Spring forest fire hazard season begins
FRANKFORT (AP) — The Kentucky Division of Forestry says the spring forest fire hazard season has begun.
A statement says burning laws will be enforced from Feb. 15 through April 30. During that time period, it is illegal to burn anything within 150 feet of woodland or brush land between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Officials said the law bans burning during times when conditions are most likely to cause a blaze to spread.
Division of Forestry Director William H. Steele Jr. says despite wet and cold conditions, items such as dead grass, leaves and twigs dry rapidly with sun and wind and can become primed for spreading a wildfire.
Officials say Kentucky residents should always take as many precautions as possible when burning.
15 UK students report swollen salivary glands
LEXINGTON (AP) — At least 15 University of Kentucky students have sought medical attention because of swollen salivary glands over the past week and a half.
Media outlets report that on Friday, university administration sent an email to students, urging anyone with the symptom to visit the UK Health Service. UK HealthCare spokeswoman Kristi Lopez tells the Lexington Herald-Leader that the university has tested students for mumps, but the tests have come back negative.
Swollen salivary glands, or parotitis, can be caused by various kinds of viruses and bacterial infections.
The email says that university officials have consulted with Infection Prevention and Control workers and the Kentucky Department of Public Health about the situation. Students with parotitis have been asked to isolate themselves for five days, or to wear a mask.
Sheriff: Man swims in freezing temperatures to avoid arrest
WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (AP) — Authorities say a man went for a very cold swim across state lines to avoid being arrested by West Virginia State Troopers.
Kentucky’s Martin County Sheriff John Kirk tells WSAZ-TV that when troopers arrived at Terry Jarvis’ mother’s West Virginia house on Monday, the 26-year-old Mingo County man ran out the back door and jumped into the Tug Fork River, wearing just a pair of shorts and a sleeveless shirt.
Kirk says Jarvis was wanted on unspecified warrants.
Authorities say they tracked the suspect’s footprints in the snow to a Kentucky house, where they found him hiding in a shower, about a mile south of where he crossed the river.
It is unclear whether Jarvis has an attorney.
No parole for man convicted in officer’s death
LEXINGTON (AP) — The Kentucky Parole Board has denied parole for a man convicted of manslaughter in the death of a Lexington police officer.
Media report the decision on Tuesday came after the widow of Officer Bryan Durman testified before the board on Monday, asking them to keep Glen Doneghy behind bars.
Durman was struck by Doneghy’s sport utility vehicle in 2010 as he answered a complaint about loud music and he died a short time later at a hospital.
Doneghy was convicted in 2011 and sentenced to 20 years, but the law at the time said defendants could be considered for parole after serving 20 percent of their sentence.
Lawmakers have since approved the Bryan Durman Act, which mandates a longer time behind bars for manslaughter convictions involving clearly identified police or firefighters.
Grant Co. officials approve needle exchange program
WILLIAMSTOWN (AP) — The Northern Kentucky Health Department is set to get its first needle exchange program.
The Kentucky Enquirer reports Grant County Fiscal Court agreed Monday to have the program in the department’s Williamstown Health Center.
Grant County is the eighth in the state to approve a syringe-access exchange program.
Dr. Lynne Saddler, the health department’s district director, says the programs aren’t only a response to the region’s heroin epidemic, but are also a crucial step to prevent the spread of hepatitis C and HIV in communities.
Health department spokeswoman Emily Gresham-Wherle says the program’s opening date wasn’t immediately decided.
The health department’s concept will exchange clean for contaminated needles, and provide testing and other services that the department already offers. Another goal is to help guide drug users toward treatment.
Trial set for former Ohio college basketball coach
COVINGTON (AP) — A bench trial has been set for a former Ohio college women’s basketball coach accused of groping a player in northern Kentucky.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reports court records show the trial of former Xavier University assistant women’s basketball coach Brian McKey is expected to start March 21 in Kenton County.
McKey’s attorney earlier entered a not-guilty plea for the 29-year-old on a misdemeanor charge of third-degree sexual assault.
A player that he coached at Xavier says he invited her to come to his Covington, Kentucky, home and touched her inappropriately. She says he tried to kiss her, but she pushed him away and left.
He had become a University of Maryland assistant, but resigned after the allegation surfaced.
UofL social work school sponsoring conference
LOUISVILLE (AP) — The University of Louisville’s Kent School of Social Work is sponsoring a conference geared toward young people, their parents and educators.
UofL says the conference will focus on such issues as healthy relationships, the value of diversity, safe social-media use and parent-child communication. The free, public conference is set for March 5.
The conference, called “Building Healthy Relationships Together,” will run from 9 a.m. to noon at Foster Traditional Academy.
The morning sessions are geared toward young people and adults such as educators, counselors and parents.
Local leaders will talk about issues such as bullying and wise navigation of online communication.
Suspect charged in triple fatal shooting pleads not guilty
LOUISVILLE (AP) — The suspect arrested in the fatal shooting of three people found at a Louisville home has pleaded not guilty.
The Courier-Journal reports 26-year-old George Slaughter of Louisville pleaded not guilty Monday in Jefferson District Court. Slaughter is charged with three counts of murder and tampering with physical evidence in connection with the killings.
Deputy Coroner Eddie Robinson says Louisville Metro Police found 35-year-old William Neal and 43-year-old Elizabeth Draper dead inside their home early Saturday.
Thirty-six-year-old Douglas Weber, of New Albany, Indiana, was also pronounced dead at the scene.
Police arrested Slaughter later that day. He is currently being held on bond. Online jail records do not list an attorney for Slaughter.
His next court appearance is Feb. 25.