News in Brief

Man shot during argument

WHITCO — A Letcher County man is recovering from a gunshot wound he received during an argument at his home. Troopers with Kentucky State Police Post 13 in Hazard responded to a residence on Abaco Court in the Whitco community, after dispatchers received a call advising of the shooting. Troopers were assisted at the scene by Letcher County Sheriff’s Department, Whitesburg Police Department, District 1 Constable, and Letcher Ambulance Service.

Investigating officers were advised that Joseph Pack, 20, of Cowan, came to the residence of 28-year-old Claude Hall Jr., and the two became involved in a verbal, then physical altercation. Joseph Pack retrieved a handgun and shot Hall once in the leg before fleeing the scene.

Hall was transported to Whitesburg ARH, where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries. Pack was located at his residence on Pack Drive and was taken into custody without incident. He was charged with one count of first-degree assault, and remains lodged in the Letcher County Jail. Trooper Josh Huff with KSP Post 13 is continuing this investigation.


Unemployment rates drop in 115 Ky. counties

FRANKFORT (AP) — State officials say unemployment rates declined in 115 of Kentucky’s 120 counties between July 2014 and last month.

The state Office of Employment and Training says Woodford County had the lowest jobless rate at 4 percent. It was followed by Fayette and Owen counties at 4.1 percent each. The next lowest rates were Boone County at 4.3 percent and Scott County at 4.4 percent.

Three counties each had a 4.5 percent rate — Campbell, Jessamine and Kenton.

Magoffin County had the state’s highest jobless rate at 12.8 percent. It was followed by Harlan County at 12 percent, Leslie County at 11.1 percent, Letcher County at 10.8 percent and Carter County at 10.3 percent.


Air Force: 2 special ops troops killed in Afghan attack

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon says the two Americans killed in Afghanistan in an apparent insider attack by Afghan soldiers were Air Force special operations troops.

They are identified as 27-year-old Capt. Matthew D. Roland of Lexington, Kentucky, and 31-year-old Staff Sgt. Forrest B. Sibley of Pensacola, Florida.

Roland was assigned to the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron based at Hurlburt Field, Florida, and Sibley was assigned to the 21st Special Tactics Squadron based at Pope Army Airfield, North Carolina.

Hurlburt Field is home to the Air Force Special Operations Command.

The attack was carried out Wednesday at a military base in southern Afghanistan’s Helmand province. Early reports said three other Americans were wounded.

The attackers were wounded in an exchange of gunfire but survived.


N.Ky. student charged after gun spotted

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS (AP) — A Northern Kentucky University spokeswoman says a student has been charged after she was seen with a gun in the school library.

The spokeswoman says the student didn’t brandish the weapon, which was determined to be inoperable.

Spokeswoman Amanda Nageleisen (NAY’-geh-ly-sehn) says another student reported the situation at about 9:45 a.m. EDT Thursday. Nageleisen says university police arrived within one minute of receiving the call.

Nageleisen says some students were evacuated from the library briefly but that there was never an immediate danger. She says no alert was issued because of the rapid police response.

Nageleisen said the student was charged with carrying a concealed deadly weapon without a license and lodged at the Campbell County jail. She said the student’s name isn’t being released, in keeping with university policy.


Hardwood molding company creating 90 jobs in Somerset

SOMERSET (AP) — A hardwood molding company is expanding to Somerset, creating 90 jobs with a $2.6 million investment.

Gov. Steve Beshear’s office announced Thursday that Menzner Lumber and Supply Co. will lease land and buildings that had previously housed Glen Oak Lumber. The four buildings total 195,000 square feet where Menzner will have rough mill, molding, priming paint line and sawdust processing facilities.

Beshear’s office said in a news release that the Wisconsin-based company has production constraints at its primary location and that the new location will allow the business to grow.

The company currently has 350 employees in Wisconsin, Mississippi and South Carolina.

The state has given preliminary approval for tax incentives up to $1 million.


Appeals court reinstates lawsuit over fatal police shooting

ELSMERE (AP) — A federal appeals court has reinstated a wrongful death lawsuit against a northern Kentucky police officer who fatally shot a man.

The Kentucky Enquirer reports the three-judge panel in Cincinnati ruled last week that the suit filed by the man’s parents contains enough evidence to move forward.

Elsmere officer David Byrd fatally shot 21-year-old Michael Godawa in 2012 in the parking lot of a bar.

Godawa’s parents say he was trying to get away, and the officer should not have fired his weapon.

Byrd’s attorney, Jeff Mando, says Godawa, who was in a vehicle, tried to run over the officer. He said the officer’s use of lethal force was justified.

No criminal charges were brought in the case and Byrd still works as an Elsmere officer.


Lexington police officer enters plea to harassment charge

LEXINGTON (AP) — A Lexington police officer has entered an Alford plea to a harassment charge.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports Officer James Norris entered the plea Thursday. In an Alford plea, a defendant doesn’t admit guilt but acknowledges there is sufficient evidence for conviction.

Thirty-four-year-old Norris was charged with second-degree official misconduct and harassment after court documents say he shoved a prisoner against the back of a patrol wagon in January while the person was handcuffed and wearing a spit hood.

Norris pleaded not guilty to the charges in April.

On Thursday, the misconduct charge was dismissed, and Norris was ordered to pay a $250 fine and court costs.

The police department says an investigation confirmed that Norris “behaved improperly” during the arrest. He was suspended without pay in March.


Man sentenced to 35 years for killing high school student

LEXINGTON (AP) — A man convicted of murder in the shooting death of a Lexington teenager has been sentenced to 35 years in prison.

Media report 24-year-old Deionta Hayes was sentenced on Friday in Fayette Circuit Court.

Prosecutors said he killed 16-year-old Henry Clay sophomore Chaz Black and wounded two others during a dice game in 2012 at a Palumbo Drive apartment.

A Fayette County Circuit Court jury convicted Hayes in July on charges of murder, second-degree assault and theft of a handgun.

Defense attorneys said Hayes shot in self-defense, but the prosecution asked jurors to reject that because Black was unarmed.

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