Panel says keep Jefferson Davis statue in state capitol
FRANKFORT (AP) — A Kentucky historic commission has voted to keep a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis in the state Capitol rotunda.
The Historic Properties Advisory Commission on Wednesday voted 7-2 to keep the statue, and to add an educational component to the display for the thousands of schoolchildren and other visitors who pass through the Capitol each year.
Both of Kentucky’s candidates for governor have called for the statue’s removal following the racially motivated slayings of nine black church members in South Carolina in June. The shootings prompted many Southern states to re-examine their Confederate symbols. South Carolina removed the Confederate battle flag from the statehouse grounds.
Davis was born in Kentucky and graduated from Transylvania University in Lexington. Kentucky never joined the Confederacy, but a “shadow” Confederate government operated there.
Broadband to be available to 62,000 rural Ky. customers
LOUISVILLE (AP) — A Federal Communications Commission fund is paying $21 million annually to Windstream Communications Inc. to make broadband Internet service available to more than 62,000 rural homes and businesses in Kentucky.
The Connect America Fund will pay Windstream to make service available in locations where it might be cost prohibitive to offer broadband otherwise. FCC spokesman Mark Wigfield says the deal enables the company to charge customers approximately the national average for broadband.
The FCC said in a news release Wednesday that Windstream will be able to deliver broadband at speeds of at least 10 megabits per second for downloads and 1 Mbps for uploads.
The FCC says nearly one-third of rural Americans lack access to such service.
Corbin officials unveil statue of Col. Sanders
CORBIN (AP) — Officials in Corbin have unveiled a statue of the world famous founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken.
WYMT-TV reports that officials showcased the bronze, life-size statue of Col. Harland Sanders during a ceremony on Wednesday. The area, which is now known as Sanders Park, used to be a blighted piece of property.
Sanders, who is a recognizable figure throughout the world and known for his successful restaurant business and secret fried chicken recipe, opened his first restaurant in Corbin in the 1930s.
Mayor Willard McBurney says that statue was a major part of the city’s vision to revitalize Main Street and to bring in more tourists to see the area.
The statue was sculpted and installed by Louisville artist Raymond Graff.
Mining agency holding meetings in Ky. on new rule
HAZARD (AP) — The second of two Kentucky meetings on the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration’s rule to lower miners’ exposure to coal dust is set for later this month.
MSHA held a meeting Wednesday in Madisonville on the rule, and the second meeting is set for 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Perry County Public Library. The meetings are to help prepare for the rule’s next phase.
The rule went into effect last August. MSHA says it is part of the Labor Department’s effort to end black lung disease caused by prolonged exposure to coal mine dust.
By Feb. 1, continuous personal dust monitors must be used to monitor occupations exposed to the highest concentrations and all miners with evidence of black lung. Increased sampling frequency provisions are to go into effect at the same time.
Poll: Majority of Americans support Confederate flag removal
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina’s decision to remove the Confederate flag from its Statehouse grounds meets with the approval of 57 percent of Americans, but 34 percent believe it was the wrong move, a new survey revealed.
The report by the nonprofit Pew Research Center released Wednesday also found how deeply the issue touched the public and how complex their thoughts remain about it.
Eighty-nine percent of the adults surveyed knew of the debate and 64 percent of those said they had heard a lot about it, the report said.
The debate over the flag was reignited when a white man accused of fatally shooting nine black people at a church appeared in photos holding the banner. Dylann Roof is charged in the killing of the parishioners at a Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston on June 17.
The telephone poll of 2,002 people was conducted the week after the July 10 ceremony when an honor guard lowered the battle flag and it was delivered to a museum in Columbia. It cited a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.
The study found 76 percent of blacks, 56 percent of whites and 52 percent of Hispanics supported the removal.
Former breath test operator fired after admitting to lying
LOUISVILLE (AP) — A former breath test operator for Louisville’s corrections department has been fired after admitting to lying on a report and in testimony under oath.
Corrections officials announced to local media Wednesday that Louisville Metro Corrections Director Mark Bolton terminated Liliana Hernandez earlier that day after meeting with Hernandez, her counsel and a union representative.
Officials say a video recording from the jail shows that 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.
Bolton says Hernandez is a witness in more than 200 DUI cases and an internal investigation is ongoing.
Education panel picks interim commissioner, continues search
FRANKFORT (AP) — The Kentucky Board of Education has chosen Kevin C. Brown as interim commissioner while its search continues for a successor to Commissioner Terry Holliday.
The board is meeting in Frankfort for its annual retreat and August meeting. The board reviewed applicants for the commissioner’s post in closed session Wednesday.
Holliday is retiring Aug. 31.
The Education Department said in a news release that the board wants the search firm that’s assisting with the search to seek additional information on 15 applicants, representing both in-state and out-of-state candidates.
The first round of interviews is Aug. 14 and 15 in Louisville.
Brown is an associate commissioner and department general counsel. He will serve starting Sept. 1 with a salary equivalent to $150,000 per year until a new commissioner is in place.
Police: Man with knife killed by officers in confrontation
LOUISVILLE (AP) — A man who authorities say charged at two Louisville Metro police officers while holding a knife has been shot and killed.
Multiple media outlets report that authorities say the unidentified man was shot and killed by police outside of a Louisville gas station on Wednesday night.
Police Chief Steve Conrad says the man said something to two officers outside the store before officers noticed the man was holding a knife and drew their weapons. Police say the man allegedly charged at the officers, both of whom shot at the man hitting him multiple times.
Conrad says the man was pronounced dead at the scene. Conrad says there is at least one video of the incident from the Real Time Crime Center, which will be released.
The shooting remains under investigation.