News in Brief

Davis’ lawyers say altered marriage licenses are valid

FRANKFORT (AP) — Lawyers for Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis say the altered marriage licenses her office issued to same-sex couples are valid because they have been recognized by Kentucky’s highest elected officials.

When Davis got out of jail, she changed the marriage licenses to remove her name and to say they were issued under the authority of a federal court order. Last month, lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union questioned the validity of these altered licenses and asked U.S. District Judge David Bunning to order Davis and her employees to reissue them.

The ACLU asked the judge that if Davis refused, he fine her or appoint someone else to issue the licenses for her.

Tuesday, Davis’ lawyers responded in a new court filing calling the ACLU’s request “extreme, unnecessary and improper.” They noted Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear and Attorney General Jack Conway have both recognized the licenses as valid. And they said the ACLU was trying to “needlessly create controversy where it does not currently exist.”

The ACLU called the altered marriage licenses “a stamp of animus against the LGBT community, signaling that, in Rowan County, the government’s position is that LGBT couples are second-class citizens unworthy of official recognition and authorization of their marriage licenses but for this Court’s intervention and Order.”

Attorney Jonathan Christman for the Liberty Counsel, the Florida-based law firm that represents Davis, said the ACLU cannot “allege that Rowan County has issued or is issuing marriage licenses to the ‘LGBT community’ that are in any way different from licenses issued to the ‘non-LGBT community.’”

Bunning has not yet ruled on the ACLU’s request.


Police arrest 1 of 3 wanted in connection with cabin slaying

SOMERSET (AP) — Authorities have arrested one of three people wanted in connection with the shooting death of a man found in a Pulaski County cabin.

The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office tells local media that 25-year-old Jesse W. Brown, of Monticello, was charged with murder Tuesday after he voluntarily met with detectives.

Deputies were acting on a tip Sunday when they found 34-year-old Danny J. Poore dead inside a cabin in the Nancy community, about 10 miles west of Somerset.

Authorities are still looking for 23-year-old Carah Whitney Bell, of Somerset, and Rexal K. Brown of Monticello. Both have been named as persons of interest in the case.


Fall grain production forecast to rise from 2014 in Ky.

LOUISVILLE (AP) — The latest grain forecasts show Kentucky farmers are on track to harvest more corn and soybeans this fall.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts a corn harvest of 228 million bushels in Kentucky. That would be up 1 percent from the previous crop.

Yield is forecast at 175 bushels per acre this year, up 17 bushels from the 2014 crop.

Soybean production in Kentucky is forecast at 89.2 million bushels. That would be a 7 percent increase from last year’s crop.

Yield is estimated at 49 bushels per acre, up 1.5 bushels from a year ago.

Alfalfa hay production for Kentucky is forecast at 613,000 tons, up 9 percent from 2014.

Other hay production is estimated at slightly more than 5 million tons, up 20 percent from a year ago.


EKU classes to resume after threat

RICHMOND (AP) — Classes are scheduled to resume at Eastern Kentucky University after being cancelled for much of last week due to a threatening message found on campus.

Multiple media outlets report classes will be held at the university Wednesday. Last week, the university’s president Michael Benson announced that classes would be cancelled for the remainder of the week due to a threat found written on the wall of a restroom on campus. The message was discovered on Oct. 4.

There were no classes Monday and Tuesday because of Fall Break.

The university has increased police patrols on campus. Police have interviewed “persons of interest,” but no arrests have been made.

The university is offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the threat.


Group: Principal should allow anti-abortion flyers

UNION (AP) — A national anti-abortion group says a northern Kentucky high school student’s right to free speech is being denied after a principal deemed the content of flyers he created “too controversial” to post around the campus.

The Kentucky Enquirer reports Students for Life of America said in a release that Ryle High School Principal Matthew Turner rejected six of seven flyers created by 18-year-old senior Patrick Edwards, who wanted to post them to advertise the school’s Students for Life club.

A letter from attorneys for Students for Life demands that Turner allow the flyers to be posted by Oct. 20 or it threatens to sue.

Turner said the district’s attorneys are reviewing the letter, but that “the policies we have in place are in full compliance with the law.”


Montgomery Co. Schools closed following threats

MOUNT STERLING (AP) — Montgomery County Schools will be closed the day before Fall Break is scheduled to begin after three anonymous threats were found at two schools.

Local media outlets report school leaders say out of an abundance of care, the county schools and the district’s childcare facilities will be closed Wednesday.

School leaders say a threat was found written on a bathroom wall at the Montgomery County Intermediate School on Tuesday. Officials say two similar threats were found on bathroom walls at McNabb Middle School in the last week.

School leaders say the messages lack credibility and are just copying a similar threatening message found on the Eastern Kentucky University campus last week.

Fall break was already scheduled to begin Thursday.

School leaders say they’re working with police to investigate the threats.


Pastors want special session in Ky. over gay marriage

FRANKFORT (AP) — Five pastors and a deacon met with Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear’s chief of staff on Tuesday to again urge the outgoing governor to accommodate Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis’ wishes to not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The ministers from four counties gave the governor’s office a petition they said had 1,700 names on it asking the governor to call a special session of the state legislature so lawmakers could pass a law exempting Davis and others from issuing marriage licenses.

Beshear cannot run for re-election because of term limits. Beshear’s chief of staff told the pastors the governor would not call a special session because it would cost too much money for an issue that only affects a few county officials.

Tuesday’s meeting comes three weeks before Kentucky’s election for governor.


No one injured after shots fired near Murray State campus

MURRAY (AP) — Police say no one was injured by gunshots that were fired near the campus of Murray State University.

Multiple media outlets report that the university issued a safety advisory Tuesday night after someone fired a gun multiple times into a residence northwest of the Murray State campus.

Police did not release the address of the shooting and were continuing to investigate.

The university later issued an advisory urging its community to be cautious, while noting that the campus remained open.


‘Bastogne’ brigade to have change of command this week

FORT CAMPBELL (AP) — The 101st Airborne Division’s 1st Brigade Combat will have a change in leadership this week.

Col. Robert Campbell will transfer command of the “Bastogne” brigade to Col. Alan Boyer during a ceremony Thursday.

Since taking command two years ago, Campbell welcomed to Bastogne the 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment known as “Red Currahee,” upon the deactivation of the 4th Brigade Combat Team.

Campbell also led the brigade through a Joint Readiness Training Center rotation and a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan. The brigade also trained and advised cadets at West Point and conducted training operations with Iowa and Arkansas National Guard soldiers.

Campbell’s next assignment is as the chief of operations at U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado.

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