Regional

An 11-year-old Hardin County girl and her father are dead following what police are calling a murder-suicide.

Kentucky State Police says the girl died at the hands of her father, 49-year-old John Jonas. Both were found dead outside their home in Vine Grove.

Hardin County Schools spokesman John Wright says grief counselors will be available for students and staff at Vine Grove Elementary, where the girl was a fifth-grade student.

“The most important part is that we’re letting students express themselves. If they need to visit with a counselor, or teacher, or friend, we’re allowing them to do that today.”

A police investigation into the deaths is ongoing. Autopsies are scheduled today in Louisville.

The name of the girl who was killed has not been officially released by the school or police.

The U.S is home to the most Christians in the world, but the number of Americans who identify as Christian is declining, according to a newly released survey by the Pew Research Center. The survey of more than 35,000 Americans also found the number of people who consider themselves unaffiliated with any religion, or "nones," is growing.

According to Pew:

David Monniaux, Wikimedia Commons

Fort Campbell is closer to breaking ground on an alternative energy project that will build the largest solar array in the state. 

Last week, project coordinators received the green light to break ground in two weeks’ time which will see installation of 5,814 solar modules on 25 acres generating over 2,466 megawatt-hours of electricity annually.  

Ft. Campbell Resource Efficiency Manager Dewayne Smith says the base’s electric utility, Pennyrile Rural Electric Co-op, is fronting the capital costs which will be paid back through the energy savings.  The array will generate a 5 megawatts capacity, alleviating some of the base’s 31 megawatt average monthly demand.

It's also part of a initiative under the American Renewable Energy Act requiring 25 percent of government installations’ power to be produced by renewables by 2025.  For Fort Campbell, those renewables include the solar array as well as a 20 megawatt biomass-burning plant.

A traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall is coming to Hardin County this week as part of a commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the war.

The traveling wall contains all of the names of U.S. military personnel killed during the war, and will arrive in Radcliff on Thursday. Event organizer and Vietnam veteran David Cowherd says the replica wall offers a chance for those who haven’t seen the Washington memorial to pay tribute to those who died, as well POWs and MIAs.

“They served there with us, and they are in some case family members and really close friends. So it helps with some of the healing, in my view,” said Cowherd, who served in the Navy during the war in southeast Asia.

The replica wall will be on display in Radcliff from Thursday through Sunday. Area schools are bringing students to see the wall, and a candlelight service honoring Hardin County natives killed in the Vietnam War is being held Saturday night.

Vietnam War veterans are invited to a Sunday afternoon group photo shoot in front of the traveling wall.

John Null, WKMS

Kentucky State Police troopers are not using body cameras yet, but some western Kentucky law enforcement agencies have already embraced the technology.

The McCracken County Sheriff’s Department has been using body cameras for years. So has the Cadiz Police Department. But in March, all nine CPD officers got an upgrade with the latest TASER AXON body cameras. CPD Major Duncan Wiggins says the new cameras cost around $400 each.

“They have a wider view,” Wiggins said. “They also are a low-lux camera, which doesn’t mean they can see at night, but they see much like the human eye sees. So if a person is using a flashlight, it picks up really well. Also, the audio is impeccable.”

The cameras require a server to store the video that officers upload at the end of their shift. Wiggins said the server cost the city under $1,000.

CPD public information officer Scott Brown said that he’s a fan of the cameras.

Motorists heading north on I-65 in Hardin and Bullitt counties will be impacted by road work starting Sunday evening.

The interstate will be reduced to one lane between mile markers 104 and 102 starting at 7 pm eastern Sunday as crews make concrete repairs. The project should be complete by Wednesday night.

Delays are likely during peak volume hours in the mornings and afternoons, and motorists may want to consider alternate routes.

City of Owensboro

Owensboro City Commissioners appear set to give final approval to a city budget that includes fundingfor a golf course and the new International Bluegrass Music Center.

The Messenger-Inquirer reports that the city commission Tuesday night gave first approval to a budget plan that increases Owensboro’s occupational and net profits tax rates by six-tenths of a percentage point. Final approval of the budget is expected at a special called meeting Thursday afternoon.

The slight tax increase would generate more than $834,000 a year, which would be used to keep the nine-hole Hillcrest Golf Course open.

It would also cover the city’s $2.4 million dollar commitment toward the building of a new downtown bluegrass music center.  

Mayor Ron Payne says the city has reached an agreement with the Hillcrest Golf Association that will turn the course into a city park if less than 10,000 rounds a golf are played there each year.

University of Kentucky archaeologists are finishing their dig at a prehistoric Native American campsite on the edge of Lake Barkley in Canton. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet found the site during land analysis for a new bridge.

Lead Archaeologist Mickey Loughlin said this site ranks high in importance on a 1-10 scale.

ACLU of Kentucky

The Kentucky chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has filed a federal lawsuit for a case in Muhlenberg County over song lyrics in a Facebook post.

In August, James Evans of Central City posted lyrics on his Facebook page from a song called “Class Dismissed (A Hate Primer)” by the band Exodus. The 2010 song is about the Virginia Tech shooting.

Evans was arrested that month on a criminal charge of first-degree terroristic threatening, a felony. The charge was eventually dismissed.

The ACLU of Kentucky filed a federal lawsuit this week claiming Muhlenberg County Police Officer Michael Drake falsely arrested Evans for posting those lyrics. Evans’ attorneys—Brenda Popplewell and William Sharp—claim that arrest was illegal and violated their clients’ First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The lawsuit was filed at a U.S. District Court in the Western District of Kentucky and names Muhlenberg County and Officer Drake as defendants.

An Amish father and son will be in a Logan County courtroom Wednesday.  The men are facing charges of violating a local ordinance requiring owners to clean up after their large animals.

Amos Mast and his son Dan, both of Auburn, were cited this year by police for refusing to fit their horses with special bags to collect their droppings.  The ordinance requires large animals to wear the collection devices in order to keep streets clear of feces. 

Members of the Amish community object to the law, claiming the devices can spook their horses.  The Mast family will take their case before a jury in Logan District Court. 

The Masts are members of the Old Order Amish, the same sect involved in a legal battle a few years ago when they refused to place a slow-moving vehicle emblem on the back of their horse-drawn buggies.  They objected to the bright orange emblem on religious grounds.  The General Assembly eventually passed a law allowing the Amish to place reflective tape on their buggies.

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