News in Brief


At least 37 killed in snowstorm-related deaths

(AP) — At least 37 people have died as a result of the mammoth snowstorm that pounded the eastern U.S. The deaths occurred in car accidents, from carbon monoxide poisoning, and from heart attacks while shoveling snow:

WASHINGTON, D.C. (one)

An 82-year-old man who died after going into cardiac arrest while shoveling snow in front of his home.

DELAWARE (one)

A U.S. Capitol Police officer, 44-year-old Officer Vernon Alston, died of a heart attack after shoveling snow at his Magnolia home.

KENTUCKY (two)

Kentucky transportation worker Christopher Adams died Saturday while plowing snow-covered highways.

Billy R. Stevens, 59, of Williamsburg, died in southeastern Kentucky when his car collided with a salt truck Thursday.

MARYLAND (two)

A 49-year-old man suffered cardiac arrest while shoveling in Abingdon on Saturday.

Officials in Prince George’s County said a man collapsed and died Saturday while shoveling snow in Fort Washington.

NEW JERSEY (two)

Twenty-three-year-old Sashalynn Rosa, of Passaic, and her year-old son, Messiah Bonilla, died of carbon monoxide poisoning while sitting in a running car that had its tailpipe covered in snow. Rosa’s 3-year-old daughter, Saniyah Bonilla, remains hospitalized in critical condition.

NEW YORK (four)

Al Mansoor, 66, was struck and killed by a snow plow clearing his driveway just after 2 p.m. Sunday.

Three people died while shoveling snow in New York City — one person on Staten Island and two people in Queens. Police announced the deaths but released no further details.

NORTH CAROLINA (six)

Six people have died in car accidents during the storm, authorities have said, including a 4-year-old boy who died Friday afternoon after the pickup truck carrying his family on Interstate 77 near Troutman spun out of control and crashed.

OHIO (one)

A teenager sledding behind an all-terrain vehicle was hit by a truck and killed Friday, the State Highway Patrol said.

PENNSYLVANIA (four)

Authorities in eastern Pennsylvania say David Perrotto, 56, died of carbon monoxide poisoning, apparently after his car was buried in snow by a passing plow.

A Halifax man suffered a “cardiac event” Sunday while shoveling, Dauphin County coroner Graham Hetrick told WHTM-TV.

Cesar Bourdon, 54, collapsed while shoveling in Allentown on Saturday night.

Geneva College soccer player Nate Ferraco was killed in a crash on an icy road near Evans City.

SOUTH CAROLINA (four)

Ruby Bell, 86, and her husband, 87-year-old Robert Bell, died in Greenville of probable carbon monoxide poisoning because of a generator filled the house with carbon monoxide.

The South Carolina Highway Patrol says a 44-year-old man was killed after being struck by a vehicle that slid out of control after hitting a patch of ice.

Jimmy B. Thomas, 61, was driving a car that ran off a road near Jonesville early Saturday afternoon, hitting a ditch and then a tree.

TENNESSEE (two)

A car slid off the roadway due to speed and slick conditions, killing the driver and injuring a passenger, the Knox County sheriff’s department said.

A couple in a vehicle slid off an icy road and plummeted down a 300-foot embankment Wednesday night, killing the woman who was driving, said Carter County Sheriff Dexter Lunceford.

VIRGINIA (eight)

A man was killed on Saturday in a single-vehicle crash in Virginia Beach that police blamed on speed and icy road conditions.

Virginia Tech filmmaker Jerry Scheeler died Friday while shoveling snow outside his new house in Daleville.

A single-vehicle crash in Chesapeake claimed one life.

The medical examiner’s office has confirmed five hypothermia deaths — in Hampton and Wise, Charles City, Gloucester and Henry Counties.

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TVA seeking comment on coal ash storage facility closures

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Valley Authority is planning to close coal ash storage facilities at its coal-fired power plants and is asking for the public to comment.

A draft environmental impact statement is available online and looks at the impact of closing the facilities in place or closing by removal as well as the impact of closing 10 facilities within three years.

TVA is also hosting information sessions. The sessions start at 5:30 p.m., and locations are listed with the draft statement and online comment form at https://www.tva.gov/nepa .

Comments must be postmarked or emailed by Feb. 24.

Written comments should be sent to Ashley Farless, Tennessee Valley Authority, 1101 Market St., BR4A, Chattanooga, TN 37402, or emailed to [email protected]

TVA serves 9 million people in parts of Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.

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Jessamine Co. needle-exchange program approved

NICHOLASVILLE (AP) — Nicholasville-Jessamine County has become the fourth community in Kentucky to adopt a needle-exchange program.

Media outlets report the Jessamine Fiscal Court voted 4-2 last week for the program, which will allow addicts to anonymously exchange used needles for clean, sterile ones at the local health department.

Jessamine County Health Department Public Health Director Randy Gooch says the program is set to start during the beginning of April.

Gooch says the cost of treating hepatitis C and HIV infections that are resulting from the use of unclean needles is enormous. He says Kentucky has the highest rate of hepatitis C infections in the country.

Lexington, Louisville and Falmouth already have needle-exchange programs. Proposals have been under discussion in Frankfort, Paris and other communities across the state.

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Scott Co. investigating first homicide in 3 years

GEORGETOWN (AP) — The sheriff’s department in Scott County is investigating its first slaying in three years.

Scott County Sheriff Tony Hampton tells local media outlets that 24-year-old Jeremiah O. Washington of Memphis, Tennessee, was found shot behind a Georgetown truck stop Saturday night. He was later pronounced dead at a hospital.

Authorities say they are searching for at least two suspects who fled in a red four-door car.

Authorities say they aren’t sure why Washington was in Scott County.

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Man arrested on murder charges after New Year’s Eve crash

INDEPENDENCE (AP) — An Independence man has been arrested in connection with a New Year’s Eve crash that killed a husband and wife.

Local news outlets report Independence police arrested 58-year-old Mark Huffman Friday on two counts of murder.

The crash occurred around 10 p.m. on Dec. 31, 2015. Police say Huffman’s car struck an SUV head-on, killing 24-year-old Ella McNay and 31-year-old David McNay.

An arrest warrant notes that Huffman’s blood-alcohol content was nearly three times Kentucky’s legal limit of 0.08 that night. He also tested positive for Oxycodone, opiates and benzodiazepines.

Kenton County Commonwealth’s Attorney Rob Sanders says Huffman faces 20 to 50 years or life in prison for each count.

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Officials: Pulaski County fire destroys farmhouse, kills 2

SOMERSET (AP) — Investigators in Pulaski County are trying to determine what caused a fire that destroyed a farmhouse and killed two people.

Pulaski County Public Safety Director Tiger Robinson tells local media outlets that the fire occurred Sunday afternoon at a house about a mile and a half off the road.

The names of the victims had not been released as of Sunday night, but Robinson says the victims were a man and a woman.

Robinson says snow and ice made it difficult for crews to reach the structure, but the delay did not make much of a difference.

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Man given 15 years in death of his wife at Lexington motel

LEXINGTON (AP) — A man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison in the 2014 death of his wife at a western Lexington motel.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports 39-year-old Michael Wayne Crowe was sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty to first-degree manslaughter for the death of 34-year-old Felicia Walker. Crowe had initially been charged with murder.

A motel employee found Walker’s body inside the motel room on May 3, 2014. Witnesses told police they had heard screaming and sounds of fighting coming from the room.

On Wednesday, Fayette Circuit Judge James Ishmael Jr. denied a defense motion to have Crowe deemed a victim of domestic violence.

Ishmael said that although Crowe was subjected to verbal abuse by his wife he wasn’t convinced that the abuse rose to the level of domestic violence.

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Fire destroys barn at Old Friends farm; no horses hurt

GEORGETOWN (AP) — Fire destroyed a barn at a Kentucky farm for retired thoroughbreds, but officials say no horses were in the structure at the time.

The building lost in the early Saturday fire, according to media reports, was the hospital barn at Old Friends farm in Scott County.

Barbara Fossum, a board member and volunteer, says the cause of the fire was not immediately known. No estimated property loss was given.

The nonprofit Old Friends, located outside Georgetown in central Kentucky, cares for rescued and retired horses. It was founded in 2003 by former Boston Globe film critic Michael Blowen.

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Health institute at UofL receives $2.5 million grant

LOUISVILLE (AP) — An institute at the University of Louisville is receiving $2.5 million to help bring health care to rural and medically underserved areas in Kentucky.

The grant to the Institute for Sustainable Health and Optimal Aging comes from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration.

It is to be used to create the Kentucky Rural and Underserved Geriatric Interprofessional Program. Organizations from six rural Kentucky counties — Hart, Metcalfe, Barren, Bullitt, Henry and Shelby — will be involved.

The university says the program is expected to address needs in geriatric and primary care, a growing Hispanic population, chronic disease, older rural populations, and education and resources in Alzheimer’s disease and related illnesses.

The institute’s executive director, Dr. Anna Faul, will head the three-year initiative.

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New desks let young Owensboro students pedal or stand

OWENSBORO (AP) — Remember those classrooms with desks — like the ones in “A Christmas Story” — all lined up in rows.

That’s so 20th century.

Owensboro Public Schools now has classrooms with pedal desks and standing desks.

At Estes Elementary School, kindergarten teacher Faith Harralson won a $12,000 grant from the school system to install “pedal desks” in her classroom.

The top looks like a traditional desk. But there are bicycle pedals down where the students’ feet are.

Students can pedal while they work.

Harralson said the pedal desks allow the students to move more, which she said is good for the mind and body “because it activates cells in the brain.”

It also helps when kindergartners get tired of sitting still.

Harralson said, “I’ve seen a shift in my students’ behavior and engagement since the bikes arrived. Thanks to good engineering, the pedals are essentially noiseless and don’t interfere with instruction or activities.”

The desks were purchased from KIDSFIT Youth Fitness.

At Sutton Elementary School, Gina Davis was awarded $25,000 to replace her classroom’s traditional worktables with standing desks.

The desks are higher and more comfortable for students who want to stand while they work.

“The desks make it more flexible to provide individual attention because the desks move,” Davis said.

Although they’re called standing desks, they come with stools, giving students an option of standing or sitting.

Brady Lanham, a Sutton student, said, “Whenever you’re standing, it keeps you alert and makes you want to work harder.”

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