Workforce shortage faces Kentucky's next governor

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky's major employers say they can't find enough qualified workers as the state climbs out of a national recession.

In Henderson County, Darrell Littrell says he wants to hire 50 people at his tool and die shop and pay them up to $100,000 a year. But he says he cannot find anyone with the skills to do the work.

The problem has become a big issue in Kentucky's race for governor. Republican nominee Matt Bevin said he would push for more vocational training and de-emphasize the importance of four year degrees. Democratic nominee Jack Conway said he would put more career counsellors in public schools to advise juniors and seniors as they plan their future.

The election is Tuesday.


Kentucky fugitive spotted by Cumberland County resident, flees; manhunt continuing

BURKESVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Police are searching wooded areas in Cumberland County for fugitive Floyd Ray Cook, whom authorities accuse of shooting at police in two states.

Kentucky State Police Trooper Billy Gregory says the 62-year-old Cook asked the resident for a ride Thursday afternoon, but he was refused. The person called police, and officers spotted Cook before he ran into the woods.

Gregory says police helicopters and additional officers headed to the area to help search for Cook, who has been on the run since the weekend.

Authorities say Cook is a convicted rapist and robber and that he allegedly shot and wounded a Tennessee police officer recently.


Elderly man found alive several days after car crash

CYNTHIANA, Ky. (AP) — Police say a 77-year-old Kentucky man survived in his wrecked car for several days after it went over an embankment.

WKYT reports that a passerby spotted Wilbur Eugene Harrod's red car on Wednesday in Harrison County.

Scott County Sheriff Tony Hampton said Harrod was last seen Friday afternoon leaving a friend's home in neighboring Scott County. Family and friends had driven along the same the road on Sunday searching for Harrod but did not find him.

Hampton said Harrod told rescuers he had been in the car for several days.

Harrod was conscious but dehydrated when rescue crews got to him. He was listed in serious condition Thursday at the University of Kentucky Medical Center.


Parents arrested over baby who weighs 7 pounds at 5 months

BARBOURVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky couple has been charged after authorities say social workers found out that their 5-month-old baby weighed only 7 pounds.

The Lexington-Herald Leader reports that police investigated after social workers called them about the baby on Tuesday. The parents, of Knox County, are charged with first-degree criminal abuse.

In a statement, state police say the mother had taken the infant to the hospital in Corbin. Police say the infant was transferred to the University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital for treatment of malnourishment and several rashes.

According to police, workers at the county's health department told the mother to take the baby to the hospital to receive benefits under a nutrition program.


Court: Mine-safety laws didn't apply to subcontract worker

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky's Supreme Court has ruled that state mine-safety laws and regulations did not apply to a subcontract worker who died while installing a massive garage door on a mine-site building in Muhlenberg County.

David McCarty was killed when his stepladder collapsed and he fell, striking his head.

His widow filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the mine operator. She claimed the operator violated mine-safety laws and regulations.

Writing for the unanimous court, Justice Daniel Venters said the safety laws don't require mine operators to provide a "special duty of care" for independent contractors and craftsmen who perform non-coal mining work on mine property.

Venters says that requiring mine operators to provide safety inspections for independent contractors would divert resources from the safety of miners.

The state's high court released the opinion Thursday.


German-based company to create 110 jobs in Kentucky

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky officials say a German-based auto supplier will create 110 jobs in Bowling Green as part of the company's $130 million investment.

Gov. Steve Beshear's office says the steel processor will build a 250,000-square-foot cold-rolling steel manufacturing facility at the Kentucky Transpark in Warren County in south-central Kentucky. The plant will serve the company's North American automotive industry customers.

The investment by the Bilstein Group was announced Wednesday.

Beshear's office says that since January 2013, 29 German-owned facilities have announced new locations or expansions in Kentucky. It resulted in more than 1,200 full-time jobs through a collective investment of more than $488 million.

Overall, the governor's office says Kentucky is home to more than 445 foreign-owned companies from 33 nations, employing more than 89,000 people.


Bridge connecting Kentucky, Ohio to reopen soon

FLEMINGSBURG, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky Department of Highways says a bridge in northeastern Kentucky that was closed for a painting project won't reopen Friday as hoped but should accommodate traffic by mid-November.

The Carl D. Perkins Memorial Bridge spans the Ohio River and connects Greenup County, Kentucky, with Portsmouth, Ohio. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet closed the bridge in April so contractors could paint the span's 600,000-square-foot steel superstructure.

A statement from the Department of Highways says rain has caused delays and more time is needed to apply a protective coating to concrete rails. The bridge is expected to open before Nov. 15.

The agency says the $7 million project is expected to help preserve the structure for about 35 years.


American Pharoah gallops in workout at Keeneland

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Triple Crown champion American Pharoah had a spirited gallop at Keeneland in preparation for his final career start in Saturday's Breeders' Cup Classic.

The colt arrived Tuesday from California and walked around his barn Wednesday because of rainy conditions. On Thursday, he galloped on the synthetic surface of the training track.

Trainer Bob Baffert had planned to use the main dirt track but changed his mind after several days of rain left a muddy surface. Several hundred fans watched the workout with exercise rider Georgie Alvarez on a cool, sunny morning.

Baffert says American Pharoah was "happy" and has been "working well." American Pharoah was the 4/5 morning line favorite and will be ridden by Victor Espinoza.


Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.