News in Brief

Report: Ky. records 10 deaths from child abuse, neglect

LOUISVILLE (AP) — An annual report shows Kentucky had 10 deaths and 32 near-deaths attributed to child abuse or neglect last year.

The Courier-Journal cited data from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services in reporting the numbers for the fiscal year that ended June 30. The numbers are a decline from the previous year in which 16 deaths and 51 life-threatening injuries were reported.

Data shows the leading cause of death and serious injury continues to be head trauma, and that substance abuse and family violence play a large part in such deaths and injuries.

The number of deaths has decreased significantly since Kentucky led the nation in deaths with 41 in 2007.

Child advocates are continuing to look for ways to reduce the number even further.


Authorities investigating death of man discovered in roadway

BEREA (AP) — Authorities are investigating the death of a man who was found lying in a roadway in Madison County, Kentucky.

According to WKYT-TV, Berea police were called to the intersection of Prospect Street and Forest Street around 11:56 p.m. Friday night where 71-year-old Billy Croucher was discovered unresponsive.

Investigators believe he may have been hit by a car, but said no other vehicles were present at the time he was found.

The Madison County Coroner’s office pronounced Croucher dead at the scene.


Saga surrounding Ky. clerk may not be over

OWENSBORO (AP) — Kim Davis is out of jail and on the job, but the saga surrounding the Kentucky county clerk who has refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples appears to be far from settled.

In a court filing Friday, the attorney for one of Davis’ employees said he believes Davis has again violated a federal court order by altering marriage license forms to remove her name and requiring them to be notarized, among other changes. In a separate court filing Friday, attorneys for the gay couples who sued Davis appear to agree and say they are “exploring legal options.”

U.S. District Judge David Bunning released Davis from jail on the condition that she not interfere with her employees as they issue marriage licenses. Mason’s attorney Richard Hughes called Davis’ actions “bizarre” and said they may interfere with the judge’s order.


Auditor says report to be released on untested rape kits

FRANKFORT (AP) — State Auditor Adam Edelen says a report on untested sexual assault evidence kits in Kentucky is being released.

According to WHAS-TV, a news conference has been planned for Monday in reference to the report.

The Kentucky State Police laboratory has received a $1.9 million grant from the New York district attorney, which has teamed with the U.S. Justice Department to distribute $79 million nationally to help reduce the backlog of untested rape kits.

State police said the money will pay for up to 3,300 kits to be outsourced and for the formation of a task force to focus on policies for automatic submission of the kits.

The legislature this year directed the Kentucky auditor to determine how many kits were untested at Kentucky police agencies.

State police said the inquiry resulted in submission of more than 500 kits in addition to 315 the lab had already located.


Fort Smith group suing federal government over 2011 fire

FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — The Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority has filed a lawsuit against the federal government over a 2011 fire that destroyed a World War II-era hospital complex.

The authority’s lawsuit alleges that members of the Kentucky National Guard caused the fire and that the federal government is responsible for the guard members’ actions. The lawsuit is seeking $650,000 for the destruction of 111 buildings, plus the cost of cleanup and remediation.

Officials reported that the fire was sparked by cigarettes that were tossed into tinder-dry weeds by guard members who sneaked onto the hospital complex looking for ghosts.

The Kentucky National Guard didn’t respond to a request for comment Friday by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

A spokesman with the Arkansas National Guard declined to comment.


Ads on both sides of Ky. governor’s race feature Obama

FRANKFORT (AP) — Kentucky’s candidates for governor are both airing TV ads about President Barack Obama.

Republican nominee Matt Bevin released his first TV ad of the general election campaign on Friday. It criticizes Democratic nominee Jack Conway for supporting Obama’s policies, including the federal Affordable Care Act and a proposal that would have limited environmental emissions for businesses.

Conway said he has never supported the emissions law. He released an ad on Monday saying he stood up against Obama to protect Kentucky jobs. The ad touts Conway’s lawsuits against the Environmental Protection Agency over its proposed emission standards for coal-fired power plants.

Obama is deeply unpopular in Kentucky, a factor most political experts agree led to Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell’s landslide victory against Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes last year.


Ky. highway to close for 2 months during bridge repairs

FLEMINGSBURG (AP) — Officials are closing a portion of a northeastern Kentucky highway for bridge repairs.

Kentucky 560, also known as Metcalf Mill Road, in Fleming County will be closed for about two months beginning Monday.

Transportation officials say the bridge over Johnson Creek near the Mason County line has deteriorated concrete beams that must be removed and rebuilt. The Transportation Cabinet has awarded a $621,512 contract to The Walker Company to do the work.

They will start removing the bridge on Monday and the road will be closed at the construction site.

All through traffic will be detoured along Kentucky 165 and US 68.

The road is expected to reopen by early November.


Daniel Boone Forest waiving some fees this weekend

WINCHESTER (AP) — Fees will be waived at several recreation areas in the Daniel Boone National Forest this weekend to celebrate National Public Lands Day.

Officials there say no recreation fee pass is required for overnight campers in the Red River Gorge backcountry, Barren Fork Horse Camp in McCreary County or Bee Rock Campground along the Rockcastle River of Laurel and Pulaski counties on Friday and Saturday.

Also, these locations require no recreation fee pass on Saturday: Cave Run Lake and Laurel River Lake, all boat ramps outside of developed campgrounds; Natural Arch Scenic Area and Appletree Shooting Range in McCreary County; Redbird Crest Trail in Clay and Leslie counties; and White Sulphur ATV Trail in Bath County.

Started in 1994, National Public Lands Day celebrates volunteer service and recreation on public land.

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