News in Brief

I-75 closure in Kentucky’s Rockcastle County scheduled

MOUNT VERNON, Ky. (AP) — Part of Interstate 75 is closing overnight Tuesday in Kentucky for a bridge reconstruction project.

Kentucky State Police say all southbound lanes and the left northbound lane of the highway in Rockcastle County will close at 10 p.m. Tuesday and reopen by 6 a.m. Wednesday. Southbound traffic will exit at Berea and detour via U.S. 25, reconnecting with I-75 in Mount Vernon.

The closure is to allow crews to set bridge beams for the Kentucky 1505 bridge reconstruction project.

Northbound lanes will be affected on Thursday when crews perform a series of rolling road blocks beginning at about 10 a.m. The road blocks will last about 15 minutes and occur periodically throughout the day.

Inclement weather or other delays could require adjustment of the date and duration of work.

House panel advances 2 proposed constitutional amendments

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky House panel has approved proposed constitutional amendments that would expand legislative authority over regulations and change the timing of elections for statewide offices.

Both proposed ballot measures were advanced Monday by the House Elections, Constitutional Amendments and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee.

One proposal would move elections for governor and other statewide officers to even-numbered years, beginning in 2024.

Committee Chairman Kenny Imes says the move would save Kentucky counties millions of dollars now incurred to have those elections in odd-numbered years.

The other proposal would allow the legislature to approve or disapprove any state regulation during or between legislative sessions. Disapproval would make the regulation unenforceable.

Both measures now go to the full House.

Both proposals would go onto the Kentucky ballot if they win full legislative approval.

Ky. ag official predicts more hemp growers, processors

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky’s agriculture commissioner is predicting record numbers of hemp growers and processors in 2018 as the experimental crop’s supporters look to strengthen its foothold.

The state’s agriculture department said Tuesday it approved 225 applications from growers to produce up to 12,018 acres of hemp for research purposes this year.

Last year, 209 growers were approved to plant up to 12,800 acres.

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles predicts this will be the biggest year in terms of the number of hemp growers and processors and the number of acres planted.

He says last year’s approved acreage total was skewed when one prospective producer didn’t follow through on plans to plant several thousand acres of hemp.

Last year, Kentucky’s farmers planted more than 3,200 acres of hemp, up from 2,350 acres in 2016.

Kentucky State Police cadets begin 24-week training course

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The first week of the Kentucky State Police Academy’s latest cadet class is underway in Frankfort.

The agency says 75 recruits reported for 24 weeks of training that started Sunday.

Cadets will study criminal investigation, high-speed vehicle pursuit, hostage negotiations and other topics during the class. The first day’s activities included physical fitness tests such as weight lifting, sit-ups, push-ups, a 30-meter run and a 1 ½-mile run.

State police Commissioner Rick Sanders said with 56 retirements last year, the agency has 835 troopers, below the authorized strength of 1,070. The agency said in a news release that historically, 35 percent of cadets don’t complete the program.

The class is tentatively scheduled to graduate on June 22. For information on future classes, visit the state police website.

Country icon Loretta Lynn has a fractured hip after fall

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Country music icon Loretta Lynn has a fractured hip after a fall at her home in Tennessee.

A statement posted Monday on her website said “she is doing well and thanks all her fans for their thoughts and prayers.” A publicist for Lynn didn’t answer additional questions.

The 85-year-old singer-songwriter suffered a stroke last year that forced her to cancel her tour dates and delay a new album, but she made a surprise appearance at the Country Music Hall of Fame in October for Alan Jackson’s induction.

The Hall of Fame singer is known for her biographical hit “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” which became a book and a movie; “You Ain’t Woman Enough”; “The Pill”; and “One’s on the Way.”

Principal parodies Mariah Carey to announce school’s out

FLORENCE, Ky. (AP) — Sometimes a snow day calls for a song.

That’s what a Kentucky principal did, posting a musical message for parents to let them know classes were canceled due to icy roads.

Union Pointe Academy Principal Chad Caddell posted the video Monday on the school’s Facebook page , singing “that school is canceled for today” to the tune of Mariah Carey’s “Hero.” Dressed in a long coat and fur trapper hat, he begins the parody by saying he’s got something on his heart he has to share.

Caddell also posted the video to Twitter saying “this is how we do school closings in Kentucky.”

He told The Associated Press that he created the video with his wife as a way to bring some joy and fun to a snow day.

3 sentenced in stolen military equipment scheme

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A military equipment dealer who pleaded guilty to buying and selling stolen military equipment overseas has been sentenced to more than 3 ½ years in prison.

The Tennessean reports 42-year-old Cory Wilson was sentenced Monday in federal court in Nashville. In addition to the 44-month sentence, Wilson was ordered to pay $500,000 in restitution to the Army.

Two former soldiers, Michael Barlow and Kyle Heade, were also sentenced. Barlow was ordered to serve five years’ probation, and Heade 30 months in prison.

Eight people were involved in the plan to steal items from the large military installation along the Kentucky-Tennessee state line. Four were previously sentenced, and another man is set to be sentenced on Tuesday.