News in Brief


Health officials say Ky. flu activity widespread

FRANKFORT (AP) — Kentucky health officials have raised the flu activity level in the state from regional to widespread.

A statement from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services on Thursday says widespread is the highest level of flu activity and means there has been increased activity or outbreaks in at least half of the regions in the state.

Department of Public Health Commissioner Hiram C. Polk urged anyone who hasn’t been immunized — especially those who have a high risk for complications — to get vaccinated. Those at risk include young children, older adults, pregnant women, caregivers and those with chronic health problems.

The flu virus can be very contagious and causes symptoms including fever, cough, sore throat and body aches.

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Fort Campbell soldiers returning from Iraq deployment

FORT CAMPBELL (AP) — Another group of Fort Campbell soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division is expected to return to the post.

The soldiers are from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team and have been deployed to Iraq and other areas in Southwest Asia for nine months. A group of nearly 200 soldiers arrived last week at the post on the Kentucky-Tennessee border and another group is expected Thursday evening.

The unit had several responsibilities that included training, equipping and advising Iraqi security forces; supporting intelligence and logistical operations; and providing base security.

Family, friends and other soldiers are invited to attend a ceremony to welcome the soldiers back.

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Prison fight results in death of Ky. inmate

FRANKFORT (AP) — Kentucky corrections officials say a prisoner has died of injuries from a fight with another inmate earlier this month.

The state Department of Corrections says the inmate died Wednesday of injuries he suffered during a Jan. 4 fight at the Kentucky State Reformatory in LaGrange. Officials say the inmate was taken to a local hospital after the fight.

Kentucky State Police investigators are looking into the fight.

The two inmates involved in the fight have not been identified.

Last month, authorities say an inmate at the same prison was fatally shot by officers during an alleged hostage situation with a prison nurse. State police said the inmate allegedly took the nurse hostage with an improvised weapon.

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Virginia man sentenced in Ohio high school hacking case

LEXINGTON (AP) — A Virginia man who pleaded guilty to helping hack an online account to draw attention to a 2012 high school rape case in Ohio has been sentenced to eight months in prison.

Noah McHugh, 26, was sentenced on Monday in federal court in Lexington, Kentucky, after pleading guilty to one count of computer fraud. McHugh had admitted helping Deric Lostutter, known online as “KYAnonymous”,” access fan website for Steubenville High School athletics. Lostutter pleaded guilty in November and faces up to 10 years in prison.

Lostutter and McHugh, who is from Alexandria, Virginia, admitted to posting a video to the fan site with Lostutter in a mask speaking about the rape case.

The hack drew additional media coverage to the rape charges against two teenage football players from the high school. Prosecutors said the hack also harassed and intimidated the administrator of the website and drew attention to Lostutter’s online persona.

The football players were convicted in 2013 of raping a West Virginia girl at a party.

According to court records, McHugh was able to hack into the website administrator’s email account, and then into the website by requesting a new password to the website.

In a sentencing document that sought to spare McHugh from prison, McHugh says his actions were “misguided attempts to help a rape victim without adequately considering the consequences.”

Court records said McHugh began cooperating with federal prosecutors in April 2013 and he testified against Lostutter during a grand jury hearing.

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Construction on Bluegrass Music Center stalled

OWENSBORO (AP) — Officials say construction has stalled on the International Bluegrass Music Center in western Kentucky after the Indiana company building the structure filed for bankruptcy.

Owensboro assistant city manager Ed Ray told the Messenger-Inquirer that work on the $15.3 project halted Tuesday morning and officials aren’t sure when it will resume, though contingencies are in place to make sure the project moves forward. He said it could be weeks before another contractor takes over the project.

The newspaper reports Peyronnin Construction, the Evansville company building the center in downtown Owensboro, filed Monday for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

The bluegrass center is a joint venture of the city and the International Bluegrass Music Museum board. Plans for the new center include a 500-seat concert hall.

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UofL exhibits recalls massive 1937 flood

LOUISVILLE (AP) — An exhibit of memorabilia from the massive 1937 flood that hit the region will be on display later this month at the University of Louisville.

The exhibit opens to the public on Jan. 23, the date 80 years ago when the water crested from the flood.

UofL says the exhibit will feature photos, diary entries, documents, news clippings and other items.

The exhibit is being presented by the University Libraries Archives and Special Collections. Its director, Carrie Daniels, says the materials featured in the exhibit tell personal stories of loss, survival and adventure.

The exhibit in the lower level galleries of UofL’s Ekstrom Library will be on display through June 2.

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