State News in Brief


Atheist group’s anti-Ark Encounter billboard rejected

WILLIAMSTOWN (AP) — Two billboard companies have refused to display an advertisement by an atheist group to protest the Ark Encounter amusement park in Kentucky.

Tri-State Freethinkers president Jim Helton tells news outlets the group recently raised $10,000 for a billboard. The proposed design depicts Noah’s Ark with people drowning around it and the words, “Genocide and Incest Park: Celebrating 2,000 years of myths.”

The advertisement has been turned down by billboard companies Lamar and Event Advertising and Promotions LLC.

Helton says the group is considering erecting the billboard outside of Kentucky, if it can find a taker.

The Ark Encounter, a 510-foot wooden ship as described in the Old Testament, is under construction. It’s a product of Answers in Genesis, which also owns the Creation Museum.

In March, Answers in Genesis President Ken Ham called the billboard campaign an attack on Christianity.

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Authorities: 2 dead after struck by train in Pulaski Co.

SOMERSET (AP) — Authorities say a man and woman have died after being hit by a train in Pulaski County.

Media outlets report the incident happened Tuesday evening. Police say the two were crossing the track when they were struck by the train just after 7 p.m.

Pulaski County Coroner Clyde Strunk says the woman was pronounced dead at the scene. The man was taken to a hospital, where he later died. Their identities have not been released.

The incident remains under investigation.

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Bevin makes appointments to state fair board

FRANKFORT (AP) — Gov. Matt Bevin has announced a number of appointments to the Kentucky State Fair Board.

The board oversees operations for the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center, located at the state fairgrounds, and the Kentucky International Convention Center in downtown Louisville.

State officials say total economic impact from those venues tops $482 million each year.

Kentucky lawmakers earlier this year passed legislation to reorganize the state fair board.

Bevin on Tuesday reappointed Dr. Mark Lynn of Louisville, who will continue to serve as the fair board’s chairman. Marshall Coyle of Owingsville will serve on the board as the representative of the Kentucky Farm Bureau. Bevin made several other appointments to the board.

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Company offers $38M for unfinished nuke; TVA says no

HOLLYWOOD, Ala. (AP) — An alternative energy company says it wants to buy TVA’s unfinished Bellefonte Nuclear Plant for $38 million cash. But the federal utility says the upcoming plant sale won’t work that way.

Phoenix Energy of Nevada said Tuesday it made the offer in a letter to the Tennessee Valley Authority. Aside from upfront money, the company says it would pay TVA 10 percent of net profits annually until the utility’s debt on the plant is paid off.

But TVA spokesman Scott Fieldler says the north Alabama site will be sold by auction, and the process of qualifying bidders hasn’t even started.

Fiedler says law requires that TVA sell by auction since Bellefonte is now considered surplus property.

TVA says it has spent more than $4 billion at Bellefonte without completing it.

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Crews continue search for missing teen on Barren River Lake

BOWLING GREEN (AP) — Authorities are still searching for an Alvaton teenager who went missing on the Barren River Lake.

The Bowling Green Daily News reports officials say it is believed that 19-year-old David Heard went missing Monday from a boat found adrift on the lake.

Witnesses told authorities they saw the boat occupied that day, and then 10 minutes later it was unoccupied.

Heard was believed to have launched the boat at 8:30 a.m.

Rescue workers and divers focused Tuesday in the area where the boat was found.

Commerce Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources spokesman Capt. Brett Zalla says the boat was found upright with the trolling motor down. Zalla says Heard’s family said he had been fishing on the boat.

Crews are expected to resume the search Wednesday morning.

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Police charge 2 in connection to home burglary, blaze

NICHOLASVILLE, (AP) — Kentucky State Police say two people have been charged in connection to a home burglary and arson that occurred in Madison County.

Police say 38-year-old John C. Roth of Nicholasville was arrested Tuesday and charged with receiving stolen property under $10,000 after allegedly trying to pawn items that were stolen from the home, which was burglarized and set ablaze on Monday. Media reported he pleaded not guilty on Wednesday in Jessamine District Court.

A 17-year-old juvenile also was taken into custody and charged with arson and burglary.

The house was the sixth home in central Kentucky that police say was burglarized and then set on fire. Police have said the string of rural house fires appear connected but have not charged Roth and the juvenile in the other cases.

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