News Around the State

Published 11:05 am Thursday, June 14, 2018

Ky. to receive nearly $1 million for outdoor recreation

SOMERSET, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky will receive nearly $1 million in federal funding to help parks and outdoor recreation.

A statement from U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers says U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced that $923,741 will be distributed to Kentucky for Land and Water Conservation Fund from revenues available through the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act. The funding comes from Outer Continental Shelf lease revenues and is part of $61.6 million being distributed across the nation.

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Rogers say the grants help preserve land and water and improve the quality of life by allowing more recreational options. He says the funding goes toward improving areas like campgrounds, hiking trails and playgrounds.

Mom accused of forcing teen to drink gets 20 years

SOMERSET, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky woman accused of forcing her 14-year-old daughter to drink whiskey until she fell has had her probation revoked.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports the 35-year-old woman was sentenced last week to 20 years in prison. She had previously been placed on five years’ probation in lieu of serving prison time on several charges, including burglary.

A judge ruled she violated the terms of probation, which included a ban on possessing or drinking alcohol. In March, Somerset police were tipped off to a video in which the woman was heard saying they could get “a thousand million dollars” for the recording of her daughter.

She told police she was trying to teach the girl that drinking was bad.

Her charges in that case haven’t been resolved.

The Associated Press isn’t identifying the mother to prevent identifying the teen.

Coin toss decides magistrate race

RUSSELLVILLE, Ky. (AP) — With both candidates in a Kentucky magistrate primary tied at 127 votes, they used a coin flip to decide the race.

One of the Democrats, Boyce Coles, said a runoff “wouldn’t be nothing but a … mess.”

The other, Barry Perkins, called it a fair way to resolve the surprising result. He said he “couldn’t imagine it ending in a durn tie to start with.”

And with that, a silver dollar was flipped into the air on Tuesday.

The Daily News reported that County Clerk Scottie Harper put pieces of paper reading heads and tails into different envelopes. Each candidate chose one. After the coin landed on tails, they opened their envelopes and learned that Coles will face Republican Robert Chyle in November.

Grandmother of missing toddler found alive to be charged

SHEPHERDSVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky sheriff says the grandmother of a 2-year-old girl will be charged in connection with the toddler’s 32-hour disappearance last week.

Bullitt County Sheriff Donnie Tinnell tells WDRB-TV that Beth Campbell will be charged with endangering the welfare of a minor and neglect on Wednesday or Thursday. Campbell’s granddaughter, Charlee Campbell, was found alive Friday evening after disappearing early Thursday from her grandparents’ home.

Tinnell says he’s still investigating theories about what happened to the child in that 32-hour window. But even without a firm theory, he says Beth Campbell should face charges as she was supposed to be looking after the girl. It’s unclear whether she has a lawyer.

Charlee Campbell is currently in the custody of Child Protective Services.

Snapchat snafu: Alleged drug dealer leads clients to police

MORGANFIELD, Ky. (AP) — A suspected Kentucky drug dealer likely tanked his reviews after police say a wrong phone number posted on Snapchat led clients straight to police.

The Gleaner cites a Morganfield police release that says an officer received calls and texts Sunday from someone seeking to buy marijuana from a person called “Dunk.” As the officer’s name was Eric McAllister, police and a state trooper set up an undercover operation.

The sting netted 51-year-old Roy E. Hancock and a juvenile, who both told police Dunk posted his new number on Snapchat, but switched some digits, inadvertently posting McAllister’s number.

Police say they know Dunk’s real identity, but didn’t release it.

Hancock was arrested on several charges, including gun and drug counts. The release didn’t specify charges for the juvenile.

It’s unclear whether Hancock has a lawyer.

FBI, DEA agents raid pain clinic

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Federal agents have raided a Kentucky pain clinic as the FBI says it is investigating “multiple locations around Louisville.”

Special agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration were sorting through boxes inside Bluegrass Pain Consultants on Tuesday.

The Courier Journal reports that federal agents were talking to patients who were at the clinic.

FBI spokesman David Habich says the agents were conducting “court-authorized law enforcement activity at multiple locations around Louisville as part of an ongoing investigation.” He declined to comment further.

Bluegrass Pain Consultants has locations in Louisville and La Grange, Kentucky, according to its website. The group describes itself as providing treatment options for pain management, including consultations and medication.

Top official overseeing child protection plans to resign

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The top official overseeing child protection in Kentucky plans to resign from her job as commissioner of the Department for Community Based Services.

Cabinet for Health and Family Services spokesman Doug Hogan tells The Courier-Journal that Adria Johnson has informed officials that she plans to resign. Hogan said Monday that the transition and the effective date of her resignation are still being determined.

The spokesman says Johnson was appointed by Gov. Matt Bevin in January 2016. As commissioner, she also oversees other social service areas, including adult protection and benefits such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

The newspaper says Johnson’s departure comes amid continuing turnover at the human services cabinet under the Bevin administration. Johnson is among several top officials to leave Kentucky’s human services agency in recent months.

Arts center fire may have damaged art worth $18M

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A fire at a Kentucky performing arts center may have damaged artwork worth $18 million.

Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts spokesman Christian Adelberg tells news outlets that most of the artwork was in the lobby, which suffered water damage as firefighters sprayed down the top of the building Wednesday.

Louisville Fire Capt. Salvador Melendez says the fire was started by a grinder used by crews repairing the center’s roof. Fire Chief Gregory Frederick says everyone was evacuated safely.

Adelberg says the lobby artwork had been covered to protect it from dust and debris, but it’s unclear whether that protection was sufficient to shield the collection from water.

Adelberg says the next scheduled show isn’t until Friday. The center will determine the status of upcoming shows after assessing the damage.

Feds to study expansion of whitewater rafting at Breaks park

ELKHORN CITY, Ky. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell says the Army Corps of Engineers has agreed to study the possibility of expanding whitewater rafting season at Breaks Interstate Park.

McConnell said in a statement that he requested the study in an effort to increase tourism opportunities in the area and boost the economy. The park is located in eastern Kentucky and southwestern Virginia.

The Corps currently releases water from John W. Flannagan Dam & Reservoir onto the Russell Fork River during four weekends in October, creating ideal conditions for whitewater rafting. The study would analyze the impact of adding more water releases.

Jason Foley runs Kentucky Whitewater Raft Kayak Rescue and says he’s excited about the study and its potential economic impact on the area.

Teen shot at party dies; charge against man amended

LEDBETTER, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky State Police say a 15-year-old girl has died after being shot at a party and that charges against a 19-year-old have been amended.

Trooper Jay Thomas tells The Paducah Sun that Peyton Nicole Hurt, of Boaz, died after being shot at a party in Ledbetter on Saturday.

State police announced Monday that they would seek to change the first-degree assault charge to murder. Twenty-year-old Alexis Johnson was also charged with hindering apprehension.

Johnson is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday. It’s unclear if the accused have lawyers.

Agencies search for suspect who fled into Ohio River

VILLA HILLS, Ky. (AP) — Authorities in Kentucky and Ohio are searching for a man who police say jumped into the Ohio River while he was being sought by officers.

News outlets report the man’s identity hasn’t been released.

Cincinnati police said in a tweet that he is suspected of being a felony fugitive from Ohio and that he evaded a Ludlow, Kentucky, Police Department K-9, entering the river around 1 p.m. Wednesday. Authorities from several agencies were still searching for him several hours later.