News Around the State

Published 11:22 am Tuesday, July 24, 2018

School district scraps plans to arm teacher, staff

PIKEVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky school district that passed a resolution to train and arm school employees with firearms in the event of an active shooter has scrapped that plan and will instead have uniformed deputies patrolling schools.

Pike County Sheriff’s Office deputies will patrol the county’s five high schools when the school year begins, officials told the Lexington Herald-Leader on Friday.

The Pike County School Board passed the proposal in February after multiple U.S. school shootings, including one at Marshall County High School in western Kentucky. Several people were shot, and two people died.

School Board Chairman Justin Maynard said the school board pursued the idea of arming teachers because the district couldn’t afford to pay law enforcement officers to patrol the schools at an estimated annual cost of more than $1 million.

However, the sheriff’s office placed deputies in some schools after the proposal was passed and has since offered to keep those deputies where they are at no cost to the district. Officials said the district hopes to eventually help pay the sheriff’s office for the cost of those deputies.

Lynn Cross, chief deputy of the Pike County Sheriff’s Office, said all deputies who patrol the schools will take specialized courses on school safety through Kentucky’s Department of Criminal Justice Training.

In addition to the deputy patrols, the district also has purchased security technology, worked to develop detailed safety plans for each school and led active shooter drills.

Patricia Lea Collins, director of Pike County’s Head Start program, said the deputies help to reassure parents. Collins noted that, “these deputies have become part of the school staff culture.”

Mine safety grants available from federal government

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The federal government says up to $250,000 is available for grants to promote U.S. mine safety.

The Labor Department’s Mine Safety and Health Administration said the deadline for the Brookwood-Sago grant program is Aug. 23, with grants to be awarded by Sept. 28.

The agency said in a news release that the funding is to be used to support education and training to help prevent unsafe working conditions in and around mines.

The program honors 25 miners who died in 2001 in Brookwood, Alabama, at the Jim Walter Resources #5 mine, and in 2006 in Buckhannon, West Virginia, at the Sago Mine.

To submit an application, go to http://www.grants.gov . More information is available online .

Secretary of state expecting baby boy in December

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky’s secretary of state says she is expecting a baby boy in December.

Alison Lundergan Grimes made the announcement Monday with her husband on her personal Twitter account . Grimes shared that the couple have had difficulty having a child. She said she holds in her heart people who are affected by infertility.

Earlier this month, state Treasurer Allison Ball became the state’s first constitutional officer to give birth while in office. Her son, Levi Adrian Swan, was born July 3.

Grimes is a Democrat who is finishing up her second term in office. She gained national attention in 2014 during her unsuccessful campaign to defeat Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell.

Grimes is prohibited by term limits from seeking re-election in 2019. But she is a potential candidate for governor.

New scholarship at UofL aimed at first-generation students

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The University of Louisville will begin offering a new scholarship aimed at first-generation college students this fall.

The school says in a statement that an endowment gift of $2.5 million from Carl F. Pollard will support two scholarships annually beginning in the 2018-19 school year. Pollard is a former Humana executive and Churchill Downs chairman.

The statement says the Carl F. Pollard Scholarship Fund will cover about 65 percent of tuition, board and other fees for each student.

UofL President Neeli Bendapudi says the gift will help students who might not have the means otherwise to attain a higher education.

To be eligible, students must have a minimum high school grade point average of 2.8 and demonstrate a financial need and a history of extracurricular and community involvement.