News in Brief


Coal exports from Va. taking steep decline

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) — As global demand cools, coal exports from Virginia continue to decline.

Terminals along the James River in Newport News exported 11.7 million tons of coal through August. That’s down from 18.1 million tons in the same period a year ago.

That difference represents a 35 percent decline.

The Daily Press reports that the figures are from the Virginia Maritime Association.

Coal exports are a significant economic component in the region.

An Old Dominion University study estimated that 42 million tons of coal exported through the state’s port terminals generates $900 million in goods and services.

In 2013, the region reached a high of 50 million tons of coal processed through the port. That was highest level since 1991.

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Kentucky Mist distillery says UK disputing trademark

WHITESBURG (AP) — The owners of Kentucky Mist distillery say University of Kentucky attorneys have sent them a letter asserting the school owns the rights to the word “Kentucky.”

The Mountain Eagle reports the certified letter from Lexington attorney Michael Hargis asks the distillery to abandon efforts to trademark the Kentucky Mist name and logo design for T-shirts or other clothing.

According to the letter, the University of Kentucky is prepared to oppose the trademark application and “will consider further action as it deems necessary.”

Kentucky Mist co-owner Colin Fultz says the distillery’s attorney says it is necessary to respond to the letter. But Fultz says Kentucky Mist products and logos look nothing like the University’s logos. He says the only possible similarity is a dark blue Koozie drink holder.

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Beshear reveals anti-bullying recommendations

FRANKFORT (AP) — Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear says the state should define bullying and pay for mental health counselors in public schools to help address it.

The recommendations are the result of a yearlong study by Beshear’s Youth Bullying Prevention Task Force. The 26-member committee released its final report on Tuesday.

Kentucky already has 15 laws that address bullying, but none of them defines what bullying is. Beshear said that makes it difficult for school officials to identify bullying and report statistics. In 2013, a survey of by the Kentucky Department of Education found 15,512 incidents of bullying in the 2012-13 school year.

The task force included 11-year-old Morgan Guess of Paducah. Guess started an anti-bullying foundation after she was bullied at school so much that a doctor prescribed her antidepressants.

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Attorney disputes charge against student for drone crash

LEXINGTON (AP) — An attorney has disputed charges filed last month against a University of Kentucky law student who operated a drone that crashed inside Commonwealth Stadium before the Wildcats’ season-opening football game against Louisiana-Lafayette.

Multiple news outlets report that 24-year-old Peyton Wilson pleaded not guilty Tuesday to second-degree wanton endangerment.

Attorney Luke Morgan says Wilson cooperated fully with the UK police investigation and is being punished for coming forward to officials. Morgan says there are currently no Federal Aviation Administration rules on drones.

UK Police Chief Joe Monroe has said Wilson was operating the unmanned aircraft Sept. 5 outside the stadium when he crashed it into the suite level glass on the south side of the stadium. Several fans stood below, but no one was injured. The stadium was not damaged.

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Mom, 3 kids, neighbor killed in row house fire in Ky.

MAYSVILLE (AP) — A fire that appeared to start on the back porch of a row house spread quickly Tuesday, killing a woman, three of her children and a neighbor, authorities said.

A neighbor who survived said the mother went back inside to try to save her kids while flames were shooting out of the building.

“We were saying, ‘God, no, God, no,’ and I knew she wasn’t coming back out,” Ruth Austen said, holding and comforting a crying cat that she said belonged to the victims.

The father of the children survived, as did two of his other children.

Maysville Fire Chief Kevin Doyle said the father was in and out of the building several times.

Chris Hargis, in his 30s, went back inside the burning building to rescue the two children — a 15-year-old girl and a 7-year-old girl, said his mother, Beverly Hargis.

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Attorneys for cardiologist want fraud charges dismissed

ASHLAND (AP) — Attorneys for a doctor accused of performing unnecessary heart procedures say the charges should be dismissed.

The Independent reports Dr. Richard Paulus is accused of performing unnecessary procedures on hundreds of patients from 2008 until he retired in 2013. The indictment also said the Ashland cardiologist billed Medicare for more heart catheterization and stent procedures than any other cardiologist in Kentucky.

Paulus has pleaded not guilty to charges of health care fraud and making false statements.

In court documents arguing for dismissal of the charges, Paulus’ attorneys say the angiograms that government prosecutors are relying on for their case are difficult to read and subject to differing interpretations. They also say the angiograms prosecutors have are not the originals but degraded versions retained for hospital records.

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Mormon leader: Ky. clerk taking wrong approach on gays

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Mormon Church staked a deeper claim to middle ground in American society on Tuesday, advocating for compromises between protecting religious liberties and prohibiting discrimination, and criticizing Kentucky clerk Kim Davis for refusing to license gay marriages.

“We may have cultural differences, but we should not have ‘culture wars,’” Mormon leader Dallin H. Oaks declared.

“On the big issues … both sides should seek a balance, not a total victory,” he said. “For example, religionists should not seek a veto over all non-discrimination laws that offend their religion, and the proponents of non-discrimination should not seek a veto over all assertions of religious freedom.”

The speech marked another landmark moment in the conservative religion’s transformation from a faith that frowned on gays and lesbians to one becoming more welcoming and compassionate, albeit in small steps that may seem nominal to outsiders.

As with the Roman Catholic Church under Pope Francis, the conservative Mormons are trying to assert a softer position in society, while holding firm inside the church to its own doctrines against gay marriage and homosexual activity.

The Mormons chose Oaks, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles that guides The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to give the speech, the most detailed yet reflecting the new approach to what Mormons call “same-gendered attraction.” He brings credibility as a former Utah Supreme Court judge who also once served as a law clerk to Chief Justice Earl Warren on the U.S. Supreme Court, church officials said.

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Police: Suspect fatally shot after robbery in Louisville

LOUISVILLE (AP) — Police in a Louisville suburb fatally shot a man Tuesday after they say he robbed a customer outside a sandwich shop and then pulled a gun from his waistband when he was ordered to put his hands up in the air.

Officers encountered the man near a Jimmy John’s restaurant on South Hurstbourne Parkway in Jeffersontown, Jeffersontown Police Chief Rick Sanders said at a news conference.

The man’s identity has not been released. Sanders said he was 30 and from Indiana and he had what appeared to be a syringe of heroin on him after he was shot. He was taken to University of Louisville Hospital and pronounced dead at 1:30 p.m.

The customer was walking into the store about noon when the suspect pulled a gun, and “stuck it in his face,” Sanders said. The customer and a manager at the restaurant gave a description to police, and they located the suspect at a nearby hotel.

The officers, whose identities haven’t been released, are on routine administrative leave during the investigation.

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