State News in Brief


US Geological Survey records small earthquake in W. Ky.

LA CENTER (AP) — The U.S. Geological Survey reports a small earthquake in western Kentucky.

The USGS says a preliminary magnitude 3.5 quake was recorded at 2:12 a.m. Sunday about 9 miles north-northwest of La Center — and about 39 miles west-northwest of Paducah.

No reports of injuries or damage were immediately available.

Geologists say earthquakes of magnitude 2.5 to 3.0 are generally the smallest felt by humans and that damage is not likely from quakes of below magnitude 4.0.

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Sanders set to attend Louisville rally on Tuesday

LOUISVILLE (AP) — Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders is making a campaign stop this week in Kentucky.

Sanders’ campaign says the Vermont U.S. senator will attend a rally at Louisville’s Waterfront Park on Tuesday night.

The event is free and open to the public.

Kentucky’s primary election is May 17.

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Clinton making campaign stops in Appalachia

ASHLAND, Ky. (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is making campaign stops in Appalachia this week, starting in Kentucky and West Virginia.

Her campaign says she plans to talk to voters about her ideas to raise incomes for people in overlooked or underserved communities. The region has been economically devastated by the decline in the coal industry.

Stops were scheduled in Ashland, Kentucky, and Williamson, West Virginia, on Monday, with visits in West Virginia and Ohio on Tuesday.

Republicans criticized Clinton for earlier comments that her policies would put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business. Clinton said later she was mistaken and that she is committed to coalfield workers and communities.

Her husband, ex-President Bill Clinton, is set to attend public events Tuesday in Morehead, Lexington and Louisville.

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MSHA announces impact inspections in March 2016

The Mine Safety and Health Administration has announced that federal inspectors issued 157 citations, one order and two safeguards during special impact inspections conducted at 10 coal mines and six metal and nonmetal mines in March.

MSHA conducted special impact inspections at mines in Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Monthly impact inspections began in force in April 2010 at mines that merit increased agency attention and enforcement due to their poor compliance history or particular compliance concerns. Since then, MSHA inspectors have conducted 1,129 impact inspections and issued 16,136 citations, 1,310 orders and 60 safeguards.

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Lawsuit planned to stop UofL Confederate monument removal

LOUISVILLE (AP) — A Republican candidate for Congress says he will file a lawsuit to stop Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and University of Louisville President James Ramsey from removing a Confederate monument from the school’s campus.

Everett Corley tells local media that he will be filing a temporary restraining order in Jefferson Circuit Court on Monday against Fischer that will demand he cease and desist from any efforts to remove the memorial. He says the restraining order will be on the grounds of irreparable harm to himself and the community.

The memorial is on city-owned property. Fischer and University officials announced Friday that the monument will be removed.

Fischer’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request from the Courier-Journal for comment.

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Governor’s Derby Celebration to include mix of old, new

FRANKFORT (AP) — Gov. Matt Bevin has extended an invitation to all Kentuckians to attend the annual Governor’s Derby Celebration.

A statement from Bevin says events will be held on May 7 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. in downtown Frankfort.

The 2016 Derby Celebration will include new activities, such as the YMCA Derby Dash on Broadway, and traditional ones, including stick horse races on the Old State Capitol lawn. A few of the other offerings include a tricycle race for adults, a live animal exhibit, Derby hat making and live music.

In addition, Kentucky artists will be exhibiting and selling their work.

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Alabama governor, senator urge TVA to sell unfinished nuke

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley and Sen. Richard Shelby are among those urging the Tennessee Valley Authority to sell its unfinished Bellefonte Nuclear Plant, where more than four decades of work hasn’t produced a watt of electricity.

Comments released publicly by the federal utility show that the Republican Bentley and Alabama Republican Shelby, along with local officials, one environmental group and others want the Tennessee Valley Authority to get rid of the twin-reactor facility in northeast Alabama near Hollywood. At least one potential buyer has been identified, documents show.

But five environmental groups are urging the federal utility to keep the plant and use it for renewable energy, and numerous individuals also submitted comments opposing a sale.

The final decision on whether to sell is up to the TVA board.

TVA has said it is considering whether to sell Bellefonte, where more than $4 billion has been spent since construction began in 1974. Work was put on hold in 1988 and employees now simply maintain the plant, located on the Tennessee River about 50 miles east of Huntsville.

A summation of Bentley’s position says the governor wants TVA to sell Bellefonte to a private party that will complete the plant, similar to Shelby’s stance. Shelby also would like to see the plant sold for use as a large industrial or technology complex, according to the TVA report.

Documents also show a Western energy company is interested in purchasing the plant. An executive with the firm, Phoenix Energy of Nevada, said the company has developed a new, non-nuclear technology that uses electromagnetic induction energy fields to heat water indirectly and produce steam that would turn turbines and generate electricity at Bellefonte.

“We are a completely clean, regenerative source of non-intermittent reliable and dependable, low-cost electric power,” Michael Dooley, managing partner and principle engineer for Phoenix Energy, said in an email to The Associated Press.

Bellefonte is located on a 1,600-acre site and includes two partially finished nuclear reactors plus office buildings, warehouses, parking areas, railroad spurs and a helicopter pad.

TVA is the nation’s largest public utility. It provides electricity to about 9 million people in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.

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Ex-school leader: I will appeal revocation of certificates

MOUNT STERLING (AP) — Former Montgomery County Superintendent Joshua Powell said he will appeal a decision to revoke his superintendent and principal certificates.

Powell was quoted by the Lexington Herald-Leader as saying in an email Friday that he did not violate any laws.

“It is important to note that I adhered to every law and regulation and did so in an obsessive manner,” Powell wrote. “I have worked very hard and have committed a large portion of my life to improving public education in Kentucky.”

The Education Professional Standards Board revoked the certificates amid accusations of unlawful and unethical practices involving Powell’s handling of some employees. The revocation is in effect until 2020.

Powell said he didn’t think his certificates should be eligible for revocation until after his appeal, which under state law is heard by a circuit court.

The board’s April 14 decision upheld findings from a February order that said Powell “drove many good educators out of the district and crushed the careers of others” and “ignored good process and policy and school law.”

Powell said the findings were “based entirely on hearsay from disgruntled employees.”

The order said Powell could keep any other certificates he had, including one as a supervisor of instruction.

The Herald-Leader previously reported the county school board suspended Powell with pay in 2015, and decided not to renew his contract. Powell had been hired in 2011 to turn around academic performance in the county.

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Appeals court: No jail credit for convicted rapist, murderer

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — A court has rejected the appeal of a man convicted of murder and child rape in Ohio who sought credit for nearly 16 years of Kentucky jail time.

The Ohio 2nd District Court of Appeals recently upheld a ruling that Eugene Gall shouldn’t receive the credit.

Gall was convicted of raping and kidnapping in Warren and Butler counties in the 1970s and later of kidnapping, rape and murder in Montgomery and Greene counties.

He was sentenced to 47 to 165 years to life in prison in the Montgomery and Greene County cases.

The Ohio Parole Board had been considering parole, with credit for time Gall served in Kentucky before a conviction and death sentence there were reversed.

Gall’s attorney, Amy Ferguson, says they will appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court.

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Dixie Chicks adding 9 more dates to US tour

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Dixie Chicks are adding more concerts to their U.S. tour that starts this summer.

The band announced on Monday that nine more dates in September are being added to their DCX MMXVI Tour, including stops in Louisville, Kentucky; Green Bay, Wisconsin; and New Orleans. The Grammy-winning country group starts the tour on June 1 in Cincinnati and wraps on Oct. 10 at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.

Made up of Natalie Maines, Emily Robison and Martie Maguire, the Dixie Chicks have sold over 30 million albums, including the multiplatinum albums “Wide Open Spaces” and “Fly,” and earned 13 Grammys. Their last album, “Taking the Long Way,” came out in 2006.

Tickets will go on sale May 7 for the new dates at LiveNation.com.

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‘Walk-ins’ planned at Jefferson Co. schools

LOUISVILLE (AP) — The Jefferson County Teacher’s Association is encouraging “walk-ins” at member schools as a response to potential changes of district policies, some of which affect teacher pay.

The Courier-Journal reports that Thursday, the Association held an “emergency meeting” to discuss collective action in response to the possibility of the freeze of step raises of all Jefferson County Public Schools employees making more than $14 an hour, and to disallow the use of suspensions as punishment in certain cases.

JCTA Vice President Tammy Berlin says the walk-ins are events where teachers and supporters meet up outside a school and walk in together to show solidarity.

The JCTA is also urging members and supporters to wear red on Monday to show support for teachers.

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University gives Boone home to Missouri county’s park system

NEW MELLE, Mo. (AP) — A university that owned the two-century-old house in suburban St. Louis that once was famed frontiersman Daniel Boone’s home is donating the property to the county’s park system.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports Lindenwood University has run the limestone-walled house as a tourist and educational site since 1988.

But St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann and Lindenwood President Michael Shonrock announced Friday the school is donating the home, the adjoining 66-acre historic village and more than 200 surrounding acres to the county.

All of the property will be called Lindenwood Park.

The house’s construction began in 1803 and was finished seven years later.

It was the home of Boone’s son but the place where Boone spent part of his final years and eventually died in 1820.

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