News in Brief

John Hingsbergen, Kentucky public radio host, dies at 67

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — John Hingsbergen, a voice of public radio for most of central and eastern Kentucky, has died. He was 67.

WEKU station manager Roger Duvall confirmed Hingsbergen died suddenly Tuesday night. Hingsbergen was the content manager for WEKU, a public radio station based at Eastern Kentucky University that could be heard in Kentucky and parts of Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

While Hingsbergen managed all of the content that aired on the radio, he was most known to listeners as the host of Eastern Standard, the weekly public affairs show that featured interviews with politicians, journalists and advocates about public events and other pressing issues.

Hingsbergen had been at WEKU since 2011, following a career that began in the greater Cincinnati area.

Kentucky farm income rebounds from 2016 levels

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Agricultural economists say farm income in Kentucky has rebounded from 2016 levels, but remains well below record figures earlier in the decade.

The University of Kentucky ag economists on Thursday predicted 2017 farm cash receipts to reach $5.6 billion, which would be a 3.5 percent increase from last year. They’re also forecasting a modest increase in net farm income, which is the amount left after expenses.

UK ag economist Will Snell says this year’s improvements were fueled by higher crop yields, better livestock prices and fairly stable input costs.

The economists are forecasting slightly higher agricultural cash receipts for Kentucky in 2018, assuming a normal growing season.

They say poultry remains Kentucky’s top agricultural commodity.

The UK forecasts are a fixture at the Kentucky Farm Bureau’s annual meeting in Louisville.

Deputies find wanted fugitive at lunch table in Kentucky

HAZARD, Ky. (AP) — Deputies in Kentucky located a fugitive they’d sought for months — across from them at lunch.

WYMT-TV reports that Perry County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Tony Eversole said that he and several deputies took their lunch break at the Captain D’s in Hazard on Monday and found Neil Martin sitting across from him.

Eversole said Martin is “wanted by four or five states” for fraudulent business reasons and the sheriff’s office had been “actively looking” for him for months. He said they let Martin finish his meal and leave the building, so as not to cause trouble inside the restaurant. They arrested him outside.

It’s unclear if Martin has a lawyer. Further details haven’t been released.

Center to treat hepatitis C patients opens in Kentucky

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A new center to treat hepatitis C patients has opened in Kentucky.

University of Louisville Hospital says the center is needed: Kentucky has the nation’s highest infection rate for the blood-borne disease that can damage the liver. UofL Hospital Hep C Center opened Wednesday morning and saw its first patients later in the day.

Family nurse practitioner Barbra Cave, who leads the center, says only a few places exist in the area for treatment of the disease.

In the past, treating hepatitis C was a difficult process that lasted nearly a year and had multiple side effects.

Ashutosh Barve, the center’s medical director, said the current treatment involves taking one pill daily for 8-12 weeks and it has minimal side effects.

Tilley traveling to Washington to talk about opioid crisis

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky Justice Secretary John Tilley is traveling to Washington to talk about the nation’s opioid epidemic.

Tilley is scheduled to speak to the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions at 10 a.m. Thursday. The hearing can be viewed online at the committee’s website .

Tilley also spoke to the House Energy and Commerce Committee about opioids in July.

More than 1,400 people died in Kentucky last year because of a drug overdose, a 7.4 percent increase from 2015. Republican Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration has responded with a “Don’t Let Them Die” marketing campaign to raise awareness. Earlier this month, Bevin’s administration launched a help line for people to call to get access to the state’s drug treatment services.

Churchill Downs selling mobile gaming company for almost $1B

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Churchill Downs Inc. has agreed to a $990 million deal to sell its mobile gaming subsidiary, Big Fish Games Inc.

The company said in a news release Wednesday that its board of directors approved the sale to Aristocrat Technologies Inc., a subsidiary of Australian corporation Aristocrat Leisure Ltd. The agreement is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close early next year.

The release said proceeds from the transaction will be used for purposes that may include organic growth and acquisitions, debt reduction and share repurchases.

Churchill Downs in Louisville is home of the Kentucky Derby.

Churchill Downs Inc. CEO Bill Carstanjen said when the company purchased Big Fish in 2014 in a deal worth up to $885 million that the acquisition gave the company new products, customers, locations and growth opportunities.

Indiana native nominated for best bluegrass album Grammy

HENRYVILLE, Ind. (AP) — A southern Indiana native who was born blind has been nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Bluegrass Album category.

Michael Cleveland was nominated Tuesday by the Recording Academy for his album “Fiddler’s Dream.”

The Henryville, Indiana, native has studio musician credits on previous Grammy-winning and -nominated works, but this is his first direct nomination. The Grammy winners will be announced Jan. 28.

The News and Tribune reports Cleveland was born blind and attended the Louisville School for the Blind. He told the newspaper in 2015 that his blindness accounts for some of his fiddling talent because, “Your ears are the most important thing when you’re learning to play.”

He said instructors tell students not to look at the fiddle’s neck and fingerboard, and to play in the dark.

Charges brought against 5 connected to Kentucky street gang

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Federal and local authorities in Kentucky have announced charges against five people connected to a street gang in connection with a conspiracy to obtain firearms for convicted felons.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Louisville said Wednesday that a 40-count indictment was unsealed after the arrests of 22-year-old Chicoby Summers, 33-year-old Shelby Strong, 23-year-old Jerlen Horton, 33-year-old Derrick Hammond and 23-year-old Lakeshia Watts, all of Louisville. The prosecutor’s office said in a news release that the five are associated with the Victory Park Crips.

The release said the defendants conspired to obtain firearms through people who had no felony convictions and could legally buy guns, then transfer the weapons to convicted felons.