Kentucky News Now – January 20th 2016
Weather forecast calls for up to 4 inches of snow Wednesday
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The National Weather Service is calling for up to 4 inches of snow to fall across much of Kentucky.
The weather service says snow was in the forecast to begin early Wednesday in most places, with the bulk of accumulation hitting by afternoon. The precipitation may end in some areas as freezing rain.
Forecasters warn that the weather conditions could produce low visibility and slick roads, making travel conditions hazardous especially during the morning commute. The weather service says a wide swath of central Kentucky is expected to get between 2- 4 inches of snow, northern Kentucky could see 1-2 inches, western Kentucky could see 2-3 inches and eastern Kentucky could get 1-3 inches.
State Police have winter weather driving tips
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky State Police have some advice for people traveling during winter weather conditions.
The agency says don't travel at all unless it's necessary when winter weather is in your area. If it's necessary, check road conditions by calling 511, drive slowly and wear your seat belt.
Police say allow extra time, leave extra distance between vehicles because it's harder to stop on icy or snowy roads, clear all vehicle windows before starting out, turn on headlights, use caution on bridges and overpasses and avoid using cruise control.
Before taking off, be sure your gas tank is full and cell phone is charged, take a blanket and let someone know your travel plans.
If you're involved in a wreck, be patient because there may be additional requests for law enforcement. Try to move your vehicle out of the road if the wreck is minor.
Bill requiring face-to-face abortion consult clears Senate
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The Republican-controlled state Senate has approved a bill that requires a woman to have a face-to-face meeting with a doctor before having an abortion.
The Senate voted 32-5 to approve the bill Tuesday. It now goes to the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives, where Speaker Greg Stumbo has said it has a better chance of passing this year.
Since 1998, Kentucky has required women to meet with a physician at least 24 hours before having an abortion. But since then, many doctors have discussed the procedure with women on the phone. The new bill clarifies patients must meet with doctors in person.
Abortion rights advocates argue the requirement makes it harder for women to get an abortion. Kentucky has just two abortion clinics, located in Louisville and Lexington.
State won't renew contract, battery research center closing
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — The state has decided not to renew the contract of the only employee of a battery research collaborative between the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville, among others.
The Kentucky Argonne Battery Manufacturing Research and Development Center has been located at UK. The administration of former Gov. Steve Beshear helped launch it in 2010.
Energy and Public Protection Cabinet spokesman Dick Brown told the Lexington Herald-Leader on Tuesday that the state decided not to renew the contract of the center's director, Tony Hancock. The contract was for $44,000 annually. Hancock said the lab would be shut down.
Former Energy Secretary Len Peters told The Courier-Journal on Tuesday that the center had successes and shortfalls but kept the state focused on what some see as the auto industry's future — battery-powered cars and trucks.
Western Ky. ferry to Missouri reopens
HICKMAN, Ky. (AP) — The Dorena-Hickman Ferry on the western tip of Kentucky has reopened after weeks of high water.
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet spokesman Keith Todd said the ferry that connects Hickman, Kentucky to Missouri near Dorena reopened on the winter schedule Tuesday.
It has been closed for several weeks since floodwaters covered the ferry landing on the Kentucky side.
The ferry is the only direct route from Missouri to Kentucky, since they are the only border states in the U.S. that aren't directly connected by a road.
MSU issues ban on hoverboards due to fire hazard
MURRAY, Ky. (AP) — Murray State University has issued an immediate ban on hoverboards on campus, citing safety concerns.
In a statement released Sunday, university spokeswoman Adrienne King says the ban prohibits the use, possession, storage and charging of hoverboards in residence halls, college courts, all other campus buildings, campus grounds and regional campus locations. It will remain in effect until more information and better safety standards exist for hoverboards.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a strong warning about hoverboards after batteries within the devices were reported to burst into flames — especially while being charged — resulting in a metal fire that can burn with intense heat.
Numerous other campuses across the country have also banned these devices.
156K chickens added to list of birds being euthanized
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Animal health officials investigating a bird flu strain that affected 10 turkey farms in southwestern Indiana have added 156,000 chickens to the list of thousands of birds being euthanized.
The Indiana State Board of Animal Health says the egg-laying chickens are at a high risk of contracting the H7N8 virus because they're housed at one of the 10 farms in Dubois County with infected turkeys.
Crews already were working to euthanize more than 245,000 turkeys to prevent the virus' spread. With the added chickens, the outbreak will bring about the deaths of about 401,000 birds.
Officials also have also added a precautionary 6-mile "surveillance zone" beyond the 6-mile control area created last week around the first turkey farm where the virus was found.
AMERICAN PHAROAH-BEST RACEHORSE AWARD
Triple Crown winner American Pharoah voted world's top horse
LONDON (AP) — Triple Crown-winning Horse of the Year American Pharoah has been chosen the World's Best Racehorse by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities.
The award presented Tuesday is the latest for the champion colt who swept the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes before capping his career with a victory in the Breeders' Cup Classic.
Golden Horn finished second. The England-based colt won the Epsom Derby, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and finished second to Found in the Breeders' Cup Turf.
The award is determined by performance-based rankings from international handicappers.
American Pharoah is retired and standing at Ashford Stud in Versailles, Kentucky.
Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.