News in Brief


Kim Davis loses latest gay marriage appeal

LOUISVILLE (AP) — Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis has lost another bid to delay issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Thursday denied her latest request for a reprieve.

Davis stopped issuing marriage licenses after the U.S. Supreme Court effectively legalized gay marriage in June. Four couples sued her, and U.S. District Judge David Bunning then ordered her to issue the licenses. He later clarified his order to include all couples, not just the four who filed suit.

Davis’ attorneys have appealed that expanded order several times, arguing that the mandate to issue licenses should apply only to the four couples who filed suit. They received licenses during Davis’ five-day stint in jail for defying the court’s order.

The appeals court again rejected Davis’ request Thursday.

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Gov.-elect Bevin names transition team

FRANKFORT (AP) — Republican Matt Bevin is turning to a pair of former rivals to help him as he transitions to become Kentucky’s next governor.

Thursday, Bevin named former Republican primary opponent Hal Heiner as one of 21 people on his transition team. And Friday he will meet with U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who crushed Bevin in the 2014 Senate primary.

“We’re going to meet tomorrow afternoon and share thoughts about getting started,” McConnell told The Associated Press in an interview. “There’s a very short transition period in Kentucky. You get elected and a month later you’re sworn in.”

Heiner spent more than $4 million during the Republican primary, more than Bevin spent for the entire election cycle. The two often sparred in public debates over Bevin’s property tax issues and Heiner’s record as a former Louisville Metro councilman. A pro-Heiner super PAC even aired negative TV ads against Bevin which inflamed their relationship late in the campaign.

But the two men soon patched things up, with Heiner campaigning for Bevin in Elizabethtown four days before the election. McConnell held several fundraisers for Bevin and endorsed him publicly at the annual Fancy Farm picnic.

Heiner is advising Bevin on transportation issues. Brown-Forman Vice President J. McCauley “Mac” Brown will lead Bevin’s transition team, which includes current and former state lawmakers along with veterans of former Gov. Ernie Fletcher’s staff, the last time Kentucky had a Republican administration.

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Lexington gives first approval to minimum wage increase

LEXINGTON (AP) — Lexington officials have given preliminary approval to a proposal that would increase the city’s minimum wage.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports the Urban County Council passed a first reading on Thursday of a measure to increase the minimum wage from the current $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour over three years. Officials must approve the proposal at a second reading before it becomes law. A final vote is set for Nov. 19.

Several business owners spoke against the proposed wage increase, saying it would lead to fewer jobs and higher prices.

An amendment offered to exempt small businesses didn’t pass, but another amendment that exempted agricultural workers did.

Mayor Jim Gray hasn’t said whether he would veto the ordinance, but has promised to listen to both sides of the debate.

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Northup endorses Rubio, will lead his Ky. campaign

FRANKFORT (AP) — Former Congresswoman Anne Northup has endorsed Marco Rubio for president and will lead his efforts in Kentucky’s first ever presidential caucus in March.

Northup chose Rubio over fellow Kentuckian Rand Paul because she said Rubio is “electable” and can “gain the confidence of the people.” She praised Rubio’s vision for the country and said he would be good for the economy while boosting the nation’s status internationally.

Kentucky is having a presidential caucus on March 5 so that Paul can run for president and re-election to his Senate seat at the same time without violating a state law banning candidates from appearing on the ballot twice in the same election.

Northup was Louisville’s Republican representative in Congress for five terms before losing to Democrat John Yarmuth in 2006.

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Jury recommends life sentence in Ohio woman’s slaying

HAMILTON, Ohio (AP) — Jurors have recommended life in prison with no chance of parole for a Kentucky man convicted of killing 87-year-old Ohio woman and leaving her body in the trunk of her car.

The same jury that found 57-year-old Daniel French of Berea, Kentucky, guilty of aggravated murder heard arguments this week for and against execution in the penalty phase of French’s trial.

French was convicted of aggravated murder in the 2012 slaying of Barbara Howe.

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

French told jurors he was filled “with great remorse and sorrow” for killing the woman.

A Butler County judge will officially sentence French on Nov. 16.

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Louisville getting $6M in air quality funding

LOUISVILLE (AP) — Louisville Metro Government is receiving $6.3 million in government funding for air quality improvement.

The majority of funding announced by Gov. Steve Beshear and the Transportation Cabinet will be used to help UPS transition from diesel-gasoline to compressed natural gas in its vehicles at the UPS facility in Louisville.

The city of Jeffersontown will receive $1 million to build a paved bicycle and pedestrian path along the Watterson Trail.

Another nearly half-million is going to the Kentuckiana Air Education (KAIRE) program, which educates the public about the health effects of poor air quality.

The federal funds are for transportation projects or programs aimed at reducing traffic congestion and improving air quality. The funds are available to state and local government agencies as well as private entities through public-private partnerships.

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Remembrance planned for 1970 Marshall plane crash victims

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — A Kentucky resident whose father was among the victims of the 1970 Marshall University plane crash that killed 75 people will speak at a memorial service.

Stephen Ward will speak on Nov. 14 at the Marshall Memorial Student Center plaza in Huntington.

His father, Parker Ward, was a Marshall booster and owned a Huntington car dealership. He was on the Marshall team plane that was returning from a game at East Carolina when it crashed just short of Tri-State Airport near Huntington on Nov. 14, 1970.

The crash killed 75 people, including 36 football players in the worst sports disaster in U.S. history.

Stephen Ward was 5 at the time of the crash. He now lives in Louisville, Kentucky.

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E.Ky. painter honored with post office display

MARTIN (AP) — Paintings by the late eastern Kentucky artist Ralph “Waldo” Dingus are being displayed this month at the post office lobby in Martin in Floyd County.

The post office honored Dingus and his work at a reception last month. The U.S. Postal Service said in a news release that Dingus’ work is even more special because he painted most of it while battling Parkinson’s disease.

The release says the display is a throwback to the time when post offices were a gathering place for entire communities.

Dingus’ art features aspects of the Martin business district, including the Purple Flash Marching Band and Majorettes, the annual Red White & Blue Days, storefronts on Main Street and a montage of former landmarks.

Dingus worked as an educator and art teacher in Floyd County.

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34th annual Kentucky Book Fair set Nov. 14 in Frankfort

FRANKFORT (AP) — The 34th annual Kentucky Book Fair is coming up next week in Frankfort, and organizers say more than 200 authors and illustrators are expected for the event.

The Book Fair and more than a dozen symposiums are scheduled for Nov. 14, and the annual Kids and Teens Day will be the day before. Events both days are at the Frankfort Convention Center.

Among the authors expected are Wendell Berry, Kentucky Poet Laureate George Ella Lyon, Sallie Bingham, Bobbie Ann Mason and Al Cross.

Others include Cheryl Della Pietra, author of “Gonzo Girl,” about her experience as an assistant to Hunter S. Thompson; and “Hogan’s Heroes” star Bob Crane’s son, Robert Crane, and Christopher Fryer, who wrote “Sex, Celebrity and My Father’s Unsolved Murder.”

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