News in Brief

Baby OK after man steals car with her inside, hits tree

GEORGETOWN (AP) — Police say an 8-month-old baby is safe after a man stole a car with the child inside and led police on a chase through two counties before crashing into a tree.

Kentucky State Police Trooper Robert Purdy told WKYT-TV the theft happened at a Georgetown gas station after the child’s mother walked inside, leaving a teenager to pump gas. A man jumped into their car and drove off with it.

A trooper spotted the vehicle and pursued it. The chase ended in Richmond after the driver hit a tree and took off on foot. Authorities say officers chased him into the woods, where he shot himself and was pronounced dead at the scene. Troopers have not released the man’s name.

The baby’s car seat had flipped over, but she was unharmed.


Woman’s body recovered after flood causes sinkhole

CADIZ (AP) — Rescue personnel in western Kentucky have recovered the body of a woman whose vehicle fell into a sinkhole Tuesday night that was caused by heavy rainfall.

The Paducah Sun reports that the woman has been identified as 61-year-old Nancy H. Fox, the mother of Trigg County Rescue Squad Chief Barry Fox.

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet spokesman Keith Todd says Nancy Fox was driving in the Blue Springs area of Caldwell County when floodwaters washed away the road, leaving a sinkhole approximately 60 feet wide and 20 feet deep

Todd says rescue units from several area agencies responded to the scene and searched for several hours but were not able to locate the car.

Todd says once the water levels dropped early Wednesday morning, authorities found the car submerged and upside down.


Most claims dismissed in case against disability lawyer

COVINGTON (AP) — A federal judge has dismissed most, but not all, claims in a lawsuit that accuses eastern Kentucky disability lawyer Eric Conn of colluding with a judge to rig Social Security cases.

The Courier-Journal reports two of the claims remain. One accuses Conn and former Administrative Law Judge David Daugherty of conspiracy. The other accuses Conn of defrauding the government.

Conn has been under scrutiny for several years, but hasn’t been charged with a crime and is still in practice. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Earlier this year, the Social Security Administration suspended benefits to hundreds of Conn’s clients because of suspected fraud. The agency reversed its decision at the urging of U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, but those people will be required to re-prove their disability claims.


Food stamps being used at more farmers’ markets

FRANKFORT (AP) — Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer says food stamp benefits can be used at an increasing number of farmers’ markets in the state.

Comer says up to 225 farmers’ markets and individual producers now use Electronic Benefit Transfer equipment — a more than 10-fold increase from 21 markets participating in 2010. EBT equipment lets customers buy foods at farmers’ markets with food stamp benefits and to pay with debit or credit cards.

Comer says the EBT equipment helps both customers and farmers.

He says consumers can buy locally produced foods and Kentucky farmers can make a better living.

Nationwide, farmers’ markets redeemed $16.6 million in food stamp benefits last year, compared with $4.2 million five years ago.


Judge rejects claim that bourbon was falsely advertised

LOUISVILLE (AP) — Chalk up another round for Maker’s Mark distillery in fending off claims of misleading marketing for promoting its Kentucky bourbon as handmade.

A federal judge in California this week dismissed a lawsuit filed by two consumers who claimed they were misled by the bourbon maker’s handmade claims on its bottles, known for their red-wax seal.

They said the claim enticed them to purchase Maker’s Mark instead of a less expensive whiskey.

The plaintiffs, Safora Nowrouzi and Travis Williams, accused Maker’s Mark of false advertising, unfair competition and negligent and intentional misrepresentation. The suit claimed the process to produce the bourbon features “little to no human supervision, assistance or involvement.”

The judge, however, accepted the bourbon producer’s request to dismiss the suit.

“This court finds that ‘handmade’ cannot reasonably be interpreted as meaning literally by hand nor that a reasonable consumer would understand the term to mean no equipment or automated process was used to manufacture the whisky,” Houston wrote.


Revolutionary War re-enactment planned at Ky. state park

MOUNT OLIVET (AP) — Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park is hosting an annual re-enactment of a Revolutionary War battle next month.

The event commemorates the 1782 battle that included Daniel Boone and other pioneers along the Licking River. The outnumbered pioneers were defeated by British soldiers and Native Americans. Boone lost his son in the fighting.

The event is planned for Aug. 15 and 16, and will feature pioneer camps, entertainment, trail walks, historical programs and two battle re-enactments. The first is at 3 p.m. Saturday and the second at 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

Admission to this event is free, and Pioneer Museum will be open through the weekend with free admission.

The resort is located 45 miles northeast of Lexington off historic U.S. 68.

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