Kentucky's education commissioner says the state will step in and take over management of struggling Jefferson County schools as soon as August if progress isn't made soon.
The warning from Terry Holliday came Tuesday in a meeting with the Courier-Journal editorial board. A state analysis last week showed that 16 of the 18 low-performing schools in Jefferson County have made little or no progress since they were ordered to undergo overhauls.
Holliday last week called the situation "academic genocide." He told the newspaper he chose those words specifically as a way to get the community to realize and act on the seriousness of the situation.
In the past three years, 41 public schools in Kentucky have been selected for overhauls because of chronically poor academics.
Senate Republicans are again pushing a bill that would require doctors to allow women seeking abortions to look at ultrasound images.
The Senate Committee on Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Protection passed the perennial measure Thursday morning on a 7-2 vote. The panel also gave thumbs up to another measure that would require that women get face-to-face consultations with medical professionals before undergoing abortions.
The proposals have repeatedly cleared the GOP-led Senate in recent years only to die in the Democratic-controlled House.
The ultrasound measure has been softened over the years from an original version that would have required doctors to show women the images.
A southern Indiana sheriff says a mobile home fire that killed two children and three adults was likely sparked by a wood stove - the home's sole source of heat.
Crawford County Sheriff Tim Wilkerson says the fire early Thursday near the remote rural community of Sulphur killed the man who owned the mobile home, his 8-year-old daughter, his girlfriend and her 3-year-old son. The man's half brother also died in the blaze.
Wilkerson says the homeowner's father, who lives nearby, tried to rescue his son and the others but was driven back by intense flames.
The homeowner's brother says there was a furnace in the mobile home but that his brother wasn't using it because it cost too much to run.
An Indiana legislative committee has advanced a proposed constitutional amendment that would guarantee the right of residents to hunt, fish and farm. The state Senate's agriculture committee voted unanimously Monday to send the proposal to the full Senate.
Republican Sen. Brent Steele of Bedford says he sponsored the amendment because farming and hunting are important parts of Indiana's heritage that are threatened by animal-rights activists.
At least three death row inmates could be nearing execution as Kentucky moves toward a new lethal injection method, with the governor's office already having requests to set dates for two, and a third man out of direct appeals in his case.
Kentucky is implementing lethal injection by one or two drugs, depending on the availability of the narcotics, after a judge ordered the state to abandon or be prepared to defend using the old three-drug mixture. The change takes legal effect Feb. 1.
A spokeswoman for Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear says until an injunction suspending all executions is lifted, the governor can't move on carrying out a death sentence.