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    Posted April 17, 2015 [ Kentucky Press News Service ]
Governor orders flags to half-staff Monday in honor of GI killed in Afghanistan
     Gov. Steve Beshear has directed that flags at all state office buildings be lowered to half-staff Monday in honor of a Fort Campbell soldier who died in Afghanistan. According to the Department of Defense, Spc. John M. Dawson, 22, of Whitinsville, Massachusetts, died April 8 in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when he was attacked by small arms fire while he was on an escort mission.

    Posted April 17, 2015 [ Frankfort State Journal ]
Fracking permit given to Pennsylvania company
     The Kentucky Oil and Gas Conservation Commission gave the green light for Kentucky’s first horizontal deep-well fracturing operation in a special meeting Thursday. The commission granted a drilling permit to Horizontal Technology Energy Company of Pennsylvania that will set up an oil and natural gas drilling operation in Johnson County. Based on a recommendation by hearing officer Gordon Slone, the company will drill at a target depth of 11,200 feet and has been approved for a vertical depth of 15,000 feet. The well will tap into the Rogersville Shale that is a part of eastern Kentucky and West Virginia.

    Posted April 17, 2015 [ Sentinel-News ]
As communication devices develop, landlines are becoming a thing of the past
     Phones have come a long way in 139 years. And with the growing desire for more convenient and cost-efficient devices, landline phones could soon be joining pagers and rotary phones in the communication graveyard. Statistics show that the number of households still possessing a landline is decreasing rapidly, thanks to a plethora of cellular and broadband phone services. For example, in 2009, some 90 percent of the dwellings in Shelby County had landline telephones. Last year, that number was down to 60 percent.

Posted April 17, 2015 [ Sentinel-News ]
Shelbyville company prepares for expansion
     A Shelbyville company is one step closer to making an expansion it began in 2010 a reality. Bekaert Corporation will submit its development plan to the Triple S Planning and Zoning Commission on Tuesday. Construction on the 55,224-square foot expansion to the plant’s existing 260,000-square foot facility, which manufactures drawn steel wire products, will begin soon, said plant manager Kendall Hall.

    Posted April 17, 2015 [ Kentucky Press News Service ]
Division of Waste Management: $4K grants available from the Waste Tire Trust Fund
     Kentucky counties can now apply for $4,000 in waste tire recycling and disposal grants funded through the Energy and Environment Cabinet’s Waste Tire Trust Fund. Eligible expenses under this grant are the actual costs that the county incurs during the grant period for recycling or disposal of waste tires. Other expenses, such as labor and equipment costs, are not eligible.

Posted April 17, 2015 [ Lexington Herald Leader ]
18-year-old charged with murder in UK student's shooting death; more suspects sought
     UPDATED: Lexington police charged Justin D. Smith Friday with murder in the East Maxwell Street shooting of Jonathan Krueger, a University of Kentucky student and campus newspaper photo editor who was walking home when he was killed. Others involved in Krueger's homicide are being sought, Lexington police Chief Mark Barnard said in a press conference Friday afternoon. However he declined to say how many were involved.

Posted April 17, 2015 [ Corbin/Whitley News Journal ]
Two students arrested in connection with Internet gun threat
     Two teenagers have been arrested and are facing multiple charges over an alleged threat that resulted in the lockdowns of all schools on the Whitley County central campus and Williamsburg Independent School Thursday morning. "They did it as a joke. Nobody is laughing at it though," said Whitley County Sheriff Colan Harrell.

    Posted April 17, 2015 [ Lexington Herald Leader ]
Task force could develop guidelines for contact between teachers, students in Kentucky
     Support is growing for creation of a task force to study policies that could prevent inappropriate relationships between teachers and students in Kentucky. A former U.S. Department of Education official who conducted a national study of 2014 media reports about inappropriate relationships found that in Kentucky, social media and text messaging was involved in 36 percent of the cases. The former official, Terry Abbott, also found that based on the media reports, Kentucky in 2014 had the second highest per-capita rate in the country of inappropriate relationships between school employees and students.

Posted April 17, 2015 [ Courier-Journal ]
Thunder Over Louisville: Half of great lawn expected to close
     The Ohio River near the Thunder Over Louisville site is now a foot higher than it was in 2011, when flooding last complicated things for those watching the annual fireworks and air shows, but organizers are confident there will be plenty of good — and dry — spots for spectators.

Posted April 17, 2015 [ Lexington Herald Leader ]
Historic Scott County house taken apart bit by bit in preparation for demolition
     The Robert Sanders House, the Scott County landmark that one observer declared "would last forever," continues to be taken apart bit by bit in preparation for demolition. The house on U.S. 25 south of Georgetown, built by an early Thoroughbred horse breeder, has stood on a hill overlooking Cane Run creek for 218 years. The exterior walls had not come down Thursday morning, but the glass appeared to be out of the windows.

Posted April 17, 2015 [ Ledger Independent ]
Augusta makes top 10 list of beautiful Kentucky towns
     From the notoriety of being named one of 11 treasures by the late Kentucky historian Thomas D. Clark, to features in travel magazines as a must-see destination, Augusta has seen a lion's share of accolades. On Wednesday, another “Top 10” listing made the Ohio River city one of the theculturetrip.com, “10 Most Beautiful Towns in Kentucky.”

    Posted April 17, 2015 [ Paducah Sun ]
Feedback from community encourages KCTCS president
     The Kentucky Community and Technical College System's 16 schools, including WKCTC, have made incredible improvements in post-secondary education attainment over the last decade. The numbers speak for themselves. For example, the number of associate degrees awarded by the state's community colleges tripled, the number of certificates increased tenfold, and enrollment has increased 63 percent. But even as KCTCS celebrates its victories, its leaders are looking for further improvement and growth.

Posted April 17, 2015 [ Messenger Inquirer ]
Coal ash disposal expensive problem for Owensboro's utility
     Compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency's new rules governing the handling and disposal of coal ash is bearing down on Owensboro Municipal Utilities even faster than expected and will no doubt cost the utility millions of dollars every year when a compliance plan is in place.

Posted April 17, 2015 [ Messenger Inquirer ]
Daviess County landfill to take Henderson's trash
     Daviess Fiscal Court unanimously approved a proposal Thursday to begin accepting the City of Henderson's solid waste at its West Louisville landfill on June 1. David Smith, Daviess County's director of governmental affairs, said the deal will mean about $670,000 in additional revenue for the county during the next fiscal year. And it should mean more than $1 million a year after that.

Posted April 17, 2015 [ Courier-Journal ]
Louisville man sentenced to 35 years for 2009 murder
     After four attempts to try him for murder, Dejuan Hammond was sentenced Thursday in Jefferson Circuit Court to 35 years in prison. Hammond was convicted in December of orchestrating the 2009 murder of Troya Sheckles, who at the time was the sole eyewitness in a capital murder case against Hammond's brother, Lloyd Hammond. Prosecutors convinced jurors that Dejuan Hammond hired then-16-year-old Steven Pettway to kill Sheckles to save his brother. In her sentencing, Judge Angela McCormick Bisig called the murder "particularly heinous and cowardly" because Sheckles was targeted for her role as a witness. Hammond "thwarted" the justice system, Bisig said, before she sentenced him.

    Posted April 17, 2015 [ Courier-Journal ]
Syphilis infection rates rise across Kentucky
     Targeted for elimination just 15 years ago, syphilis has been rebounding in Kentucky and across the nation in recent years, mainly among men — part of an uptick that is leading public health officials to seek expanded testing and education. Kentucky's rate of all stages of the sexually transmitted disease has nearly doubled since 2009, from 5.5 per 100,000 residents to 10.1 in 2014, according to preliminary figures provided this week by the Kentucky Department for Public Health.

Posted April 17, 2015 [ Lexington Herald Leader ]
Kentucky wildlife artist Ray Harm dies at 88
     Kentucky naturalist and wildlife artist Ray Harm died April 9 at his home in Sonoita, Ariz. He was 88. Harm, who had been described as Kentucky's "most noted bird artist since John James Audubon," was known for his intricately observed and detailed paintings of wildlife, in which he conveyed both personality and poetry of animals.

    Posted April 17, 2015 [ Lexington Herald Leader ]
State judge strikes down Kentucky's ban on same-sex marriage, but decision put on hold
     A Franklin Circuit Court judge on Thursday struck down Kentucky's ban on same-sex marriage, although he immediately put his decision on hold because the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on that ban in less than two weeks. Judge Thomas Wingate ruled for two Lexington couples who were denied marriage licenses by the Fayette County Clerk in 2013 because Kentucky's Constitution was amended by voters in 2004 to define marriage as exclusively between one man and one woman.

Posted April 17, 2015 [ Lexington Herald Leader ]
UK student shot to death
     The University of Kentucky student newspaper photo editor was shot to death early Friday on East Maxwell Street near Transylvania Park. Jonathan W. Krueger, 22, was from Toledo, Ohio, according to the Fayette County coroner's office. He was killed by a gunshot wound to the chest. The student was going to serve as ad manager in the fall. No arrests have been made, but police "have a person of interest in the case," WKYT reported.

Posted April 17, 2015 [ Kentucky New Era ]
Local leaders put Army, congressmen on notice about Fort Campbell cuts
     While the fight seems far from over, the Citizens for Fort Campbell trip to Washington, D.C., was a major offensive in the defense of Fort Campbell, according to those who went. The annual trip, and subsequent lobbying efforts on behalf of Fort Campbell, had added meaning this year with the shadow of sequestration and budget cuts looming over the military post straddling the Tennessee-Kentucky state line. Fort Campbell, along with almost every other military installation in the U.S., is at risk of having its budget and personnel cut because of mandated spending reductions set in action by sequestration.


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