News Around the State

Destruction of chemical weapons to begin in Ky.

RICHMOND, Ky. (AP) — The destruction of chemical weapons stored in Kentucky since the 1940s is set to begin.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that destruction of chemical agents including mustard, sarin and VX will begin in June after decades of planning and preparations. The weapons are stored at the Blue Grass Army Depot in Richmond and a company called Blue Grass Chemical Activity is responsible for their destruction.

The Blue Grass Army Depot and Blue Grass Chemical Activity say about 1,200 workers are set to eliminate more than 100,000 chemical-filled munitions stored in earth-covered igloos by 2023.

Project manager Ronk Hink says crews have spent about four years training and methodically testing equipment and processes to make sure the plant is prepared for the operation.

Boy’s body found in pond hours after he was reported missing

EMINENCE, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky State Police say the body of a 7-year-old boy has been found in a pond near his home.

Police say in a statement that the boy was found early Saturday about 5 hours after he was reported missing from his home in Eminence.

The statement says the boy, who was autistic, was reported missing about 10 p.m. Friday and several agencies joined in search efforts before the Louisville Metro Dive Team located his body. The boy’s name wasn’t released.

Trooper Steven Dykes said it was “a sad and terrible outcome” but every effort was made to find the boy as quickly as possible.

Nonprofit expanding resiliency program to rural Ky.

JAMESTOWN, Ky. (AP) — The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky is funding a program in Russell County and nine surrounding counties to help children and youth dealing with violence, addiction and other trauma.

According to a news release, the foundation awarded $200,000 to the Louisville-based Bounce Coalition.

The group is already showing progress with a similar program in Jefferson County Public Schools. Accomplishments include fewer out of school suspensions, an improved school climate and increased parent engagement.

The foundation and Bounce hope similar results can be achieved in a rural setting. Bounce will work with Russell County Schools and the Lake Cumberland District Health Department.

Ben Chandler is president and CEO of the Foundation. He says the program will help children build resilience to “toxic stressors” that keep them from thriving throughout their lives.

Train in Ky. strikes 2 teen girls, killing 1

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Police in Kentucky say a train hit and killed one teen girl and injured another.

Louisville Metro Police Department spokesman Dwight Mitchell said in a release that the two teens were on the tracks near the Pope Lick Creek trestle bridge when they were hit by a Norfolk Southern train around 9:30 p.m Sunday.

One was pronounced dead at the scene. The other was hospitalized in serious condition.

The victims’ identities have not been released. Their exact ages are unclear.

The LMPD Major Crimes unit will investigate. Further information hasn’t been released.

Former jail deputy enters plea in death of inmate

CATLETTSBURG, Ky. (AP) — A former Kentucky jail deputy charged with manslaughter in the death of an inmate has pleaded guilty to a lesser count.

News outlets report former deputy Alicia Beller of Putnam, West Virginia, entered the plea Friday in Boyd County to wanton endangerment. The agreement calls for diversion instead of prison time.

Beller was one of five former deputies indicted following the death of a Boyd County Detention Center inmate in November 2018. Police say 40-year-old Michael L. Moore was found dead in a restraint chair at the jail.

Police have said Moore was intoxicated and that the deputies intentionally abused him or knowingly permitted his abuse and that the mistreatment caused Moore’s death.

Prosecutor Rhonda Copley says Beller she didn’t touch Moore, but didn’t report the actions of the other guards.

Centre College president announces plans to retire in 2020

DANVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Centre College’s president has announced his plans to retire next year after more than two decades of leading the Kentucky college.

The liberal arts college in Danville says John A. Roush has set a date of June 30, 2020, to step down.

Roush will turn 70 on the first day of retirement.

The school says once he completes his tenure, only two previous Centre presidents will have served longer.

During his tenure, Centre’s student body has increased by about 40%, and the school’s academic profile, diversity and international focus have grown. Capital projects totaled in the hundreds of millions of dollars during his tenure.

The college recently completed a fundraising campaign that raised $210 million.

Officials say the search for Roush’s successor will be overseen by college trustees and will begin in late summer.

Police: Man, 2 children die in crash on Interstate 65

BONNIEVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky State Police say a man and two children from North Carolina have died in a crash on Interstate 65.

News outlets report police said in a statement that the crash happened Saturday night in Hart County near Bonnieville. Police say a preliminary investigation found that 36-year-old Augustin M. Gonzalez of Cary, North Carolina, was traveling south when he apparently failed to see that a tow truck had stopped partially in the travel lanes to assist a vehicle involved in an earlier crash.

Police said Gonzalez, 6-year-old Noelle Gonzalez and 2-year-old Gwendolyn Gonzalez died. Another passenger, 8-year-old Nicholas C. Gonzalez, suffered minor injuries. Police say they were all restrained.

The tow truck operator was not in the truck and was not injured.

No further information was immediately available.