Associated Press

Kentucky has received a $3.6 million grant that could help rural families with children get more money for food.

Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear said the grant would test giving families an extra transportation deduction to account for the long journeys rural families often have to get to a grocery store. Some research suggests families could receive an extra $50 per month in federal food benefits.

WKU Sports

A Kentucky lawmaker says more time is needed to study the issue of licensing alcohol consumption at tailgating events before college games.

The tailgating language proposed by Rep. Mary Lou Marzian was removed from her bill by the House Licensing and Occupations Committee on Wednesday.

She floated the idea of creating a new liquor license to provide a legal framework for tailgating.

The Louisville Democrat says the issue was more complex than she expected. Marzian says she'll work on the issue ahead of next year's legislative session.

She says one question deals with enforcement of alcohol consumption at tailgating on private property near a university stadium.

The part of the bill that remains intact would allow passengers on certain cycle taxis to drink alcohol.

The committee approved that portion of the bill.

The nonprofit group Shaping Our Appalachian Region Inc. has received approval for a $200,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission.

The grant money will help pay for the nonprofit organization's startup costs. The group's aim is to improve economic diversity in eastern Kentucky. The money is the first of four installments of an ARC grant announced last year totaling $750,000 to be distributed over four years.

Jared Arnett, executive director of SOAR, says the seed funding will help pay for essential staff and office equipment.

Gun owners in Kentucky can get permits to carry concealed weapons under a new online application process.

The Courier-Journal reports that the process requires state police to either issue or deny a license within 15 days of receiving an electronic application. That's quicker than the 60-day processing period allowed for paper applications.

Supporters say the change improves access to concealed-carry permits at a time when demand is high. The newspaper reports that Kentucky issued more than 59,500 permits in 2013, compared with 10,900 in 2004.

Environmental activists and eastern Kentucky residents are heading to the state Capitol next week to protest surface mining in Appalachia.

The annual protest in Frankfort is called "I Love Mountains Day." Now in its 10th year, it attracts hundreds of protesters to the steps of the state Capitol building.

Organizers say they are protesting the destructive effects of mountaintop removal coal mining in eastern Kentucky. The mining practice uses blasting and earth movers on mountaintops to get at coal seams.

A task force formed by Gov. Bill Haslam meets Thursday in Nashville to examine Tennessee's sentencing structure and examine ways to reduce the state's high recidivism rate.

It's the group's third meeting since being formed by Haslam last year in an overall effort to reduce crime and improve public safety.

Governor Steve Beshear is leaving Saturday for an economic development trip to Germany and Sweden.

Beshear's office said Wednesday that the governor has been invited to speak at a symposium in Germany, where he will discuss Kentucky's role in the global auto industry. More than a thousand auto executives from around the world gather for the yearly conference.

A Kentucky teenager accused of a string of crimes across the South says he and his girlfriend were trying to escape her abusive family and that he wishes he had bought bus tickets instead of stealing trucks as they moved toward Florida.

Officials say 18-year-old Dalton Hayes and his girlfriend, 13-year-old Cheyenne Phillips, began their run this month when they vanished from Leitchfield, Kentucky.

Hayes tells The News Herald of Panama City they planned to make it to Miami.

Owners and managers at several Pulaski County convenience stores are accused of recruiting shoplifters to bring them stolen items for them to resell. Grand jury indictments charge ten people with engaging in organized crime. Some of the defendants also are charged with food stamp fraud.

Police were alerted to the thefts by Gary Jones, a retired Somerset detective working as a loss-prevention officer at Kroger. He told police that several shoplifters he had detained said they were stealing to sell to local convenience stores.

Fort Campbell

Army officials are seeking public comment on possible personnel reductions at Fort Campbell.

    A community listening session is set for Jan. 20 at Fort Campbell's Family Resource Center.

   Clarksville, Tennessee, officials are urging area residents to attend and show support for the Army post straddling the Kentucky-Tennessee line. The session will allow residents to voice their opinions to Department of the Army officials about the potential personnel reduction and its possible impact.

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