said in a news release that Blue Shore Fishery LLC is investing more than $1.3 million into a former catfish processing facility in Graves County. It will create 66 jobs in the Farmington community southeast of Mayfield and manufacture food products from Asian carp.

Blue Shore’s products include surimi, a fish paste that can be used to make crab sticks, fishcakes and other foods. The release said the product contains high-quality fish and fresh local ingredients with no fillers, additives or preservatives.

The release says the company plans to sell to wholesale markets in the U.S. and overseas, particularly in Asia.


Algal blooms force cancellation of Ohio River swim

CINCINNATI (AP) — The continued presence of harmful algal blooms has forced cancellation of this year’s Great Ohio River Swim from the Ohio side to the Kentucky side and back.

Organizers earlier rescheduled what would have been the 8th annual river swim for this Saturday because of the blooms. But event chairman Brewster Rhoads says health advisories issued last month by the Cincinnati and Kentucky authorities are still in effect, and swimmer safety is top priority.

He says those who registered will have their registrations honored for next year’s event, set for Sept. 25.


Winchester man pleads guilty to fraud in federal court

LEXINGTON (AP) — Authorities say a central Kentucky man has pleaded guilty to wire fraud, admitting he stole more than $3 million from his former employer.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Lexington says 38-year-old Bradley E. Taylor of Winchester appeared this week before U.S. District Judge Danny C. Reeves.

Taylor worked as operations manager for Apollo Oil LLC. The prosecutor’s office said Taylor admitted he created a fictitious supplier and falsified purchase orders, invoices and other shipping documents, causing Apollo to issue checks to the bogus supplier, and converted the proceeds to his personal use.

Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 27.


Outside audit: Big Rivers should ‘explore’ power plants sale

HENDERSON (AP) — An outside audit says Big Rivers Electric Corp. should consider selling power plants that it doesn’t need after losing its two largest customers.

Local media outlets report the audit was released Tuesday by the Kentucky Public Service Commission.

The independent review suggests that the company should explore the sale of both the D.B. Wilson power plant in Centertown and the Kenneth C. Coleman plant in Hawesville.

The audit says that Big Rivers will need to “move more aggressively in coming years” to mitigate the loss of the Century Aluminum smelters in Hawesville and Sebree.

In an email, company spokesman Marty Littrel told the Messenger-Inquirer newspaper that Big Rivers couldn’t comment on the audit report.

Big Rivers is owned by three distribution cooperatives, which serve about 112,000 customers in western Kentucky.


Train hits, kills man on tracks in La Grange

LA GRANGE (AP) — Police say a man has been killed after being hit by a train in central Kentucky.

Oldham County Police said in a statement that 41-year-old Daniel Waterhouse of La Grange was hit Monday afternoon by a train along tracks near Kentucky 146. The statement said officers responded to a report of a pedestrian hit and found Waterhouse dead on the tracks.

Police said the cause of the incident is under investigation.


Frazier History Museum opening Merton exhibit next year

LOUISVILLE (AP) — Trappist monk Thomas Merton will be the subject of an exhibit at the Frazier History Museum in Louisville next year.

The museum, in cooperation with Bellarmine University, will open the exhibit on Jan. 31, which would have been Merton’s 101st birthday.

Frazier officials told The Courier-Journal that no date is set for the end of the exhibit. It will be included with regular museum admission.

The officials noted that in his address to Congress last month, Pope Francis cited the influence on him of Merton, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr. and Dorothy Day, who founded the Catholic Worker Movement.

Bellarmine is providing much of the material in the Frazier exhibit in connection with its year-long Merton Centennial celebration.

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