News in Brief

Whooping cough vaccinations urged after recent outbreak

PADUCAH (AP) — Health officials in western Kentucky are encouraging people to get vaccinated for whooping cough, despite the area not being part of a statewide surge in reported cases.

Regional epidemiologist Rui Zhao tells the Paducah Sun that in 2015, Ballard, Carlisle, Fulton, Hickman and McCracken counties had 30 reported cases of pertussis, also called whooping cough. From August to December, there were 87 reported cases across the state, with the highest concentrations in Jefferson County and northern Kentucky.

Zhao says Pertussis is a highly contagious respiratory disease transmitted through respiratory droplets from sneezing, coughing or talking. He says the disease can be deadly to infants too young to have been fully vaccinated, making it especially important for young children to be up-to-date on immunizations.


Ky. woman found with over 850 pills in car sentenced

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — A Kentucky woman has been sentenced after a Huntington police officer found more than 850 pills in her vehicle.

Acting U.S. Attorney Carol Casto says in a news release that 45-year-old Karen Sue Fields of Olive Hill, Kentucky, was sentenced to three years and a month in federal prison Tuesday.

Fields was charged with possession with intent to distribute oxycodone and alprazolam. She pleaded guilty in September.

Authorities say Fields was charged in July 2014 after a traffic stop. A Huntington police officer found more than 800 oxycodone tablets and more than 50 alprazolam tablets in a search of Field’s vehicle.

Authorities say Fields admitted she bought the pills for $17,500 and was on her way back to Kentucky to deliver them to another individual.


Ky. parks offering special rates during severe weather

FRANKFORT (AP) — Kentucky’s state parks are offering assistance during the winter storm to people who may be stranded or otherwise need lodging.

The Department of Parks said in a news release Wednesday that lodge rooms are available at the 16 resort parks for $49.95 per night. The rate is available during severe weather.

The offer is based on availability, and guests should call ahead for a reservation. Special event packages and existing reservations are excluded.

The seven resort parks lodges that are currently open every day are Cumberland Falls, General Butler, Jenny Wiley, Kentucky Dam Village, Lake Barkley, Lake Cumberland and Natural Bridge.

Open Thursday nights through Saturday nights are Barren River Lake, Blue Licks Battlefield, Buckhorn Lake, Carter Caves, Dale Hollow Lake, Kenlake, Pennyrile Forest, Pine Mountain and Rough River Dam.


Ky. legislature cancels Friday session as winter storm nears

FRANKFORT (AP) — The Kentucky state legislature has cancelled its Friday session because of the threat of winter weather.

The National Weather Service is predicting as much as 14 inches of snow could fall on Kentucky’s capital city on Friday. The service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the entire state.

The House of Representative and the Senate both met on Thursday. The two legislative bodies have passed some bills but have delayed work on major legislation until after Republican Gov. Matt Bevin delivers his first budget address on Tuesday.

Tuesday is also the deadline for candidates to file for the fall elections. Both legislative chambers are scheduled to reconvene at 4 p.m. Monday.


1979 photos of miners’ lives, working conditions displayed

LOUISVILLE (AP) — The University of Louisville is displaying dozens of black-and-white photographs taken nearly 40 years ago to document the living and working conditions of coal miners.

Louisville and Jeffersonville, Indiana, photographer Ted Wathen worked as principal photographer for President Jimmy Carter’s Presidential Commission on Coal, a 1979 study begun after a 110-day national coal strike.

Wathen and four other photographers worked on the project. Wathen photographed in Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia and Illinois.

More than 50 photos Wathen took during the project are on display through March 17 in the Photographic Archives Gallery of the Ekstrom Library. Exhibit hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

Many of the photos were published in the commission’s report and were exhibited at the White House and the International Center of Photography. The exhibit prints and negatives are in the National Archives.


Authorities: Missing UPS pilot’s remains found near his home

LOUISVILL (AP) — Authorities say a body found in Oldham County has been identified as a missing UPS pilot who was last seen alive in May.

Lt. Todd Kessinger of the Louisville Metro Police homicide unit tells local media outlets that Oldham County law enforcement received a tip Saturday regarding human remains found in a yard less than a mile from James M. Kimsey’s Jefferson County home near the Oldham County line.

Kessinger says dental records helped to positively identify the 48-year-old Kimsey.

Kessinger says it’s unclear how Kimsey died and neither suicide nor foul play can currently be ruled out.

Kimsey, an Air Force veteran, disappeared from the home he shared with his wife and son on May 29, 2015 in the early morning. His remains were discovered a short distance away.


Lawsuit filed against Stanford officer after fatal accident

STANFORD (AP) — The daughter of a man who was fatally hit by a Stanford police cruiser last year has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the officer, the police chief, the mayor and the city of Stanford.

The Advocate-Messenger reports the lawsuit was filed this month in Lincoln Circuit Court by Tiffany Blanton. Her 69-year-old father, Howard Robbins, died after he was struck by a police cruiser on Jan. 15, 2015.

The lawsuit says Officer Travis Richardson, who was employed by Stanford and off-duty at the time of the incident, had no reason to be going between 80 and 90 mph when he hit Robbins.

Richardson wasn’t charged, but Mayor Eddie Carter terminated his employment following a disciplinary hearing in September.

City Attorney Christopher Reed declined to comment on the lawsuit.


Kemper files for Congress against Republican Andy Barr

FRANKFORT (AP) — The former director of the Kentucky Council of Churches has filed to run for Congress against Republican Andy Barr in Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District.

Nancy Jo Kemper filed her paperwork with the Secretary of State’s office on Thursday. The 73-year-old United Church of Christ minister will run as a Democrat and said she has been working with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Kemper criticized Barr for voting to repeal the federal Affordable Care Act and for voting against increases in the federal minimum wage. She said Democratic nominee for governor Jack Conway won the district by 2,500 votes, giving her confidence she can compete against Barr.

Barr is in his second term in Congress. He ousted Democratic incumbent Ben Chandler in 2012.

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