Owensboro – A statewide coalition of health organizations is encouraing women of child-bearing age to take vitamins containing folic acid. Jaime Rafferty of the Owensboro-based Green River District Health Department says too many women in Kentucky do not realize that folic acid should be taken before and after becoming pregnant. Health experts say adequate levels of folic acid can help to reduce birth defects.

Wartburg – There are now 16 people known dead in weekend storms that ripped Tennessee in two waves. Cumberland County authorities confirmed four deaths shortly before dawn -- two in Lake Tansi and two others about two miles away.

Seven of the weekend deaths came in Mossy Grove, which is about forty miles west of Knoxville. There are at least 55 people unaccounted for.

Horse Cave – Kentucky State Police are investigating a weekend murder in Hart County. The body of 57 year old James Perkins of Horse Cave was discovered Saturday by family members and neighbors. Autopsy results are pending. No arrests have been made.

Lexington – Allegations made by the woman suing Governor Paul Patton suggest some government staffers remained helpful at the same time that she says Patton was retaliating against her. Tina Conner says she believes the Governor's staff provided her with small favors after the affair ended to keep her quiet.

Nashville, TN – A line of severe storms crossed the region during the night, producing tornados that killed three people in Teneessee.

Two died in a mobile home in Montgomery County, 40 miles northwest of Nashville. Another was killed in a tornado in Carroll County, about 100 miles west of Nashville.

Other injuries have been reported, along with power outages and widespread damage.

More storms are possible in the region through Sunday night.

Louisville – Mitch McConnell says he is headed for a leadership position in the new Senate majority. The Louisville Republican said he thinks he has lined up more than enough commitments from GOP colleagues to be selected as the party's whip. That would make him the second-ranking member of the Senate's new Republican majority.

McConnell says Larry Craig of Idaho is the only other Senator to have expressed an interest in the job. McConnell beat Democrat Lois Combs Weinberg by 322 thousand votes in Tuesday's election.

Louisville – A US Attorney has announced plans to file a lawsuit accusing Lieutenant Governor Steve Henry of defrauding the Federal Medicare and Medicaid Programs. Henry has told a Louisville TV station that he plans to fight the suit and will have more to say about it later today. The Federal lawsuit is to be based on the "False Claims Act" and will cite several dozen instances in which Henry billed government health programs for surgeries that he allegedly did not supervise.

Owensboro – A Daviess County Sheriff's deputy has been indicted on sex charges in connection with two teenage girls at Apollo High School where he worked for three years as an on-site officer. A Daviess County Grand Jury has charged 53 year old Mike Chilton with two counts each if first-degree sodomy and first-degree sexual abuse. The girls have told the Jury the acts were against their will, and took place at Chilton's home.

Nashville, TN – Tennessee residents will have a chance to play the lottery in their own state. A referendum on a state lottery was approved last night.

It removes a constitutional ban on the games and allows lawmakers to develop a lottery patterend after those in Kentucky, Georgia, and Virginia.

The referendum had been opposed by religious leaders who wanted to preserve Tennessee's status as one of only three states with no form of legalized gambling.

But the voters' decision leaves Utah and Hawaii as the nation's only gambling-free states.

Bowling Green, KY – Falling in line with national results, election night proved to be a good one for Kentucky's House Republicans.

Congresswoman Anne Northup won a hotly-contested race in the Third District against Democrat challenger Jack Conway. Many national analysts had their eyes on the Louisville area to see if the Democrats could unseat the incumbant Northup. Although her three percent margin of victory was the smallest of her four elections, it was good enough to win two more years in the U.S. House.

Kentucky – County Clerks in several parts of Kentucky are reporting steady voting activity. Despite rainy conditions, voters waited in line to cast their ballots.
Election officials in Hardin County say voting was heavy enough in the first few hours to top the total in May's Primary.
Lighter turnout is reported in Pulaski County.
Several precincts have described voter turn out in Warren County as steady or above average.

Louisville – Louisville will be among the campaign stops on President Bush's schedule today. He will be speaking to a gathering of supporters for third district congressional candidate Anne northup. The incumbent Republican Congresswoman is running for re-election against Democratic challenger Jack Conway. Bush is expected to speak at about 5:00 pm eastern time.

Murray – A Judge has reduced the bond for a former Murray State University student accused of murdering her newborn infant in her dormitory room. Angelita Turner's bond on the murder charge had been set at $50,000 cash only. Yesterday a Judge said Turner would be released if she pays 20% or $10,000 in cash. Turner's trial is scheduled to begin January 21st. Her first trial ended in a hung jury.

Frankfort – Kentucky has joined a suit to block the merger of two of the country's only nationwide providers of direct broadcast satellite television. The antitrust suit says the merger of Dish Network and Direct TV would kill competition for direct satellite broadcasting. Attorney Ben Chandler says it would hurt Kentucky because more than a third of the households have no access to cable.

Williamsburg – A former supervisor for the Cabinet for Families and Children in Whitley County could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted on charges that she fraudently obtained $6,000 from a program intended to help low-income families. Janice Terrell, 40, formerly a field services supervisor for the Cabinet's Family Support Office in Williamsburg, was indicted by a Whitley County grand jury earlier this month on four counts of program assistance fraud. In each count, she stands accused of diverting to her own use $1,500 from the family alternatives diversion (FAD) program.