State News in Brief


2 Ky. groups get federal grants to help poverty areas

LOUISVILLE (AP) — A group will receive a $250,000 federal grant to help low-income communities develop businesses and create jobs in eastern Kentucky.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the grant last week for the London-based Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation.

The USDA says matching funds are required locally to double the impact of the grant. The grant will support the Leslie County and Perry County fiscal courts and the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program.

The agency also announced a $95,000 matching grant to Community Action Kentucky to help five rural utilities operate a database to map and manage assets. The communities are Cumberland, Evarts, Jenkins, Liberty and Lynch.

The USDA says the grants involve persistent poverty areas.

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Deputies: Drugs, cash found in same room as sleeping child

LONDON (AP) — A Laurel County man under house arrest has been taken into custody after police discovered a half-pound of crystal meth and more than $100,000 in the same room where the man’s 8-year-old son was sleeping.

The Laurel County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release that 32-year-old Dustin Higginbotham was arrested early Sunday in his London home and charged with first-degree drug trafficking and wanton endangerment. He had already been under house arrest for drug possession.

Authorities say the child was released to other family members.

It is unclear whether Higginbotham has an attorney.

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Ky. church remembers father, 3 sons killed in crash

LEXINGTON (AP) — A central Kentucky church is remembering a father and three sons who were killed in a weekend crash while visiting family in Texas.

Pastor Jeff Fugate of Clays Mill Road Baptist Church in Lexington told local media that the family was “an intricate part of every ministry of our church.”

Investigators say the four died Saturday in a three-vehicle crash in East Texas when their van was struck from behind by a Chevrolet Tahoe while waiting for another car to make a left turn. The van was pushed into oncoming traffic, where a tractor-trailer rig slammed into it.

The Texas Department of Public Safety says 46-year-old Israel Avelar, 17-year-old Kevin Avelar, 13-year-old Daniel Avelar and 6-year-old Matthew Avelar died in the crash.

KLTV-TV in Tyler, Texas reports three other van passengers were hospitalized, as were the drivers of the Tahoe and the 18-wheeler.

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Missing dog found dead nearly 2 weeks after tornado

MAYFIELD (AP) — A dog that went missing following a tornado in Graves County has been found dead.

Local news outlets report that Ruger, a 2-year-old blue heeler, was found not far from the storm site Sunday afternoon.

A Facebook post by owner Matt James on the Help Find Ruger page said that while the owners are saddened by the death of Ruger, they’re comforted in knowing he isn’t in pain.

Ruger went missing after a twister hit the area on May 10. James was holding on to Ruger inside a barn, but the winds destroyed the building and pulled the dog from his arms.

James’ mother, Lisa Keyes, says she is grateful for the support people have shown.

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Man charged with murder in girlfriend’s death

LEXINGTON (AP) — Lexington police have arrested a man and charged him with murder in his girlfriend’s death.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that 45-year-old William R. Pomeroy was charged Friday with murder and tampering with physical evidence. Police say he’s charged in the death of 43-year-old Amy Koegel, whose body was found Friday.

Police say Koegel and Pomeroy lived together in the house where Koegel’s body was found. Police spokeswoman Brenna Angel says the body was found by officers during a welfare check at the home. Pomeroy turned himself in Friday afternoon.

Authorities say Koegel had been reported missing, and her family hadn’t seen her since Wednesday evening.

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Police investigate double homicide case in Louisville

LOUISVILLE (AP) — Police are conducting a double homicide investigation following the deaths of two men in Louisville.

Louisville Metro Police Department spokesman Dwight Mitchell tells news outlets that the two men were found dead Sunday afternoon in an alley.

Louisville Metro Fire Department’s Arson Division was also on the scene to investigate. Mitchell says police suspect foul play was involved.

Police have not released additional details about the case.

Anyone with additional information is being asked to contact authorities.

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Kentucky State President Raymond Burse to resign

FRANKFORT (AP) — Kentucky State University President Raymond Burse is resigning at the end of this week.

In a statement released Monday, Burse says he decided that the “further demands and challenges of Kentucky State must be undertaken by new leadership.”

A Harvard-educated lawyer, Burse was named Kentucky State president in October 2014 after a short interim period and made headlines when he gave up $90,000 of his presidential salary to boost the wages of university workers. Burse also served a term as president of the traditionally African-American university in the 1980s.

The university was spared from a recent round of funding cuts imposed by Gov. Matt Bevin.

Burse says in the statement he decided to leave the job after nearly six months of personal assessments and evaluations. His last day is Friday.

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