State News in Brief


Project to boost Internet speed for Ky. universities

LEXINGTON (AP) — State universities in Kentucky will soon receive a big boost in Internet speed thanks to a new initiative aimed to advance research at the schools.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports the Council on Postsecondary Education and the University of Kentucky have teamed up to upgrade all eight schools to the Kentucky Regional Optical Network.

The upgrade will give the schools a tenfold increase in access to Internet2, a nonprofit organization which operates an expansive research and education infrastructure.

Council president Bob King says the project will provide a much needed boost to advance research at the universities.

The upgrade allows universities that are part of KyRON to transmit very large databases, conduct complex scientific research and access remote computing systems.

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4 Republicans vying for Ky.’s open congressional seat

HENDERSON (AP) — Four Republicans are vying for the only open seat in Kentucky’s congressional delegation this year.

U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield is retiring after 21 years in Kentucky’s sprawling 1st Congressional District that includes all of far western Kentucky and portions of central Kentucky.

Former state Agriculture Commissioner James Comer is running a traditional campaign, touting his experience and endorsements from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Rifle Association and the Tea Party Express.

Former Whitfield aide Michael Pape is focusing on border security. He has run TV ads embracing Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump while also appealing to voters who supported former candidate Ted Cruz.

Other candidates in Tuesday’s race include Hickman County Attorney Jason Batts and military veteran Miles A. Caughey Jr. The winner will face Democrat Sam Gaskins in November.

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Suspect caught after girlfriend found suffocated in closet

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say a 34-year-old man sought after his girlfriend was found suffocated inside a closet at her suburban Detroit apartment has been captured in Kentucky.

A task force including the U.S. Marshals Service, acting on a tip, arrested Kevin Jermaine Wiley of Pontiac on Wednesday. The Michigan Department of Corrections says he’s awaiting extradition in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, after being apprehended in Radcliff.

A first-degree murder warrant was authorized last month for Wiley. Oakland County sheriff’s officials say he was on parole for a manslaughter conviction and had cut off his electronic tether in Detroit.

The body of 30-year-old Marie Colburn was found April 22 by her mother in Pontiac. Investigators say a Department of Corrections notice had been attached to the apartment’s front door in an effort to contact Wiley.

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Fort Campbell soldier dies during training in Louisiana

FORT CAMPBELL (AP) — The Army says a 101st Airborne Division soldier has died from injuries suffered during a live-fire training exercise at Fort Polk, Louisiana.

A statement from Fort Campbell says the soldier died May 10 after participating in the event at the Joint Readiness Training Center.

The injured soldier was transported to Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital at Fort Polk where he was pronounced dead.

The name of the soldier wasn’t released pending notification of kin.

The Army says the death is under investigation.

No further details were immediately available.

“Live fire training is vital to soldiers who are deploying for combat missions and is part of a training rotation,” said Kimberly Reichling, a Fort Polk spokesman.

“The Joint Readiness Training Center conducts training exercises 10 times a year to train soldiers for missions they may be called upon to carry out,” Reichling said.

Fort Campbell is a sprawling Army post on the Kentucky-Tennessee border where the 101st Airborne Division is based.

Fort Polk is a 100,000-acre Army training center located in west-central Louisiana.

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Montgomery Co. school bus driver pleads not guilty to DUI

MOUNT STERLING (AP) — A Montgomery County Public Schools bus driver has pleaded not guilty after being arrested at a school for drunken driving.

WKYT-TV reports 59-year-old Brian Fletcher appeared in court on Thursday. He was arrested last month at Camargo Elementary School.

According to a police citation, Fletcher’s breath alcohol content was 0.068 percent. For commercial vehicle operators in Kentucky, anything above 0.04 percent results in criminal charges.

WKYT reports the court is waiting for results of a blood test Fletcher took at the time of the incident. His next court date was set for Sept. 15.

Fletcher remains suspended from his job with Montgomery County schools.

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Officials: 2 decomposed bodies found floating in Ohio River

OWENSBORO (AP) — Authorities in Kentucky and Indiana are investigating after two decomposed bodies were found floating the Ohio River.

The Owensboro Messenger Inquirer reports the bodies of an unidentified man and woman were pulled from the river Wednesday.

Daviess County authorities responded to the scene near Evansville Marine Service’s boat ramp around 2 p.m. after someone reported seeing an adult man’s body in the water.

Sheriff’s department spokesman Capt. Bill Thompson says it appears the body had been in the water for quite some time.

Earlier in the day, officials in Perry County, Indiana, recovered the body of an adult woman in the river. Indiana State Police say the body was found along the shoreline in Troy.

Officials say both bodies showed no signs of foul play. Autopsies will be conducted.

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Computer company owner pleads guilty in Ky. to wire fraud

LOUISVILLE (AP) — The U.S. Attorney’s office in Louisville says the owner of a Virginia computer sales company has pleaded guilty in federal court to multiple wire fraud charges related to the theft of about $809,000.

Mark Allen Hartley, the owner of Patriot Computers, entered the plea on Wednesday in U.S. District Court. Prosecutors say Hartley devised a scheme to defraud First Citizens Bank in Hardin County, Kentucky.

According to the indictment, Hartley created fraudulent sales contracts for computers and sent them to the bank, which transferred unauthorized payments from victims’ paychecks to an account controlled by Hartley. Hartley’s business, Patriot Computers, sold to customers who agreed to have payments deducted from their paychecks. The fraud occurred between 2012 and 2014.

Hartley faces a sentence of up to 80 years in prison.

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Final 6 large murals moving downtown from Cincinnati airport

CINCINNATI (AP) — The remaining six of nine massive glass tile mosaics originally made for the train concourse at Cincinnati’s Union Terminal are being moved from the area’s biggest airport across the Ohio River to the downtown convention center.

Three of the 20-by-20-foot murals were moved to the Duke Energy Convention Center last month from two airport terminals at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport poised for demolition.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports the remaining mosaics will be moved on Saturday. Area roads will be closed from 6 a.m. until about 8 p.m. On-street parking will not be allowed.

The mosaics were created in 1933 by artist Winold Reiss. Reiss originally created nearly two dozen murals of soap makers and steel workers.

The mosaics are expected to be unveiled later this year.

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FBI offers reward for man wanted for shooting officer

DELWOOD, Ill. (AP) — The FBI is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of a man wanted for shooting a police officer.

The FBI issued a wanted poster for 34-year-old Dracy “Clint” Pendleton of Bellflower on Wednesday offering the reward. A federal arrest warrant issued Tuesday charges Pendleton with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution in addition to a state charge of aggravated battery with a firearm.

The Evansville (Indiana) Courier & Press reports Pendleton was spotted Monday in the Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois and that federal, state and local authorities searching for him have established a command post in Pope County.

Pendleton is considered armed and dangerous. He’s wanted in connection with the shooting of a Mahomet officer Saturday. The officer has been released from a hospital.

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