News in Brief


Police: Ky. fugitive dies in shootout after manhunt

BURKESVILLE (AP) — A fugitive accused of shooting a Tennessee police officer and firing at a Kentucky trooper was killed in a shootout with authorities early Friday, ending a nearly weeklong manhunt.

Floyd Ray Cook, 62, was pronounced dead at the scene in south-central Kentucky after being confronted by state troopers and a federal marshal who were searching an embankment, Kentucky State Police public affairs officer Billy Gregory told The Associated Press.

Cook was armed with a handgun and exchanged gunfire with the officers south of Burkesville, Gregory said. He was wounded and pronounced dead at the scene. No officers were injured.

Convicted of rape in the 1970s, Cook was wanted in Marion County, Kentucky, for failing to comply with the sex offender registry, according to Sheriff Jimmy Clements. He also has convictions for robbery, burglary, assault and riot, and is wanted in Hardin County on an indictment charging him with trafficking methamphetamine and tampering with evidence.

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Jury finds man guilty of killing 87-year-old Ohio woman

HAMILTON, Ohio (AP) — Jurors in southwest Ohio have found a Kentucky man guilty of killing an 87-year-old woman whose body was found in the trunk of her car.

The Butler County jury on Thursday convicted 57-year-old Daniel French of Berea, Kentucky, of aggravated murder. The same jury will begin hearing evidence Wednesday to make a recommendation as to whether French should be sentenced to death. The judge will make the ultimate decision.

Prosecutors say French cut Barbara Howe’s throat after gaining entry by posing as a maintenance worker in her Monroe retirement community in 2012. The defense insisted French had no plan to kill her.

French pleaded guilty earlier to aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery, tampering with evidence and corpse abuse.

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Ky’s high court upholds fee to pay for 911 services

LOUISVILLE (AP) — Kentucky’s Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the validity of a fee assessed by Campbell County to pay for 911, a ruling that carries broader implications as local governments struggle to pay for emergency communications services.

In a 5-2 decision, the high court rejected an appeal claiming the fee levied by Campbell County Fiscal Court violated the state’s constitution.

The fee, passed in 2013, was challenged by the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Apartment Association.

The county’s $45 annual fee is levied on occupied housing and commercial units in the northern Kentucky county. It replaced a landline subscriber fee to support 911 that was shrinking as more people abandon landlines.

Other cities and counties across Kentucky have faced similar problems in relying on landline fees.

Denny Nunnelley, executive director of the Kentucky Association of Counties, said Thursday that finding the funds to maintain or upgrade 911 has become a challenge for many local governments as people switch from landlines to cellphones.

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Elderly man found alive several days after car crash

CYNTHIANA (AP) — Police say a 77-year-old Kentucky man survived in his wrecked car for several days after it went over an embankment.

WKYT reports that a passerby spotted Wilbur Eugene Harrod’s red car on Wednesday in Harrison County.

Scott County Sheriff Tony Hampton said Harrod was last seen Friday afternoon leaving a friend’s home in neighboring Scott County. Family and friends had driven along the same the road on Sunday searching for Harrod but did not find him.

Hampton said Harrod told rescuers he had been in the car for several days.

Harrod was conscious but dehydrated when rescue crews got to him. He was listed in serious condition Thursday at the University of Kentucky Medical Center.

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3 cases of whooping cough found in Louisville

LOUISVILLE (AP) — Health officials in Louisville are reporting three cases of whooping cough in unvaccinated infants.

The metro Department of Public Health and Wellness says the three cases in infants six months or younger is highly unusual.

Health officials are urging parents to get their children immunized on schedule.

Whooping cough is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection. It initially resembles an ordinary cold but can turn more serious, especially in infants.

Officials say infants with the illness may display apnea, a pause in the child’s breathing pattern. About half of infants younger than one year who get the disease need care in the hospital.

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State police academy produces 45 new troopers

FRANKFORT (AP) — The newest class of troopers has graduated from the Kentucky State Police Academy.

Diplomas were presented to 45 new troopers at ceremonies in Frankfort on Thursday. Their addition to the force brings the agency’s strength to a total of 880 troopers serving across Kentucky.

The new troopers are part of the agency’s 93rd cadet class. They reported for duty last May 24 in a class that consisted of 70 cadets.

KSP officials say the 23-week training period included more than 1,000 hours of classroom and field study. Subjects included constitutional law, juvenile and traffic law, use of force, weapons training, defensive tactics, high-speed vehicle pursuit, criminal investigation, evidence collection and hostage negotiations.

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UPS adding up to 300 jobs in Louisville

LOUISVILLE (AP) — Kentucky officials say UPS plans to add up to 300 new full- and part-time jobs in Louisville.

The extra jobs are part of a nearly $310 million investment the package-delivery giant plans in its ground-shipping operation.

The announcement was made Thursday by Gov. Steve Beshear and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.

Atlanta-based UPS is expanding its Centennial Ground Hub facility in Louisville due to increased e-commerce and traditional retail package volume.

The project will greatly expand the company’s current sorting capacity and add sorting automation equipment.

Construction will begin next year and is expected to finish by 2019.

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