News in Brief


Beshear: More than half of Ky. counties are ‘work ready’

FRANKFORT (AP) — Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear says half of Kentucky’s 120 counties have been certified as work ready communities.

Beshear made the announcement Wednesday while speaking to the Kentucky Association of Counties’ annual conference in Lexington. The certification program from the Kentucky Workforce Innovation Board means the county is ready to staff new and existing jobs.

Counties must meet six criteria, including high school graduation rates, community commitment and educational attainment. Counties must be recertified every two years.

Beshear said another 39 counties have been designated as “in progress,” meaning they have a plan to obtain certification within three years.

Beshear will leave office on Dec. 8 after serving two terms as governor. He could not seek re-election because of term limits. Republican Gov.-elect Matt Bevin will replace him.

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Grand jury issues indictments in officer’s death

RICHMOND (AP) — A grand jury has indicted four co-defendants in the fatal shooting of a central Kentucky police officer and in the attempted robbery he was investigating earlier this month.

A Madison County grand jury Tuesday indicted 34-year-old Raleigh Sizemore of Richmond, the man accused of shooting 33-year-old Daniel Ellis, multiple media outlets report.

Sizemore faces murder, two counts of attempted murder and four other charges.

Madison County Commonwealth’s Attorney David Smith would not say whether he will seek the death penalty against Sizemore. Kentucky law allows the death penalty in murder cases where there is an “aggravating circumstance” such as robbery, rape or the death of a police officer.

Ellis died Nov. 6, two days after he was ambushed and shot in the head while searching an apartment for a robbery suspect.

Twenty-five-year-old Gregory Ratliff also was indicted on four charges, including complicity to murder. Forty-four-year-old Rita Creech and 35-year-old Carl Banks are facing charges related to the attempted robbery earlier in the day in Richmond.

Authorities said Ellis, a seven-year veteran of the department, went to Ratliff’s apartment in search of Sizemore, who had hidden with Creech in the back bedroom. The indictment indicates that Sizmore was armed with a .22-caliber revolver.

Police have said that Sizemore admitted shooting Ellis as Ellis entered the bedroom and firing at two other officers as they entered the apartment to help Ellis.

Sizemore is being held at Kentucky State Reformatory in LaGrange in lieu of a $2.5 million bond. Ratliff’s, Creech and Banks are being held in the Madison County Detention Center. Their bails are $2 million, $10,000 and $100,000 respectively.

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Bevin names former lawmaker secretary of executive cabinet

FRANKFORT (AP) — Republican Gov.-elect Matt Bevin has named a former state representative from Louisville as the next secretary of the executive cabinet.

Scott Brinkman is a 10-year veteran of the Kentucky House of Representatives who left office in 2010. He was a member of the influential committee assigned to write the state’s budget every two years. He is an attorney who focused on corporate, public finance and real estate issues for the past 35 years.

Brinkman will help develop and implement major policy programs of Bevin’s administration. He will also oversee the administration of cabinets and state agencies and help with Bevin’s legislative policy.

The 60-year-old has a bachelor’s from the University of Notre Dame and a law degree from the University of Cincinnati. He and his wife have three grown children.

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Democratic Ky. House member switching parties

FRANKFORT (AP) — A Kentucky state House representative says he has switched parties and will run for re-election as a Republican.

Rep. Denver Butler filed for re-election on Thursday as a Republican, according to the Kentucky Secretary of State’s office. His switch means Republicans are just four seats short of a majority, something they have not had in nearly a century. Kentucky is the only southern state to have a Democratic controlled House of Representatives.

But Republicans are losing two members who won statewide election earlier this month. State Rep. Ryan Quarles will become agriculture commissioner and Rep. Mike Harmon will become Auditor in January. Their seats will be filled after a special election sometime next year.

Butler is a former police officer who was first elected to the House in 2012.

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Conway outspent Bevin on TV in Kentucky governor’s race

FRANKFORT (AP) — Democrat Jack Conway spent nearly twice as much as Republican Matt Bevin on TV ads, but it was not enough to get him elected governor.

Bevin defeated Conway by 9 percentage points on Nov. 3. Bevin spent $2.1 million on TV ads while Conway spent $4.1 million, according to an analysis by the Center for Public Integrity.

Outside groups combined to spend $6.6 million in the race, with the Democratic Governors Association narrowly outspending the Republican Governors Association. Overall, Conway and his allies spent $7.5 million to air 19,500 commercials while Bevin and his allies spent $5.3 million to air 15,000 spots.

The data does not include radio, online or direct mail ads or TV ads aired on local cable systems. The estimates also do not include production costs.

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Police: Pursuit leads to temporary lockdown at car plant

GEORGETOWN (AP) — Authorities say a police pursuit through two Kentucky counties led to a temporary lockdown at the Toyota plant in Georgetown.

Local news outlets report the incident occurred Wednesday night. Authorities say the pursuit began in Grant County on Wednesday night and ended in Scott County early Thursday.

Police say the suspects were thought to be hiding on the plant’s property at one point in time. Police say the plant was temporarily put on lockdown, but has since resumed normal operations.

Police haven’t released any additional information about the incident.

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Overturned beer truck spills load along I-68 in heavy fog

GRANTSVILLE, Md. (AP) — State police say a beer truck was going too fast for foggy conditions when it overturned and spilled cases of frothy brew along Interstate 68 in the western Maryland mountains.

Police said in a news release that some eastbound lanes were closed for hours during the cleanup early Wednesday afternoon about five miles east of Grantsville.

Truck driver Kernie Seagraves of Sandy Hook, Kentucky, was charged with failing to reduce his speed in unfavorable conditions.

He refused medical treatment, but his 18-year-old female passenger was taken to a local hospital. Police say her injuries do not appear to be life-threatening.

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Fort Campbell baby sitter pleads guilty in baby’s death

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Fort Campbell, Kentucky woman will be spending 18 years behind bars after admitting to fatally abusing a 2-month-old boy she was baby-sitting while trying to do her homework.

The Leaf-Chronicle of Clarksville (http://leafne.ws/1PNFUTZ ) reports that 22-year-old Sheilla E. Linares pleaded guilty to first-degree felony manslaughter Tuesday, saying she intentionally caused serious injury to Thomas Castellon II from Clarksville, Tennessee in December 2013.

Linares was also supervising her two young children and the infant’s 3-year-old sister when she said she became aggravated by the infant while she was trying to finish her homework and do laundry. An autopsy determined the child died from blunt force trauma to the head.

Linares was initially charged with federal first-degree murder and child abuse resulting in death.

In addition to the 18-year sentence, she will also have a three-year period of supervised release.

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Partnership leads to Muhammad Ali Center watch, other items

DETROIT (AP) — A company that makes handcrafted wristwatches in Detroit is partnering with the Muhammad Ali Center on products featuring the boxing great’s name.

Shinola says Thursday the third watch in its Great Americans Series is the Muhammad Ali Center watch.

Available in men’s and women’s variations, the company says a limited edition of four hundred is planned. The watch is being sold as part of a $2,250 gift set that includes 1960s photographs of Ali by Thomas Hoepker that are signed by the photographer.

Donald Lassere, president and CEO of the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, Kentucky, says in a statement the watch celebrates “the power of Muhammad Ali’s legacy.”

Other products include a bike, paperweight and sweatshirt. Shinola’s Great Americans Series was created to honor iconic Americans.

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