News Around the State

Published 12:09 pm Thursday, May 24, 2018

Attorney reaches deal on fraud, escape charges

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky attorney who fled the country to avoid prison before being captured has reached a deal with federal prosecutors to resolve his escape and fraud charges.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports a lawyer for Eric Conn filed a motion Tuesday saying an agreement has been reached on all charges. The motion did not include details.

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Conn spent six months on the run last year after pleading guilty to bribing judges and doctors in a $500 million Social Security fraud scheme. His sentencing went on without him and he was given a 12-year prison term.

Conn was flown back to Kentucky after he was caught in Honduras in December. An 18-count indictment was reinstated after his arrest.

U.S. District Judge Danny C. Reeves has scheduled a June 4 hearing.

Sheriff: Boy killed when bike without brakes crashes on hill

INEZ, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky sheriff says a boy riding a bike without brakes down a steep hill has died after crashing into a metal drain pipe.

Martin County Sheriff John Kirk tells WYMT-TV the 14-year-old boy was going around 50 mph (80 kph) when he veered off the road and crashed. He says the teen and a family member were riding bikes down the hill Tuesday night when the relative lost sight of the boy, couldn’t find him and the family later reported him missing.

Kirk says a deputy then searched the area and found the body.

The teen has not been publicly identified.

Judge candidate dies 1 day after primary victory

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A 43-year-old Kentucky lawyer running for judge collapsed and died the day after he got the most votes in a primary election.

Danny Alvarez was described as “a true public servant, a humanitarian, and a champion for human rights and the immigrant community” by his campaign consultant Jonathan Hurst.

Hurst said in an email that Alvarez had “spent the day humbled and grateful to this community” after getting the most votes in the four-way race in Louisville.

Hurst told the Courier Journal that the married father of three died at a hospital after collapsing at home. No cause of death was released.

Hurst would have faced second-place finisher Tanisha Ann Hickerson in a November runoff in the Jefferson County District Court judge’s race.

Women sew, distribute burial gowns for infants

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. (AP) — Two Kentucky women are offering up their sewing skills to create free burial gowns for infants who fail to survive to term or past childbirth.

WAVE-TV reports Amy Labriola and Bev Miller take donated wedding dresses and turn them into gowns to distribute to families suffering from the death of an infant, whether a full-term baby or one lost to miscarriage.

Each gown takes around 3 hours to make and dress sizes vary. The two say they have made at least 250 gowns over the past five years.

They have donated the gowns to area hospitals including Hardin Memorial Hospital and Bowling Green Medical Center.

16-year-old indicted in fatal shooting of teen

LAFAYETTE, Ky. (AP) — A 16-year-old has been indicted on a murder charge in the fatal shooting of a 15-year-old during a robbery in Kentucky.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports the teen was indicted Monday for the Feb. 6 slaying of Kevin Olmeda-Ortiz, who was shot in the head and died in an ambulance. The indictment also alleges that he wounded another 15-year-old, who was treated at a hospital.

Lexington Police say the indictment also charges the 16-year-old with first-degree robbery and says that “in the course of committing theft, he used or threatened the immediate use of physical force.” The teenager is being held in juvenile detention pending a June 1 arraignment. The Associated Press generally does not identify juvenile criminal defendants.

Dairy farmers in Ky. struggle with shifting market

COXS CREEK, Ky. (AP) — Nearly 20 farmers in Kentucky have been told that their milk procurement contracts with Dean Foods are expiring this summer.

The Courier Journal reported Wednesday that more than 100 farmers across several states have received certified letters from Dean Foods that their contracts will be terminated May 31. Dean Foods extended that deadline this week until the end of June.

The newspaper reports the contracts are being terminated because Walmart will no longer buy Dean’s milk for its Great Value brand. That loss will cut the production at the company’s Louisville plant, which will shut down. Walmart has opened its own production plant in Indiana.

Dairy farmers were already struggling with exports leveling off from a post-recession surge and alternatives like almond milk gaining ground.

Federal assistance available in 12 counties hit by storms

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky officials say the U.S. Small Business Administration has approved disaster assistance loans for the severe storms and heavy flooding that hit parts of the state earlier this year.

Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration says SBA will make low-interest disaster loans available to homeowners, renters and businesses that sustained damage during the approved time period.

State officials say the primary counties included in the SBA declaration are Hardin and Jefferson, along with the contiguous counties of Breckinridge, Bullitt, Grayson, Hart, LaRue, Meade, Nelson, Oldham, Shelby and Spencer.

The declaration covers a period from Feb. 21 through March 21 of this year.

Western Kentucky offering major in molecular biotechnology

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) — Western Kentucky University says it is adding a new major in its biology department: molecular biotechnology.

A statement from the school says the major is the next step in its genetics program and will be offered beginning this fall.

Biology professor Sigrid Jacobshagen says the addition is in response to growth in the biotechnology industry.

Officials say students in the program can be involved in genomics, personalized medicine and cloning and those skills can be used in developing various medical products, industrial chemicals and energy sources.

Associate biology professor Ajay Srivastava says the major fits with Western’s mission to become an applied research institution and the state’s goal of developing a workforce trained for high-tech jobs.

Police: Man found fatally shot behind a Louisville car wash

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Authorities in Louisville say a 20-year-old man has been found dead of a gunshot wound behind a car wash.

The Courier Journal quotes Louisville Metro Police spokeswoman Alicia Smiley as saying officers arrived just before midnight Tuesday and found the body of a man identified as 20-year-old Anthony Edwards.

Deputy Coroner Anthony Wight of Jefferson County says Edwards died from the gunshot wound.

Smiley says the Metro Police homicide unit is investigating. She says that no arrests had been made as of Wednesday morning, and no suspects identified.

The newspaper reports police in Louisville have recorded 34 homicides so far this year.