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News in Brief

2 flu cases confirmed in Ky.

FRANKFORT (AP) — Kentucky health officials are warning that flu cases are already being reported in the state.

A statement from the Kentucky Department for Public Health says two cases of laboratory-confirmed influenza have been confirmed in Jefferson County. The flu season typically begins in October or November.

Department for Public Health Commissioner Hiram C. Polk Jr. says getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent the virus, which can cause fever, headache, cough, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing and body aches.

Man wanted for stealing dead man’s clothes from funeral home

LEITCHFIELD (AP) — Police in Kentucky are seeking a man who broke into a funeral home and stole several items from a man who was scheduled to be buried.

WYMT-TV reported Sunday that surveillance video shows the man going inside Watson and Hunt Funeral Home in Leitchfield last week, taking a nap, drinking soda and stealing candy and the keys to a hearse. The suspect then took clothing and jewelry belonging to a man who was to be buried.

Police say the suspect might be connected to a Walmart theft last week.

The funeral home director said he received tips about the man’s identity, but police are still investigating.

Famous former con-artist to speak on ID theft at free event

LOUISVILLE (AP) — The man whose con-artist past became a Hollywood story is coming to Louisville to offer his expertise on avoiding scams and identity theft.

Frank Abagnale once posed as an airline pilot, a lawyer and even a doctor while leading a life of forgery and embezzlement. His story was told in the movie “Catch Me If You Can,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

Abagnale is long retired from a life of crime and has been advising the FBI on how to outsmart con artists. On Oct. 12 he’ll be at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts to speak at a free event for the public.

The event is free but attendees must register by calling 1-877-926-8300 or https://aarp.cvent.com/KYFraudWatch . It is sponsored by the AARP.

Elk killed in crash as small population settles in

WHITMAN, W.Va. (AP) — State officials say the vehicle crash that killed two elk along U.S. 119 was bound to happen as the small population grows.

Earlier this week, two of West Virginia’s 24 elk were struck and killed by an ambulance in Logan County.

Randy Kelley, elk project leader for the state Division of Natural Resources, says the two animals were crossing the highway when they were hit around 3 a.m. Monday.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the ambulance’s driver said the elk were on the concrete median and jumped out in front of the vehicle. The ambulance crew was not injured.

In nearby Eastern Kentucky, which has an elk population estimated at 10,000, one or two collisions take place each year.

Kelley says warning signs had been placed on the highway in areas where elk were known to cross.

Johnny Depp’s Ky. horse farm fails to sell at auction

LEXINGTON (AP) — Johnny Depp’s Kentucky horse farm has failed to sell at auction after bidding was too low.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports the 41-acre (17-hectare) Lexington property was listed for $2.9 million, but the top bid Friday was $1.4 million.

After a conference with Depp business manager Edward White, the auctioneers ended the auction without a sale. The Halfhill Auction Group and White said they’ll continue talking to interested buyers.

Although there were 14 registered bidders, it was clear from the outset the auction was going to be sluggish. An auctioneer’s suggestion the bidding start at $2.5 million drew no interest, and bidding began at $1 million.

The property includes a 6,000-square-foot house with seven bedrooms, a four-car garage, a guesthouse and three barns.

Depp is a Kentucky native born in Owensboro.

Attorney General helps man who overdosed on Lexington street

LEXINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Andy Beshear says he got a first-hand look at the seriousness of Kentucky’s opioid epidemic on the streets of Lexington this week.

Beshear says he and two staffers stopped their car to get out and help a man suffering from a drug overdose.

Beshear told The Lexington Herald-Leader they were near Main Street when they saw a woman beating on the window of a stopped car. The man in that car was unconscious. One of the staffers, Josh Keats, and Beshear pulled the man out of his car. Keats, a paramedic, asked police to bring a bottle of naloxone, and the man was revived and taken to the hospital.

Beshear says he will instruct his staff on how to administer naloxone. He said the incident shows an overdose can happen anywhere.

Ky. authorities: Man shoots 2 people, then himself

MOUNT WASHINGTON (AP) — Officials say a man shot two people and then himself in Kentucky.

News outlets report authorities say 48-year-old Michael Smith drove to 50-year-old Ronald Fowler’s house in Mount Washington on Saturday night and fatally shot Fowler and 46-year-old Pamela Leonard after a confrontation. Police say Smith left the scene and called 911 after returning to his Shepherdsville home.

The Shepherdsville Police Department responded to Smith’s home and found him dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The investigation is ongoing.

WAVE-TV reports that Fowler and Leonard were on their second date, and Smith had posted on Facebook that Leonard betrayed him.

Teen death probe details problems at West Virginia facility

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — An employee at a West Virginia residential care facility lied about checking on a 13-year-old boy before the youth stole a van and died in a crash in March, a state investigation found.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the state Office of Health Facility Licensure and Certification investigation found that on the night of the boy’s death, a staff member wrote on his sleep chart that Jeremy Bush was awake an hour after the employee actually ended her shift early.

Investigators said the faked chart made them question the validity of other documentation completed by staff at the Woodward Children’s Home in Charleston. The home is operated by Louisville, Kentucky-based ResCare Inc., which often provides care for people with physical and mental disabilities.

Police said the van the boy was driving crashed into a retaining wall and burst into flames. The state report said the boy also escaped the facility twice in the months leading up to his death.

It also found that staff members lost the keys to the van a few days before the boy’s death, and that the keys reappeared the day of his death.

Although vehicle keys are required to be placed in a lockbox, the report found staff members at times failed to follow procedure. An employee stated the facility’s vehicles in the driveway stayed unlocked, and one vehicle was found unlocked two days after the boy’s crash.

While employees are supposed to document daily activities, they failed to complete a form each time they left or returned with a child or vehicle, according to the report.

As a result of the investigation, the facility’s residential manager will now make random visits and monthly safety meetings will be held to identify ongoing issues.

Citing privacy concerns, a ResCare spokeswoman declined comment to the newspaper on whether employees at the facility were disciplined.

2 killed in head-on collision on Interstate 69 in Ky.

MORTONS GAP (AP) — Kentucky State Police say two drivers are dead in a head-on collision on Interstate 69.

State Police say in a news release that the accident occurred Saturday in Hopkins County.

The statement says 80-year-old Maynard W. Pemberton of Cedar Lake, Indiana, was driving northbound in a southbound construction area that was restricted to one lane. Pemberton’s minivan hit a southbound car driven by 40-year-old Sonja L. Adams of Nortonville.

Both victims were pronounced dead at the scene. State Police are investigating the collision.

UofL won’t announce names of presidential finalists

LOUISVILLE (AP) — University of Louisville trustees have decided on a presidential search process that won’t identify the finalists before the next campus leader is chosen.

Board of Trustees Chairman David Grissom said in a letter to the campus community on Friday that the trustees decided to protect the confidentiality of candidates during the search.

Grissom told reporters that the university is trying to attract applicants who already have important jobs. He says such officials are unlikely to risk their careers by “becoming a public figure during an interviewing process.”

The decision means only trustees will meet the finalists before the next president is chosen.

The university is searching for a successor to former President James Ramsey, who was ousted last year. Interim President Greg Postel says he’s interested in the permanent position.