State News in Brief

Officials rename portion of Highway 192 ‘The Rattlesnake’

LONDON (AP) — Laurel and Pulaski County officials have named a portion of Kentucky Highway 192 “The Rattlesnake” to encourage motorcyclists from across the country to visit the region.

WYMT-TV reports that the road used to be considered the only road to connect London and Somerset. Since Highway 80 opened, Highway 192 isn’t used as much.

Charley Simpson, the owner of Dirty Deeds Bikes & Customs in Somerset, had the idea to rededicate the use of 192 to motorcyclists. The 150 turns within an 11 mile stretch reminded Simpson of “The Dragon’s Tail” road in Tennessee.

Pulaski County Judge Executive Steven Kelly says he and other officials hope the Rattlesnake will bring in tourists.

An inaugural ride will be held for motorcyclists on June 11. The event is free of charge.


Caretaker sentenced for fraud after veteran found dead

DAYTON (AP) — The caretaker of an Air Force veteran has been sentenced to four years in prison for using the veteran’s credit card as he lay buried underneath a northern Kentucky home for nine months.

News outlets report that 41-year-old Christy Russell was sentenced Monday and ordered to pay back $32,822 in restitution. Russell pleaded guilty in April to fraudulently using 55-year-old Steven Reis’ credit card to take advantage of his veteran benefits.

Authorities aren’t sure how Reis came to be buried underneath a vacant Dayton home.

Reis’ body was discovered in September and authorities believe he died in January 2015. Police said in a statement that an autopsy couldn’t determine his cause of death.

Police say others had also lived in the house with Russell, but no one has been charged.


Man leads police on chase through backyards in stolen RV

GEORGETOWN (AP) — A man has been arrested after police say he stole an RV and led officials on a chase through Georgetown.

WKYT-TV reports that Monday morning, 30-year-old Jason Judd stole an RV from Northside RV’s in Georgetown. That afternoon, a woman who had seen a TV report on the stolen RV called police and said she saw the stolen vehicle.

Georgetown police tracked down the stolen RV and attempted to pull it over. The RV didn’t stop, and led police on a chase through downtown and a neighborhood.

Police Lt. Brian Moore says that when the RV reached a dead-end street, it went through a fence and drove through several backyards before coming to a stop.

The driver, later identified as Judd, was arrested on several charges, including fleeing police and wanton endangerment. It’s unclear if Judd has an attorney.


TVA considering small modular reactor near Oak Ridge

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Just a week after voting to scrap an unfinished 1970s-era nuclear power plant in Alabama, the Tennessee Valley Authority began taking steps toward possible future construction of small modular reactors.

TVA spokesman Jim Hopson says several designs for the new generation reactors are in the pipeline to be certified by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. TVA is asking the commission to approve a site plan that could accommodate any one of those designs at its Clinch River site near Oak Ridge.

Hopson says the small reactors produce around 80-200 megawatts of power. In comparison, the traditional reactor at TVA’s Watts Bar Unit 2 will produce around 1150 megawatts.

Unlike large reactors, the small reactors can be operated at different power levels and are designed to be used in combination.


Midway University to accept men as full-time undergraduates

MIDWAY (AP) — For the first time in nearly 170 years, Midway University will start accepting males as full-time undergraduates.

The university said in a news release that its board of Trustees voted unanimously on Monday to make the change.

Men can apply as full-time undergraduates starting this fall and can apply to live in residence halls starting in spring 2017. Males are currently accepted into online and graduate programs.

President John Marsden says the decision was made in order for the liberal arts university to stay viable. Midway’s enrollment last fall was 1,042 students, with just a quarter of those enrolled in the Women’s College, and fewer than 200 living on campus.

Founded in 1847 as the Kentucky Female Orphan School, Midway University is the state’s only operating women’s college.

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