News Around the State

McConnell: Willing to offer hemp bill to resolve ‘glitches’

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he’s willing to offer follow-up legislation if needed to resolve any “glitches” as hemp starts a new era as a legal agricultural commodity.

The Kentucky Republican said Monday that includes safeguarding hemp shipments stopped by police who can’t tell whether they intercepted a legal crop or its illicit cousin, marijuana.

Some truckers hauling hemp have been arrested. The only way to distinguish hemp and marijuana is by measuring their tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, and officers don’t have the testing technology to do so on the spot.

McConnell spoke at a hemp forum in Kentucky. U.S. Department of Agriculture Undersecretary Greg Ibach, who attended the conference, said USDA has reached out to drug enforcement officials to seek a “coordinated effort” on the interstate shipment of hemp.

Health officials: E. coli cases affecting more than 70

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The federal government is investigating an E. coli outbreak affecting more than 70 people in Kentucky and four other states.

The Courier Journal reports 46 cases have been reported in Kentucky. Cabinet for Health and Family Services spokeswoman Barbara Fox says six people have gone to the hospital due to the outbreak.

News outlets say the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report Tennessee has 21 cases. Other affected states include Ohio, Virginia and Georgia.

Officials don’t know whether a particular food item, grocery or restaurant is the source of the infections.

The Kentucky health department says people usually become sick two to five days after eating contaminated food. State health officials announced the outbreak March 29.

Man charged with arson, murder in son’s death

LONDON, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky man has pleaded not guilty to charges related to his toddler son’s death in a trailer fire.

WKYT-TV reports that 26-year-old Vaughn Brock entered the plea Friday to charges of murder and arson in the death of his son, Joseph.

An arrest citation says the nearly 2-year-old boy was found inside a washing machine after the fire March 30.

Court records say Brock told police that he fell asleep while smoking a joint and woke up to the trailer filled with smoke. Brock was found Wednesday at a home in Keavy, Kentucky.

Brock is being held in jail as he awaits a court hearing. Online jail records do not show if he has a lawyer.

Man accuses West Virginia hospital of child abuse

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — A Kentucky man says his infant son suffered a broken arm, fractured ribs and fractured legs while at the Cabell Huntington Hospital in West Virginia.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports Ronald Cunagin, of Lovely, Kentucky, is suing the hospital and accuses its employees of battery and negligent supervision. The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services investigated the baby’s injuries and determined that someone deliberately harmed him.

The lawsuit says Cunagin’s son was born at the hospital in 2017 and was a patient for about a month. The baby was then transferred to a Kentucky hospital where he was diagnosed with his injuries. The lawsuit says genetic testing determined the baby didn’t have any health issues that weakened his bones.

The hospital didn’t immediately return requests for comment.

Youth basketball coach charged with assaulting referee

PADUCAH, Ky. (AP) — Authorities say a Michigan youth basketball coach accused of punching a Kentucky referee, knocking him unconscious, has been charged with assault.

News outlets cite a statement from the McCracken County sheriff’s office in Kentucky that says 40-year-old Keyon Menifield of Flint, Michigan, had a disagreement Saturday with the referee, 61-year-old Kenny Culp of Paducah. The statement says Culp turned to walk away when Menifield struck him.

Culp was taken to a hospital for treatment, and deputies charged Menifield with assault of a sports official. It wasn’t immediately clear whether he has an attorney.

Culp’s niece, KaSondra Barnett, said on Sunday that he was being treated for a broken collarbone, a crack in his sinus cavity, and a concussion.

McCracken County Sheriff Matt Carter says the investigation is ongoing.

Soldiers from 101st Airborne deploying to Ukraine this month

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (AP) — Dozens of soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division are deploying to Ukraine this month for a scheduled nine month tour.

Fort Campbell said more than 150 soldiers assigned to 2nd Brigade Combat Team “Strike” will advise the Ukrainian Armed Forces with development of a combat training center.

The soldiers will replace the Tennessee National Guard’s 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, which arrived in Ukraine last summer.

Development of the training center has been continuing since 2015. Ukraine is expected to assume full training responsibility sometime in 2020.

The soldiers will conduct a colors casing ceremony Friday at Fort Campbell. The casing of the colors is an Army tradition that represents movement of the brigade to a new location.