NOAH'S ARK PARK-JOBS

Noah's Ark job float your boat? Then you must be Christian

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A huge Noah's Ark attraction nearing completion in Kentucky will soon be searching for hundreds of job applicants to fill food service, ticketing and other theme park-related positions.

They'll be hiring 300 to 400 workers to fill the 510-foot long Ark Encounter before it opens in July.

And all must be Christian.

Ken Ham, founder of the ministry Answers in Genesis, says the workers will be required to sign a statement saying they're Christian and "profess Christ as their savior."

The group won a federal court ruling in January that clarified that it can make religious-based hires even as it seeks a Kentucky tourism tax incentive worth millions.

Answers in Genesis, which will run the ark's operations, promotes a literal reading of the biblical stories like Noah's.

TEEN DEATH

Police charge juvenile in slaying of central Kentucky teen

HARRODSBURG, Ky. (AP) — Police have charged a juvenile with murder in the case of a Kentucky teenager who was found fatally shot in a rural area of Mercer County.

Kentucky State Police Trooper Robert Purdy says detectives are investigating after the body of 17-year-old Tristan Cole of Harrodsburg was found Wednesday night.

Cole was pronounced dead at the scene, and his body was taken to the state medical examiner's office for an autopsy.

Police said in a news release Thursday afternoon that a juvenile from Harrodsburg was charged with murder and first-degree robbery. The release said the investigation indicates Cole was shot Tuesday evening.

Purdy said Thursday that no arrests have been made. The trooper says Cole's body was found near his vehicle in a rural area west of Harrodsburg.

UPS-DISCRIMINATION LAWSUIT

Kentucky jury awards $5.3M in UPS discrimination lawsuit

(Information from: Lexington Herald-Leader, http://www.kentucky.com)

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Eight black men have won a $5.3 million jury award in a lawsuit over claims that they endured a hostile work environment at UPS in Lexington, Kentucky, and that an effigy of a black UPS driver was hung from a ceiling.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports a Fayette County Circuit Court jury found UPS discriminated against one of the eight and that the company retaliated against two men after they complained.

Spokeswoman Susan Rosenberg at UPS corporate headquarters in Atlanta said the company is disappointed with the decision and is considering appeal options.

When the suit was filed in 2014, a UPS spokeswoman said the dummy was part of safety training for drivers and not intended to offend anyone.

The verdict was returned Thursday after about eight hours of deliberations.

___

DEPUTY SHOT

Kentucky man charged with attempting to murder deputy

FRANKLIN, Ky. (AP) — A south-central Kentucky grand jury has charged a man with wounding a sheriff's deputy who was serving a warrant for a domestic violence assault in Franklin.

Kentucky State Police said in a news release Thursday that 28-year-old Ben Wyatt of Franklin was charged in the indictments Wednesday with attempted murder of a police officer, first-degree assault, domestic violence assault and firearms charges. Wyatt was already lodged in the Simpson County jail.

Police say Deputy Eddie Lawson was serving Wyatt with an arrest warrant on March 10 when Wyatt shot Lawson and fled before being apprehended and hospitalized.

KENTUCKY BUDGET

Kentucky leaders break budget impasse, reach agreement

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky's legislative leaders have agreed to a two-year operating budget that will pay the community college tuition for all Kentucky high school graduates while spending more than $1 billion on the state's public pension debt.

House and Senate leaders announced the agreement shortly after 3 a.m. Thursday, the culmination of weeks of secret meetings punctuated by political breakdowns that threatened to shut down state government.

The agreement must still be approved by the full state legislature Friday, but leaders of both chambers said they expected to have plenty of votes to pass it.

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin and his veto pen will have the final say on the deal. In a news release, Bevin's office says the budget places a meaningful investment in the pensions system for the first time in decades.

MENTAL HEALTH PARTNERSHIP

Seven Counties, Centerstone pursuing partnership

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Behavioral health care provider Seven Counties Services is planning to join with Centerstone, which offers services in four other states, creating an organization that would employ more than 4,500 people.

The companies said Thursday they have signed a letter of intent to pursue an affiliation.

The result would be an organization with 181 locations in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee and approximately $310 million in annual revenues.

The companies said in a news release that the negotiation and review process is expected to take 60 to 90 days.

Seven Counties is a not-for-profit that delivers community-based treatment, support and services for people in Bullitt, Henry, Jefferson, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer and Trimble counties in Kentucky.

Centerstone is a nonprofit provider offering services in Florida, Illinois, Indiana and Tennessee at nearly 150 locations.

 

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.