News in Brief


Truck fire slows traffic on Interstate 75

LEXINGTON (AP) — The Lexington traffic management center says the southbound lanes of Interstate 75 have been closed at Clays Ferry bridge after a tractor-trailer caught fire.

Multiple media outlets reported that the Madison County coroner was called to the scene of the blaze, which occurred around the 99 mile marker.

Lexington Fire Department Battalion Chief Mark Harvey said the truck fire was reported at about 6:30 a.m. Monday. Further information wasn’t immediately available.

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Locust Grove growing hemp in pilot program

LOUISVILLE (AP) — Locust Grove, the 18th century home of the sister and brother-in-law of George Rogers Clark and William Clark, is growing industrial hemp.

The seeds were planted last week at the site by its gardener, Sarah Sutherland. Locust Grove says the crop was grown by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

Locust Grove is participating in the hemp pilot program administered by the Kentucky Agriculture Department and plans a Hemp Festival on Aug. 9.

The festival will feature a Hemp Village, where products may be purchased, a Hemp Cafe with foods made from hemp oil and seeds, rope and paper-making demonstrations and a question-and-answer session with experts about the future of hemp in Kentucky. A World War II-era documentary, “Hemp for Victory,” and a new film, “Bringing It Home,” will be shown.

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Lexington robbery suspect dies after crashing car

LEXINGTON (AP) — Lexington police say a bank robbery suspect was killed when he lost control of his car on Interstate 75 and crashed into a rock wall.

According to WKYT-TV, the man identified as 30-year-old Lonnie Ray Hatfield of Richmond reportedly walked into a bank on around 10 a.m. Saturday and demanded cash.

A witness who saw him leave the bank and get into a car gave police a description of the vehicle.

While patrolling I-75, police noticed a car that matched the description and attempted a traffic stop near mile marker 107.

Officials say the suspect refused to stop and continued south along I-75. He exited the interstate onto a ramp where he apparently lost control of his car and struck the wall. Hatfield was pronounced dead at the scene.

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Civil War Trust’s battlefield preservation push raises $52M

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Civil War Trust has surpassed its $40 million goal in a campaign to protect 64 battlefields in 16 states, raising $52 million over four years.

The national nonprofit group announced Saturday at its annual conference that its effort to save battlefields during the war’s just-concluded 150th anniversary was a success. The goal of the “Campaign 150: Our Time, Our Legacy,” was to protect more than 10,000 acres of battlefields.

A majority of the preserved land is in Virginia, with key parcels at Chancellorsville and the Wilderness.

Since its creation in Fredericksburg in 1987, the trust has preserved 41,000 battlefield acres in 20 states_most recently including nearly 600 acres at Mill Springs, Mississippi.

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1 man dead, 2 others injured in nearby Lexington shootings

LEXINGTON (AP) — One man has been killed and two others were injured in a pair of shootings that occurred within a few blocks and hours of each other.

Multiple news sources report police were called to a scene around 6 p.m. Sunday evening where they found a car with two men inside who had been shot. The Fayette County coroner’s office says 31-year-old Montez Lamont Graves later died from his injuries and a second man was taken to the hospital. His condition is unknown.

Police say around 8:30 p.m., a wounded man was found in a sedan and was taken to the hospital in critical condition with at least one gunshot wound.

Lt. Jonathan Bastian says police did not know whether the two shootings were related.

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Funding approved to restore lights on Maysville bridge

MAYSVILLE (AP) — Restoration of the “necklace” lights of Maysville’s Simon Kenton Memorial Bridge has been approved for $300,000 in funding from the state.

Gov. Steve Beshear’s office says the lights were turned off more than a year ago on the 84-year-old suspension bridge over the Ohio River because inspectors found exposed wiring and other damage and hazards.

Beshear said in a news release the bridge is a “showpiece” for the city. It connects Maysville and Aberdeen, Ohio.

Before the work begins, the City Commission must approve a memorandum of agreement that calls for the city to maintain the lighting system once it is restored.

The funding comes from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. It includes $50,000 for design work and $250,000 for installation.

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Old Lexington courthouse to get cleaned up with EPA grant

LEXINGTON (AP) — The city of Lexington has been given a $200,000 grant to clean up contamination at the old Fayette County courthouse.

The award comes from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It’s part of the EPA’s Brownfields Program, which assists communities in cleaning up environmental contamination so properties can be reused.

Lexington’s cleanup application was submitted in December and went through a competitive national selection process.

The old building, built in 1898, has contaminants including lead-based paint, mold, asbestos and bird droppings.

The court system moved to a new building in 2002.

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Museum finds photo of Winchester native, submariner

WINCHESTER (AP) — Researchers at a Hawaii submarine museum have located a photograph they were searching for of a Winchester man who died when his submarine sank during World War II.

Jim Converse is a volunteer researcher with the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum in Honolulu and the website OnEternalPatrol.com.

He told The Winchester Sun last week that Oliver Prewitt Tipton was the only member of the USS Dorado’s 77-man crew for whom a photograph had not been found. After calling local historians, librarians and officials, Converse located a copy of Tipton’s death notice in the Lexington Leader.

Converse said the notice appeared in Lexington because Tipton’s wife was living there with her father while Tipton was serving.

Tipton was a Winchester native who enlisted in the Navy in 1942 and was an electrician’s mate third class when the Dorado went down. He died Oct. 12, 1943, when the USS Dorado went down south of Haiti while on transit to the Pacific. All 77 men on board were killed, and military officials never determined why the submarine sank.

The photo that accompanied Tipton’s death notice has been added to a memorial page on the museum’s website. It pays tribute to the more than 3,600 men who died in submarines in World War II. The museum is trying to gather photos and biographical information on all of the men, and the website says the job is about 80 percent complete.

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Businessman given 12 years, $108M fine in massive fraud

LOUISVILLE (AP) — A Louisville businessman was sentenced to 12 years in prison and ordered to pay $108 million in restitution for a scheme a federal judge described as “eye popping.”

According to prosecutors, Anthony Huff bribed officials to obtain loans and looted companies in order to buy private jets, luxury cars, jewelry, designer clothing and trips.

The Courier-Journal reports the 53-year-old Huff’s list of crimes includes tax offenses, bribery of bank officials, and defrauding insurance regulators and an investment bank.

Originally from Caneyville, Huff worked in Louisville for years. In 1996, his North American Trucking Association provided vehicles to University of Louisville star Samaki Walker, eventually landing the school on two years’ probation by the NCAA.

Two years later, the state of Kentucky revoked Huff’s insurance license for stealing a $113,000 insurance premium. In 2003, he pleaded guilty in federal court in Louisville to mail fraud for spending company money on himself and his family.

The felony conviction forced him to operate behind the scenes, according to court records. From 2008 to 2010 Huff controlled a Tampa-based company called O2HR through front men. The company handled payroll, benefits and other back-office functions for businesses. Prosecutors say Huff spent $53 million of his clients’ money on his personal investments and business ventures as well as on personal expenses for himself and his family.

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Burning body found in front of Louisville home

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Police say a burning body was discovered in front of a home in a neighborhood west of downtown Louisville, Kentucky.

According to The Courier-Journal, the body was discovered on the sidewalk in the Russell community around 4:30 a.m. Sunday.

Police Spokesman Dwight Mitchell said the body has not been identified, but is believed to be a man. He said it’s unclear if the man lived at the residence.

The case remains under investigation.

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Trigg Co. man arrested on pot charges

CADIZ (AP) — The Trigg County Sheriff’s Department arrested a man on charges of marijuana trafficking and possession, among other offenses.

Multiple news sources report Sheriff Ray Burnham received a tip concerning drug activity at a residence on Kentucky 272 Sunday. Authorities didn’t immediately release his identity.

Burnham says as he drove by the residence, a man was seen outside allegedly smoking a marijuana cigarette.

Officials obtained a search warrant, then found over a half pound of marijuana, scales, pills, and other drug paraphernalia. Several firearms were also seized, as well as more than $500 cash.

A Trigg County deputy charged the man with trafficking in marijuana, possession of marijuana, drug paraphernalia, possession of a firearm of a convicted felon, possession of a controlled substance, and prescription not in a proper container.

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