News in Brief

Bevin proposes $6 billion road plan to Ky. legislature

FRANKFORT (AP) — Republican Gov. Matt Bevin has proposed spending $6 billion on roads and bridges over the next six years.

Bevin submitted his road plan to the state legislature on Wednesday, one day after he unveiled his two-year spending plan for the state’s general fund.

The road fund is mostly made up of gas tax revenues. The gas tax is tied to the wholesale price of fuel, meaning the recent drop in gas prices has meant less money for the state. Transportation officials say lawmakers will have about $1 billion less to spend on road projects over the next six years.

Bevin’s plan proposes spending 15 percent of the money on repairing the state’s 14,000 bridges. He also wants to widen Interstate 75 in Rockcastle County and establish an I-565 spur route between Bowling Green and Owensboro.


Environmental group ending annual mountaintop mining protest

FRANKFORT (AP) — A Kentucky environmental group is ending an annual protest in Frankfort that called attention to a destructive surface mining practice known as mountaintop mining.

Kentuckians for the Commonwealth says it will not be conducting the “I Love Mountains Day” for the first time in a decade. The rallies in some years drew more than 1,000 people.

The Courier-Journal reports the ending of the annual event coincides with a sharp decline in surface mining in eastern Kentucky. Mountaintop mining uses blasting to open coal seams from the surface, and excess dirt and rock is pushed into valleys and stream beds.

The event has drawn environmental advocates from across the state and speakers such as noted author and farmer Wendell Berry and actor Ashley Judd.


National Corvette Museum to open sinkhole exhibit

BOWLING GREEN (AP) — A new exhibit at the National Corvette Museum will allow visitors to experience a sinkhole collapse up close and personal.

The Daily News reports the 1,000-square-foot “Corvette Cave-in!: The Skydome Sinkhole Experience” exhibit will use 3-D, pieces of rock and other electronics to give visitors an interactive experience.

The exhibit will open next month on the two-year anniversary of the 30-foot sinkhole that struck the museum on Feb. 12, 2014 and swallowed eight Corvettes.

Museum spokeswoman Katie Frassinelli says visitors will be able to walk through the interactive exhibit which will detail the collapse and its aftermath. It will be located in the corridor that leads to the museum’s Skydome.

The exhibit was originally built in Florida by Creative Arts Unlimited and will be reconstructed at the museum.


Employee on leave following death of teen at Hardin center

ELIZABETHTOWN (AP) — The Kentucky Justice Cabinet says an investigation has revealed that an employee at a juvenile detention center in Hardin County where a teenager died a day after being admitted failed to make all required visual bed checks.

A statement released Thursday said the employee has been placed on special investigative leave with pay and that further disciplinary action will depend on internal and external reviews.

The Shelbyville 16-year-old died Jan. 11 at Lincoln Village Regional Detention Center.

Kentucky State Police and the Justice Cabinet’s Internal Investigations Branch are investigating. The statement said the Department of Juvenile Justice is reviewing video and personnel conduct.

A camera inside the teen’s room recorded the room for the length of her stay at the Elizabethtown facility.

The cause of death hasn’t been determined, pending test results.


New scholarship to help families of wounded, fallen soldiers

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A new scholarship has been established to help children of fallen or wounded Fort Campbell soldiers.

The Leaf-Chronicle reports that the Screaming Eagle Surviving Children’s Scholarships are the result of a new partnership between the Screaming Eagle and Patriot foundations.

Whit McCrary said Tuesday that he and fellow Patriot Foundation representative Land Deleot realized last year that the Patriot Foundation could expand its scholarship program beyond Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

The Patriot Foundation has awarded scholarships to families of Fort Bragg soldiers since it was founded in 2003. Children of soldiers who have been killed or wounded since Sept. 11, 2001, are eligible for the scholarships.

Since 2001, the Screaming Eagle Foundation has donated approximately $375,000 in scholarship money.

The deadline to apply for the scholarships runs from Feb. 15 to March 31.


Ali Center hosting film festival in February

LOUISVILLE (AP) — The Muhammad Ali Center is celebrating African-American History Month with a film festival.

Officials with the Louisville center say the series includes five film screenings in February. Each showing will be followed by discussions of social justice issues raised by each film and its cultural significance.

Doors to the Ali Center’s auditorium will open 30 minutes prior to the start of each film. Attendance is free, but reservations are required.

The first film to be shown will be “12 Years a Slave” on Feb. 6.

The other films are “Sankofa,” which will be shown on Feb. 15; followed by “The Wiz” on Feb. 20; “Do the Right Thing” on Feb. 23; and “Shaft” on Feb. 29.


4 bodies found at scene of house explosion in Ky.

COLUMBIA (AP) — Kentucky State Police say four bodies have been found at the scene of a house explosion and fire in southern Kentucky.

Trooper William Gregory said Wednesday that two people were found inside the home and two outside. Police identified the four as 60-year-old Mitchell Coomer; his 52-year-old wife, Lori Coomer; their 1-year-old granddaughter, Kinley Rodgers; and 32-year-old Steven A. Keltner.

Police said identifications were made using evidence at the scene and from 34-year-old Jason Coomer, Mitchell Coomer’s son. Police said Jason Coomer was in the basement on the opposite side of the house when the explosion happened Tuesday and escaped with minor injuries.

Gregory says the cause of the blast remains unknown and under investigation.

The explosion happened at a log house several miles east of Columbia in Adair County.

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