Flood watch, thunderstorms in state forecast
LOUISVILLE (AP) — Much of Kentucky is under a flood watch as showers and thunderstorms cross the state.
The watch expires Friday morning in western and central Kentucky and winds up in eastern Kentucky in the afternoon.
The National Weather Service says to expect showers and thunderstorms throughout the day with winds gusting up to about 35 mph in some areas. By Friday night lows will drop to the mid-30s to lower 40s statewide.
Saturday look for mostly sunny skies with highs in the mid- to upper 50s.
About 4,200 gallons of oil spilled in Pike County
PIKEVILLE (AP) — About 4,200 gallons of crude oil made it into streams and the Levisa Fork River before a Pike County spill was stopped on Thursday.
Pike County Emergency Management Director Doug Tackett told the Appalachian News-Express the spill was caused by a rock slide that either overturned or damaged a storage container at an oil well on Harmons Branch.
Tackett said a majority of the spill has been contained to Harmons Branch but some oil did make it to the river and cleanup is ongoing.
Tackett said Kinzer Drilling notified the agency of the spill on Thursday morning and requested assistance.
Tackett said he has warned the downstream water plants to keep a lookout for oil and shut their intakes down if they see it.
Plane makes emergency landing in Lexington
LEXINGTON (AP) — A flight from Chicago to Knoxville, Tenn., made an emergency landing at Blue Grass Airport in Lexington, but officials say there were no injuries.
WLEX-TV in Lexington reported that the pilots on ExpressJet flight 5924 noticed a mechanical issue Thursday night. The pilots diverted the flight with 52 passengers on board to Lexington and landed the aircraft safely.
An airline spokesman described the problem only as “a maintenance issue.”
ExpressJet operates the flight for United Airlines.
Fruit of the Loom closing Jamestown plant
FRANKFORT (AP) — More than 600 workers will lose their jobs under Fruit of the Loom’s plans to close its plant in Jamestown.
The company said it was moving the plant’s textile operations to Honduras to save money. The company plans to close the plant in phases from June 8 through Dec. 31.
“It is very unexpected for me and, from what I’m hearing, for everyone in the community,” said Sen. Sara Beth Gregory, whose district includes Jamestown. “I think everyone is reeling from the news.”
In a news release, the company said its decision was “to align its global supply chain to allow the company to leverage existing investments and meet customer requirements more timely and cost effectively.”
“This decision is in no way a reflection on the dedication and efforts of the employees in our Jamestown facility, but is a result of a competitive global business environment,” Tony Pelaski, the company’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, said in a news release.
The plant has 601 workers, the company said.
U of L official charged with stealing $2.8 million
LOUISVILLE (AP) — The former executive director of University of Louisville’s Department of Family and Geriatric Medicine is accused of stealing $2.8 million in patient payments and other funds over a six-year period.
The Courier-Journal reports 36-year-old Perry Chadwick Vaughn was indicted by a federal grand jury in Louisville on Wednesday. He also is accused of failing to report $2.4 million in income and laundering money through luxury vehicles, real estate, luxury vacations and a $9,000 necklace.
Vaughn, who lives in Sellersburg, Ind., pleaded not guilty. If convicted, he faces up to 55 years in prison and a maximum fine of $1.25 million.
Vaughn is free on a $25,000 bond. A trial date was set for June 3. His lawyer, Rob Eggert, could not be reached for comment.
Most Kentuckians choose nonprofit for insurance
FRANKFORT (AP) — Nonprofit health insurance cooperatives across the country have struggled to stay competitive with their bigger, for-profit counterparts - but not in Kentucky.
Kentucky’s lone health care cooperative - buoyed by a $58.8 million federal loan - has sold 77 percent of the private health insurance plans purchased through kynect, Kentucky’s state-run health insurance marketplace.
CEO Janie Miller credited kynect for their success, saying the state-run website has been immune from the technical glitches that have slowed enrollments through the federal website.
“It became a great neutralizer for us as a new entry into the market, because it was working,” Miller said.
Through March 31, 77,027 people have purchased private health insurance through kynect. Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, the only other company to offer health insurance plans statewide through kynect, sold 12 percent of the plans, according to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.
An Anthem spokeswoman said the company has seen an increase in health insurance applications, both on and off the exchange, in the past few weeks, but did not have final numbers.
Missing Korean War veteran’s remains return
La Center (AP) — Army Cpl. William F. Day was reported missing in North Korea on Dec. 2, 1950. Nearly 64 years later, his remains have been brought home to Kentucky.
The Paducah Sun reports Day’s daughter, Gloria Shonrock, was only four years old when her father went missing.
She began searching in earnest for information about Day in 1992. His remains were eventually found among boxes of remains given to the U.S. by North Korea in the early 1990s.
DNA provided by Shonrock and her father’s niece helped with the identification.
Day’s remains flew to Nashville on Wednesday, where Shonrock, her husband and other family members met them and accompanied them to La Center. Day will be buried next to his mother on Monday in a service with full military honors.
State to offer bourbon tax credit
FRANKFORT (AP) — State lawmakers have effectively eliminated a tax on aging barrels of bourbon in a move to protect one of the state’s signature industries.
Kentucky spends that tax money on public education, making it difficult to eliminate the tax completely. This week lawmakers approved a tax credit that would offset the cost of the tax. Public schools would still get their tax money, but overall state revenues would decrease by about $14 million in five years once the tax credit is fully implemented.
Kentucky distillers have increased their inventory of aging bourbon by more than 1 million barrels since 1999. State tax collections have more than doubled since then.
The law requires Kentucky distillers to spend the savings from the tax on improving facilities in Kentucky, including remodeling to promote tourism.
New Todd County plant to bring 75 jobs
ELKTON (AP) — A western Kentucky location will become home to a new Custom Cooler Inc. factory that will create 75 jobs with a $5.8 million investment.
Gov. Steve Beshear’s office says the company is establishing its second manufacturing facility in Todd County.
Kentucky was chosen over three other states. The company has received preliminary state approval for as much as $1.5 million in tax incentives.
Custom Cooler manufactures custom walk-in coolers, freezers and freezer doors. It was established in California in 2006.