News in Brief


Rogers: Study suggests site for federal prison in Letcher

WHITESBURG (AP) — U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers says an environmental impact study has suggested a site in Letcher County for a new federal prison.

Rogers’ office said in a news release that the contract was awarded in April to analyze two potential sites, and the result suggests that a 584-acre site in the Roxana community will be the preferred location for the prison.

The plan to build a federal prison in Kentucky has been in the works since 2006, when Rogers secured $5 million in Congress to begin the planning process.

The second site was also in Letcher County, in Payne Gap.

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Hospital: Patient has chicken pox, poses no health risk

DANVILLE (AP) — A Kentucky hospital locked down its emergency room for nine hours Saturday, after a patient arrived covered with sores and doctors feared a potential threat to the public’s health.

But late in the evening, the hospital announced the patient tested positive for two strains of adult chicken pox.

The patient arrived at the emergency room of Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center in Danville covered in spots, said hospital spokesman Jeremy Cocanougher. They were far larger and more numerous than traditional chicken pox, which alarmed the hospital’s doctors.

They learned that patient recently traveled overseas, raising their level of concern, Cocanougher said.

The hospital locked down the emergency room around 1:30 p.m.

The uncertainty dragged out for hours, as the hospital reported it did not have definitive information “that would either rule in or rule out that there is a risk to the community.”

Other emergency room patients and visitors were contained as the patient was tested, and ambulances were diverted to neighboring counties.

Later Saturday, Gwenda Bond, spokeswoman for the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, said the patient likely did not pose a public health risk. She said the hospital was following its precautionary protocols in dealing with the patient.

The hospital lifted the lockdown just before 11 p.m., shortly after the patient tested positive for two strains of adult chicken pox, which Cocanougher described as a rare combination with unusual symptoms.

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Officials: 4 injured in plane crash near airport’s runway

GEORGETOWN (AP) — Officials say four people were injured in a plane crash in Georgetown.

Multiple media outlets report that Scott County Sheriff Tony Hampton says Mark Conrad, Aaron Conrad, Ron Absher and Jonathan Absher were on board the plane that crashed Saturday night at the Georgetown-Scott County Regional Airport. Hampton says Mark Conrad was piloting the twin-engine plane.

Hampton says the men suffered minor to serious injuries in the crash and were taken to area hospitals for treatment.

Emergency Management Director Jack Donovan says the plane was forced to make an emergency landing after it lost power. Officials say the plane crashed next to the runway.

Donovan says that emergency crews were able to quickly respond to the scene after the pilot announced his emergency landing to air traffic control.

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Lawsuit filed over death of central Kentucky inmate

NICHOLASVILLE (AP) — A lawsuit has been filed over the death of an inmate at the Jessamine County Detention Center.

The Advocate-Messenger reports the administrator of Corey D. McQueary’s estate says in the lawsuit that Fiscal Court, the jailer and a deputy did not provide appropriate supervision and a safe environment for the 33-year-old McQueary. An autopsy report showed McQueary died last year of “acute methadone toxicity.”

Another inmate, 55-year-old Michael B. Jones, is accused of smuggling methadone into the detention center and providing it to McQueary, who was found unresponsive and taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Jailer Jon Sallee says county officials haven’t been served with the lawsuit.

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Authorities: Man called for killings of police on Craigslist

HOPKINSVILLE (AP) — A Hopkinsville man has been accused of using Craigslist to solicit the killings of police officers.

Kentucky State Police announced that 44-year-old Marvin Gee was arrested on Friday after they say he was encouraging people in the community to start killing police officers.

Gee was charged with solicitation for murder of a police officer, a Class B felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Gee was held in the Christian County jail in lieu of a $500,000 bond. It was not immediately clear if he has an attorney.

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UK student accused of attempted arson

LEXINGTON (AP) — A University of Kentucky student has been accused of trying to start a fire in the basement of a bar while drunk.

WKYT-TV reports that 22-year-old Richard Johnstone was arrested Saturday morning after Lexington firefighters say they caught him in the basement of Henry Clay’s Public House attempting to ignite flammable materials.

Employees told authorities they saw documents on fire in the basement and quickly extinguished them, before finding Johnstone hiding nearby.

Lexington police officers arrested Johnstone after arriving to help firefighters. Police charged him with alcohol intoxication, while the Fire Department charged him with attempted arson.

Officers said they later found and charged Johnstone with having stolen 19 credit cards that were in his possession.

Jail records do not indicate if Johnstone has an attorney.

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Former breath test operator suspended, DUI cases in jeopardy

LOUISVILLE (AP) — More than 200 drunken-driving cases could be in jeopardy after officials said a former breath test operator for Louisville’s corrections department was suspended after allegations that she lied on a report and in testimony under oath.

The Courier-Journal reports that a video recording from the jail shows that Liliana Hernandez falsely claimed on a form and in court that a suspect refused to take a breath test, for which his license was automatically suspended. Court records say that the recording shows the defendant wanted to take the test.

Mark Bolton, director of Louisville Metro Corrections, said Friday that authorities are investigating. Bolton says Hernandez is a witness in more than 200 DUI cases.

Hernandez did not respond to an email sent to her by the newspaper Friday.

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Lexington public meeting on Civil War statues rescheduled

LEXINGTON (AP) — The date for a public meeting in Lexington on two Civil War statues and a historic marker noting the history of slave trading has been postponed.

Mayor Jim Gray’s office says the meeting, which had been set for Aug. 24, was changed to 6 p.m. Sept. 21 in the Council Chamber at the Government Center.

Gray has asked the Urban County Arts Review Board to review the statues of Civil War officers John Hunt Morgan and John C. Breckinridge, which have stood near the Main Street Courthouse for more than a century. Gray’s office said the historic marker was located next to the courthouse until recently but was destroyed by vandals or in an attempted theft.

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Historical maker about slavery broken in Lexington

LEXINGTON (AP) — Police are investigating the breaking of a historical marker about slavery in Lexington.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that police responded to a call on July 25 and found the cast-iron sign, which was valued at more than $1,500 by a city Parks and Recreation official, broken and lying on the ground.

City spokeswoman Susan Straub said police aren’t sure whether the sign was vandalized or if it was damaged in an attempted theft.

The sign gives a brief history of slavery in Fayette County. It was erected by the alumni chapter of the historically-black fraternity Kappa Alpha Psi.

The Urban-County Arts Review Board will determine the fate of the marker, along with the statues of Confederate generals John Hunt Morgan and John Breckinridge.

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