News Around the State

Health officials confirm flu-related death

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Health officials in Kentucky say a flu-related death has been confirmed in Lexington.

A statement from the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department on Tuesday said it is the state’s first flu-related death of the 2018-19 season. Officials are recommending that everyone ages 6 months and above get a flu shot. The agency is offering free flu shots Thursday in a special one-day clinic.

The announcement comes about a month after a coalition of health agencies announced a statewide campaign aimed at preventing an epidemic-level flu season like last year, when more than 10,000 people were infected.

Officials say typically only 38 percent of adults and 44 percent of children get a flu shot, and they are urging more people to get vaccinated.

Bishop: 66 sex abuse claims against 27 priests since 1937

OWENSBORO, Ky. (AP) — A Catholic bishop in Kentucky says his diocese has received 66 sexual abuse allegations against 27 priests since 1937, the year the diocese was founded.

Bishop William Medley of the Diocese of Owensboro told news outlets in a statement Monday that the diocese has compiled statistics regarding sexual abuse claims against priests and individuals who identified themselves as child sexual abuse victims.

The statement says 62 people made the allegations and 11 of the 27 priests accused were dead at the time of the claim. It says 366 priests have served in the diocese in some capacity.

Since 2002, the diocese has spent more than $1 million on background checks and abuse prevention training.

Medley says the numbers were provided to encourage other victims to come forward and begin healing.

Community updating quilt trail to boost tourism

MAYFIELD, Ky. (AP) — Officials in a western Kentucky community are updating the locations of barns that are painted with colorful quilt designs in an effort to boost tourism.

Mayfield-Graves County Tourism Commission Director Cynthia Elder told The Mayfield Messenger that the organization has worked with the Graves County Extension Homemakers and the Art Guild to find the decorated barns and add them to the community’s quilt trail. She said the initiative has mapped 35 barns since the summer, up from 18 on a previous list.

Because of the popularity of the trail, Elder said officials are now trying to keep the map of barn quilt locations updated.

According to the Kentucky Arts Council, at least 30 counties across Kentucky offer similar quilt trails.

Official: Protocol ‘breakdown’ led to jail escape

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — An official at a Kentucky jail says a breakdown in security protocol allowed two inmates working in the jail’s kitchen to escape by hiding in trash cans.

Louisville Metro Corrections Director Mark Bolton tells news outlets it seems protocol requiring the checking of trash cans wasn’t followed.

Justin Stumler and Jeremy Hunt escaped Saturday night. Released security footage shows Stumler and Hunt springing out of trash cans put outside for collection, disappearing behind a dumpster and fleeing the area in new clothing.

Both were back in custody by Monday night. Hunt was caught following a car pursuit that ended in a crash. He’s expected to survive.

Three other inmates — 33-year-old Gary Bradford, 28-year-old Justin Rankin and 18-year-old Tajuan Burton — are charged with facilitation of the escape.