Republican victories leave Kentucky Democrats reeling

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Republican victories for governor and three other statewide offices in Kentucky severely crippled one of the few remaining viable Democratic parties in the South.

Kentucky is still the only Southern state where Democrats control the House of Representatives. But Republicans now control four of the six statewide constitutional seats, including the governor's office. And they have a supermajority in the state Senate.

Democratic Auditor Adam Edelen — who lost his re-election bid — says the national Democratic Party is out of step with mainstream residents of Kentucky, making it difficult for the party's candidates to win statewide. Other Democrats, including Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, say the party must begin to rebuild.

Republican Gov.-elect Matt Bevin called for unity and vowed to work with politicians from both parties when he takes office.


Police capture 2 escaped inmates in western Kentucky

DIXON, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky State Police say police have captured two inmates who escaped from a western Kentucky detention center.

Police say Providence police found the men at some apartments Tuesday morning and that both men were arrested without incident.

State police said the inmates walked away from the detention center in Webster County on Monday night.

They were identified as 20-year-old Patrick Jermaine McGuire and 24-year-old Jerrino Don Johnson.


Kentucky clerk Kim Davis appeals order that put her in jail

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky clerk Kim Davis asked a federal appeals court to scrap a series of unfavorable rulings issued by the district judge who sent her to jail.

In a 126-page filing with the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals late Monday, Davis' attorneys called U.S. District Court Judge David Bunning's order that Davis license same-sex marriage a "rush to judgment" that trampled the clerk's religious liberty.

Davis, the clerk of rural Rowan County, spent five nights in jail in September for defying that order, igniting a fierce debate about the collision of religious freedom and public service.

Davis' lawyers asked the appeals court to reverse four of the lower court's rulings, including the order that Davis issue licenses and the decision to hold her in contempt and send her to jail.


Ex-Louisville pastor faces child porn indictment

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A federal grand jury in Louisville has indicted a former Roman Catholic pastor in a child pornography case.

Prosecutors say 57-year-old Stephen Pohl was charged in a criminal complaint in August after searches of areas used by Pohl in the parish office and rectory of St. Margaret Mary parish in Louisville.

Pohl was arrested in Indian Rocks Beach, Florida, in August and appeared in U.S. District Court in Kentucky in September.

The indictment returned Tuesday accuses Pohl of accessing child pornography material on the Internet earlier this year.

Pohl resigned in August. Attorney Ted Shouse, who represents Pohl, declined to comment in an email Tuesday.

Archdiocese of Louisville officials have said that FBI investigators found 200 images of students from the school on Pohl's computer. The students were clothed but some of the images were "inappropriate."


WWII soldier may receive posthumous Medal of Honor after all

(Information in the following story is from: Lexington Herald-Leader,

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — World War II Army Officer and Clinton County native Garlin Murl Conner is one step closer to posthumously receiving the Medal of Honor.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that the Army Board for Correction of Military Records went against the advice of its staff and voted unanimously in late October that the evidence "was sufficient to warrant a recommendation" that Conner receive the Medal of Honor for life-saving actions he took.

The Conner family now awaits a decision from the Senior Army Decorations Board. Conner's widow, Lydia Conner, has been campaigning to have the Army reconsider the record of her late husband ever since Conner's application was rejected in 1997.

Conner earned four Silver stars, four Bronze Stars, seven Purple Hearts and the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions during World War II.


Medical examiner: Heroin to blame in crash that killed 4

FORT WRIGHT, Ky. (AP) — Authorities have announced that the driver responsible for a fatal crash in Fort Wright that killed the driver and three others was under the influence of heroin at the time of the crash.

Kenton County Commonwealth Attorney Rob Sanders said in a statement Monday that a medical examiner has concluded that 48-year-old Kenneth Hartsock had heroin, fentanyl and THC in his system.

On Sept. 1, Harstock hit another vehicle head-on, killing Harstock and the three adults inside the other vehicle. Police say witnesses saw Hartsock driving erratically down Highland Pike when his vehicle crossed into the oncoming lanes, striking the vehicle. Hartsock was the only person inside his vehicle.

Fentanyl is a strong painkiller that is sometimes mixed with heroin and is approximately 30 to 50 times stronger than pharmaceutical grade heroin.


Ex-social worker faces more charges after false complaints

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A former state social worker charged with making false child abuse complaints against her Elizabethtown neighbors is now facing additional charges she made false abuse complaints against two people in Grayson County.

The Courier-Journal reports that Beth Bond was arrested last week on the new charges. Bond quit her social work job with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services in June after being charged in Elizabethtown with six counts of complicity to call in false complaints.

According to Kentucky State Police Detective Scotty Sharp, Bond made two unfounded accusations each against Jerry Beauchamp and Roger Allen. Beauchamp is the husband of Bond's longtime best friend and Allen is the pastor at Bond's local church.

Bond's attorney Adam Cart said his client plans to plead not guilty to the charges on Thursday.


Century Aluminum announces lay off at its Sebree smelter

ROBARDS, Ky. (AP) — Century Aluminum has announced it will lay off nearly 30 percent of its workforce at its Sebree smelter by year's end.

According to the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer, the company says it'll lay off 150 people at the plant by Dec. 31 and curtail one of its three pot lines. Century currently has about 525 employees at the Sebree smelter.

In a statement, Century's president and CEO Michael Bless said the company is struggling to compete with the low prices of subsidized Chinese aluminum, calling the practice "unfair."

Last month, the company laid off approximately 320 people at its Hawesville smelter.

The Hawesville smelter is down to 250 employees and has two pot lines operating.

On Thursday, Century reported a net loss of $56.1 million for the quarter ending Sept. 30.


Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.