Thousands rally for clerks denying gay marriage licenses
FRANKFORT (AP) — Three Kentucky county clerks who are refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples drew thunderous cheers from a crowd gathered at the state capitol on Saturday.
Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis spoke briefly at the rally organized by The Family Foundation of Kentucky, appearing emotional as she thanked supporters.
“I need your prayers … to continue to stand firm in what we believe,” she said to cheers.
A crowd of a few thousand, many of them churchgoers from around the state, filled the lawn in the rear of the capitol building, many carrying signs saying “Freedom of religion” and waving American flags.
The three clerks, Davis, Kay Schwartz of Whitley County and Casey Davis from Casey County, halted all marriage licenses from their offices after the Supreme Court ruling in June that legalized same-sex marriage.
“They cannot violate their consciences by signing their name to authorize something that they believe is unholy,” said Kent Ostrander, the Family Foundation’s executive director. Ostrander said it’s the duty of the state government to come up with a compromise that would not compel the clerks to sign the documents. He said one suggestion is issuing the licenses online.
Davis indicated he was not ready to begin issuing marriage licenses, saying he was “not ready to quit.” He was critical of the Supreme Court decision, saying marriage should be between a man and a woman.
“Regardless of what any man puts on a piece of paper, the law of nature is not going to change,” Davis said.
Several political figures also spoke at the event, including Republican gubernatorial candidate Matt Bevin, who told the crowd that their “religious liberties are being oppressed.”
Ky. commission receives $600K defense agency grant
FRANKFORT (AP) — The Kentucky Commission on Military Affairs has won a grant of more than $600,000 to look into defense-related economic development opportunities.
Gov. Steve Beshear’s office announced the grant from the U.S. Defense Department’s Office of Economic Adjustment. Beshear said in a news release Friday that the commission is also working to set conditions for economic growth near Kentucky military installations.
The funds will be used for planning and to take action to adjust to recent Army force structure reductions in Kentucky.
The Cabinet for Economic Development says Kentucky shipped out $7.8 billion in aerospace parts and products last year, up 38 percent from 2013.
Crews find last 2 of 4 bodies after boat capsizes on river
PADUCAH (AP) — Authorities say they have found the last two bodies from a boat carrying six people that capsized on the Ohio River.
McCracken County, Kentucky, Sheriff’s Sgt. David Shepherd told media that crews pulled the bodies of a woman and a toddler from the water on Sunday near the Fort Massac boat ramp in southern Illinois.
The boat had set off Friday evening from Paducah, Kentucky, carrying four adults and two children. Two women were rescued and the bodies of one man and a 4-year-old girl were recovered Friday.
McCracken County Emergency Management Director Jerome Mansfield said crews from about 20 agencies in Kentucky and Illinois participated in the search over the weekend.
Authorities say they aren’t sure what caused the boat to capsize, but they think it was accidental.
3 children killed in crash in Daviess Co.
OWENSBORO (AP) — Kentucky State Police say three children were killed when the sports utility vehicle they were riding in ran off a highway in Daviess County and into a field.
According to WKYT-TV, officials say the woman was heading eastbound on KY 56 Saturday night when she came upon another vehicle that was partially in her lane.
Police say she swerved to avoid the vehicle, over-corrected, and lost control. The SUV ran off the road and into a bean field.
Police didn’t provide details of the wreck, but a coroner said two of the children died at the scene. The third child died later at a hospital.
The names of the children — ages 10, 12 and 13 — have not been released. The drivers also have not been identified.
Louisville priest found with child porn arrested in Florida
LOUISVILLE (AP) — Police in Florida have arrested a Louisville priest who resigned after FBI investigators found child pornography on his computer.
The Courier-Journal reports deputies near Tampa arrested Stephen Pohl Friday night, hours after the Archdiocese of Louisville announced that illegal images were found his computer. Archdiocese officials also said they were told Pohl possessed about 200 photos of students, some of them “inappropriate,” from the St. Margaret Mary parish where he was pastor.
Pohl was booked into the Pinellas County jail Friday on a federal charge of possession of child porn.
A spokeswoman with the sheriff’s office there could not provide further information on Saturday.
The archdiocese said Friday that FBI officials told them the investigation by the FBI Cyber Crimes Unit is still ongoing and could take months.
Body of woman found on Lexington road identified
LEXINGTON (AP) — Authorities have identified a female body that was discovered on a road in Lexington, Kentucky.
Fayette County Coroner Gary Ginn said in a news release on Sunday that the body is that of 32-year-old Jennifer Marie Hamilton of Lexington.
Her body was discovered Saturday night on Muir Station Road.
Authorities have not released details about her death because of an ongoing investigation, but they say the case is being treated as a homicide.
Ghost Train will carry visitors to abandoned mining camp
STEARNS (AP) — Storytellers will share regional tales at a Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area event next month.
The fifth annual Blue Heron Ghost Train Storytelling event will be Sept. 12 beginning around 7:30 p.m. EDT at the Blue Heron Mining Community Interpretive Center near Stearns, Kentucky.
Park staff and volunteers will lead groups of visitors by lantern to hear the storytellers. The event involves some walking over rough ground in low light.
Visitors may descend to the abandoned coal-mining camp by rail for a fee. Contact Big South Fork Scenic Railway at 800-462-5664, 606-376-5330 or http://www.bsfsry.com.
To attend for free, visitors may drive their own vehicles, following signs from Stearns. For more information, visit http://www.nps.gov/biso/index.htm or call the Blue Heron Interpretative Center at 606-376-3787.
The Judds reunite for Las Vegas residency
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Mother-daughter country duo The Judds are reuniting after nearly five years to perform a series of shows in Las Vegas.
AEG Live and The Venetian casino announced on Monday that Naomi Judd and her daughter Wynonna will perform nine shows Oct. 7 through Oct. 24 at The Venetian Theatre.
The Kentucky-born singers released their last album, “Love Can Build a Bridge,” 25 years ago and Naomi retired in the early 1990s due to hepatitis, but Wynonna continued on as a solo artist.
They have five Grammy awards and have sold more than 20 million albums between them. Their hits include “Mama, He’s Crazy,” ”Why Not Me,” and “Girls Night Out.”