State News in Brief

Emails show state’s slow response to radioactive waste

LOUISVILLE (AP) — Emails obtained by a newspaper show that it took months for Kentucky regulators to take action after getting a tip that low-level nuclear waste was being shipped to a landfill.

The emails, which were obtained by The Courier-Journal through West Virginia’s open records act, give new details on how Kentucky officials first learned about the radioactive shipments and how they responded.

According to the emails, a West Virginia bureaucrat tipped off a Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services worker in July. Officials with the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet were notified the same day.

Seven months later state officials issued a warning to landfill operators and ordered the company hauling the waste to stop.

The newspaper reports agency officials pointed fingers at each other when asked about a lack of response in July.


Man charged with attempting to murder deputy

FRANKLIN (AP) — A south-central Kentucky grand jury has charged a man with wounding a sheriff’s deputy who was serving a warrant for a domestic violence assault in Franklin.

Kentucky State Police said in a news release Thursday that 28-year-old Ben Wyatt of Franklin was charged in the indictments Wednesday with attempted murder of a police officer, first-degree assault, domestic violence assault and firearms charges. Wyatt was already lodged in the Simpson County jail.

Police say Deputy Eddie Lawson was serving Wyatt with an arrest warrant on March 10 when Wyatt shot Lawson and fled before being apprehended and hospitalized.


Jury awards $5.3M in UPS discrimination lawsuit

LEXINGTON (AP) — Eight black men won a $5.3 million jury award Thursday in a lawsuit over claims that they endured a hostile work environment at UPS in Lexington, Kentucky, and that an effigy of a black UPS driver was hung from a ceiling.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports a Fayette County Circuit Court jury also found UPS discriminated against one of the eight and that the company retaliated against two men after they complained.

UPS is disappointed with the decision and is considering appeal options, Susan Rosenberg, spokeswoman at corporate headquarters in Atlanta, told The Associated Press by telephone on Thursday.

“UPS has strict policies against harassment and discrimination,” Rosenberg said. “We reinforce that. There’s no retaliation if employees raise concerns.”

When the suit was filed in 2014, a UPS spokeswoman said the dummy was part of safety training for drivers and not intended to offend anyone.

The verdict was returned Thursday after about eight hours of deliberations.

The jury awarded $1.5 million for emotional and mental distress to William Barber; $1 million to David Young; $810,000 to Glenn Jackson; $800,000 to John Hughes; $500,000 each to Jeffrey Goree and Donald Ragland; and $100,000 each to Curtis Weathers and Lamont Brown.

There was testimony and evidence that an effigy of a black UPS driver was hung from the ceiling for four days. The lawsuit said a UPS manager made a dummy in a UPS uniform that hung from the ceiling from Aug. 9-13, 2012.

The dummy’s hands and one foot were tied to a ladder to demonstrate the “three points of contact” that employees should have when using a ladder. Twine was tied around the dummy’s neck and to the ceiling. The lawsuit says UPS claimed that was to “prevent the dummy from falling forward.”


Still installed in distillery being built in Bardstown

BARDSTOWN (AP) — A new distillery being built in the heart of Kentucky bourbon country has taken a big step toward the day when whiskey starts flowing.

The Bardstown Bourbon Co. had its 50-foot-tall still installed Thursday. The stainless steel still was delivered in one piece. A crane lowered the still into the center of the building.

The distillery is scheduled to begin operations by this September in Bardstown.

The company says the new still’s design will allow visitors to watch the whiskey moving through the distilling process.

The distillery is being built in a town that proclaims itself as the world’s bourbon capital.


Former amusement park to sold at auction on April 20

CAVE CITY (AP) — A former amusement park in south-central Kentucky will be sold at auction on April 20.

Media report a handful of potential buyers inspected the site of the former Guntown Mountain tourist attraction in Cave City this week in anticipation of the sale.

Ed Durnil, an auctioneer who is helping conduct the court-ordered master commissioner’s sale, said there have been 42 serious inquiries about purchasing the property.

Louisville businessman Will Russell reopened the roadside attraction in June after getting a loan from the Kentucky Tourism Department and raising money through a Kickstarter campaign. He renamed it Funtown Mountain and gave it a carnival theme.

Cave City officials closed the site in September over code violations. A judge ordered the sale as part of foreclosure proceedings.


Seven Counties, Centerstone pursuing partnership

LOUISVILLE (AP) — Behavioral health care provider Seven Counties Services is planning to join with Centerstone, which offers services in four other states, creating an organization that would employ more than 4,500 people.

The companies said Thursday they have signed a letter of intent to pursue an affiliation.

The result would be an organization with 181 locations in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee and approximately $310 million in annual revenues.

The companies said in a news release that the negotiation and review process is expected to take 60 to 90 days.

Seven Counties is a not-for-profit that delivers community-based treatment, support and services for people in Bullitt, Henry, Jefferson, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer and Trimble counties in Kentucky.

Centerstone is a nonprofit provider offering services in Florida, Illinois, Indiana and Tennessee at nearly 150 locations.


Police charge juvenile in slaying of central Ky. teen

HARRODSBURG (AP) — Police have charged a juvenile with murder in the case of a Kentucky teenager who was found fatally shot in a rural area of Mercer County.

Kentucky State Police Trooper Robert Purdy says detectives are investigating after the body of 17-year-old Tristan Cole of Harrodsburg was found Wednesday night.

Cole was pronounced dead at the scene, and his body was taken to the state medical examiner’s office for an autopsy.

Police said in a news release Thursday afternoon that a juvenile from Harrodsburg was charged with murder and first-degree robbery. The release said the investigation indicates Cole was shot Tuesday evening.

Purdy said Thursday that no arrests have been made. The trooper says Cole’s body was found near his vehicle in a rural area west of Harrodsburg.


Police: Convicted sex offender arrested for using Facebook

PADUCAH (AP) — A 50-year-old convicted sex offender living in western Kentucky has been arrested after being accused of using Facebook.

Paducah detective Justin Hodges tells local news outlets that he received information that Nathan A. Dukes was violating his probation by operating a Facebook page under a false name.

Dukes was convicted in 2012 of using electronics to procure a minor for sex. He was also convicted in 2013 of possessing material portraying a sexual performance by a minor.

Dukes was arrested Tuesday and charged with using instant messaging, chat or a social network by a convicted sex offender. It is unclear whether he has an attorney.

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