State News in Brief

Hospital aims to treat babies suffering from drug withdrawal

MANCHESTER (AP) — Manchester Memorial Hospital has started a program to reduce the number of newborn babies suffering from drug withdrawal.

WKYT-TV reports that the hospital is giving pregnant mothers a drug called Subutex to treat their drug addictions before babies are born.

Nurse Kristina Burchfield says that the hospital has seen fewer cases of withdrawal symptoms from babies since the hospital started the Subutex program last year. She explains that before the program started, as many as 25 percent of babies being born at the hospital were being transferred to Kentucky Children’s Hospital because they were suffering from drug dependency. That number has since fallen to 8 percent.

Burchfield says mothers are more likely to prevent their babies from ending up in the neonatal intensive care unit if they follow the program.


Man electrocuted while trimming trees in E.Ky.

JACKSON (AP) — Kentucky State Police say a man has been electrocuted while trimming trees in Breathitt County.

Police said in a statement that 23-year-old Justin Miller of Perry County, died Monday morning while cutting tree limbs in the Whick community. Witnesses told police that Miller somehow made contact with a power line while trimming the trees. He worked for Asplundh Tree Expert Company.

Breathitt County Coroner George Griffith pronounced him dead at the scene. The State Medical Examiner’s Office in Frankfort will perform an autopsy.

Police say the death remains under investigation.


Ky. man charged after Wis. man’s body found in box

HARRODSBURG (AP) — A man has been arrested following the discovery of a Wisconsin man’s body inside a box along a Kentucky road.

The Mercer County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release Monday that 61-year-old Clarence Michael Hicks was arrested in his Harrodsburg home on a charge of hiding a corpse that was filed in Wisconsin.

The Lexington Herald-Leade reports Wisconsin’s Pierce County Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation.

Authorities say the body of 51-year-old Douglas Bailey was found in December in a large box on an embankment in Hazard. Bailey was a truck driver whose sister reported him missing after he didn’t show up for a family Thanksgiving dinner in Peoria, Illinois.

Bailey’s 45-year-old girlfriend, Rose Marie Kuehni, of Prescott, has been charged with first-degree intentional homicide and hiding a corpse.


Police investigate death where home burned

WILLIAMSBURG (AP) — Kentucky State Police say they are investigating a death discovered at the scene of a residential fire.

Police say they were called to the scene in the Williamsburg community of Whitley County on Monday morning and discovered a body inside a residence that had burned. Police said the victim’s identity hasn’t been determined. An autopsy is scheduled in Frankfort.

Police say the cause of the blaze is under investigation.


Fuel spill in southeastern Ill. has spread to Ohio River

MOUNT CARMEL, Ill. (AP) — A spill in southeastern Illinois involving more than 48,000 gallons of what appears to be diesel fuel has spread to the Ohio River.

Marathon Pipe Line LLC is investigating whether the fuel is from its network and has shut down its Two Rivers pipeline system as a precaution.

The fuel sheen was first spotted Sunday near Mount Carmel, Illinois, along the Wabash River separating Illinois and Indiana.

The pipeline operator says that by Tuesday morning, the sheen had spread more than 100 miles to reach Smithland Lock and Dam on the Ohio River near Paducah, Kentucky.

The company says there has been no impact to drinking water or wildlife so far.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other government agencies are responding to the spill.


Dollar General ordered to pay $925K to injured truck driver

FLORENCE, Ala. (AP) — A Lauderdale County jury has returned one of the largest personal injury verdicts in the county’s history, finding Dollar General at fault for injuries sustained by a Kentucky delivery driver five years ago.

News outlets report that the jury on Friday awarded Howard Luttrell $925,000 in compensatory damages following a 2013 lawsuit Luttrell had filed against the company.

The lawsuit says Luttrell was crushed by the cargo he was carrying after he opened the trailer door upon arriving in Florence in February 2011. Luttrell’s attorneys say their client had to undergo extensive medical treatment and has been unable to work since the incident.

The jury found Dollar General had loaded and prepared the trailer in a dangerous and unsafe manner.


Louisville police investigate death of child in vehicle

LOUISVILLE (AP) — Louisville police are investigating the death of a toddler found inside a parked car outside an elementary school.

Police spokesman Dwight Mitchell said the boy was about 3 years old and was in cardiac arrest when he was spotted inside the small sport-utility vehicle Monday afternoon. He died at the scene.

The incident happened at Gutermuth Elementary School, a few miles southwest of downtown Louisville.

Mitchell says the cause of death isn’t known.

He said the vehicle was parked, and the boy was alone in the vehicle. The National Weather Service lists the temperature at that hour at 83 degrees.


Ferry linking Mo., Ky. reopens after repairs

HICKMAN, Ky. (AP) — Motorists traveling between western Kentucky and Missouri can once again use a ferry service that’s been closed for an extended period.

The Dorena-Hickman Ferry was closed due to damage to the rudders and propeller drive system. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet said the ferryboat had to be taken to Memphis and put in dry dock for repairs.

The ferry has been closed since February.

The ferry connects Kentucky 1354 at Hickman, Kentucky, with Missouri Route A and Route 77 near Dorena, Missouri. Missouri and Kentucky are the only border states that are not directly connected by a road. The ferry is the only direct route between the two states.


University of Kentucky alumnus, wife give $7M gift

LEXINGTON (AP) — A University of Kentucky alumnus and his wife have given $7 million to rename the Department of Biomedical Engineering, adding an endowed chair and two endowed fellowships.

The university says the gift from F. Joseph Halcomb and Joani Halcomb will establish the F. Joseph Halcomb III, M.D., Department of Biomedical Engineering, pending approval from the University Senate and the board of trustees. It will be the first named department at the university.

Halcomb was inducted into the College of Engineering’s Hall of Distinction in 2014.

He said in a news release from the university that more than anything, he wants students in the biomedical engineering program to make a difference in the lives of patients.

Halcomb has spent 30 years in the medical device and biotechnology industries. He earned mechanical engineering and medical degrees from UK in the 1970s.


Midwest farmers get head start on corn planting

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A stretch of sunny and dry weather has given Midwest farmers a good start on planting corn.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s weekly crop progress report was released Monday. It shows 13 percent of Iowa’s corn crop is planted, significantly ahead of the five-year average of 3 percent planted by mid-April.

Missouri farmers have 58 percent planted, ahead of their average of 21 percent. Kansas has more than a third of the corn crop planted, compared to the average 16 percent.

Other states ahead of average are Kentucky and Minnesota. Nebraska is at 7 percent, ahead of its five-year average of 3 percent.

Planting corn early can result in an improved harvest because plants can mature to the pollination stage before summer heat stresses them.

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