News in Brief

Ex-congressman forms group in favor of medical marijuana

LOUISVILLE (AP) — A former Kentucky congressman has formed a group that will push to legalize medical marijuana in the state.

Mike Ward said Monday that people should not be treated as criminals for using marijuana to relieve pain or suffering from a series of ailments.

Ward will serve as CEO of Legalize Kentucky Now, a non-profit group that will urge lawmakers to allow patients to receive a doctor’s prescription for medical marijuana. The group could have some powerful allies when the 2016 General Assembly session begins Tuesday.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo filed a medical marijuana bill last year. That measure stalled, but Stumbo says he would pursue it again this year if there’s a chance for passage. During last year’s campaign, Gov. Matt Bevin said he would support legalizing marijuana for medical purposes.


Police: Woman said she wanted to blow up community services

HOPKINSVILLE (AP) — A woman has been charged after police say she told investigators that she wanted to blow up the Department for Community Based Services.

The Kentucky New Era reports police were called to a residence Saturday morning, where 27-year-old Cayla Lind was upset over a department employee coming to her home.

According to a police report, Lind told an officer she wanted to blow up the state agency.

Lind is charged with third-degree terroristic threatening.

It was not immediately clear whether she has a lawyer who could comment on the charge.


Yarmuth to file for re-election

LOUISVILLE (AP) — The only Democrat in Kentucky’s congressional delegation is making it official that he’s running for re-election this year.

U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth’s campaign says the Louisville Democrat plans to file his candidacy papers on Monday to run for a sixth term.

Yarmuth represents Kentucky’s 3rd Congressional District. He was first elected in 2006 in a district that had been held by Republicans for a decade.

Yarmuth says his priorities in Congress have included efforts to revamp campaign finance laws, combat gun violence, expand health care and veterans’ benefits and improve education.

He has handily won each of his re-election campaigns.


Disaster loan application deadline is Feb. 1 for Ky.

LOUISVILLE (AP) — The U.S. Small Business Administration says businesses and organizations have until Feb. 1 to apply for disaster loans for economic impact caused by storms last April in Kentucky.

Small businesses and most private, nonprofit organizations in more than three dozen counties are eligible to apply for the assistance.

The counties are Anderson, Bath, Bourbon, Boyd, Bullitt, Carter, Clark, Elliott, Estill, Fayette, Fleming, Franklin, Garrard, Grant, Greenup, Hardin, Harrison, Henry, Jackson, Jefferson, Jessamine, Johnson, Lawrence, Lewis, Madison, Martin, Menifee, Montgomery, Morgan, Nicholas, Oldham, Owen, Rockcastle, Rowan, Scott, Shelby, Spencer and Woodford in Kentucky; Clark, Floyd and Harrison in Indiana; and Wayne in West Virginia.

The loans are to be used for fixed debts, payroll and other expenses.

Applications may be made online at .


Ashland has no candidates for mayor, city commissioner

ASHLAND (AP) — The city of Ashland still doesn’t have candidates for mayor or city commissioner as the deadline to file inches closer.

The office of Boyd County Clerk Debbie Jones tells the Herald-Dispatch that the filing deadline for the May 17 primary is 4 p.m. Jan 26.

The Ashland mayor’s race won’t be on the ballot unless more than two candidates file. Additionally, the Ashland city commissioner’s race won’t be on the primary ballot unless more than eight candidates file to run.

Other races on the primary ballot include president, U.S. senator, U.S. representative and Kentucky state representatives.


Warm weather keeping ladybugs more active than usual

OWENSBORO (AP) — Warm December temperatures have kept ladybugs more active than usual around Daviess County.

The Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer reports ladybugs normally look for warmer spots to spend the winter. Annette Meyer Heisdorffer, the extension agent for horticulture with the Daviess County Cooperative Extension Service, says fluctuating weather is likely why ladybugs have been spotted around town more often than usual this season.

Heisdorffer says the tiny beetles are not threatening but they can bite.

She advises residents to patch up holes that beetles can use to enter homes. Once they’re inside, she recommends people vacuum them up. If residents squash the bugs, she says they’ll secrete goo that will leave stains.


Chaperone rule begins at Louisville mall

LOUISVILLE (AP) — Several teens were turned away from a suburban Louisville mall on the first day the shopping center began a new chaperone rule stemming from a recent disturbance involving a large number of unruly juveniles.

Signs placed prominently about Mall St. Matthews informed customers about the so-called Parental Guidance Required program that began Saturday, The Courier-Journal reported.

Security officials were stationed at the mall’s public entrances, asking IDs of anyone that appeared to look under the age of 25, while more security guards roamed the food court and the rest of the center looking for anyone who might be underage and unaccompanied, the newspaper reported.

The new policy requires teens and pre-teens to have an adult escort during certain hours. The rule was put in place following the disturbance at the popular mall a week ago. The restriction requires teens under the age of 18 to have adult supervision after 4 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Saturday was the first day the new program went into effect.

The mall’s general manager, David Jacoby, said there would not be mall security checking IDs at entrances that go directly into a particular store, saying that “we don’t want to hinder the retailers from doing business.”

Mall officials have said the Parental Guidance Required program is temporary, but have not indicated an end date for the program.

Young adults who were carded and OK’ed by security were offered bright blue wristbands to show other security personnel that they didn’t need to be stopped again. But the wristbands caused some confusion with a few consumers, with some asking why they needed to be marked if they were of legal age.

On the previous Saturday evening, as many as 65 police officers from several agencies converged on Mall St. Matthews after receiving several reports of a large number of unruly juveniles.

The new chaperone rule also went into effect at Oxmoor Center.


Free camping on King’s birthday at Big South Fork, Obed

ONEIDA, Tenn. (AP) — The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area and the Obed Wild and Scenic River are observing Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday with a night of free camping.

Free camping will be offered Jan. 18 at Alum Ford Campground at Big South Fork on the Tennessee-Kentucky border and Rock Creek Campground at Obed, as well as all backcountry permits.

The parks said in a news release that national park visitors will receive 16 days of fee-free camping in 2016 in celebration of the National Park Service’s 100th birthday. Other free days include April 16 to 24 to celebrate National Park Week, Aug. 25 to 28 to celebrate National Park Service Birthday, Sept. 24 to observe National Public Lands Day and Nov. 11 in honor of Veterans Day.

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