News Around the State

Kentucky disaster declaration covers dozens of counties

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Dozens of Kentucky counties are included in a disaster declaration authorizing assistance following flooding in February and March.

The declaration covers 57 counties: Adair, Ballard, Bell, Boyd, Breathitt, Butler, Campbell, Carlisle, Carroll, Carter, Casey, Clay, Crittenden, Cumberland, Edmonson, Elliott, Estill, Floyd, Grant, Greenup, Hancock, Harlan, Henderson, Henry, Jackson, Johnson, Knott, Knox, Laurel, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Livingston, Madison, Magoffin, Marion, Marshall, Martin, McCracken, McCreary, Metcalfe, Morgan, Owsley, Pendleton, Perry, Pike, Powell, Rockcastle, Russell, Trigg, Union, Washington, Wayne, Webster, Whitley and Wolfe.

Gov. Matt Bevin’s office announced the notification from President Donald Trump. The declaration grants public assistance to repair roads, bridges and infrastructure. It will also give the state mitigation funding.

Grand jury indicts Kentucky sheriff following injury crash

HARDINSBURG, Ky. (AP) — A grand jury has indicted a Kentucky sheriff on multiple counts following a crash that injured a woman.

News outlets report Breckinridge County Sheriff Todd Pate was indicted Thursday on charges of first-degree wanton endangerment, driving under the influence and tampering with evidence.

State police have said Pate was driving his personal pickup truck last month when he struck a car, injuring the driver. According to arrest documents, Pate’s blood alcohol content was .15, nearly twice the legal limit.

Pate’s attorney told WAVE-TV after the arrest that his client was entering a rehabilitation program.

WDRB-TV reports Chief Deputy Bruce Anthony is currently overseeing the agency.

School districts receiving funds to replace aging buses

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky officials say five school districts will receive $231,237 to reduce diesel emissions from their school bus fleets.

Officials say the funds were made available through the Kentucky Division for Air Quality’s Clean Diesel Program and the federal Diesel Emissions Reduction Act.

The state Energy and Environment Cabinet says the funds will go to school districts in Bullitt, Jefferson, Franklin, Letcher and Green counties.

State officials say the districts will use the funds to replace older-model, diesel school buses with new diesel buses. They say the new buses will emit 98% less particulate matter and 90% less nitrogen oxide than the older buses being replaced.

The state says the five districts will replace a total of 10 diesel school buses.

Churchill Downs enacts improvements for horse, rider safety

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Churchill Downs will invest $8 million for an on-site equine medical center as part of several other measures to improve safety for horses and riders.

The medical center is expected to open next March and will include a quarantine facility. Next month’s Kentucky Derby will have a temporary medical center. The track’s parent company, Churchill Downs Incorporated, will also hire an equine medical director to oversee safety at its facilities.

The historic track will also install camera surveillance with other improvements to the backside area.

Earlier Thursday, Churchill Downs and several other tracks announced they would phase out use of the anti-bleeding medication Lasix for horses within 24 hours of racing. The track later announced other initiatives, including advocating for additional equine medication reforms; the formation of an Office of Racing Integrity that will to develop uniformed medication and safety standards; formalizing concussion protocol for jockey safety; and adopting international standards for riding crop use.