News in Brief


Social workers call police about tiny baby; parents arrested

BARBOURVILLE (AP) — A Knox County couple has been charged after authorities say social workers found out that their 5-month-old baby weighed only 7 pounds.

The Lexington-Herald Leader reports police investigated after social workers called them about the baby on Tuesday. The parents are charged with first-degree criminal abuse.

In a statement, state police say the mother had taken the infant to the hospital in Corbin. Police say the infant was transferred to the University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital for treatment of malnourishment and several rashes.

According to police, workers at the county’s health department told the mother to take the baby to the hospital to receive benefits under a nutrition program.

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Workforce shortage faces state’s next governor

FRANKFORT (AP) — Kentucky’s major employers say they can’t find enough qualified workers as the state climbs out of a national recession.

In Henderson County, Darrell Littrell says he wants to hire 50 people at his tool and die shop and pay them up to $100,000 a year. But he says he cannot find anyone with the skills to do the work.

The problem has become a big issue in Kentucky’s race for governor. Republican nominee Matt Bevin said he would push for more vocational training and de-emphasize the importance of four year degrees. Democratic nominee Jack Conway said he would put more career counsellors in public schools to advise juniors and seniors as they plan their future.

The election is Tuesday.

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Ky. 4th, 8th graders outperform peers nationally in reading

FRANKFORT (AP) — A national report card shows Kentucky’s public school students are outperforming their peers nationally in fourth- and eighth-grade reading and in fourth-grade mathematics. But eighth-grade students in Kentucky scored below the national average in math.

The results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, also known as the nation’s report card, were released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Education.

Kentucky Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt says he’s encouraged by the performance in reading, but says efforts to improve results in middle school math will be a future emphasis.

In Kentucky, 75 percent of fourth graders and 78 percent of eighth graders scored at the basic level or above in reading. In math, 84 percent of fourth graders and 68 percent of eighth graders scored at the basic level or higher.

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Bridge connecting Ky., Ohio to reopen soon

FLEMINGSBURG (AP) — The Kentucky Department of Highways says a bridge in northeastern Kentucky that was closed for a painting project won’t reopen Friday as hoped but should accommodate traffic by mid-November.

The Carl D. Perkins Memorial Bridge spans the Ohio River and connects Greenup County, Kentucky, with Portsmouth, Ohio. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet closed the bridge in April so contractors could paint the span’s 600,000-square-foot steel superstructure.

A statement from the Department of Highways says rain has caused delays and more time is needed to apply a protective coating to concrete rails. The bridge is expected to open before Nov. 15.

The agency says the $7 million project is expected to help preserve the structure for about 35 years.

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Grimes predicts low turnout in Ky. governor’s race

FRANKFORT (AP) — Kentucky’s chief election official said she expects fewer than 1 million of Kentucky’s 3.2 million registered voters will cast ballots in the state’s general election on Tuesday.

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes said 14,000 people have voted absentee as of Monday. That’s down from 27,000 people who had voted absentee at this time in 2011, when Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear won re-election.

Grimes said she suspects many voters are more focused on the 2016 presidential election, which has dominated national media coverage. She noted that while voter registration numbers have increased, voter participation in the last two gubernatorial elections have fallen.

Polls open at 6 a.m. local time on Tuesday and close at 6 p.m. local time. Voters can verify their registration and polling place location online at elect.ky.gov

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Dead ducks headed to lab after found floating in pond

BOWLING GREEN (AP) — About 20 dead ducks will be taken to a state lab in Hopkinsville after they were found floating in a pond.

The Daily News of Bowling Green reports the dead mallard ducks were discovered Wednesday afternoon.

Jessica Fulkerson, who is an adoption counselor for the Bowling Green-Warren County Humane Society, says they received a call from someone who saw the dead ducks floating in the pond.

Fulkerson says they then contacted the health department and state Fish and Wildlife officers.

Officials say three slightly sickly looking ducks were rescued and taken to an animal hospital.

Fulkerson says a volunteer will transport the dead animals to the lab for testing.

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German-based company to create 110 jobs in Ky.

BOWLING GREEN (AP) — Kentucky officials say a German-based auto supplier will create 110 jobs in Bowling Green as part of the company’s $130 million investment.

Gov. Steve Beshear’s office says the steel processor will build a 250,000-square-foot cold-rolling steel manufacturing facility at the Kentucky Transpark in Warren County in south-central Kentucky. The plant will serve the company’s North American automotive industry customers.

The investment by the Bilstein Group was announced Wednesday.

Beshear’s office says that since January 2013, 29 German-owned facilities have announced new locations or expansions in Kentucky. It resulted in more than 1,200 full-time jobs through a collective investment of more than $488 million.

Overall, the governor’s office says Kentucky is home to more than 445 foreign-owned companies from 33 nations, employing more than 89,000 people.

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