Lower jobless rates reported in 108 counties
FRANKFORT (AP) — State officials say last month’s jobless rates in 108 Kentucky counties were lower than in July 2013.
The Kentucky Office of Employment and Training says unemployment rates rose in 10 counties and stayed the same in two.
It says Boone County in northern Kentucky had the state’s lowest unemployment rate at 5.8 percent.
Caldwell County was next at 6 percent and Shelby and Woodford counties were at 6.1 percent each. The jobless rate was 6.2 percent in Daviess, Kenton, Oldham and Owen counties. The rate was 6.3 percent in Campbell and Simpson counties.
Magoffin County in eastern Kentucky had the state’s highest unemployment rate at 15.4 percent.
It was followed by Jackson County at 14.6 percent, Harlan County at 14.4 percent, Leslie County at 13.3 percent and Letcher County at 13.2 percent.
Kentucky, Tennessee receive training funds
LOUISVILLE (AP) — Kentucky and Tennessee are receiving funds from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration’s health and safety training grants.
The agency announced Thursday it is allocating $8.3 million for 46 states and the Navajo Nation in fiscal year 2014. The grants cover training and retraining of miners working at surface and underground coal and metal and nonmetal mines.
The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet is to receive $627,659, the largest award in the program, while $139,864 will go to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
MSHA said in a news release that each recipient designs the plan to fit the needs of mines and miners within that location.
Fish and Wildlife issues boat safety reminders
FRANKFORT (AP) — The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources has some advice for people taking their boats out in coming weeks, during summer’s last days.
Boating Education Coordinator Zac Campbell says more and more non-motorized boats such as kayaks and canoes are out on the water. Campbell says the low profile of such boats makes them harder for motor boat operators to see. And he says they aren’t as easy to maneuver to avoid danger.
Campbell advises wearing a lifejacket while on the water and bringing a flotation device in case of trouble.
Boat operators are also warned to watch out for boater’s fatigue, which is caused by a combination of sun, dehydration and movement of the boat. Campbell says adding alcohol to the mix makes for a potentially dangerous situation.
Mastermind of Ohio tax fraud scheme sentenced
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The mastermind of a $3.5 tax fraud scheme that unraveled because the conspirators misspelled the names of common cities on forms has been sentenced to more than eight years in prison.
A federal judge on Thursday sentenced 35-year-old Roma Sims, of the Columbus suburb of Westerville, to prison for 100 months and ordered him to pay $3.5 million in restitution.
Sims and two others were charged last year with stealing the identities of more than 500 people between 2009 and 2012 to collect tax refunds of more than $3.5 million.
Most of the stolen identities were Kentucky residents on disability or other assistance.
The Columbus Dispatch reports that the scheme unraveled when the conspirators misspelled several cities on forms that caught the attention of Internal Revenue Service investigators.
Kentucky court upholds 30-year sentence in slaying
FRANKFORT (AP) — The 30-year prison sentence of a western Kentucky woman in the death of her husband has been upheld by the Kentucky Supreme Court.
The justices on Thursday ruled that 53-year-old Donna Gaines failed to raise any issues that would warrant a new trial or sentencing in the 2009 slaying of Greg Sigler in Ohio County.
Gaines pleaded guilty to shooting Sigler and told a judge she did it because her husband stole money from her and tried to take her truck and that she needed to stand up for herself. Gaines also claimed to be a victim of domestic abuse, which would have shortened her prison sentence.
A judge rejected that finding, prompting the appeal.
Gaines is being held at the Western Kentucky Correctional Complex in Fredonia.
Republicans submit FEC complaint about Grimes’ bus
FRANKFORT (AP) — The Republican Party of Kentucky has submitted a complaint to the Federal Election Commission alleging Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes accepted prohibited campaign donations from her father’s company.
The complaint was hand delivered to the FEC Friday morning. It alleges Signature Special Event Services, owned by Grimes’ father Jerry Lundergan, purchased a touring bus and then leased it to Grimes campaign at below market rates. Federal law bars companies from giving gifts to campaigns.
A spokeswoman for the Grimes campaign called the complaint a political stunt and said their compliance experts have done their due diligence and stand by the rental agreement the campaign made.
The FEC dismissed a similar complaint in 2010 involving a campaign bus rented to Nevada Republican Senate candidate Sue Lowden by a campaign donor.