News in Brief


Community questions officer’s use of deadly force

LOUISVILLE (AP) — The surveillance video shows a man stagger away from a police officer and out of the frame. He charges back into view seconds later, a 7-foot flagpole reared over his shoulder, and he swings it wildly at the officer.

The man, a 35-year-old African immigrant, was shot twice by the Louisville Metro Police officer Saturday afternoon and died, sparking a debate over officers’ use of deadly force and the simmering racial tension between the police and the communities they serve.

Community activists gathered Sunday to lament that the officer turned first to his gun, rather than use non-lethal force like a taser or pepper spray.

Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad on Sunday defended the shooting, and promised a thorough and transparent investigation. He identified the officer who fired the fatal shots as Nathan Blanford, a patrol officer in the 4th division who has been with the department since 2005, and released the video of the incident, captured on a surveillance camera from a nearby store.

The man killed was identified by the coroner’s office on Sunday as 35-year-old Deng Manyoun.

His friend, Nick Holiday, told The Associated Press Saturday that he emigrated from Africa several years ago. He lived in an apartment building around the corner from the busy intersection where he was shot dead Saturday afternoon. Neighbors said he was a familiar presence in the neighborhood.

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Officials: Shark attack victims were in waist-deep water

OAK ISLAND, N.C. (AP) — Officials say two young people who lost limbs in separate shark attacks in coastal North Carolina this weekend were in waist-deep water about 20 yards offshore when they were attacked.

Officials said at a Monday news conference that Sunday’s attacks happened less than 90 minutes apart.

The call about a 12-year-old girl who was attacked came in about 4:40 p.m. The call about a 16-year-old boy who was attacked about two miles away came in at 5:51 p.m.

The girl lost part of her arm and suffered a leg injury. The boy lost his left arm. Their names haven’t been released. Officials say both were on vacation from other parts of North Carolina.

Officials said they couldn’t confirm whether the same shark attacked the two victims or give any details on the size of the animal or animals.

Officials say both victims were airlifted to a hospital in Wilmington on Sunday night and underwent surgery. Officials say they were in fair condition but have a long road ahead.

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Beshear to promote Ky. tourism in England

FRANKFORT (AP) — Gov. Steve Beshear and his wife, Jane, are headed to England this week to promote tourism in Kentucky.

Also making the trip, according to state officials, are representatives of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet and officials from convention and visitor bureaus in Louisville, Lexington and northern Kentucky.

Tourism, Arts and Heritage Secretary Bob Stewart says the United Kingdom sends the most overseas travelers to Kentucky. He says the trip is an effort to expand that market.

During the trip, the governor plans to meet with journalists and others in the travel industry to promote Kentucky’s $13.1 billion tourism industry. He will visit Ascot Racecourse during the trip.

Officials say the Beshears are scheduled to arrive in England on Wednesday and return Sunday.

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Simulation lab in Ohio to train VA health workers, others

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — A new $3.3 million simulation laboratory will train thousands of VA health workers and others in the state at a Department of Veterans Affairs medical center in southwest Ohio.

The Dayton VA Medical Center also has rolled out a $1 million mobile training laboratory that is a one-of-a-kind facility within the VA’s nationwide hospital and clinic network, VA officials said on Friday.

The laboratory inside the Dayton facility covers 17,000 square feet and has six simulation rooms, eight other medical-education-related rooms and a 125-seat auditorium, The Dayton Daily News reported.

“This is a very unique simulation center in that we really have the full spectrum of offerings,” said Dr. Rosalyn P. Scott, a VA medical adviser.

Mannequins and electronic patient monitors will provide training opportunities for health care workers. It also has nursing stations and supply rooms for medicine and equipment.

“We really can replicate not just the room the patient is in, but we can replicate the whole system,” Scott said.

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Project aims to help upgrade parkway to interstate standards

FRANKFORT (AP) — Kentucky transportation officials say a contract has been awarded for more improvements needed to upgrade the Pennyrile Parkway to interstate highway standards.

The project involves reconstruction of the interchange at Mortons Gap in western Kentucky. Officials say Road Builders LLC was awarded the contract on a low bid of just over $14 million. The project has a completion date of June 1, 2017.

Officials say the interchange work is part of a larger project to upgrade a portion of the Pennyrile Parkway to become part of Interstate 69.

When the corridor is complete, I-69 will run north to south from the Ohio River at Henderson to the Tennessee line at Fulton.

In addition to the Pennyrile Parkway, the corridor includes sections of I-24 and the Western Kentucky and Purchase parkways.

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Fans demand refunds after Midwest Urban Expo and Music Fest

LOUISVILLE (AP) — Thousands of people are demanding refunds after the Midwest Urban Expo and Music Fest at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville did not deliver acts as promised.

WAVE-TV reports organizers of the event Saturday night promised to feature several popular R&B performers, many of which fans say never appeared on stage. Performers listed included headliners The Isley Brothers, Johnny Gill, Kelly Price and Tom Browne.

The KFC Yum! Center has issued a statement saying the festival experienced performance delays and apologized to fans. The station could not reach the concert promoter for comment.

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Worker from Tenn. killed in Ky. trench collapse

LOUISVILLE (AP) — Authorities say a construction worker from Tennessee was killed in a trench collapse in Kentucky.

According to The Courier-Journal, officials said 19-year-old Jonathon Moore, of Cedar Grove, Tennessee, died Thursday when dirt and debris caved in on him as he worked in a trench in southwestern Jefferson County in Kentucky. Deputy Coroner Larry Carroll said Moore died of traumatic asphyxia and blunt force impact injuries.

Another construction worker was also trapped from the waist down in the trench but survived the collapse and was rescued.

Officials said the workers were in the trench digging sewer lines when a heavy heap of shifted dirt and concrete on the trench’s edge gave way.

The newspaper reports the men worked for LeFevre Construction, based in Jackson, Tennessee.

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Man convicted of robbing banks in 4 states sentenced

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio man convicted of armed bank robberies in Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia and Indiana has been sentenced to 18 years in prison.

Federal prosecutors say 49-year-old William J. McBride, Jr., of Columbus, was sentenced this week in U.S. District Court in Columbus. Authorities say he had pleaded guilty in February to six counts of armed robbery.

Court documents say McBride robbed six banks between June 21, 2014 and August 23, 2014 and took more than $21,000 at gunpoint.

A message seeking comment from McBride’s attorney was left at her office in Columbus on Sunday.

Authorities say they arrested McBride at a Columbus hotel in Aug. 23 when a witness reported his license plate after the defendant robbed a bank in in St. Clairsville, Ohio.

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Appeals court throws out 2014 Magoffin Co. election

FRANKFORT (AP) — The Magoffin County judge executive’s election last year was so corrupt that Kentucky’s second-highest court declared Friday that they don’t know who won, throwing the results out and declaring the office vacant.

The 2-1 decision upholds an earlier circuit court ruling that highlights eastern Kentucky’s 100-year history of vote buying in local elections. If the decision stands, it would likely trigger a special election in November.

“We are not sure which candidate won the election, but we know who lost — the voters of Magoffin County who were entitled to confidence in the fairness and integrity of their election,” Judge Irv Maze wrote for the majority. “We hope that requiring an entirely new election will restore their faith.”

John Montgomery was leading incumbent Charles “Doc” Hardin when votes from the county’s precincts were tallied on election night last November. But Hardin had a decisive advantage in absentee ballots, pushing him ahead by 28 votes. Montgomery sued, offering evidence that four people were paid for their votes and others were offered gravel and other road improvements in exchange for their support.

“The evidence of vote buying and vote hauling is particularly disturbing considering the history of such misconduct in Magoffin County,” Maze wrote. “Even though the evidence of vote buying was limited to a few particular instances, the open conduct of those instances suggests a far more pervasive practice.”

Hardin’s attorney, James L. Deckard, said Hardin can remain in office while the case is on appeal. He declined to comment further. If there is a vacancy, Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear could appoint someone ahead of a special election this November.

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Baby bats take bite out of I-65 project

BOWLING GREEN (AP) — Baby bats have brought one element of the ongoing widening of Interstate 65 to a halt.

The presence of northern long-eared bat pups means workers widening I-65 between Bowling Green and Elizabethtown won’t be able to clear trees from the right of way for the project until August, The Bowling Green Daily News reports.

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet spokesman Chris Jessie said the tree-cutting postponement is not expected to delay the road work.

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website, the bat was listed as a threatened species in April.

Lee Andrews, a state supervisor for the wildlife agency, said removing trees serving as habitat for the northern long-eared bat is allowed for transportation projects – but not in June or July, when the pups are in trees.

The rule is in place across the state, he said.

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Appeals court: private utility subject to open records law

LEXINGTON (AP) — The Kentucky Court of Appeals has ruled that a private utility in eastern Kentucky is subject to the open records law because it receives all its revenue from local governments.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports Judge Irv Maze wrote in the decision on Friday that “exceptions to the public’s right to know are rightfully few and narrowly read.”

Pikeville-based Utility Management Group, which operates Pike County’s water and sewer services for the publicly owned Mountain Water District, has been fighting an open records request from Pike County officials for more than four years.

County officials filed the request after critical state audits to determine how UMG spends the money of local customers.

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Butterfly farm takes flight in Louisville

(AP) — Blair Leano-Helvey is bringing a new twist to Louisville’s growing urban agriculture scene. She’s started a butterfly farm.

“It’s just like any other farm,” she said. “It’s just that we have very small livestock.”

And colorful, too.

Idlewild Butterfly Farm at 1100 Logan Street opened on June 1 in an old brick building that once was a neighborhood grocery store. There’s a retail sales room, a laboratory and a butterfly flight house out back, where customers can walk (carefully) among fluttering monarchs and other varieties.

Butterflies fluttered from flower to flower on a recent weekday, some clinging to their screen enclosure, others taking in nectar from flowers or resting on plants. Male butterflies were in chase of the females, led by the scent of chemical pheromones.

“This is a good place for kids to learn about the birds and the bees,” Leano-Helvey said.

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Kentucky Reptile Zoo adds rare snake to collection

SLADE (AP) — The Kentucky Reptile Zoo in Powell County has added a rare snake to its collection.

WKYT-TV reports the zoo has gotten a Mang Mountain Viper, which is native to only a few small areas of China.

Zoo curator Kristen Wiley says a reptile facility in Illinois had an extra viper and donated it to the zoo in Slade. She says seeing a Mang Mountain Viper in a zoo is very rare.

Only discovered in 1989, Wiley estimates there are only 500 Mang Mountain Vipers left in the wild. She says the nearest one in a zoo to the Kentucky Reptile Zoo is in St. Louis.

The Kentucky Reptile Zoo in Powell County is home to one of the largest venomous snake collections in the world.

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