Boy drowns in Tug River in eastern Kentucky on Christmas day

WARFIELD, Ky. (AP) — Police say an eastern Kentucky boy drowned in the Tug River along the West Virginia border on Christmas Day.

Martin County Sheriff John Kirk told WSAZ-TV he believes the death was an accident.

The boy, Paul Bowen, was found Monday in the river near the Warfield Community in Martin County. Kirk says a couple driving on the West Virginia side of Tug Fork River saw the child’s body floating in the river.

When the child’s body was found, two firefighters tried to revive the boy, but it was too late.

The Kermit Volunteer Fire Department in West Virginia helped in the search. They had to launch their rescue boats from the Warfield boat ramp, and motor about five miles downstream before even beginning to look for him.

2 killed in accident in southeastern Kentucky

HYDEN, Ky. (AP) — State police say two people have died in an accident in southeastern Kentucky.

State police spokesman Trooper Jody Sims says in a news release the accident occurred Sunday morning on the Hal Rogers Parkway in Leslie County.

The statement says a westbound vehicle driven by 45-year-old Paul R. Howard of Hyden crossed the center line and collided with a vehicle driven by 71-year-old Joan Sparks of Nancy.

Both drivers were pronounced dead at the scene. There were no other occupants in either vehicle.

Escaped inmate captured in Kentucky on Christmas Eve

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — An inmate who escaped from a minimum-security prison in Kentucky has been caught on Christmas Eve.

The Kentucky Department of Corrections says in a news release that Jason Lindbloom was apprehended early Sunday in Carroll County.

Lindbloom walked away from the Blackburn Correctional Complex in Fayette County on July 9. He was serving an 18-year sentence for multiple trafficking charges out of several counties.

Lindbloom is being held in the Carroll County Detention Center.

Kentucky jailer taken to jail, charged with perjury

PADUCAH, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky jailer has been taken to jail.

WPSD-TV reports McCracken County Jailer Tonya Ray has been charged with perjury. She was booked into the Christian County Detention Center on a $20,000 bond.

The charge stems from a trial in October involving former Deputy Jailer Ben Green. Green was accused of moving inmates from protective custody to the jail’s general population without permission. The charges were dropped after Ray testified the jail was operating under a 2010 manual that did not include the current rules. But Kentucky State Police said they discovered the rules were in place and launched an investigation to determine if Ray had lied.

If convicted, Ray could face probation or up to five years in prison. It wasn’t immediately known if she had an attorney.

First statue of a woman coming to Kentucky Capitol in 2018

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky Capitol will soon have its first life-sized statue of a woman.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports state officials will erect a statue of Nettie Depp, who was elected superintendent of Barren County schools in 1913, seven years before women were allowed to vote.

The statue will not go in the rotunda, which has five statues of men including Kentucky natives Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis. Instead, it will be placed in the west side of the building on the first floor.

The statue is paid for with private donations. Artist Amanda Matthews, who is Depp’s great-great niece, is making the 6-foot statue out of bronze.

Historic Properties Director Leslie Nigels says it will be Kentucky’s first statue on government property honoring a woman.

Nearly $5 million grant to protect 25,000 acres of forest

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The federal government has awarded a nearly $5 million grant to protect 25,000 acres of forest in eastern Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports the National Resources Conservation Service awarded a $4.9 million grant to the Nature Conservancy of Kentucky. The conservancy will partner with partners in Tennessee and Virginia to implement the Working Woodlands program.

The program lets qualified landowners place conservation easements on their properties that ban using the land for any non-forest uses. An exception is sustainable timber. Landowners can then sell the carbon sequestered from the best forest management practices and earn money.

Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell announced the program on Friday. Conservancy spokesman Will Bowling says he hopes 25,000 acres is “just the start.”