CDC director takes aim at disease rates in Kentucky

HAZARD, Ky. (AP) — A top U.S. health official is taking aim at high disease rates during a visit to eastern Kentucky.

Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is planning stops in four Kentucky communities as part of a three-day visit this week. The prevalence of cancer, heart disease and diabetes are much higher in the state's Appalachian region than the national average.

The region's congressman, Hal Rogers, says Frieden will talk about ways to save lives and improve healthy living.

Rogers says Frieden will hear about efforts by medical professionals and health coalition leaders in the area to change lives.

Frieden's visit to Kentucky includes stops in Somerset, Hazard, Paintsville and Morehead.

The tour is part of an initiative by Rogers and Gov. Steve Beshear to boost eastern Kentucky.


90 recruits start training at Ky State Police Academy

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Ninety recruits have started 23 weeks of training at the Kentucky State Police Academy in Frankfort.

Capt. David Jude, the academy’s commander, says the rigorous training reflects the demands of being an officer. He says cadets will have to prove themselves daily to earn the right to wear the badge and uniform of a state police trooper.

Recruits went through physical fitness tests on the first day of training. Those tests included weight lifting, sit-ups, push-ups, a 300-meter run and a mile-and-a-half run.

Cadets will have to complete more than 1,000 hours of classroom and field study. Subjects include constitutional law, juvenile and traffic law, use of force, weapons training, first aid, high-speed vehicle pursuit, criminal investigation and hostage negotiations.

The class is tentatively scheduled to graduate on Jan. 16.


Gay marriage bans in Kentucky, Tennessee and other states under judicial scrutiny

CINCINNATI (AP) — The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear challenges Wednesday in downtown Cincinnati about the constitutionality of marriage bans in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee.

The cases are expected to attract packed courtrooms, with demonstrations and rallies also planned by groups on both sides of the issue.

To Chris Seelbach (Sil-BAHK'), the legal challenges to Ohio's statewide ban mark another milestone for Cincinnati. He campaigned in 2004 for the successful effort to repeal a city measure that prohibited the protection of people from discrimination in housing, employment and other matters based on sexual orientation. In 2011, he was elected the city's first openly gay councilman.


Teams competing in mine rescue event in Lexington starting Tuesday

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Competition in the 2014 National Metal and Nonmetal Mine Rescue Contest gets underway Tuesday in Lexington.

Field competition takes place through Wednesday, with five-member teams facing a mine emergency scenario. The team members have to search and account for missing miners following standard mine rescue procedures.

On Thursday, competition includes first aid and technician team. The two-man technician team must ensure that multi-gas and self-contained breathing apparatuses work properly. In the first aid competition, teams have to be able to perform medical emergency techniques.

The U.S. Labor Department says 40 teams from 18 states are participating in the competition at the Lexington Convention Center. The Labor Department’s Mine Safety and Health Administration will judge the competition.


Lexington to crack down on vacant properties

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Officials in Lexington are beginning to crack down on properties that are vacant and blighted.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports the city plans to send letters to owners of 330 residential and commercial properties that are suspected of being vacant and blighted.

Jonathan Hollinger, an administrator with the city's planning department, says letters will go out in coming weeks. Property owners will have a chance to contest the allegation.

If they don't or are unsuccessful, the properties will be certified as vacant and blighted and will face a property tax increase next year.

Chip Crawford, who is chairman of the city's Vacant Property Review Commission, says the measure isn't meant to be punitive. He says the hope is that owners will repair or sell the properties.


Eastern Ky. park to host elk and hunting show

PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (AP) — A park in eastern Kentucky's elk country will host a three-day elk and hunting show in August.

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Eastern Kentucky Elk and Hunting Show will be held Aug. 22-24 at Jenny Wiley State Resort Park.

The event in the park's convention center will feature seminars, demonstrations and vendor booths with hunting and fishing guides and taxidermists.

Admission is $5 each day.

Hours will be noon to 9 p.m. EDT on Aug. 22, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Aug. 23 and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. the next day.

Concessions will be available and will include elk and buffalo chili.

The event will include a concert by Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver at 8 p.m. on Aug. 22.


Historic Springfield building to become housing

SPRINGFIELD, Ky. (AP) — The city of Springfield in central Kentucky is receiving more than three-quarters of a million dollars to renovate a downtown building into affordable housing.

Gov. Steve Beshear said in a statement the project will revive the historic Robertson Building and provide housing for several families.

The $780,000 Community Development Block Grant was announced last week.

Beshear's office says the Robertson Building was built about a century ago. It was once a commercial hub but has been vacant for several years.

The building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The apartments will be used for low-income housing. A study last year found a high demand for low-income housing in the city.

Beshear's office says the project has been approved by the state Historic Preservation Office.


Western Kentucky race series begins Saturday

AURORA, Ky. (AP) — The Western Kentucky State Park Race Series is about to get underway, with the first event set for Saturday, the Hot August 5K at Kenlake State Resort Park near Aurora.

Each footrace is 5K, and there are five in all, concluding in mid-December. A point system is used to decide an overall winner. Runners of all ages can participate.

The second event is Run Through the Forest on Sept. 20 at Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park near Dawson Springs, followed by the Trick or Trot Oct. 25 at Lake Barkley State Resort Park near Cadiz, Stars and Stripes on Nov. 8 at Kentucky Dam Village State Park near Gilbertsville and Reindeer Run on Dec. 13 at John James Audubon State Park in Henderson.


Louisville seeks successful sequel with Petrino

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Bobby Petrino returned to Louisville aiming to continue his success at the school that jump-started his head coaching career.

His quest is tougher this time with the Cardinals entering the Atlantic Coast Conference, but he and his players are eager to begin preparation for the competition in a new league.

Practice opens Tuesday morning for Louisville, which hired Petrino in January for a second stint with the program he guided to a 41-9 record from 2003-06. He inherits a team that went 23-3 the past two seasons but looks to raise its play in the ACC.

Petrino said Monday that the transition has gone smoothly, making "it easy for our staff." Louisville needs to replace several defensive starters and ensure quarterback Will Gardner succeeds on offense.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press

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