News in Brief

Ky. law changing rules for booster seats taking effect

FRANKFORT (AP) — Kentucky’s new booster seat law is going into effect, and officials are reminding motorists to make sure young passengers meet the new requirements.

The old law required children younger than 7 years and 40 to 50 inches tall to ride in a booster seat, but the law changes Wednesday to raise the age to 8 years and increase the height requirement to 40 to 57 inches.

Kentucky State Police say officers may issue citations with a $30 fine, but violators may buy a booster seat instead of paying the fine.

Booster seats are used to lift children so adult lap and shoulder belts fit better. State police say the lap belt should fit low on the hips or high on the thighs, with the shoulder belt snug across the collarbone to prevent injury.


4 arrested in connection with southern Ind. HIV outbreak

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (AP) — Authorities say four men have been arrested after allegedly distributing drugs that have fueled the largest HIV outbreak in Indiana history.

The Drug Enforcement Agency says Michael Elkins of Cartersville, Georgia, distributed pills of the painkiller Opana in southern Indiana’s Scott County, where officials say needle-sharing among people injecting a liquefied form of Opana has driven the HIV outbreak in which about 170 people have tested positive.

The DEA says Elkins and John Morgan were arrested June 16 in Henryville with about four ounces of methamphetamine and 19 Opana pills. They’re charged with dealing in methamphetamine, possession of a narcotic and possession of Opana. They were being held Tuesday in Jeffersonville along with two other men.

Online court records don’t list a hometown for Morgan or attorneys for the four.


Ford Motor recalls vans, SUVs over panel, seat belt issues

NEW YORK (AP) — Ford Motor Co. is recalling more than 200,000 Transit Connect vans and Escape sport-utility vehicles because of instrument panel and seat belt issues.

There are have been no injuries or accidents attributed to the defects, the company said.

The recall involves 203,500 2014-2015 Transit Connect and Escape vehicles in North America because the warning chimes and lights might not work on the instrument panel when the vehicles are started.

They were built at the Valencia assembly plant in Spain from May 13, 2014 to Dec. 10, 2014 and the Louisville assembly plant in Kentucky from May 19, 2014 to Feb. 6, 2015.

Meanwhile, the Dearborn, Michigan, company is recalling one fleet customer’s 49 2015-model Transit vehicles in the U.S. for a seat belt labeling issue.


Police: KSP trooper dies in line-of-duty crash

GRAND RIVERS (AP) — A Kentucky State Police trooper has been killed in the line of duty while responding to a reckless driving complaint.

Multiple media outlets report 23-year-old Eric K. Chrisman died in a collision with a tractor-trailer Tuesday.

State police trooper Stu Recke says Chrisman was traveling westbound on U.S. 62 near Grand Rivers when his police cruiser crossed into the eastbound lanes and into the path of an oncoming tractor-trailer.

Authorities say Chrisman, who was originally from Lawrenceburg but lived in Eddyville, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police say the driver of the tractor-trailer, 53-year-old Richard A. Burnham Jr. of Benton, was treated at Marshall County Hospital and released.

Recke says Chrisman graduated from the Kentucky State Police Academy in January 2015.

The crash remains under investigation by state police.


McConnell: Ky.’s Jefferson Davis statue should be in museum

FRANKFORT (AP) — U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Kentucky needs to remove a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis from the state Capitol’s rotunda.

McConnell said Davis’ only connection to Kentucky is he was born there. Davis later moved to Mississippi, and Kentucky never officially joined the confederacy. McConnell suggested a better place for the statue would be at the Kentucky History Museum in Frankfort.

Leaders in states across the country have taken steps to remove Confederate symbols following the shooting deaths of nine black people in a South Carolina church last week. A 21-year-old white man has been charged with the murders.

Kentucky’s Republican nominee for governor, Matt Bevin, and the Republican president of the state Senate, Robert Stivers, have also said the statue should be removed.


Grand jury indicts 3 in UK student death

LEXINGTON (AP) — A grand jury has indicted three people in the fatal shooting of a University of Kentucky student during a robbery in April.

WKYT-TV reports 18-year-old Justin D. Smith, 20-year-old Efrain Diaz Jr. and a 17-year-old juvenile were indicted Tuesday in Lexington on charges of murder and robbery in the death of 22-year-old Jonathan Kruger, who grew up in Perrysburg, Ohio.

Smith and Diaz have pleaded not guilty.

Police have said Krueger and a friend were walking near campus when they were approach by the trio who demanded cash. Police say the confrontation turned physical and led to gunshots.

Smith and Diaz are scheduled to be arraigned on July 10.


Police: Missing woman’s body found in woods, 2 arrested

LOUISVILLE (AP) — Two people have been charged with killing a 19-year-old woman whose body was found in a wooded ravine in Bullitt County.

Multiple media outlets report Louisville Metro Police say 45-year-old Todd Byrd and 22-year-old Monica Mudd were arrested in connection with the kidnapping and fatal shooting of Meagan Hassler. Police discovered Hassler’s body Tuesday.

Police say Hassler was reported missing by her father Saturday.

According to a police report, Mudd turned herself into police Tuesday. Police say Mudd confessed to abducting Hassler on June 17 and ultimately shooting her along with Byrd. Police say Byrd was arrested Tuesday.

Authorities say both Byrd and Mudd have been charged with murder and kidnapping. They are scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday. It isn’t clear whether they have attorneys.


Ky. lieutenant governor candidates to appear in forum

PADUCAH (AP) — The Democratic and Republican candidates for Kentucky lieutenant governor will participate in a forum in Paducah later this year.

The Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce said Jenean Hampton, the running mate of Republican gubernatorial nominee Matt Bevin, and Sannie Overly, who is running with Democratic nominee Jack Conway, have both confirmed they will participate in the event Oct. 1.

Hampton and Overly are to appear before a chamber luncheon. The chamber said the forum will include opening comments from the candidates, a question-and-answer session with local media and concluding remarks by the candidates. WPSD-TV news anchor Todd Faulkner will be the moderator.

WPSD will broadcast the event live and will stream it live on the station’s website.


I-71 exit ramp in Oldham Co. to close for part of July

LOUISVILLE (AP) — Kentucky transportation officials say an Interstate 71 ramp in Oldham County will be closed during part of July.

They say the I-71 North ramp to Kentucky 329 — at Exit 14 — is scheduled to be closed from July 10-22 to replace concrete pavement.

The Transportation Cabinet awarded a contract to Hall Contracting of Kentucky Inc. to remove and replace deteriorated pavement at the exit ramp at Crestwood. Officials say the contract amount is $660,000.

Officials say the exit ramp is scheduled to be closed from 8 p.m. July 10 until 5 a.m. July 22.

Motorists should follow the signed detour via I-71 North to Exit 17 at Buckner, turn left on Kentucky 146, access I-71 South and proceed to Kentucky 329 at Exit 14.

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