News in Brief

McConnell touts new trade deal in speech

LOUISVILLE (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is predicting the U.S. would register trade surpluses with countries lining up for the next global trade deal.

The Kentucky Republican said Monday the U.S. will benefit from trade legislation passed by Congress last week.

McConnell said the deal is an example of how partisan divides can be overcome to resolve a major issue. McConnell teamed with President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner in passing the measure that strengthens Obama’s hand in trade talks.

McConnell said participating nations in the current Pacific-based trade talks account for 40 percent of the world’s economy, and include Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam. McConnell said the Asian countries are reaching out to the U.S. to offset China’s influence.

McConnell made the remarks at the Sons of the American Revolution conference in Louisville.


Thousands attend Lexington Pride festival

LEXINGTON (AP) — As they have for years, Ponda Moody and Kim Spencer traveled to Lexington on the last Saturday in June for the annual Lexington Pride festival celebrating gay rights.

But this year, they had to make a stop first.

The couple that lives in Mount Sterling stopped in Winchester to pick up their marriage license, one day after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same sex marriage in Kentucky and across the country in a historic ruling. They were among the thousands who attended the 8th annual Lexington Pride festival on Saturday, an event that has been on the calendar for months but had a special significance for many on this day.

“Oh my God, today was awesome. I mean, today is historic,” Moody said while wearing a T-shirt depicting the Star Trek Enterprise leaving a trail of rainbows (“I got it at Target,” she added.)

Chad Hundley, chairman of the Lexington Pride festival, said organizers expected to have about 20,000 people attend the daylong event. But given the Supreme Court’s ruling, he expected the festival could attract as many as 24,000 people.

“I mean they are going to come out in droves regardless but it is even more of a celebration,” he said.


Lexington Confederate leader statue vandalized

LEXINGTON (AP) — A statue of a Confederate leader that stands in downtown Lexington has been spray-painted with the phrase “Black Lives Matter.”

The John Hunt Morgan statue at the old courthouse on Main Street was sprayed with black paint across the Confederate general’s name. It happened sometime before Friday morning.

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray says he doesn’t condone the vandalism, but understands that the statue brings out strong feelings. He says it’s time for the city to reconsider its Confederate memorials.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports city parks employees will clean the statute as soon as police have finished their investigation.


Blackhawk Mining plans to buy some Patriot Coal assets

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Blackhawk Mining LLC says it plans to buy some of Patriot Coal’s assets in southern West Virginia.

Lexington, Kentucky-based Blackhawk says in a news release that it has entered a definitive agreement to purchase Patriot’s Panther, Rocklick, Wells, Kanawha Eagle, Paint Creek and Midland Trail complexes. The agreement also includes reserve areas.

The sale is subject to a bankruptcy judge’s approval.

Scott Depot, West Virginia-based Patriot filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on May 12.

The bankruptcy court approved bidding procedures for the sale of Patriot’s assets on June 23. The court also approved Blackhawk as the “stalking horse” bidder for the previously identified assets.

Blackhawk president Nick Glancy says the company is working to complete the acquisition by late September or early October.


Calipari: Confederate flag ‘offends,’ should be removed

LEXINGTON (AP) — Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari believes Confederate flags should be taken down.

During a Southeastern Conference coaches conference call Monday, Calipari said that “obviously, it offends a portion of our society, so people are deciding to take them down. That’s how I feel. It may offend, so I’d say do it.”

Calipari asked a reporter if Kentucky uses the flag — it doesn’t. He was told that a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis stands inside the state capitol in Frankfort. Statues of two other leaders stand in downtown Lexington.

The seventh-year coach deferred to the “powers that be” on that and added, “I’m not running for public office. … I was thinking about running for president, but was discouraged from that


Police: Woman dies after being hit, dragged by car

LOUISVILLE (AP) — Police are investigating the death of a woman who was struck by a vehicle and dragged several blocks in a Louisville, Kentucky, neighborhood.

According to WHAS-TV, emergency crews discovered the woman’s body when they arrived on the scene around 10:30 p.m. Saturday in the Parkland neighborhood. The body has been identified as that of 19-year-old Deniesha Pugh.

Authorities said she died from blunt force trauma.

Police believe the vehicle may be a Chevy Impala with damage to its front-end and windshield.

Anyone with information is asked to call 502-574-LMPD.


Deputies: Man walks away from plane crash, minor injuries

PADUCAH (AP) — Deputies say a 61-year-old man has suffered minor injuries after walking away from an ultralight plane crash.

The Paducah Sun reports the McCracken County Sheriff’s Department says Terris Sullivan’s yellow and green ultralight plane was significantly damaged after it crashed near Boaz on Sunday.

Deputies say they found the plane downed under power lines.

Deputies say Sullivan told them he was attempting to land the plane in a field when wind caught the lightweight aircraft, pushing it down. Deputies say Sullivan said he believed he wouldn’t be able to clear power lines, so he tried going below them. Deputies say his ultralight clipped cables, causing him to crash.

Deputy Benny Kauffman says Sullivan, who sustained cuts to his arms and legs, refused medical attention from EMS at the scene.


Ky. woman drowns off SC beach

GARDEN CITY, S.C. (AP) — A Kentucky woman has drowned while swimming over the weekend near Myrtle Beach.

Horry County Chief Deputy Coroner Tamara Willard tells area media outlets that 52-year-old Laurie Davidson of Lexington, Kentucky, was pulled from the ocean at Garden City on Sunday morning.

She was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital shortly after 10 a.m.


Fort Knox plans Fourth of July celebration

FORT KNOX (AP) — Fort Knox will celebrate the Fourth of July with a series of events highlighted by music, cannon rounds and a fireworks show.

The celebration at the Army post in central Kentucky will start at 5 p.m. at Brooks Parade Field, followed by a ceremony at the post flag pole.

Fort Knox officials say there will be face painting, games, hot air balloon rides and music from the 113th Army Band and from Joe Bachman and the Tailgaters. A Salute to the Nation ceremony at the flag pole will include the traditional firing of 51 cannon rounds, one for each state and one for the six U.S. territories.

The celebration will culminate with a fireworks show at 10:15 p.m.

People attending are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets.


Ky. park opening area for rappelling, rock climbing

OLIVE HILL (AP) — Carter Caves State Resort Park in northeastern Kentucky is opening a new activity area for rappelling and rock climbing.

State parks officials say the free, self-guided activity will be open to guests at the park. They say anyone interested in taking part needs to register at the lodge front desk and obtain a permit.

The climbing area will be opening July 2.

State Parks Commissioner Elaine Walker predicts the climbing and rappelling venue will attract more people to the park.

Climbing will be allowed only during daylight hours and participants are asked to use only the existing anchors for rigging. Climbers and rappellers ages 17 and under must have a parent or guardian sign for them. Participants must bring their own equipment.

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