News in Brief

Ky. designates 2 more ‘Trail Towns’

STEARNS (AP) — Kentucky has added two towns in the southern part of the state to those designated as “Trail Towns.”

First lady Jane Beshear on Wednesday recognized London and Stearns as the newest Trail Towns, part of a tourism development program.

Beshear’s office says Stearns and London are both near several outdoor recreation areas.

Stearns is a former coal and lumber town built by the Stearns Mining Co. Several historic sites and the Big South Fork Scenic Railway serve the area.

The first lady’s office said London is also known for its cycling route development, including its Redbud Ride each April.

The other Trail Towns are Dawson Springs, Livingston, Morehead and Olive Hill.

The Office of Adventure Tourism and the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet help market the state’s designated Trail Towns.


Last 2 victims of capsized pontoon boat identified

LOUISVILLE (AP) — Two bodies found in the Ohio River have been identified as the last two victims of a boat that capsized in Louisville three days earlier.

The Jefferson County coroner’s office on Wednesday identified the bodies found Tuesday as those of 37-year-old Joyce Wright and 10-year-old A’Daishia Swinney.

Nine people, including five children, were aboard the pontoon boat Saturday night to watch fireworks when the rushing current slammed the boat into a barge. Three children grabbed the barge and pulled themselves to safety, then pulled an adult from the wreckage. Five others died.


Ky. couple plead guilty in copper wire thefts

FRANKFORT (AP) — The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says a Clark County couple has pleaded guilty in a rash of thefts that stripped copper wire from highway lighting systems.

The cabinet said in a statement that Aaron Ferguson and his wife, Cindy Ferguson, entered pleas this week in Franklin County. Aaron Ferguson admitted to 28 felony counts of theft, criminal mischief and being a persistent felony offender. Cindy Ferguson admitted to five misdemeanor counts of criminal facilitation.

Arron Ferguson had originally faced 88 counts and his wife 44 counts stemming from 22 incidents in 2014 in which copper wire was taken from lighting systems on interstates and parkways in Bath, Fayette, Franklin, Grant, Jefferson, Laurel, Nelson, Scott and Woodford counties.

The statement says Aaron Ferguson will be sentenced on Aug. 28, and Cindy Ferguson’s12-month sentence was probated.


Unit at Fort Campbell gets new commander

FORT CAMPBELL (AP) — The Warrior Transition Unit at Fort Campbell will come under new command this week.

The post on the Kentucky-Tennessee state line says Lt. Col. Lyle “Chip” Finley will assume command for the unit in a ceremony Friday morning.

Finley will oversee the care and transition of nearly 200 injured, ill or wounded soldiers receiving care at Blanchfield Army Community Hospital’s Warrior Care Clinic and supporting medical services.

Finley is a graduate of The Citadel and has a master’s degree in business management from Troy University. He was commissioned in the Navy in 1986 and became a Naval intelligence officer. He has served in multiple roles, including deployments to Afghanistan and Kosovo.


State might take over management of Menifee Co. schools

FRENCHBURG (AP) — The Kentucky Board of Education is considering a state takeover of the Menifee County school district.

The state board says in a statement that it will consider during a Friday meeting a June recommendation made by Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday for state management of Menifee County schools.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that the Menifee school board voted in June not to contest the move. District officials could not be reached for comment by the newspaper.

The district has been under state assistance since December 2014 after a management audit found a significant lack of efficiency and effectiveness in the school district’s finances and instruction. Officials say several problems have yet to be corrected.

Currently, only the Breathitt County school district is managed by the Kentucky Department of Education.


Illinois State Police say arrest made in shooting of officer

MOUNDS, Ill. (AP) — Illinois State Police have announced the arrest of a teenager in the early morning shooting of a small town police officer in southern Illinois.

Authorities say the 16-year-old male juvenile was arrested after he sought medical attention for a minor gunshot wound. The suspect is being held at the Franklin County Youth Detention Center in lieu of $1,000,000 bond on attempted murder and aggravated battery charges.

The shooting occurred early Wednesday in the Pulaski County town of Mounds as the officer responded to an attempted residential burglary.

Officer Lyle Womack was wounded while exchanging fire with a suspect who then fled the scene. KFVS-TV reports Womack was taken to an out-of-state hospital and listed in stable condition.

Mounds is located along the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers near the Illinois-Kentucky state line.


Sumatran Tiger at Louisville Zoo gets detailed check-up

LOUISVILLE (AP) — A Sumatran Tiger at the Louisville Zoo has been given a comprehensive health exam.

The Courier-Journal reports that Leela was given the detailed exam Wednesday which included x-rays, blood and urine sample as well as an electrocardiogram. The exam occurs every two years along with yearly checkups.

Leela was born at the zoo in 2004.

Zoli Gyimesi, senior staff veterinarian at the zoo, says their zoo animals live a long time and that they try to catch old-age disease early.

Leela’s paw print was taken during the health exam. The print will be given to zoo friends and donors.

The World Wildlife Fund estimates there are only 400 existing Sumatran Tigers in the wild.


Benefit concert for Bluegrass museum set for late July

OWENSBORO (AP) — The bluegrass music duo Darin and Brooke Aldridge are set to play at the International Bluegrass Music Museum in a benefit concert later this month.

The museum says the pair is “one of the hottest young acts in acoustic music,” and they have received multiple nominations from the International Bluegrass Music Association.

The benefit is July 26 at the museum in Owensboro. Tickets are $15 each and include light hors d’oeuvres from The Miller House.

Money raised from the concert will go to the Bluegrass museum’s educational programs, operating expenses and other museum-related projects.

People wishing to attend can purchase tickets online at


Third person dies from injuries in Louisville fire

LOUISVILLE (AP) — A fire official says a third person has died from injuries suffered in a blaze at a Louisville apartment building.

Louisville Fire Maj. Henry Ott told media that a male died Thursday, a week after flames swept through the three-story apartment building in the city’s Old Louisville neighborhood. The man’s name wasn’t immediately released.

Officials have said they suspect the blaze was set intentionally.

Two women died the day of the fire and four others were injured. Authorities say one or two people leaped from the second floor to escape, and a firefighter was briefly trapped in the blaze.

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