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News Around the State

Film manufacturer to expand, add 30 jobs

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin says a film manufacturer plans to expand its facility in Simpson County and add 30 jobs.

A statement from Bevin’s office says RKW North America Inc. is a German-owned manufacturer of industrial film that plans to invest $18 million on the project. Bevin says the announcement is one example of the growing number of engineering and manufacturing jobs Kentucky is attracting.

RKW plans to build a 30,000-square-foot manufacturing and warehouse facility, as well as add new technology that will allow the company to tap new markets. They plan to add new production equipment as well as modify existing lines.

The company produces high-performance technical films and hygiene films.

101st Airborne soldiers returning from Afghanistan

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (AP) — Soldiers assigned to the 101st Airborne Division are beginning to return home from Afghanistan after nine-month deployments.

Fort Campbell will welcome home about 500 soldiers with Task Force Destiny, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, and Task Force Lifeliners, 101st Sustainment Brigade. The return ceremonies will be on Thursday and Feb. 28.

A Fort Campbell release says the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade provided aviation support to U.S., coalition and Afghan forces. Task Force Destiny exceeded 50,000 flight hours, transporting more than 7 million pounds of cargo and 91,000 passengers.

The 101st Sustainment Brigade provided logistical support to U.S., coalition and Afghan forces throughout the Combined Joint Operations Area-Afghanistan.

Festival to blend music with horses, bourbon and bluegrass

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — A new festival that blends music with horses, bourbon and bluegrass is coming to Kentucky.

Keeneland says it will host the Railbird Festival, which will be produced by AC Entertainment, the company that puts on other high-profile music festivals including Bonnaroo and Forecastle.

Officials say the name Railbird has ties to both horse racing and music. In horse racing, a railbird is a regular who hangs on the rail around the track to be close to the action. To “ride the rail” at a concert means essentially the same thing.

Railbird will take place on the meadow and hill surrounding Keeneland Aug. 10-11. It will offer different musical genres including rock, bluegrass and folk, and it will offer bourbon and equine-focused experiences including off-track wagering.

Kentucky Senate passes bill to outlaw child sex dolls

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky state Senate has passed a bill to make possessing a “child sex doll” illegal.

The Courier Journal reports Senate Bill 102 would prohibit owning anatomically correct dolls or robots that resemble minors and are meant for sexual purposes.

Republican Sen. Whitney Westerfield says he introduced the bill that passed Wednesday at the request of Kenton County Commonwealth Attorney Rob Sanders.

Sanders was unable to prosecute a man who ordered sex dolls resembling an infant and a 6- to 8-year-old girl last year. A judge dropped the charge, saying there was no actual child involved.

Court records say police tracked a package from China to the home of a 41-year-old man, where they then served a warrant and found the dolls. The bill now goes to the House.

Kentucky Derby, Preakness winner Silver Charm turning 25

GEORGETOWN, Ky. (AP) — Hall of Fame thoroughbred Silver Charm is celebrating his silver anniversary birthday, and Old Friends retirement facility is hosting a party for him.

The farm says fans can submit an original greeting card on paper or in digital format for a card contest to wish Silver Charm a happy 25th birthday. The deadline is Thursday. The best design will receive a color photo of Silver Charm.

The birthday party will be from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Friday at the Georgetown farm. The party is free and open to the public. Guests will receive gift bags, while supplies last; giveaways; and lunch from several local restaurants.

Silver Charm won the 1997 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes and the 1998 Dubai World Cup. He retired at Old Friends in 2014.

Adults at library’s drag queen event must bring a child

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — Southwestern Indiana library officials who’ve faced criticism for a program in which a man in drag will read to children say all adults attending Saturday’s event must be accompanied by a child.

Heather McNabb is the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library’s engagement officer. She says library officials want as many children who would like to attend the Drag Queen Story Hour to be able to do so without exceeding space capacity limits.

McNabb tells the Evansville Courier & Press that police officers will provide security during Saturday’s program.

The event that’s marketed for children age 11 and under will feature a local drag performer reading stories chosen by library staff.

Opponents have pushed for the event’s cancellation, calling the program immoral.

Similar events, including in suburban Detroit, have also generated opposition .