Last updated: August 27. 2014 5:20PM - 545 Views

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State gets $20 million grant for energy study

LEXINGTON (AP) — Democrats and Republicans gathered Wednesday to celebrate a $20 million federal grant designed to move Kentucky to new forms of energy, a tricky subject in a state dominated by the coal industry.

Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell and U.S. Rep. Andy Barr joined Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear and state House Majority Leader Rocky Adkins to announce a federal grant spread out among the state’s eight public colleges and universities. The money will pay for researchers to explore new ways to generate energy from plants and chemicals.

Beshear and Barr said the grant would complement the coal industry, which generates about 90 percent of the state’s electricity.

McConnell, who has made coal a central part of his re-election campaign, said the grant shows Kentucky is in a great position to compete for federal research dollars.


Judge OKs sale of 3 James River Coal mines

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A bankruptcy judge has approved the sale of three James River Coal Co. mining complexes to a subsidiary of Kentucky-based Blackhawk Mining LLC.

The sale includes the Hampden complex in West Virginia, including the assets of Logan & Kanawha Coal Co. LLC; the Hazard complex in Kentucky, excluding the assets of Laurel Mountain Resources LLC; and the Triad Mining complex in Indiana.

Blackhawk subsidiary JR Acquisition LLC will pay $20 million in cash and assume $32 million in liabilities.

The operations employ about 900 workers.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that U.S. Bankruptcy Kevin R. Huennekens approved motions enabling James River to sell the mines on Tuesday. The company plans to complete the sale by the end of the week.

Richmond-based James River filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April.


Romney to raise money for McConnell

FRANKFORT (AP) — Mitt Romney is coming to Kentucky to raise money for U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, the latest in a string of high-profile politicians getting in on one of the country’s most competitive midterm races.

Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and 2012 Republican presidential nominee, won Kentucky with more than 60 percent of the vote. President Barack Obama remains unpopular in Kentucky, and McConnell — who is battling Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes in the toughest re-election campaign of his 30-year career — has spent millions trying to convince voters Grimes supports Obama’s agenda.

“Governor Romney wanted to take the country in a different direction than President Obama in 2012, and Senator McConnell is proud to have his support as Kentuckians are given another opportunity to do that this November,” McConnell spokeswoman Allison Moore said.

Romney will visit Lexington on Oct. 2 for a McConnell fundraiser. Kentucky native and Alliance Resource Partners CEO Joe Craft will co-host the event along with his fiancee, former Bush administration appointee Kelly Knight.

The Lexington Herald-Leader first reported the news.

“I think any imagery that conjures up presidential politics of 2012 is helpful for Republicans,” said Scott Lasley, a political science professor at Western Kentucky University.


Appeal for soldier convicted in ‘03 grenade attack

LOUISVILLE (AP) — A soldier sentenced to death for killing two fellow service members and wounding 14 others in a grenade attack in Kuwait will have an appeal in military court.

The hearing for 43-year-old Hasan (ha-SAHN’ ) K. Akbar (AK’-bar) is scheduled for Nov. 18 in Washington.

Prosecutors say that as a sergeant in 2003, Akbar threw four hand grenades into tents as members of his division slept, then fired his rifle at soldiers in the ensuing chaos. Air Force Maj. Gregory L. Stone was killed by a grenade. Army Capt. Christopher S. Seifert was fatally shot in the back. Fourteen soldiers were wounded, mostly from grenade shrapnel.

Akbar was sentenced to death in 2005. His appeal challenges his trial counsel’s performance.

Akbar was based at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He’s being held in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.


Maysville receiving $1.15M for water tank project

MAYSVILLE (AP) — The city of Maysville is receiving more than a million dollars for a water tank project.

The U.S. Commerce Department, which announced the $1.15 million grant on Monday, said the city reports the project will support expansion of the region’s automotive industry, specifically a Mitsubishi plant that will create 105 jobs, retain 660 jobs and generate $60 million in private investment.

The grant comes from the department’s Economic Development Administration.

The department says the funds will increase the capacity of the water system and provide potable water and fire protection to existing and expanding manufacturers and suppliers in the auto cluster.


Homeplace fair shows off ancestors’ skills

DOVER, Tenn. (AP) — The Homeplace at Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area is offering a chance to see demonstrations by people who have kept historic trades and crafts skills going through the generations.

The Homeplace says the area offered trades during the 1850s that required skills — including hatters, teachers, boatmen and others — many of which have been replaced with mass production, large industries and retail stores.

The Trades Fair is set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. CDT Saturday and Sunday at The Homeplace.

Traditional trades and crafts people will share knowledge of vanishing folk art skills, and handcrafted items will be available to buy.

Children’s activities include using sewing cards, making a clay pot, learning from artists and a Children’s Trades Fair.

Trade demonstrations will be held both days.

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