The recent banishment by police of a mentally ill man from Carroll County, Kentucky, to Florida appears to be an unusual occurrence.

But Adam Horine’s mental health struggles are common in a criminal justice system that contains an inordinate number of emotionally troubled men and women.

Indiana state health officials say they’re working to transfer more responsibility to local officials dealing with the response to the HIV outbreak in the southeastern part of the state. Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Jerome Adams and Deputy State Health Commissioner Jennifer Walthall  outlined the transition and long-term sustainability efforts in a news conference Wednesday.

Adams said he wants to make it clear that the Indiana health department is not leaving Scott County, where 170 people have been newly-diagnosed with HIV since December.

“This is a transition to more local control, more local empowerment. But the state will remain partners with Scott County. We’ll continue to be involved with and go down to Scott County for the foreseeable future,” he said.

There are now 170 confirmed HIV cases related to the outbreak. Adam said that 86 percent of those with HIV also have Hepatitis C.

State health officials say more than 80 people exposed to a southern Indiana student with a confirmed case of tuberculosis have now tested positive for the disease.

The State Department of Health said Friday that 85 people have tested positive to TB in skin tests, up from 54 positive tests on Wednesday.

Those individuals who've tested positive for the TB bacteria don't have tuberculosis, but will receive antibiotic treatment so that symptoms don't develop and to prevent the infection from spreading to others.

The 85 individuals who've tested positive to date had contact with a student with a confirmed case at Rock Creek Community Academy in Sellersburg, about 10 miles north of Louisville, Kentucky, or at a church in the area.

That student is isolated and responding well to treatment.

Adam Edelen, Facebook

State Auditor Adam Edelen will host 13 meetings across Kentucky as part of an audit into the estimated thousands of untested rape kits in the state.

During a committee hearing earlier this year, Kentucky State Police officials estimated that the state had as many as 5,000 untested rape kits.

In April, Edelen announced that his office is auditing police and prosecutors to find out precisely how many kits haven’t been tested. His office also aims to find the cause for the backlog.

In a statement on Wednesday, Edelen said the meeting will be an important part of looking into the “complex issues surrounding untested rape kits.”

“I hope to hear from law enforcement, prosecutors, survivors and others as we begin working toward recommending reforms to the system,” Edelen said on Wednesday.

University of Louisville

Researchers at Louisville’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center have found a new way to treat advanced melanoma using the herpes simplex 1 virus.

The genetically modified virusta, limogene laherparepvec, or T-VEC, invades and kills cancer cells by stimulating the body’s immune system. The virus does not harm healthy cells or cause patients to develop cold sores.

Dr. Jason Chesney, deputy director of the cancer center, worked with a team of international scientists to carry out clinical trials and found that patients with advanced melanoma had improved survival.

He said traditional approaches, such as chemotherapy, for advanced cancers are non-curative and only suppress the growth of tumors.

“When we can activate the immune system and cause a tumor to shrink those responses, the shrinkage is durable. It lasts for years and frequently for a lifetime,” he said.

Health insurance companies selling plans on Kentucky's state-run exchange have requested rate increases of as much as 25 percent for 2016.

The biggest proposed increase was 25.1 percent for the Kentucky Health Cooperative, the nonprofit that started with the help of a $58.8 million federal loan and has sold the most private plans of any health insurance company on kynect. The company got a 19.99 percent rate increase for 2015 along with another $65 million federal loan to help it stay solvent.

Anthem Health Plans of Kentucky asked for a 14.6 percent increase, CareSource asked for an 11.83 percent increase while Humana asked for a 5.2 percent increase. WellCare Health asked for a 9.28 percent decrease.

The rate requests are all averages based on the products those companies sell. Individual rates may vary.

Sherry Cooke’s brother, Dennis, died during stint in a nursing home in Louisville. Years ago, Dennis fell from a ladder and sustained serious brain injuries. He was only in his 40s, and spent the next several years bouncing from one nursing home to another.

Cooke, who lives in Pewee Valley, said she kept her brother company and checked on him practically every day. Despite her vigilance, she said he starved to death within seven months of entering a nursing home.

“Time after time I went in and the tube feeding was not running,” said Cooke, who is now a nursing home reform advocate.

Making sure her brother was getting proper care from the nursing home staff was a constant battle, Cooke said. She said she sometimes saw Dennis’ feeding tubes tied in knots and his body covered in bed sores.

She kept records of his time there and eventually took some final pictures of him right before he died. Her brother had entered the nursing home at a healthy weight and died an emaciated man. Dennis—who was 5-foot-7 –died weighing 106 pounds.

Hardin Memorial Hospital

Hardin Memorial Hospital will soon be able to care for more babies born premature and with other health problems. 

The hospital in Elizabethtown is expanding its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and adding two physicians from Louisville who will practice full-time at HMH.

HMH's Chief Nursing Officer Sharon Wright told WKU Public Radio that having neonatologists around the clock will be a huge asset.

"We see many babies born to mothers who are abusing alcohol or medication," explained Wright.  "Those babies who are going through withdrawal can now stay in our community and stay here for their treatment instead of being transferred to Louisville, so it's not just for premature babies."

Wright knows firsthand the struggles of local parents whose babies must be transferred elsewhere for treatment.  Twenty years ago, she gave birth to twins only 25 weeks into her pregnancy.  The newborns were put on life support and transferred to Kosair Children's Hospital in Louisville.  She said having them away from home made the ordeal that much more difficult.

The expansion at Hardin Memorial Hospital should be complete in September.

A new report says Kentucky and other states could do a better job of placing children in the foster care system with families instead of group care.

The Kids Count report, released Tuesday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Kentucky Youth Advocates, says 18 percent of the 7,211 children put into foster care in 2013 in Kentucky were placed in group settings. The data showed 81 percent were placed in family settings. The report says 30 states do a better job of finding family placements for foster children.

Kentucky Youth Advocates said progress has been made over the last year in placements. In addition, the state has begun to offer more in-home services and has changed how children are assessed when they come into the foster care system.

A drug that can reverse the effects of a heroin overdose will soon be available without a prescription in Kentucky.

The state Board of Pharmacy’s emergency regulation went into effect last week to allow pharmacists to dispense naloxone, a drug that’s already used in hospital emergency rooms and by law enforcement agencies.

Van Ingram, head of the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy, says the hope is to save people who can then be rehabilitated.

“Substance abuse treatment is the end-goal for all individuals who are addicted, but we can’t get them to substance abuse treatment if they aren’t alive.”

Naloxone can be administered by a needle injection, through an auto-injector, and through a intranasal device.

A bill passed this year by state lawmakers allows pharmacists to establish guidelines on how to prescribe the drug.