State News in Brief

Published 10:28 am Monday, January 29, 2018

Trooper: Deputies fatally shot man who fired at them first

LONDON, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky man has been fatally shot by deputies after authorities said he fired first at the officers.

Kentucky trooper Lloyd Cochran tells news outlets that Laurel County sheriff’s deputies were called to a home Sunday afternoon on reports of a man shooting a gun outside.

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Responding deputies told 45-year-old Anthony S. McDaniel to drop his weapon. Cochran says McDaniel refused, and shot at the officers, hitting a police cruiser. The deputies then opened fire and McDaniel was pronounced dead at the scene.

All the deputies involved have been placed on administrative leave while Kentucky State Police investigate. Additional details haven’t been released.

Water district needs cash to avoid collapse

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Officials representing a water department in an eastern Kentucky county say the district could collapse within 60 to 90 days without an immediate influx of cash.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that Kentucky’s Public Service Commission held a hearing in Frankfort on Friday to consider the Martin County Water District’s application for an emergency rate increase of nearly 50 percent for its 3,500 customers.

John Horn, chairman of the Martin County Water Board, said that without additional revenue, the district will soon miss payroll.

The water district shut off water to thousands of customers for days when an intake pump and service pipes froze during frigid weather earlier this month. For years, the district has lost more than half of the water it treats through leaky pipes and tanks.

Man sentenced in threat against US attorney in Ky.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — A man has been sentenced to 30 years for threatening to murder a federal prosecutor in Kentucky and solicitation to murder a U.S. officer.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Louisville says 43-year-old Edgar Villa-Castaneda, formerly of Lexington, was found guilty after a two-day trial in October. Prosecutors said Villa-Castaneda in 2015 threatened to murder then-Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert M. Duncan Jr., who was confirmed last fall as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky.

The charges surfaced after an inmate at Woodford County Detention Center told his lawyer that Villa-Castaneda was trying to hire someone to kill Duncan because he believed he and his incarcerated son were unfairly targeted by Duncan.

The case was handled by a prosecutor in the Western District of Kentucky. The sentencing was announced Friday.

State bourbon distilleries see record number of visitors

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Bourbon distilleries in Kentucky are reporting a record number of visitors.

A statement from the Kentucky Distillers’ Association says nearly 1.2 million people visited distilleries along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour last year. That comes on the heels of a milestone in 2016, when visitors made more than 1 million stops at distilleries.

Officials say along with the upswing in visitors, the number of participating distilleries is also increasing with three more added last year and more expected this summer.

Kentucky Distillers’ Association President Eric Gregory said it’s reflecting a nine-year trend and predicts another banner year for bourbon tourism in 2018.

Police: Man threatened to blow up doughnut shop

HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky man is accused of threatening to blow up a doughnut shop.

News outlets cite a Hopkinsville police report that says police found 52-year-old Randy A. Roy seemingly asleep and intoxicated in Whistle Stop Donuts on Saturday afternoon. Police also found a half-empty bottle of vodka.

Roy was initially arrested on a public intoxication charge. According to the report, once he was in custody, Roy threatened to return and blow up the doughnut shop and put the officer “in a body bag” and throw him into the river.

He was then charged with retaliating against a participant in legal process. It’s unclear whether he has a lawyer.

Judge chastises prosecutor in Satanic killing case

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky judge says a state prosecutor acted out of vindictiveness when he charged two men with kidnapping and perjury after the state Supreme Court vacated their murder convictions.

Judge Bruce Butler ruled earlier this month that Assistant Attorney General Perry Ryan was acting out of vindictiveness when he had a grand jury indict Jeffrey Clark and Keith Hardin.

The men were convicted of killing Rhonda Warford as part of a satanic ritual and spent more than 20 years in prison before new DNA evidence led justices to order a new trial.

The Courier-Journal said Butler wrote that vindictive conduct “by persons with the awesome powers of prosecutors is unacceptable.”

Butler dismissed the perjury and kidnapping charges, which the Attorney General’s Office said were pursued by a Meade County prosecutor.

CNHI publishing company forms regional editor system

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama-based publishing company CNHI announced Friday that it is restructuring its leadership.

CNHI said in a statement that it is moving to a regional editor system for its more than 100 community newspapers. The company said it has been working on the regional structure for six months.

Sunbury (Pennsylvania) Daily Item editor Dennis Lyons will become the national editor and work with nine regional editors.

Valdosta (Georgia) Daily Times editor James Zachary will become the deputy national editor and regional editor for papers in north Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Texas.

Bill Ketter, CNHI’s senior vice president for news, said regional editors will allow more collaboration on projects across newspapers.

“It is important for newsrooms to share good ideas on how to serve their audiences across platforms,” said Kayla Castille, CNHI’s senior vice president for content and digital operations. “Great content is key to our future, and this system will help our newsrooms achieve even more success in the digital era.”

CNHI, a Raycom Media company headquartered in Montgomery, is one of the nation’s leading publishers of local news and information, operating newspapers, websites and specialty publications in more than 110 communities in 23 states.

Kentucky State Fair Board names new interim CEO

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky State Fair Board has named a state official as its new interim chief executive officer.

Don Parkinson, who is secretary of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, will take over the temporary CEO role.

The board oversees the Kentucky Exposition Center and the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville.

The fair board’s chairman, Mark Lynn, was filling in after the departure of the board’s former CEO Jason Rittenberry, who resigned as CEO last year.

Parkinson will keep the job until a full-time CEO is hired. Parkinson has twice served as the interim president of the Kentucky Center for the Arts in Louisville.

Man, girlfriend charged in slayings of his mom, grandfather

AURORA, Ind. (AP) — Authorities say a southeastern Indiana man and his girlfriend have been charged in the slayings of the man’s mother and grandfather.

Officers discovered the bodies of 78-year-old Walter Bryant Jr. and 58-year-old Faith Craig the night of Jan. 19 at a house in Aurora, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) west of Cincinnati. The bodies were found after the Dearborn County Sheriff’s Office was asked to check on them.

Police say 28-year-old Cody W. Booth and 47-year-old Margie L. Thompson, both of Aurora, were found the next day in Kentucky in Bryant’s vehicle. They were charged Monday with murder and other charges. It wasn’t immediately known if they had lawyers.

Police say evidence and autopsies determined Bryant and Craig were stabbed. Bryant also had blunt force trauma to his head.

Evansville creates animal abuse registry to help shelters

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — A southwestern Indiana city has created an animal abuse registry to help animal shelters screen people seeking to adopt pets.

Evansville’s new database lists the person’s name, case number and the judgment against them in animal abuse or neglect cases. The information includes the charges, sentence and any stipulations of their sentence or probation.

City Councilwoman Missy Mosby pushed for the registry. She says the information will help animal shelters screen potential adopters to make sure animals aren’t given to people with a criminal history of abusing or neglecting animals.

Mosby tells the Evansville Courier & Press that the registry will also help residents determine if their “neighbor isn’t supposed to have dogs.”

The registry can be accessed through the Evansville Police Department’s website.