Associated Press

Versailles might be the next central Kentucky city to consider an ordinance prohibiting discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations based on sexual orientation or gender identity

The Versailles City Council on Tuesday will hear from a member of the Versailles-Midway-Woodford County Human Rights Commission who will encourage the city to adopt the ordinance.

Versailles Mayor Brian Traugott says he will ask the city's administrative and legal committee, chaired by council member Carl Ellis, to draft the ordinance.

On June 1, Midway became the eighth city in the state to adopt an anti-bias ordinance. Other cities that have passed similar laws are Lexington, Louisville, Covington, Danville, Frankfort, Morehead and Vicco in Perry County.

The Vatican says Pope Francis' meeting with Kim Davis "should not be considered a form of support of her position."

After days of confusion, the Vatican issued a statement Friday clarifying Francis' Sept. 24 meeting with Davis, a county clerk in Kentucky who has become a focal point in the gay marriage debate in the U.S. because of her refusal to sign marriage licenses for gay couples.

The Vatican said Francis met with many people during his U.S. stay, due to his "kindness and availability."

The statement said: "The pope did not enter into the details of the situation of Mrs. Davis and his meeting with her should not be considered a form of support of her position in all of its particular and complex aspects."

UPDATE: 7:35 a.m.

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear's lawyers are using the words "absurd," ''forlorn" and "obtuse" to describe the legal arguments a county clerk has used to avoid issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Rowan County clerk Kim Davis filed a lawsuit against the governor, alleging he violated her religious freedom by asking clerks to comply with the U.S. Supreme Court's decision that effectively legalized gay marriage across the nation. Beshear reiterated a request Tuesday that a judge toss the suit.

Davis spent five days in jail for defying a series of federal court orders to issue the licenses.

She has blamed Beshear for her legal woes, alleging that he "commandeered" her office when he instructed clerks to follow the court's decision.

Beshear's lawyer, Palmer G. Vance, described Davis' continued legal battle as a "meritless assault on the rule of law."

Kentucky leads the nation in political spending on TV ads as it hosts the most competitive governor's race in the country.

Politicians and outside groups have spent $9.8 million on TV ads in Kentucky since Jan. 1, 2014, according to an analysis of ad spending by the Center for Public Integrity. The data includes spending through Monday and doesn't include money to produce the ads or money spent on radio, online, direct mail or TV ads that aired on local cable systems.

Hal Heiner is the top spender with an estimated $2.3 million. Heiner finished third in May's Republican primary after running a mostly self-funded campaign. Democrat Jack Conway is second with about $1.7 million, and Republican nominee Matt Bevin is third with $1.1 million.

The Center for Public Integrity estimates outside groups have spent $3.2 million on the race so far, but the actual number is likely higher.

Kentucky's Republican Agriculture Commissioner James Comer says he'll run for Congress to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield.

Whitfield announced Tuesday he would not seek re-election after spending 20 years representing Kentucky's 1st Congressional District in Washington. The heavily Republican district consists of 35 counties in western Kentucky that includes Comer's hometown.

Comer lost the Republican nomination for governor by just 83 votes in May. But he won the 35 counties in the 1st District with 55 percent of the vote in the Republican primary.

Other Republicans who've shown interest in the seat include Michael Pape, who was Whitfield's district director, and Hickman County Attorney Jason Batts. A spokesman for the Kentucky Democratic Party said party officials are focused on electing Jack Conway for governor in November.

The Morehead News

The Kentucky clerk who was jailed for refusing to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples says Pope Francis told her to stay strong when the two met briefly during his visit to the United States last week.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, didn't deny the encounter took place but said Wednesday in Rome he had no comment on it.

In an interview with ABC, Rowan County clerk Kim Davis says they hugged during the meeting last Thursday and the pope thanked her for her courage.

Davis, an Apostolic Christian, spent five days in jail earlier this month for defying a federal court order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

In the ABC interview, which aired Wednesday morning, Davis said knowing the pope agreed with her validates her efforts.

Kentucky State Police say a 5-year-old boy has been fatally struck by a school bus in Butler County.

State police spokesman B.J. Eaton said that police were called around 3:20 p.m. CDT Monday to the scene on Kentucky 70 about four miles west of Morgantown.

Eaton says the child was hit at his scheduled stop after the Butler County school bus stopped in front of a residence to let children exit.

Butler County Coroner Marty Jones says the child was pronounced dead about 15 minutes later. The boy was identified as five year old Jayden Hawkins of Morgantown.

A statement from Butler County schools said the driver of the school bus has been employed by the school system for 18 years and has "an exemplary driving record with the district."

Dylan Lovan,AP

Kentucky firefighters who died in the line of duty will be honored at a memorial service this week in Frankfort.

The annual Fallen Firefighters Memorial service is set for 11 a.m. Wednesday at Juniper Hills Park.

Kentucky's Fallen Firefighter Memorial includes more than 200 names of firefighters who died in the line of duty. Two more names of fallen firefighters will be added to the wall this year. They include Anthony Grider of the Campbellsville Fire Department who came too close to power lines during an ALS Ice Bucket Challenge last summer on Campbellsville University's campus and Malcolm Jenkins of the Fern Creek Fire Department.

The service will include a wreath-laying to honor fallen firefighters.

The annual Red Helmets Courage Ride, a motorcycle tribute to firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice, will begin at Frankfort Fire and EMS Station Number 3 prior to the service.

Overnight travelers on Interstate 65 in southern Kentucky to the Tennessee state line may find they need additional travel time this week.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says rolling roadblocks will be used over a 54-mile stretch so that pavement markers can be replaced and repaired.

The rolling roadblocks will start Monday night and continue for about a week, starting at 10 p.m. and lasting until 7 a.m. each day.

The crews will start in the northbound lanes at the Tennessee state line and work north until about mile marker 54. When that section is complete, workers will start southbound and continue back to the state line.

The cabinet says Kentucky State Police will be present during the roadblocks. Officials advise using caution while the work is underway and say the rolling roadblocks could add travel time.

Abbey Oldham

The wife of Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul is returning to South Carolina for a campaign swing on her husband's behalf.

The U.S. senator from Kentucky's campaign says Kelley Paul is in the Palmetto State on Monday for two stops.

Kelley Paul will give a keynote address at a luncheon hosted by the Hilton Head Island Women's Club. Then, she's going to Columbia for a meeting of the Richland County Republican Party at Doc's Barbecue.

On Tuesday, Kelley Paul is scheduled to go to the state Republican Party Headquarters in Columbia, where she will officially file her husband's papers as a candidate in the first-in-the-South primary.

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush is the first person to file for Kentucky's presidential caucus.

Bush filed his paperwork on Thursday during a visit to Louisville for a state Republican party fundraiser. He also paid a $15,000 filing fee.

Kentucky normally has a presidential primary in May. But this year, the Republican Party of Kentucky voted to have a presidential caucus on March 5. That way, Kentucky U.S. Sen. Rand Paul could run for president and re-election to his U.S. Senate seat at the same time without breaking a state law that bans candidates from appearing on the ballot twice in the same election.

Despite Paul's advantage, other candidates have shown interest in the caucus. Thursday, Republican candidate Marco Rubio told Kentucky Sports Radio he planned to compete in Kentucky.

Republican state Sen. Julie Raque Adams has launched an organization to recruit and train women to run for public office.

Adams announced that she will serve as executive director of Kentucky Strong, which has the backing of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Adams cited the lack of women elected to public office in the state, citing data that showed Kentucky is near the bottom nationally in the percentage of women elected to its legislature.

McConnell said in a statement that women will get the training they need to run and win elections.

A similar organization called Emerge Kentucky recruits women to run for office as Democrats.

WKMS

The Missouri man whom police say shot and killed a Kentucky state trooper had pleaded guilty to drug charges in southern Illinois several months earlier.

Joseph Thomas Johnson-Shanks of Florissant, Missouri was charged with possessing drugs and guns after he was pulled over on Interstate 57 on Christmas 2014.

He spent nearly a month in the Franklin County Jail before pleading guilty to a charge of intent to deliver marijuana. Johnson-Shanks was sentenced to 30 months of probation.

Thirty-one-year-old Cameron Ponder was shot to death late Sunday in western Kentucky after a high-speed chase that reportedly began after the trooper pulled over Johnson-Shanks for speeding.

Police say Johnson-Shanks was shot to death by other Kentucky troopers after he refused to surrender.

WKMS

Updated at 8:37 a.m.: 

Police say the man accused of fatally shooting a Kentucky State Police trooper has been shot and killed after an hours-long manhunt.

Trooper Jay Thomas, a state police spokesman, says 25-year-old Joseph Thomas Johnson-Shanks of Missouri was shot by police Monday morning when he refused to drop his weapon. He died at a hospital.

Original post:

A Kentucky state trooper was killed in a shooting during a chase in western Kentucky and authorities are searching for a suspect.

In a news release, Kentucky State Police say 31-year-old trooper Joseph Cameron Ponder was conducting a traffic stop Sunday night around 10:20 p.m. on Interstate 24 when the driver fled.

The news release says a chase ensued with the suspect stopping abruptly, causing the trooper's vehicle to "make contact" with the rear of the suspect's vehicle.

Authorities say the driver then fired several shots into Ponder's police cruiser, hitting him several times. Ponder was taken to a hospital in Princeton, Kentucky, where he died.

The suspect, who police say fled the scene on foot, has been identified as 25-year-old Joseph Thomas Johnson-Shanks. He's described as a black male who's about 5 feet, 5 inches tall and weighing about 140 pounds.

A Kentucky city has agreed to drop its lawsuit challenging the state auditor's authority to do special examinations of cities.

Assistant Auditor Libby Carlin says Auditor Adam Edelen's office will bill Somerset $50,000 to cover the costs of doing the exam that led to the suit.

The exam cited a number of problems in city financial and personnel practices.

Those problems included failing to get bids as required for some work, not having contracts in place for special deals on city natural gas and failing to follow the pay and job-classification plan.

Edelen's office referred findings to the state attorney general's office and other agencies.

Both sides issued a short statement Friday saying they had resolved the dispute.

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