News in Brief


Ky. officials restrict sale of birds amid flu outbreak

FRANKFORT (AP) — The state veterinarian has banned the sale of birds at flea markets and swap meets to protect Kentucky’s poultry industry amid an avian flu outbreak.

The ban is just one of several restrictions state veterinarian Robert C. Stout announced Thursday. Private sales with direct farm-to-farm movement are still allowed. Other restrictions include only allowing birds to be sold in Kentucky if they come from a farm certified by the National Poultry Improvement Plan and limiting shows and fairs to in-state birds.

About 50 million birds have been infected with the avian flu in 21 states since December. Two birds have tested positive for the flu in Kentucky. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the risk to humans is low.

Kentucky’s poultry industry earned about $1.2 billion in farm cash receipts in 2013.

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Ky. tax collections fall but not enough to threaten budget

FRANKFORT (AP) — Kentucky collected less tax money in May, but the decrease was likely not enough to endanger the state’s budget projections.

State budget officials announced Wednesday they collected $14.2 million less in May than they did a year ago. State officials had predicted a 3.4 percent growth for the year. But overall tax collections have grown 5.4 percent over the past 11 months of the fiscal year. That means June collections can fall by as much as $121.9 million and the state would still not finish with a deficit.

Things are not as rosy for the state’s road fund. Gas tax collections fell 4.1 percent in May. State Budget Director Jane Driskell projects the road fund will end the year with an $11 million shortfall.

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Text message leads police to woman kidnapped in Tenn.

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Beaten and raped and her cellphone taken away, a woman who was kidnapped in Tennessee was able to finally get access to a phone and send a text message to her sister, giving police an electronic trail to the Louisiana hotel where she was being held.

Lee Meadows, 34, of Clarksville, Tenn., was arrested Saturday and charged with battery by strangulation, second-degree battery, false imprisonment and forcible rape, multiple news media outlets reported. He is being held at the St. Tammany Parish Jail in Louisiana. Online jail records Wednesday did not indicate whether Meadows had a lawyer.

The attacker took the woman’s cellphone and other belongings, but when he briefly left the room, the woman got hold of a phone and sent a text to her sister indicating she was being held near New Orleans, according to police in Slidell, La.

Police said Tennessee authorities were able to trace the text, leading officers to the hotel.

When police reached the hotel, the man refused to answer the door, at which point they forced their way in, said Slidell police Sgt. Daniel M. Seuzeneau.

“When officers gained access to the room, they found the victim badly beaten and in need of medical attention,” Seuzeneau said. He said she was treated at a hospital for “multiple” injuries, including broken bones. The Associated Press generally does not identify sexual assault victims.

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Work underway to restore damaged Corvette

LOUISVILLE (AP) — Work is underway to restore one of the prized Corvettes damaged nearly 16 months ago when a sinkhole opened beneath the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

The 1 millionth Corvette is being restored at the General Motors Design Center in Michigan. The white 1992 Corvette is the second of three sinkhole-damaged Corvettes that Chevrolet has pledged to restore.

General Motors officials say the restoration crew is part of GM’s Mechanical Assembly group at the Design Center, which typically spends its time building prototype and concept vehicles.

In all, eight cars were swallowed by the massive sinkhole at the museum. Five of the vehicles were too badly damaged and will be displayed in their dented and crushed conditions as part of a future sinkhole-themed display at the museum.

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Man found guilty of sexually abusing unconscious woman

LEXINGTON (AP) — A 73-year-old man has been convicted of sexually abusing an unconscious woman at a Lexington strip club.

Multiple news sources report Clyde Sexton was found guilty Wednesday night of third-degree sexual abuse. Sexton had been charged with abusing 37-year-old Melissa Kline-Smiley after she passed out at the club in July 2013. Kline-Smiley, a former dancer at the club, died four days later of a heroin overdose, but Sexton was not charged in connection with her death. The Fayette Circuit Court jury also found Sexton innocent of tampering with evidence.

Fayette Circuit Judge Kimberly Bunnell allowed Sexton to return to his Florida home until his July 17 sentencing. The jury recommended 90 days in jail and a $250 fine.

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Death-row inmates lose appeal challenging clemency system

LOUISVILLE (AP) — Two men awaiting execution in Kentucky have lost their appeal challenging the clemency powers given to the governor.

Robert Foley and Ralph Baze claim the governor’s absolute clemency authority violates their due-process rights. Kentucky’s Supreme Court rejected their argument in a unanimous ruling Thursday.

The two condemned inmates claim most states require clemency hearings. In Kentucky, no recommendations or hearings are needed for the governor to decide whether someone should not be put to death. Foley and Baze say that could lead to arbitrary life-and-death decisions.

In writing for the court, Justice Lisabeth Hughes Abramson said the presumption is the governor would abide by state and federal constitutional requirements when deciding on requests by inmates for a commutation or pardon.

Foley and Baze are awaiting execution for multiple killings.

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Police: Woman who took out protective order shot to death

BOWLING GREEN (AP) — Police say a Bowling Green woman who took out a protective order against a man was later killed by the man, who then shot himself in the jaw.

The Bowling Green Daily News reports Sheila Nash was shot and killed Tuesday night. Authorities said the shooter got into a shootout with police Wednesday before shooting himself in the jaw. He survived and was arrested. Kentucky State Police identified him as Gary Thompson.

In a petition written by Nash to the Warren Circuit Court Clerk’s office, she said Thompson had threatened to burn her apartment down and had broken into her home before. Police said the protective order had not yet been served at the time of the shooting.

Authorities say Thompson will face first-degree murder and burglary charges.

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Lexington physician sworn in as president of AMA

LEXINGTON (AP) — Lexington physician Steven J. Stack has been sworn in as president of the American Medical Association.

The Lexington Herald-Leader says Stack is the second Lexington doctor to become president of the group in three years. Dr. Ardis Dee Hoven, an internal medicine and infectious disease specialist at the University of Kentucky, was president from June 2013 to June 2014.

Stack, who will serve through June 2016, works at St. Joseph East and St. Joseph, Mount Sterling, and has been medical director of the emergency departments at both hospitals. He is 43, the youngest AMA president in 160 years.

The AMA also announced this week in Chicago during its annual meeting that Louisville physician Bruce A. Scott was elected vice speaker to the AMA’s House of Delegates.

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Ky. unveils new specialty license plate

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky has unveiled a new specialty license plate that promotes the health and environmental benefits of outdoor recreation.

First lady Jane Beshear promoted the “Let’s Go Outside” plate on Wednesday. She says one step to improve the health of Kentucky’s children is to encourage outdoor play. Kentucky has one of the highest obesity rates in the nation.

Before the plate is made available to the public, state officials say the Kentucky Environmental Education Council needs 900 applications, each accompanied by a $25 donation. Officials say proceeds from the specialty plate will support the work of the Kentucky Environmental Education Council. That includes coordinating the Kentucky Green and Healthy Schools program and certifying professional environmental educators.

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Fort Campbell to get new garrison commander next week

FORT CAMPBELL (AP) — Army officials say Col. David “Buck” Dellinger will relinquish command of U.S. Army Garrison Fort Campbell to incoming commander Col. James R. Salome next week.

The Leaf-Chronicle reports a ceremony will take place 10:30 a.m. June 18 in front of the Garrison Headquarters. Dellinger has served as garrison commander of Fort Campbell since 2012 and is retiring from the U.S. Army after more than 25 years of service.

Col. Salome, a Clarksboro, New Jersey, native and graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, comes to Fort Campbell from the Army Forces Command in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where he served as Director for the FORSCOM Commander’s Initiatives Group.

Salome previously served at Fort Campbell as Battalion and BCT S3 in 2nd BCT, 101st Airborne Division.

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Body found inside sleeping bag in creek identified

BURLINGTON (AP) — Human remains found in a sleeping bag in a creek in northern Kentucky have been positively identified.

The Boone County sheriff’s office says the man was 88-year-old William York Sr. of Tipp City, Ohio. Investigators matched a thumb print from York’s Army discharge papers provided by his son.

The remains were found in Gunpowder Creek in Union on June 3.

York disappeared from his home May 30.

No other details were available.

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More than 50 test positive for TB in southern Ind.

SELLERSBURG, Ind. (AP) — Health officials say more than 50 southern Indiana people exposed to a student with a confirmed case of tuberculosis have tested positive for the disease in preliminary tests.

The Indiana State Department of Health said Wednesday that 49 students and staff at Rock Creek Community Academy in Sellersburg, about 10 miles north of Louisville, Ky., have tested positive and five others belong to a church.

It says the student with tuberculosis is isolated and responding well to treatment. Two other people have had abnormal chest X-rays, including one who’s showing symptoms of the disease.

TB bacteria typically attack the lungs, but can also attack the kidneys and brain, and the disease can be deadly if left untreated. The bacteria are typically transmitted through coughs and sneezes.

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Tenn. War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission gets history award

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee organization dedicated to preserving and promoting history related to the War of 1812 has received a national award for its efforts.

The Tennessee War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission will receive a Leadership in History Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History at a ceremony in Louisville, Kentucky, in September.

Historians sometimes refer to the War of 1812 as “the Forgotten Conflict.”

However, it was a war in which Tennessee earned its “Volunteer State” nickname, made possible the acquisition of territory west of the Tennessee River, and launched the careers of Sam Houston, David Crockett and Andrew Jackson.

The American Association for State and Local History is a Nashville-based nonprofit organization that provides leadership and support for members who preserve and interpret history.

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