News Around the State

Letcher Co. groups installing solar panels on buildings

BEREA, Ky. (AP) — An economic development group is working to finance solar installations on four buildings in eastern Kentucky.

The Mountain Association for Community Economic Development, known as MACED, is investing a half-million dollars in the solar project in Letcher County.

The four organizations that will install solar on their buildings are the Hemphill Community Center, Kings Creek Volunteer Fire Department, Housing Oriented Ministries Established for Service and Appalshop.

MACED says the solar energy will help the organizations offset rising utility rates in eastern Kentucky.

Under the state’s current net metering statute, the costs of the installations could be recovered through energy savings in 10 years. MACED says a bill moving through the Kentucky General Assembly could make projects like this one take longer to pay for themselves.

Former detective who lied in court sentenced to probation

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — A former Kentucky State Police detective who lied in court about a slaying he was investigating has been sentenced to two years of probation.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports U.S. District Judge Karen K. Caldwell handed down the sentence Thursday for Charles J. Senters, who pleaded guilty last year in federal court in Lexington to making a false statement.

Senters was investigating the December 2012 death of Eli Marcum in Clay County when he threw some items found nearby into the trash. Lawyers for two other men accused in the case said the discarded items should have been tested.

Senters pleaded guilty to falsely testifying a supervisor witnessed him throwing the items away.

The two other men pleaded guilty to drug charges, but prosecutors dropped a charge related to Marcum’s death.

Public hearing planned on proposed Ky. park upgrades

OLIVE HILL, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky State Parks will hold a public hearing this month to get feedback on a proposal for campground improvements at Carter Caves State Resort Park.

A statement from the agency says the hearing will be held Feb. 27 at the park’s Lewis Caveland Lodge in Olive Hill. The hearing is over proposed sewer, water and electric improvements at the campground.

It is being held as part of the Kentucky Department of Parks Land and Water Conservation Fund grant process.

The hearing is open to anyone interested in commenting on the proposed project. Written comments are also being accepted through March 14.

Man wounded by police now charged with endangering officer

SHIVELY, Ky. (AP) — Charges have now been filed against a Kentucky man who was shot and wounded by a Shively police officer last week.

The Courier Journal reports 26-year-old Terry L. Sams was charged Thursday with offenses including wanton endangerment of a police officer. Police say officers responding last week to a report of an erratic person causing alarm found Sams wandering through neighborhood backyards.

Chief Kevin Higdon says Sams tried to flee, refusing orders to stop and show his hands. Released body camera video shows Sams then reveals a gun and points it at Officer Steve Becker, who shoots Sams several times.

An arrest report says Sams’ gun was loaded and officers found what seemed to be a clear pipe for smoking illegal drugs near him. Becker is on administrative leave.