News in Brief

Ky. flooding leaves 1 dead, 7 unaccounted for

PAINTSVILLE (AP) Flood waters that rushed through eastern Kentucky mountains left one dead, seven unaccounted for and an estimated 150 homes damaged or destroyed.

Gov. Steve Beshear has declared a state of emergency.

In a statement Tuesday, Beshear said the declaration would give local officials immediate access to state resources to assist in public safety and recovery efforts.

The hardest-hit areas include Johnson and Rowan counties in eastern Kentucky, which are struggling with debris, downed power lines and difficult communication as they search for the missing.

Kentucky State Police Trooper Stephen Mounts says emergency personnel searching for the missing in the hardest-hit neighborhoods in Johnson County are struggling with debris, downed power lines and difficult communication as they search for those who might be trapped in their homes.

Regina McClure, the county’s emergency management shelter coordinator, says the county was saturated with about 4 inches of rain in about an hour Monday evening. More rain is expected Tuesday.

Emergency personnel asked that people stay away from the area, and those missing loved ones should contact law enforcement.

Mounts says the number unaccounted for is fluid and likely to change quickly.


Funds awarded to expedite cases through judicial system

FRANKFORT (AP) — Prosecutors’ offices throughout Kentucky are receiving funds to help expedite cases through the judicial system.

The Prosecutors Advisory Council awarded the grants with funds from the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet. Attorney General Jack Conway’s office announced the awards on Monday.

Of 35 applications, 18 were approved for funding. They cover 26 counties, including Anderson, Ballard, Boone, Bracken, Breathitt, Bullitt, Campbell, Carlisle, Christian, Daviess, Fleming, Fulton, Gallatin, Hardin, Hickman, Jefferson, Jessamine, Kenton, Laurel, Letcher, Madison, Mason, Pulaski, Shelby, Spencer and Warren counties.

The awards for the “Rocket Docket” program range from $19,000 to $108,000.


Legislators appointed to teachers’ retirement study panel

FRANKFORT (AP) — The leaders of Kentucky’s state Senate and House of Representatives have appointed six people to a committee studying solutions for the state’s troubled retirement system for public school teachers.

Republican state Senate President Robert Stivers chose Republican Sens. Damon Thayer of Georgetown and Joe Bowen of Owensboro along with Democratic Sen. Morgan McGarvey of Louisville. Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo chose himself along with Democratic state Rep. Derrick Graham of Frankfort and Republican state Rep. Jeff Hoover of Jamestown.

The Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System has more than 75,000 active members along with 45,000 retired members. As of 2014 it has an unfunded liability of $14 billion. In 2000, the unfunded liability was $571 million.

House Democrats proposed borrowing $3.3 billion to help bail out the system. But Senate Republicans objected to going into more debt.


Ky. officials unveil campaign to encourage HPV vaccination

FRANKFORT (AP) — State officials have unveiled a new campaign to encourage parents to have their children vaccinated against human papillomavirus (PAP’-uh-LO’-mah-VIE’-russ), which can cause cancer.

Officials say currently only 27 percent of Kentucky 13- to 17-year-old girls have received the recommended three doses of the vaccine, and 19 percent of boys have received one dose. The state hopes to increase vaccination rates by 25 percent under an initiative launched last year.

The campaign unveiled Monday features television, radio and print advertisements promoting the benefits of the HPV vaccine. The vaccine is recommended for 11- and 12-year-old boys and girls to prevent infection.

The campaign is funded through a $500,000 grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Rand Paul doesn’t know if clerks can deny gay marriages

LOUISVILLE (AP) — Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul doesn’t know whether county clerks in his home state have a constitutional claim to religious liberty in defense of their refusal to issue same-sex marriage licenses.

Paul said he is “not a legal authority on that” and isn’t sure whether the clerks have a legitimate objection in their defiance of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling legalizing gay marriage.

He is one of 15 Republicans campaigning for the presidential nomination. Paul stopped at a summer camp in Louisville Monday, just as a federal court hearing began in Ashland over whether clerks can claim a religious exemption to issuing same-sex licenses.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, who has stopped issuing licenses altogether to avoid issuing them to gay couples.


University settles case over student loans

FRANKFORT (AP) — The state attorney general’s office says it’s reached a settlement with Mid-Continent University that requires the now-closed school to offer loans matching terms of federal student loans for remaining balances from 2011 to 2014.

The attorney general’s office said Monday that the school is also required to offer balance discharges or loan forgiveness to qualified students.

The university did not immediately return a voice message Monday. A news release from the attorney general’s office said the school denied wrongdoing or violation of law but entered into compliance to resolve the matter.

Affected students should receive a letter from the school within about a week.

A lawyer for the school told a bankruptcy judge last month that the school intended to put its campus north of Mayfield up for sale.


Panel: Shifting cargo likely caused 2013 Afghanistan crash

DETROIT (AP) — Federal transportation officials say a military vehicle aboard an overloaded plane in Afghanistan broke free, likely leading to the 2013 crash that killed all seven crew members.

The National Transportation Safety Board said Tuesday an improperly secured Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle went through the bulkhead. It disabled two hydraulic systems, rendering the aircraft uncontrollable.

The Dubai-bound Boeing 747-400 plane was operated by National Air Cargo when it crashed just after takeoff from Bagram Air Base on April 29, 2013. The crash killed six crew members from Michigan and one from Kentucky.

NTSB officials found “critical safety deficiencies,” including a failure by parent company National Airlines to restrain cargo. It also found inadequate Federal Aviation Administration oversight of cargo operator procedures and inspector training.

The Associated Press left a message seeking comment from National Airlines.

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