Associated Press

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.

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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.

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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.

J. Tyler Franklin

Kentucky’s state agencies will cut 1 percent from their budgets to help avoid a $113 million shortfall. State Budget Director John Chilton ordered the cuts in a letter sent to state cabinet secretaries last week. The letter is in response to economists’ projection that the state will not collect enough money in taxes to cover its expenses by the end of the fiscal year on June 30.

Chilton said in the letter he was discussing with Republican Gov. Matt Bevin “about any official actions that should be taken to address the budget shortfall.”

Office of Ky Governor

Former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear says his new book is about how to make government work again.

Beshear, a Democrat,  says government is dysfunctional on the national level but could be different. He decided to work for the people by putting "people over politics," he said.

That's the name of Beshear's 361-page book — "People Over Politics" — and it's scheduled for release Friday.

He writes that unnamed politicians have learned how religion influences people and have used it for political control.

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Apple says it will give $200 million to Corning Inc. so it can invest in a Kentucky plant that makes glass screens for iPhones and iPads.

The California-based company says the money will come from its Advanced Manufacturing Fund. It has pledged to spend $1 billion on U.S.-based companies to create “innovative production and highly skilled jobs.”

Corning has had a facility in Harrodsburg for 65 years. The company has collaborated with Apple for the past 10 years by making scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass for Apple’s products.

Creative Commons

An accident at a southeastern Kentucky surface coal mine killed a 33-year-old miner, the state's second mining death this year.

Joseph W. Partin of Williamsburg, died early Thursday morning when a section of exposed rock fell on him at a mine in Whitley County. Partin was doing maintenance work on an auger when the 15-foot-tall rock section fell.

Kentucky's second mining death matched the state's total from last year. A release from Kentucky's Energy and Environment Cabinet said mining operations were shut down at the site and officials remained on the scene Thursday morning.

Democrats have tapped former Governor  Steve Beshear to deliver the party's response to President Donald Trump's address to a joint session of Congress Tuesday night, highlighting the Kentucky Democrat's efforts to expand health care coverage under the law Republicans are determined to repeal and replace.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi made the announcement on Friday in which they also turned to immigration activist Astrid Silva to give the Spanish language response to Trump's speech. Silva is a so-called Dreamer who came to the country at the age of five as an illegal immigrant.

J. Tyler Franklin, WFPL

A report written by an attorney for a special House committee says the panel couldn't prove that Gov. Matt Bevin stopped a road project in retaliation against a Democratic lawmaker who rejected the governor's request to become Republican.

The Courier-Journal  obtained a copy of the report from former House Speaker Greg Stumbo, who lost his bid for re-election last fall.

The 27-page report written by Nashville attorney Eli Richardson says the committee couldn't fully look at the issue. That was mostly because the Bevin administration wouldn't let Transportation Cabinet officials testify about the road project in Jessamine County and because the committee wasn't able to get testimony from the lawmaker, Rep. Russ Meyer, the newspaper reported Thursday.

The report did find that Bevin pressured Democratic Rep. Kevin Sinnette of Ashland to change parties. Bevin has strongly denied the allegation.

Bevin spokeswoman Amanda Stamper did not respond to a phone message or email seeking comment on the report.

The report did question the state's payment of $625,000 in damages to the contractor for the delay.

U.S. Army Fort Campbell Facebook

Skeletal remains found in Tennessee have been identified as those of a missing Fort Campbell Soldier. Medical examiners say the remains found Monday off Highway 24 are those of Private First Class Shadow McClaine, who had been missing since last September.

 

The cause of death is still under investigation.Two Fort Campbell soldiers have been charged with murder, kidnapping and conspiracy in the case. Sergeant Jamal Williams-McCray and Specialist Charles Robinson remain in pre-trial confinement pending court-martial on charges related to her death.

WKU

Western Kentucky University is touting a new program aimed at easing students' transition into college.

The program on the Bowling Green campus is called WKU Summer Start. Campus officials say it offers a summer introduction to college for first-year students, connecting them to campus life while living in residence halls.

WKU officials say the program allows students to complete six credit hours and take advantage of tuition savings. They get to know other new students and staff through social events and activities.

WKU Summer Sessions Coordinator Alicia Bingham says the program encourages faculty-student mentorships and will allow students to find out about campus resources that can help them throughout their college careers.

Emil Moffatt

A Kentucky museum devoted to Corvettes had its second-highest attendance numbers in 2016.

The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green says it welcomed 228,363 visitors last year, up 3.5 percent from 2015.

Museum officials say the only year when the facility drew more visitors was in 2014, when attendance surged after a massive sinkhole swallowed eight prized sports cars. The sinkhole became an Internet sensation.

The University of Tennessee's Board of Trustees on Thursday unanimously approved the appointment of Beverly Davenport as the first female chancellor of the public university system's flagship campus in Knoxville.

Davenport is a Bowling Green native who earned her undergraduate and Master’s degrees from Western Kentucky University.

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