News in Brief


Financing plan offers 1 percent loans in Appalachia

MONTICELLO (AP) — Kentuckians who live in a 54-county region could be eligible for a special one percent financing program to buy a home.

Under the program, Kentucky Housing Corp. is making $6 million in loans available at a one percent, fixed rate for low- to moderate-income home buyers in the Appalachian region of Kentucky. The counties are part of the SOAR, Saving Our Appalachian Region initiative.

SOAR was established in 2013 by Gov. Steve Beshear and Congressman Hal Rogers to address the significant challenges confronting Appalachian Kentucky.

Qualified home buyers can purchase a home using up to $6,000 in down payment assistance and lock into a fixed rate at 1 percent for 30 years.

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Biologist looks at plants in cancer battle

OWENSBORO (AP) — An assistant professor of biology at Western Kentucky University-Owensboro is looking at the use of plants in the battle against cancer.

Chandra Emani told the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer that he hopes to find a potential cure for the disease using plant-based medicines.

Currently, he and his research team are working with basil, ginger, neem and tobacco.

“All of these plants have metabolites in them, something that the plants make, but they have been shown to have some action against cancer,” Emani said.

He said individual extracts from the plants have been tested. He said those are being tested against pancreatic, colon, lung, cervical and breast cancers and “we saw they have an action across the board.”

Emani received a doctorate degree in plant molecular biology and genetics in India. He came to the United States in 1997 and worked at Texas A&M University on plant genetic engineering.

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Social service workers lose 92 cases of possible child abuse

LOUISVILLE (AP) — State social service officials in Northern Kentucky say they lost track of nearly 100 cases involving possible child abuse or neglect, with some languishing for months before being recently rediscovered.

The Courier-Journal reports officials from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services have been scrambling to assign 92 cases that were found in the Boone County office earlier this year.

Current and former social workers report increasing disarray at the agency, describing it as a punishing, pressure-cooker environment where they are driven to meet quotas and punished for reporting problems.

Department commissioner Teresa James says she has been trying to recruit workers, reduce caseloads and improve working conditions, but the relatively low pay — social workers start at about $32,000 a year — and stressful work make it difficult.

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Police ask for information in park shooting

LEXINGTON (AP) — Lexington police are seeking information on a shooting at a park that may have injured five people.

Police told media that the shooting occurred Sunday night at Douglass Park during a basketball game. At least three people were taken to the hospital from the scene of the shooting and two others arrived separately at the hospital with gunshot wounds. Police say they think all five shooting victims are connected to the incident at the park.

Police said one person was in critical condition, but the others suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

Lt. Jonathan Bastian said that there was a lot of chaos when the shots were fired so officers are looking for witnesses. He said police don’t know how many suspects they are looking for due to conflicting statements.

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Police investigating body found in Bullitt Co.

SHEPHERDSVILLE (AP) — Shepherdsville police are investigating the body of a man found on an exit ramp off Interstate 65 in Bullitt County.

According to WKYT-TV, Bullitt County 911 began receiving calls around 3 p.m. on Saturday about injuries near the rest area of mile marker 112 on I-65.

When officers arrived, they found a white male lying on the ramp with multiple injuries. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Police identified the man as 45-year-old Aaron Michael Jerrell of Tuscumbia, Alabama.

Police say they’re conducting a homicide investigation.

A person who was at the scene is being questioned.

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Couple struck, killed after apparently changing car tire

GEORGETOWN (AP) — The Scott County sheriff says a married couple who apparently had finished changing a tire on their vintage vehicle by the side of Interstate 75 have been struck and killed by at least one other vehicle.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports 70-year-old Timothy Cantrell and 63-year-old Susan Cantrell of Independence were killed Sunday afternoon on I-75. Sheriff Tony Hampton says two vehicles went out of control and at least one struck the couple, who were standing behind a 1939 Dodge. The two were killed instantly.

Authorities think the Cantrells had finished changing a tire before they were hit.

Hampton says there was a jack lying by the Dodge and a fresh tire had been put on the car.

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Louisville’s needle exchange has 57 visitors in first week

LOUISVILLE (AP) — Health officials in Louisville say 57 intravenous drug users visited the city’s needle exchange program during its first week of operation.

A statement from Louisville’s Public Health and Wellness department says the program distributed 1,352 clean syringes, disposed of 189 used syringes and tested 12 people for HIV.

Dr. Sarah Moyer, the city’s interim public health and wellness director, said called the response strong and encouraging. She says the needle exchange allows health officials to work toward reducing the number of hepatitis C and HIV cases as well as connecting drug users with needed resources.

Louisville became the first city in the state to offer a needle exchange after legislators passed a law allowing local governments to set up programs in which addicts can swap dirty needles for clean ones.

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Weather Service says small tornado hit southern Ind.

TROY, Ind. (AP) — The National Weather Service confirms that a small tornado touched down near an Ohio River town in southern Indiana as the remnants of Tropical Storm Bill swept across the region.

The weather service said Saturday that an EF-0 tornado with winds of about 80 mph touched down Friday afternoon about one mile east-northeast of the Perry County town of Troy.

That Ohio River community about 45 miles east of Evansville is near the county seat of Tell City.

Weather service crews say the tornado left a trail of damage about one-third of a mile long and 150 yards wide.

No one was injured as the tornado touched down. Its damage was confined to a forested area near an industrial park where trees were stripped of limbs or snapped in half.

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Couples, officials, foes readying for US gay marriage ruling

CINCINNATI (AP) — With a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage expected any day now, gay couples in states with bans are making wedding plans, courthouse officials are getting ready for different scenarios and steadfast foes are working on their strategies to keep up the opposition.

Marriage license bureaus are bracing for a rush of applicants if the court overturns bans. Meanwhile, there’s been a series of planning sessions by groups that intend to explore religious objection responses to protect “traditional marriage” limited to heterosexuals.

Gay couples, such as Ethan Fletcher and Andrew Hickam of Cincinnati, are gearing up for a quick run to the courthouse in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee — the states involved in the cases that were argued in April before the justices. They’re among 14 states that ban same-sex marriage, and if the high court rules in favor of gay marriage, it would apply nationally.

Fletcher, 31, a University of Cincinnati senior academic adviser, and Hickam, 30, a GE Aviation engineer, have arranged to take off work to get their license if the decision allows immediate same-sex marriages and will then plan a formal wedding. They became engaged nearly two years ago but decided against getting married in another state as long as there was the possibility they could do it at home.

“Well, we live here and we pay taxes here and our families live here,” said Fletcher, adding that they want his grandmother and Hickam’s mother to be able to attend. “We didn’t feel that it was reasonable for us to have to travel out of state for the freedom to marry.”

In Hamilton County, where Cincinnati is located, the marriage license bureau said other courthouse staffers have been cross-trained and forms are available online to help speed the process. Court officials in Cuyahoga County, where Cleveland is located, say they’re prepared to process triple the usual number of applications.

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Electronic case filings available in 10 more Ky. counties

FRANKFORT (AP) — Attorneys in 10 more Kentucky counties can now file court cases without making trips to the courthouse.

The state Administrative Office of the Courts says it has started offering electronic case filing in Bracken, Carroll, Fleming, Grant, Harrison, Mason, Nicholas, Owen, Pendleton and Robertson counties.

AOC officials say eFiling is available at any time. They say attorneys with access can file cases electronically in any of the 82 Kentucky counties that offer the program. Since the start of eFiling in December 2013, 700 attorneys and other users have filed more than 25,000 documents electronically.

The AOC says it plans to have the program available in all 120 Kentucky counties by the end of 2015.

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