Matt Markgraf

Matt "McG" Markgraf joined the WKMS News Team in January 2007, while pursuing his bachelorâââ

1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment "Red Currahee", via Facebook

Some 100 Fort Campbell soldiers in the 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team ‘Bastogne’ are returning home Wednesday from Cameroon in Africa. 

The soldiers, known as the ‘Red Currahee,' served in Task Force Toccoa in northern Cameroon. They worked with the country’s air force, state department and non-governmental organizations to expand positive relationships and regional security.

They also worked with U.S. school children and medical outreach, delivering immunizations, clothing and toys to young children.

Ft. Campbell

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin says he will order flags lowered to half-staff in honor of a Fort Campbell soldier who has died in Kuwait.

1st Lt. Jeffrey D. Cooper of Mill Creek Washington died Saturday from a non-combat related incident. 

According to a news release, Cooper, 25, was killed in a vehicle rollover accident while traveling from Camp Buehring to Ali Al Salem Airfield.

Cooper was an infantry officer in the 2nd Battalion 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division.

He joined the Army in 2013 and arrived in Fort Campbell in 2015. He has received the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon. 

The accident is under investigation.

Fort Campbell

The U.S. Army is deploying 1,400 Fort Campbell 101st Airborne Division soldiers to Afghanistan. The 3rd Brigade Combat Team deploys this fall to support Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. 

In a news release Tuesday, 101st acting senior commander Brigadier General Scott E. Brower praised the brigade, known as Rakkasans, for combat efforts against al Qaeda and Taliban forces in 2002 and an advise-assist mission in 2014 and 2015.

"From hunting Al Qaeda and Taliban forces during Operation Anaconda in 2002, to performing the advise-assist mission in 2014-15, the soldiers of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team have been nothing short of exceptional while supporting operations in Afghanistan over the years," said Brig. Gen. Scott E. Brower, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) acting senior commander. "The Rakkasans are trained, well-led, and prepared to accomplish any mission given to them while supporting Operation Freedom's Sentinel."

According to the U.S. Army website, Operation Freedom’s Sentinel trains, advises and assists Afghan security institutions and conducts counter-terrorism measures against remaining al Qaeda forces.

Hopkinsville Community College, via Facebook

The Delta Regional Authority is investing more than $100,000 dollars in the Todd County Career Path Institute. The western Kentucky facility trains adults, college and high school students in welding, industrial maintenance and electrical networking. The money will go towards equipment for hands-on training.

DRA chairman Chris Masingill said workforce training and education is critical for attracting business leaders. "The number one question that business leaders ask about when they look to do an expansion or a location is that they really look at the skill level of our workforce. And so we want to continue to invest into programs, into locations, into partners that are really trying to move the needle on that."

The announcement Thursday was made on the same day Governor Matt Bevin's office awarded the institute with the 2016 Spirit of Kentucky Award recognizing regional partnership efforts.

Masingill said that was a coincidence, but he’s glad to know the Governor feels the same way about the institute. “We work collaboratively. It takes the governor and us, me as the federal co-chair, working collaboratively and we review these projects. So this project would not have gotten funded without the support of Governor Bevin.”

U.S. Army Fort Campbell Facebook

Military police have apprehended a soldier after report of an active shooter at Fort Campbell. 

The soldier was in the 101st Airborne Division . The incident occurred near the Campbell Army Airfield. 

Spokesman Robert Jenkins says no injuries were reported and the installation is secure. He says gates are open and there are no threats to the post or local communities.

Creative Commons

A Kentucky Judge says he will decide this week whether to unseal the secret testimony from a former president of the company that markets the addictive painkiller OxyContin. 

Health website Statnews.com  says Pike County Circuit Judge Steven Combs made the comment Friday. The website is seeking to unseal some 17 million pages of Kentucky's lawsuit against Purdue Pharma. Chief among them is a deposition by Richard Sackler, a former company president and a member of the family that controls the company.

Kentucky sued Purdue Pharma in 2007, accusing the company of lying about the addictiveness of the drug. They settled the case in December for $24 million.

Purdue Pharma attorney Trevor Wells says the documents should stay hidden because they were never used as the basis for a court decision.

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, via Facebook

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is adding confirmed cougar sightings to a new online map. The Cougar Action Team, or CAT, is a new agency working to organize evidence submitted by the public and developing a policy for dealing with this subspecies of cougar, which is not native to Tennessee. 

The first confirmed sighting in more than 100 years was in Obion County last September

Tennessee Wildlife Biologist Joy Sweaney says cougars are secretive animals and aren't typically a threat to humans. If you do encounter one, she recommends acting like 'the hardest prey to kill' and they will leave you alone.

DNA samples from hair found in the Carroll County location identified the animal as a western cougar subspecies similar to those found in South Dakota. She says there is possibly more than one cougar in Tennessee, expanding out from their home range. Western cougars have a range of 150 square miles and while it's rare to spot one, they are more commonly found in the Midwestern states.

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