News Around the State

University gets $15M grant to help end spread of hepatitis C

HAZARD, Ky. (AP) — A University of Kentucky project aimed at ridding Perry County of hepatitis C has received a $15 million federal grant, and $50 million in donated drug treatments that can cure the disease.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reported Thursday that the grant will include more support for the county’s needle exchange program and access to medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder through Behavioral Health Group, a local treatment center. It will also pay for case management, such as help with housing or unemployment.

Hepatitis C causes liver cancer and is spread by contact with contaminated blood. Cases have increased in rural communities where injected drug abuse is prevalent.

The project’s lead researcher, Jennifer Havens, says the hope is to build a model for rural hepatitis C treatment that can be used nationwide.

Firm breaks ground on Ky. hemp manufacturing facility

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A company has broken ground on a facility to develop and manufacture hemp-based products in Kentucky.

State officials say the facility being built by AgTech Scientific in Paris, Kentucky, will start with about 50 employees but is projected to grow to 271 workers within three years. It’s part of AgTech’s plan to work with Kentucky farmers to grow hemp and to partner with the University of Kentucky on research.

Gov. Matt Bevin says it’s another sign the hemp industry is expanding rapidly, and he says Kentucky is on the leading edge of the growth.

The company says it intends to partner with Kentucky farmers for large-scale hemp production. Initially, the facility will produce an energy drink incorporating cannabidiol extracted from hemp, the company but plans to expand its product lineup.

Former teacher sentenced to 12 years on sex charges

RUSSELLVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A former Kentucky teacher accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a student has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.

The Daily News reports a judge handed down the sentence Thursday for 30-year-old Adam Decker of Leitchfield.

Decker pleaded guilty to 15 criminal counts including rape, sodomy, sex abuse and possession of matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor. The plea agreement dismissed 22 other counts, but required him to register as a sex offender for life.

An indictment accused the former Logan County Schools teacher and coach of having sexual contact with a 15-year-old girl, of exchanging explicit photos with a 16-year-old girl and of using his cellphone while employed as a teacher to send and receive inappropriate photos with teen girls.

Woman gets life in prison for slaying of boyfriend

NEWPORT, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky woman has been sentenced to life in prison for killing her on-again, off-again boyfriend.

News outlets report 27-year-old Shayna Hubers was sentenced Thursday in the 2012 shooting death of 29-year-old Ryan Posten. She was convicted of murder in his slaying in August.

She also was convicted of murder in the slaying in 2015. That conviction was overturned when a juror was found to be a convicted felon. Kentucky doesn’t allow convicted felons to sit on juries.

Hubers has argued she shot Posten in self-defense. Prosecutors say she killed him because he was ending the relationship.

Hubers’ attorney David Eldridge asked Hubers be sentenced to 20 years, arguing her behavior was “mitigated” by her diagnosis of borderline personality disorder. It’s unclear if Hubers’ defense will appeal the case.

Lawsuit seeks to remove Ky. House candidate from ballot

BURLINGTON, Ky. (AP) — A Republican candidate for the Kentucky House of Representatives says an independent candidate running against him should be removed from the ballot.

Ed Massey is the Republican nominee for the District 66 House seat that covers part of Boone County in northern Kentucky. He faces three other candidates on Nov. 6, including independent candidate Stacie Earl. Earl has the support of Republican Gov. Matt Bevin.

Independent candidates for office must turn in a petition of at least 100 signatures of people registered to vote in the district. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports Massey has filed a lawsuit alleging only 97 of the signatures Earl submitted are valid.

It’s unclear if Earl has an attorney. Efforts to reach her campaign were unsuccessful.