Regional

Update at 4:40 pm:

The crash site has been cleared and normal traffic flow has resumed.  

Original post:

We have a traffic advisory Monday afternoon for I-65 Southbound in Hart County.

The left lane is closed near Mile Point 61 just south of Munfordville (Exit 65) due to a Semi / RV crash.

Traffic is backed up in the left lane to Exit 65, where the construction zone split divides traffic into two separated lanes.

Motorists should choose the right lane at the split to avoid becoming stuck in the queue.  

Due to the constricted nature of the construction zone, clearing may take a couple of hours.

Motorists stopped in the left lane between the crash site and the split point at Exit 65 will not be able to continue south until the scene is clear.  

Delays are likely for both lanes as southbound motorists approach Exit 65.

Indiana Governor: New Law 'Not About' Exclusion

22 hours ago

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence defended the new state law that's garnered widespread criticism over concerns it could foster discrimination against gays and lesbians and said Sunday it wasn't a mistake to have enacted it.

Pence appeared on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" to discuss the measure he signed last week prohibiting state laws that "substantially burden" a person's ability to follow his or her religious beliefs. The definition of "person" includes religious institutions, businesses and associations.

Since the Republican governor signed the bill into law Thursday, Indiana has been widely criticized by businesses and organizations around the nation, as well as on social media with the hashtag #boycottindiana. Already, consumer review service Angie's List has said it will suspend a planned expansion in Indianapolis because of the new law.

Pence did not answer directly when asked at least six times whether under the law it would be legal for a merchant to refuse to serve gay customers. "This is not about discrimination, this is about empowering people to confront government overreach," he said. Asked again, he said, "Look, the issue here is still is tolerance a two-way street or not."

Sexual orientation is not covered under Indiana's civil rights law. Pence has said he "won't be pursuing that."

Local governments are already moving to set up needle exchanges just a day after the Kentucky state legislature authorized the programs through a comprehensive heroin bill.

If implemented, drug users would be able to exchange dirty needles for clean ones from local public health departments.

Rice Leach, the commissioner of the Lexington-Fayette County Public Health Department, said needle exchanges would stymie the transfer of blood-borne diseases such as hepatitis C and HIV.

“From a public health point of view it’s a perfect way to reduce the spread of diseases if not managed properly,” Leach said. “And those diseases manage to work their way into the population that does not use drugs.”

Public health departments in Louisville, Lexington and Northern Kentucky have indicated they support needle exchanges and are working with local councils to approve programs.

In a statement, the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness said officials were “studying the possibility of local implementation.” The Louisville officials will examine cost, locations and possible partners for an exchange, the department said in a statement.

The U.S. Supreme Court gave a former UPS driver another chance to show her employer discriminated against her when she was pregnant, sending the case back to a lower court.

The Kentucky Supreme Court is set to hear arguments over whether schools bear any liability when students commit suicide due to classroom bullying.

The Courier-Journal reports justices on Wednesday will hear the case out of Floyd County.

Sheila Patton sued on behalf of her son, Stephen Patton, who fatally shot himself in 2007 at the age of 13.

Patton says in the lawsuit that her son suffered daily bullying at Allen Central Middle School and four teachers, two school superintendents and the principal knew about it but did not intervene.

The defendants deny knowing that the boy was being bullied and said even if they did, they couldn't have foreseen the boy's suicide.

Lower courts have sided with the defendants, but the Supreme Court will decide whether to reinstate the lawsuit.

As temperatures begin to climb this spring, the number of highway work crews on Kentucky's roads will also increase. Proper attention to the road remains the key to safe travels.

Monday marks the beginning of Work Zone Awareness Week across the Commonwealth. The number of fatalities in highway work zones in Kentucky has dropped the last three years, but crashes have significantly increased. State Transportation Regional Safety Administrator Ronnie Johnson says too many drivers treat marked portions of the roadway like any other stretch of highway. "Folks are just not paying good attention," said Johnson. "They go through work zones as if they were on an open highway. They're engrossed in conversation on the phone or whatever and they blow through a work zone. They don't even know they've passed through it."

Johnson says many of the fatalities in work zones are Kentucky drivers, and not construction workers. He says there are national standards on how to establish road construction markings along the highway. Johnson says enforcement in work areas is important, but not the sole solution. "And you can ticket, ticket, ticket but it needs to be a cultural change rather than do it through ticketing or having blue lights there." he said. "The people should adhere to the signage and everything would be much better."

Johnson says too many motorists fail to slow down when speed limits are reduced from 70 to 55 miles per hour.

A judge has sentenced a former mayor and city clerk in central Kentucky to time served, and both have been released from custody.

The News Enterprise reports Nelson Circuit Judge Charles Simms on Thursday sentenced former Hodgenville Mayor Terry L. Cruse and former City Clerk MaDonna Hornback, according to their plea agreements.

Both were accused of using a city-issued fuel credit card to make personal purchases.

Cruse pleaded guilty in February to nine counts of abuse of public trust and two counts of complicity to theft. Former City Clerk MaDonna Hornback pleaded guilty to 54 counts of abuse of public trust and two counts of complicity to theft.

The plea agreement called for a probated three-year sentence with 30 days to serve in jail and restitution to the city.

The Louisville-based Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) will recognize same-sex marriage for all of its congregations.

The top Presbyterian legislative body endorsed the new wording last year, but amending the church’s constitution required approval from the majority of regional bodies, called presbyteries. That majority was reached Tuesday with a favorable vote by New Jersey’s Presbytery of the Palisades, according to the Associated Press.

The denomination will expand its definition of marriage in the church constitution to say that marriage is a “commitment between two people.”

The Mid-Kentucky Presbytery, made up of more than 50 congregations, voted earlier this month in favor of the change. As WFPL reported, not everyone is expected to be happy about the decision.

Rev. Dr. Peggy Hinds, associate general presbyter for the Mid-Kentucky Presbytery, said at the time: “We have a lot of congregations who, this will upset them if this passes. We have other congregations wondering why it’s taken this long.”

Boone County has become the first county in northern Kentucky to pass a local right-to-work law. 

The fiscal court voted unanimously Tuesday night to join ten other Kentucky counties in approving the controversial measures, which prohibit mandatory union membership as a condition of employment. 

Meanwhile, Oldham County government has voted to table its right-to-work ordinance until a federal lawsuit is resolved.  A group of labor unions has a suit pending against Hardin County for passing a similar ordinance. 

City of Owensboro

A new emergency alert system could be coming to Daviess County. 

The smartphone app Ping4 would allow emergency officials to send out messages to people in a specific area during outdoor events like concerts or fireworks shows. 

Daviess County Deputy Emergency Management Director John Clouse says the alerts could be anything from severe weather to a missing child.

"We have several different festivals and things going on down at Smothers Park and on Second Street," notes Clouse.  "This would give us the opportunity should a missing child come up to alert everyone in that area and give a general description of what the child was wearing and where they were last seen."

Any smartphone would receive the alerts without the owner downloading the app. 

Clouse says the system was tested last year at the music festival ROMP and went well.  He adds the system could be operational in days once the Daviess County Fiscal Court approves a contract with the app manufacturer.

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