Associated Press

J. Tyler Franklin, WFPL

The Kentucky Board of Education has voted to accept the resignation of Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt.

Wayne Lewis was named the interim commissioner with a salary of $150,000.

Pruitt has been commissioner since September 2015. Bevin said Tuesday before the board's vote he was unhappy with the state's recent decline in test scores but said the decision to keep Pruitt was up to the board.

Somerset Community College

People flying drones over key infrastructure sites without permission could face jail time under a bill passed by the Kentucky House.

The bill would expand trespassing laws to include flying drones over places such as petroleum refineries, hazardous chemical plants and water supply systems without the owner’s consent.

The bill cleared the House Friday and goes to the Senate.

Matt Markgraf

Prosecutors won't yet seek attempted murder charges against the 15-year-old suspect in a deadly shooting spree at Marshall County High School and will charge him with first-degree assault for now.

Assistant Marshall County Attorney Jason Darnall told reporters Wednesday that the 15-year-old boy will face 12 counts of first-degree assault instead of attempted murder because they feel they have a better case for those charges right now. Darnall pointed out that the penalties for first-degree assault are the same as for attempted murder.

Ryland Barton

The former Kentucky House speaker who stepped down after signing a secret sexual harassment settlement is running for re-election.

The Secretary of State's website shows that Jeff Hoover filed paperwork Thursday to seek re-election. Hoover resigned as speaker earlier this month after acknowledging he and three other GOP lawmakers signed a secret sexual harassment settlement involving a woman who once worked for the House Republican caucus. Hoover did not resign his seat in the legislature.

LBL Forest Service

New research is aiming to prevent toxic algae outbreaks across a three-state region, including part of Kentucky. It’s difficult to predict when and where the harmful algae will show up.

 

Researchers at The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission are working with Ohio State University on the multi-year project. The study will set up sensors along the Ohio River to alert researchers when and where there might be a problem.

J. Tyler Franklin

Gov. Matt Bevin has ordered budget cuts of 1.3 percent this fiscal year to meet a shortfall.

The Consensus Forecasting Group earlier this month revised the estimate of tax receipts this fiscal year and projected that General Fund revenues will be $156 million less than previously budgeted.

Thinkstock

A group of former and current public workers is suing three hedge funds for selling risky investments and overstating returns to the agency that manages Kentucky’s struggling pension fund.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday seeks damages from hedge funds KKR Prisma, Blackstone and PAAMCO.

The workers allege the funds sold “unsuitable ‘black box’ investments” in 2011 with massive fees to the Kentucky Retirement Systems, according to a summary of the 124-page lawsuit filed Wednesday in Franklin County Circuit Court.

U.S. Census Bureau Facebook

Kentucky remains the 26th largest state by population, based on newly released census data that shows an increase in residents of 0.4 percent from last year.

The Kentucky State Data Center at the University of Louisville said in a news release that new estimates from the Census Bureau show the state's resident population was 4,454,189 as of July 1. The number is a 2.6 percent increase from the 2010 census.

J. Tyler Franklin, WFPL

Kentucky Republican Gov. Matt Bevin's administration is suing a Louisville law firm it says unlawfully received $4.2 million as part of a state settlement with Oxycontin-maker Purdue Pharma.

 

The firm Dolt Thompson Shepherd & Kinney had a contract to work on the case, but it expired in June 2015. Former Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway settled the case in December 2015. In February 2016, new Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear issued the firm a retroactive contract to pay for its work. Months later, Conway joined the firm as a partner.

J. Tyler Franklin

Kentucky's Democratic attorney general says he will not comply with the Republican governor's request for a plan to cut spending by more than 17 percent.

Gov. Matt Bevin has asked all state agencies to come up with a plan to cut their budgets by 17.4 percent this year. He said the plan would cover a projected $200 million shortfall and put $150 million into the state's savings account.

Appalachian Regional Commission Facebook

Two powerful Kentucky Republicans have an idea to boost an economic development agency that helps Appalachia: Move it out of the nation's capital.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and veteran Rep. Hal Rogers are sponsoring a bill they say will refocus the Appalachian Regional Commission to invest more in the poorest communities in 13 Appalachian states. The bill, introduced Monday in the House and Senate, would move the panel's headquarters from Washington to a location in Appalachia to be chosen later. The lawmakers say similar commissions are headquartered in their respective regions, reducing administrative costs and making them more accountable to communities they serve.

Lisa Gillespie

Testimony has ended in a federal trial that could decide whether Kentucky becomes the nation's first state without an abortion facility. The three-day trial ended today in federal court in Louisville. Attorneys will have 60 days to present post-trial briefs to U.S. District Judge Greg Stivers, who heard the case without a jury.

 

The case revolves around a licensing fight between the state and E-M-W Women's Surgical Center in Louisville.

flickr creative commons Thomas Hawk

General Electric Appliances is moving the production of its Zoneline hotel air-conditioner and refrigeration line from Louisville to Tennessee.

The move will displace 140 Kentucky workers, but provide 210 jobs to its facility in the southwestern Tennessee town of Selmer. The Courier-Journal reports Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam said earlier this week that a facility owned by GE's Chinese parent company, Haier, won the Zoneline business as part of a $9.3 million expansion.

Creative Commons

Forecasters expect remnants of Tropical Depression Cindy to drench parts of Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia Friday afternoon and evening, bringing heavy rainfall, possible flash flooding and higher river and lake levels through the weekend.

The severe weather was arriving on the anniversary of torrential rains and flooding that left 23 people dead in West Virginia last year.

National Weather Service officials in the three states said rainfall totals of 2 to 4 inches were possible, with isolated amounts up to 6 inches. Flash flood watches were in effect in much of Kentucky and West Virginia. Friday began with overcast skies across the region and some light rain.

Flickr/Creative Commons

For one week last spring, as Louisville led the world in mourning Muhammad Ali's death and celebrating his life, not a single person died in a hail of gunfire in the boxing great's hometown.

 

The silence was welcome in a city wrestling with an explosion of violence. Leaders hoped the cease-fire might stick — that the send-off for The Champ would mark a turning point, a city-wide reckoning with its failure to live up to Ali's legacy of respect for all human life.

 

But before sunrise the day after Ali's memorial service, shots rang out and a 20-year-old woman was dead. Then another murder. And another, resuming an extraordinary outbreak of bloodshed that has devastated Ali's hometown.

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