State News in Brief


Kentucky Heritage Council documents Main Street investment

FRANKFORT (AP) — The Kentucky Heritage Council says the program to promote commercial downtown districts documented $76 million of investment in 44 communities in 2015.

The Kentucky Main Street Program investment includes private investment and public improvements.

The council said in a news release that 29 communities have received state and national accreditation for 2016. Danville and Shelbyville achieved perfect scores. The other communities are Bardstown, Bellevue, Cadiz, Campbellsville, Carrollton, Covington, Dawson Springs, Guthrie, Harrodsburg, Henderson, La Grange, London, Maysville, Morehead, Murray, New Castle, Paducah, Paris, Perryville, Pikeville, Pineville, Princeton, Russellville, Springfield, Taylorsville, Williamsburg and Winchester.

The council says the program is the oldest statewide Main Street revitalization program in the U.S. and prioritizes preservation and adaptive reuse of historic buildings.

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Eligible voters may begin casting mail-in absentee ballots

FRANKFORT (AP) — Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes says eligible voters may begin casting mail-in absentee ballots for Kentucky’s May 17 primary election.

People eligible to vote by mail-in absentee balloting include military personnel and their dependents, overseas citizens, students who temporarily live outside their home counties, voters who temporarily reside outside Kentucky and people of advanced age or who suffer from disabilities or illness.

Voters may request absentee ballot applications from their county clerks in person or by phone, fax or email. Applications for mail-in absentee ballots must be received by a clerk’s office no later than May 10. The completed ballot must be received by the county clerk by 6 p.m. local time on Election Day.

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Fourth suspect accused of impersonating officer arrested

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — Authorities in West Virginia have arrested a fourth suspect accused of impersonating narcotics officers during a Kentucky burglary.

Media outlets report 44-year-old Philip Leonard Fortner of Huntington was arrested Wednesday in Cabell County on charges of first-degree burglary, unlawful imprisonment, fleeing and impersonating a police officer.

Fortner was arraigned in Cabell County Magistrate Court. He’s held in the Western Regional Jail pending extradition to Kentucky.

Boyd County, Kentucky, sheriff’s Sgt. Jesse Delaney says Fortner and three others allegedly tried to rob a known drug dealer Nov. 11 in Catlettsburg, Kentucky, but went to the wrong trailer.

Delaney says three of the four suspects fled a getaway vehicle as police approached and one suspect was arrested in the vehicle along U.S. Route 23. Fortner and the two others were eventually arrested.

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Sentencing postponed for trail-hiking embezzlement suspect

CINCINNATI (AP) — A federal judge in Ohio has again pushed back the sentencing of a Kentucky accountant who spent much of six years as a fugitive hiking the Appalachian Trail.

Judge Susan J. Dlott (duh-LAHT’) previously postponed James Hammes’ (HAM’-uhs) sentencing from March 30 to June 1 because of his attorney’s trial schedule. On Wednesday, the judge set a new date of June 22.

Hammes pleaded guilty in October to a wire fraud count and agreed to pay back money embezzled in the $8.7 million case. Federal authorities agreed to drop 74 other charges against the former Lexington employee of a Cincinnati-based Pepsi-Cola bottler.

The wire fraud count carries a maximum of 20 years behind bars.

FBI agents arrested Hammes in May 2015 during Trail Days in Damascus, Virginia.

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Gray reports $1.75M, including $1M loan

FRANKFORT (AP) — U.S. Senate candidate Jim Gray says he has raised $750,000 in individual contributions to his campaign for the Democratic nomination.

The Lexington mayor also says he loaned his campaign $1 million, giving him $1.5 million in cash available to spend. Gray is one of seven people seeking the Democratic nomination to challenge incumbent Republican Sen. Rand Paul in November.

Fundraising reports are not due until April 15. But Gray’s campaign put out a news release announcing his totals on Wednesday.

The campaign said Gray’s willingness to spend $1 million of his own money illustrates his confidence and said he is the best candidate to take on Paul in November.

Paul has not announced his fundraising totals yet. He had about $1.2 million available to spend as of his last report.

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Horse owner, breeder Ogden Mills “Dinny” Phipps dies

NEW YORK (AP) — Ogden Mills “Dinny” Phipps, a prominent American financier, thoroughbred owner and breeder, and former chairman of The Jockey Club, has died. He was 75.

The Jockey Club said Thursday he died Wednesday night at a New York hospital.

“With the passing of Ogden Mills (Dinny) Phipps, thoroughbred racing has lost not only a tremendously successful breeder and owner, but a deeply committed leader, sportsman, steward and advocate for the sport he loved,” said Alex Waldrop, president and CEO of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.

Under his direction, Phipps Stable campaigned many winners of top races, including 2013 Kentucky Derby winner Orb. He owned Orb in partnership with his cousin Stuart S. Janney III.

“Churchill Downs and all in the Kentucky Derby family are saddened by the passing of Ogden ‘Dinny’ Phipps,” said Churchill Downs President Kevin Flanery. “There is no area of American racing that was not touched — and positively so — by Mr. Phipps and his influence. The appearance of Mr. Phipps in the Kentucky Derby winner’s circle following the 2013 victory by the homebred Orb will always rank among the most wonderful moments in the recent history of the ‘Run for the Roses’ and American racing.”

Phipps was the great grandson of Henry Phipps, the partner of the steel magnate Andrew Carnegie; the grandson of Henry Carnegie Phipps and Gladys Livingston Mills Phipps; and the son of Lillian Bostwick Phipps, who died in 1987, and Ogden Phipps, who died in 2002.

He was predeceased in 2007 by his sister, Cynthia Phipps.

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Woman, 102, receives Brescia degree 60 years after enrolling

OWENSBORO (AP) — A woman has received her degree from Brescia University six decades after she enrolled at the school.

The Messenger-Inquirer reports 102-year-old Cecelia “Dolly” Mischel Boarman of Arizona began studying at the school, then known as Brescia College, in 1957.

Tracy Naylor, vice president for institutional advancement at Brescia, says she learned Boarman attended the school while speaking with Boarman’s daughter, Jovita Fine. Naylor says she wanted to do something special for Boarman.

She checked Boarman’s transcripts, calculated her credits and found Boarman had been a few credits shy of earning an education degree.

Naylor took Boarman her degree while on a trip to meet alumni in Arizona. The degree was an associate of arts honoris causa — an honorary degree.

Naylor says Boarman was “thrilled” to receive the degree.

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