News in Brief


Couples marry in Valentine’s Day speed weddings

PADUCAH (AP) — Romance was in full bloom as three couples were married in speed weddings in what’s become a Valentine’s Day tradition in Paducah.

The Paducah Sun reports each wedding took about 10 minutes with retired McCracken Circuit Judge Jeff Hines officiating.

The weddings took place at Paducah’s River Discovery Center near the Kentucky city’s riverfront.

Julie Harris, the center’s executive director, says the weddings have become a Valentine’s Day tradition and include both new marriages and vow renewals. The speed weddings were scheduled for the fourth year in a row.

The first couple, Megan Ross and Kody Keeling, married after more than five years of dating. They decided to do something simple to say “I do.” The newlyweds said they didn’t have a lot of money for a big wedding.

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Veterans Affairs starts probe into Cincinnati medical center

CINCINNATI (AP) — The Department of Veterans Affairs says it has opened an investigation into its Cincinnati hospital.

A statement issued by the department on Saturday did not reveal the reason for the investigation.

The hospital each year delivers medical care to more than 43,000 veterans from southwest Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.

WCPO-TV in Cincinnati reports the federal investigation began this past week after the station and the Scripps News Washington Bureau told VA officials about findings from their own investigation into the hospital.

WCPO reports it found potentially inappropriate conduct involving an official at the Cincinnati hospital.

The VA says it has temporarily shifted oversight of the Cincinnati medical center to another region.

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Groundbreaking set next month on Owensboro college’s center

OWENSBORO (AP) — Ground is scheduled to be broken next month on the final phase of Owensboro Community & Technical College’s long-delayed Advanced Technology Center.

The Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer reports a ceremony is scheduled March 4 in Owensboro for the center that is scheduled to open for classes in fall 2017.

The project was first proposed in 1996 when community leaders asked then-Gov. Paul Patton for funding. But construction didn’t begin until 2006 on the project’s 65,000-square-foot first phase and it was completed two years later.

The $12 million second phase of the project required $3 million in local funding, plus $500,000 for equipment. College President Scott Williams says nearly $163,000 in donations are still needed. Most of the new 46,000-square-foot building will be for labs, classrooms and offices.

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Jennifer Lawrence donating $2 million to hometown hospital

LOUISVILLE (AP) — Actress Jennifer Lawrence is donating $2 million to a Kentucky hospital where she visited sick youngsters during a recent holiday trip home.

The Oscar winner, a Louisville native, announced by video Friday that she’s giving the money to establish the Jennifer Lawrence Foundation Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at Kosair Children’s Hospital in her hometown, The Courier-Journal reported (cjky.it/1o9Vtv4).

Lawrence says she and her family have met wonderful children at the hospital, and says their “strength and courage is inspiring.”

She is urging others to match her gift.

Hospital executives unveiled a rendering of the new cardiac ICU with Lawrence’s name affixed to the building.

Lawrence’s mother, Karen Lawrence, says her daughter has visited Kosair patients during the last three holidays and spoken of how the experience was a special gift.

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Time capsule opened at EKU

RICHMOND (AP) — Eastern Kentucky University officials have opened a more than half-century-old time capsule whose discovery on campus came as a surprise.

The copper box, manufactured by students on campus, was buried in 1961 by former university President Robert Martin in the cornerstone of the hall that bore his name, the Richmond Register reported. A crowd of EKU students, staff and faculty attended the box’s opening this past week.

Copies of newspapers along with a course catalog, magazines and a large collection of photographs were pulled from the time capsule by EKU President Michael Benson and campus student body President Katie Scott.

Benson said the time capsule served as a reminder of how far the university has come in more than 50 years. A 1962 admissions brochure for “Eastern State College,” as EKU had not yet become a university, boasted that the college had awarded more than 400 degrees to students.

School officials say the time capsule’s discovery came as a surprise. A similar box was found during the demolition of Combs Hall, but because the university was unaware of its presence, the box and contents were damaged.

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Man arrested in triple homicide in Louisville

LOUISVILLE (AP) — Louisville police say they’ve arrested a man in the deaths of three people found at a home.

Media outlets report 26-year-old George Slaughter was arrested at an apartment late Saturday and charged with three counts of murder and tampering with physical evidence. His hometown wasn’t released.

Police spokeswoman Alicia Smiley says the victims were found early Saturday while officers were responding to reports of a shooting. She says the officers found two men and one woman dead inside the home.

Smiley says police believe one of the victims may have lived in the home.

The victims’ names weren’t released.

Slaughter was being held in jail on $1 million bond and an arraignment hearing was set for Monday. It wasn’t immediately known whether he has an attorney.

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Escaped inmate, girlfriend and 3-year-old found in Ky.

FLEMINGSBURG (AP) — A felon who escaped his work release program and fled with his girlfriend and her son has been found in Kentucky.

Volusia County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Andrew Gant tells media outlets that Gary Bullock Jr., Natasha Quigley and 3-year-old Xander Quigley were found safe Friday by the U.S. Marshals Task Force.

The three had been missing since Jan. 22, when Bullock cut off his ankle monitor at his job in Daytona Beach. Investigators say Natasha Quigley drove the getaway vehicle with her son inside.

Xander Quigley has been placed in protective custody.

Grant says Bullock faces charges of escape, destruction of an electronic monitor and criminal mischief. Natasha Quigley faces a charge of aiding escape.

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Trial moved for man charged in deaths

CADIZ (AP) — A judge has moved the trial of a Kentucky man charged in the deaths of his parents, his sister and the man who was his alleged accomplice.

The Paducah Sun (bit.ly/1mzaRQl) reports Trigg Circuit Judge C.A. Woodall on Friday granted Ryan Champion’s request, moving the trial to Livingston County. Champion cited pretrial publicity and his family’s ties to Cadiz in requesting the trial be moved from Trigg County.

The 36-year-old Champion is charged with murder, three counts of complicity to murder and one count of kidnapping. He’s charged in the 2014 deaths of his father, Lindsey Champion; his mother, Joy Champion; his sister, Emily Champion; and his alleged accomplice, Vito Riservato.

Police believe Champion teamed with Riservato in a murder-for-hire scheme that led to the deaths. Riservato was also found dead in the Champions’ home.

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