News in Brief


Alpha executive resigns amid restructuring

BRISTOL, Va. (AP) — An Alpha Natural Resources executive has left the coal producer amid a financial restructuring.

Alpha says in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that Brian D. Sullivan resigned to pursue another employment opportunity. Sullivan’s resignation was effective on Friday.

According to the company’s website, Sullivan had served as executive vice president and chief commercial officer since September 2012. He also was president of Alpha Australia LLC, serving in that position since February 2011.

Bristol, Virginia-based Alpha filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Aug. 3. The company is one of the nation’s biggest coal producers and has mines in Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Wyoming.

The Register-Herald in Beckley, West Virginia, first reported Sullivan’s resignation.

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Academy worker to be sentenced in sex abuse case

LOUISVILLE (AP) — A former police officer will be sentenced this fall after pleading guilty to violating sex abuse laws with students at a residential, educational program run by the Kentucky National Guard.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Louisville says 45-year-old Stephen E. Miller of Grayson County pleaded guilty to abusive sexual contact with three female students and third-degree sodomy with a fourth at Bluegrass Challenge Academy in 2013. Miller is a former Leitchfield police officer.

Prosecutors say he later worked at Bluegrass Challenge Academy, located at Fort Knox, and had supervisory authority over the students.

Sentencing will be Nov. 2. Miller faces up to 11 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million.

Miller pleaded guilty July 30, and the plea was accepted in U.S. District Court last week.

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No bones about it: Dog mayor plans to run for president

BURLINGTON (AP) — She might be a bit shaggy, but Lucy Lou wants to run for president — and she comes with political experience.

The border collie has served as mayor of Rabbit Hash, an unincorporated community of 135 residents along the Ohio River in northern Kentucky, since 2008.

Bobbi Kayser, Lucy’s owner and chief executive of staff, told The Kentucky Enquirer that she will announce her ambitions for higher office — and her retirement as mayor — on Saturday.

As the story goes, Lucy and her canine predecessors got into the political arena because it seemed as if politics was going to the dogs anyway.

No word on whether Lucy will file as a Democrat, a Republican or as a third-party candidate.

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Ginseng harvest permits available Tuesday in Boone Forest

WINCHESTER (AP) — People interested in harvesting ginseng from the Daniel Boone National Forest may obtain a permit this week.

Permits are $20, and holders may collect up to 1 pound of green, non-dried ginseng root between Sept. 15 and Sept. 30.

The forest says its policy is in place to help conserve ginseng on national forest lands. Some believe ginseng is valuable in treating some health conditions, and wild ginseng is dwindling as a result.

Harvesting permits may be purchased at any district office beginning Tuesday. The permits apply only to land in the district that issues the permit.

Collectors are required by law to plant seeds from harvested plants within 50 feet of the harvest location.

State regulations and harvest season are different from rules that apply inside the forest.

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New boss of Frisch’s Big Boy restaurants plans expansion

CINCINNATI (AP) — The new leader of the Frisch’s Restaurants chain wants to flex Big Boy’s brand muscle with franchise expansion, new restaurant shapes and sizes, menu and beverage additions, and doing more to court younger customers.

Atlanta-based NRD Capital has taken over after shareholder approval last week of its $175 million acquisition that ended family operation of the Cincinnati-based regional business dating to a 1939 drive-thru. NRD head and interim Frisch’s CEO Aziz Hashim calls Frisch’s “a perfect fit” for the new investment fund built around franchising.

He calls it an iconic American brand that has been profitable and has “a wonderful business infrastructure,” but can benefit from new approaches.

“It was doing just fine, but we felt ‘Wow! There’s tremendous growth potential here,’” Hashim told The Associated Press.

Hashim grew up in the Los Angeles area where the original Bob’s Big Boy began, eating the double-decker burger sandwich as a Sunday family treat. He’s very conscious of the fondness for Frisch’s through generations in its home region and the attachment to its signature tartar sauce, onion rings, hot fudge sundaes and other favorites.

“Our primary goal is to make sure our existing customer is totally taken care of,” he said. “So, no plan to alienate our current customer base; we want to actually make it better for them. At the same time, we want to make an effort to drive some new customers.”

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UK releases student survey on campus safety

LOUISVILLE (AP) — A new University of Kentucky survey shows a large number of students are reluctant to report violence or sexual assaults to campus authorities.

The campus-wide survey shows more than three-quarters of students feel safe on campus at night, and almost all feel safe during the day.

The report says nearly 5 percent of UK students reported experiences of sexual assault.

Students were asked about “unwanted sexual experiences” in the past year.

Campus leaders released preliminary results of the student survey on Monday in Lexington. The survey is part of UK President Eli Capilouto’s initiative to assess student perceptions and experiences regarding violence or harassment at the state’s flagship university.

UK says it is at the forefront nationally in undertaking a mandatory campus-wide survey regarding sexual assault and campus safety.

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Education commissioner search narrowed to 2 finalists

LEXINGTON (AP) — The Kentucky Board of Education has chosen two finalists in its search for a new state education commissioner.

The board did not identify the two final candidates in the running to succeed Education Commissioner Terry Holliday, according to media reports. Holliday is retiring at the end of the month after nearly six years on the job.

The board narrowed the list of candidates from five to two after conducting a second round of interviews Friday and Saturday.

The board said it will commission in-depth background checks on the two finalists, a process likely to take several weeks.

Board Chairman Roger Marcum said he doesn’t expect the board to publicly name the two finalists. He said it’s up to those candidates if they choose to identify themselves as finalists. Marcum said he and other board members received feedback about the five named candidates that was helpful.

“We are confident we have found some good possibilities to be Kentucky’s next commissioner and to build on the work that’s been done over the past 25 years with Kentucky education reform and Senate Bill 1 legislation,” Marcum said.

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New app intended to enhance Murray State campus safety

MURRAY (AP) — Murray State University students have a new tool to help enhance campus safety.

The LiveSafe app is free from iTunes and Android stores. The university is encouraging students, parents, faculty and staff to download the app to their phones.

The application is a two-way communication tool for emergencies and non-emergencies. Users can report suspicious or criminal activity to University Police and can remain anonymous.

The app allows users to have a friend or parent follow them through campus, using location services, and see them arrive at their destination. Users can also contact the Racer Patrol at Murray State through the app to request safety escort service.

Online campus resources are also available through the app, and a safety map can help users navigate the campus.

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Police: Man charged in connection with bicyclist’s death

LEXINGTON (AP) — A Lexington man has been arrested in connection with the hit-and-run death of a bicyclist.

Multiple media outlets report that 54-year-old Jess Greathouse is charged with second-degree manslaughter, operating a motor vehicle while under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident in connection with Friday’s crash.

Police say 59-year-old Martiano Pozos was riding his bicycle when witnesses say he was struck by a pickup truck. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police spokeswoman Sgt. Ann Welch says Greathouse initially left the scene, but was located by officers after witnesses provided them with the license plate number and description of the driver.

Greathouse was booked into the Fayette County Detention Center. It wasn’t clear if he has an attorney.

The investigation to determine how the crash occurred continues.

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Australian boy’s paralysis brings him to US for rehab

LOUISVILLE (AP) — Cancer struck Evander Conroy’s spine before he was born, leaving him unable to use his legs.

Six months of chemotherapy removed the cancer, and it was after that the family learned that Evander wouldn’t be able to walk.

“I think once we got over the cancer side of things, we realized we had a new fight on our hands,” said Evander’s mother, Clare Conroy, who lives in Sydney, Australia.

Conroy wanted to start his treatment at a young age, but clinics in their home country were not geared toward paralyzed children.

They learned of the locomotor training at Frazier Rehab in Louisville, and with help from a local foundation, they have brought Evander to Louisville for the last three summers. His trainers use a specially-built treadmill sized for children.

Evander is now 4, and his progress has been tremendous, according to specialist Andrea Behrman, with the University of Louisville’s Spinal Cord Injury Research Center.

Evander first came to the clinic in 2012 unable to stand or take a step, but now he is able to stand and initiate some steps, Behrman said.

“The circuitry in (his lower) spinal cord is alive and well, it’s there available. Now we have to figure out how to tap into that, and that’s what this therapy does,” she said.

Evander spent about five weeks this summer with his Louisville therapists, and he plans to return next year. Clare Conroy said her goal is to see Evander walking on his own with help of a walker.

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