News in Brief

Grimes: Record number of women running for legislature

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky’s secretary of state says the hundreds of people who will be on this year’s ballot include a record number of women running for seats in the state legislature.

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes says her office accepted paperwork from more than 550 candidates running for various offices on the May 22 primary election ballot.

Grimes says more than 1,000 candidates filed for local offices across the state’s 120 counties.

The candidate filing deadline was Tuesday.

Grimes says more than 200 candidates are running for Kentucky House of Representatives seats. She says nearly 100 women are running for state legislative seats.

Thirteen seats in the Kentucky House and two seats in the state Senate are uncontested.

This year’s ballot also features races for Kentucky’s six U.S. House seats.

Broadband network makes progress, still faces delays

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — State officials say they have installed more than 600 miles of fiber optic cables as part of a planned 3,200 mile broadband network across Kentucky.

But the network still faces significant delays as the project piles up millions of dollars in penalties because of what leaders say was an unrealistic construction schedule.

Officials with the Kentucky Communications Network Authority updated state lawmakers Thursday on the progress of Kentucky Wired. The project began under former Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear. Director Phillip Brown said the project faces at least an 18 month delay.

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin’s budget includes $67 million for the project over the next two years. Construction delays have caused the state to pay at least $8 million in penalties to its private sector partners.

Police: State troopers shoot man who hit police car

WHITLEY CITY, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky State Police say troopers shot and wounded a fugitive who tried to hit them with a vehicle while they were attempting to arrest him.

A statement from police says a trooper and a McCreary County deputy sheriff stopped a vehicle Wednesday night and discovered the driver, 61-year-old Jerry W. Collett, was a fugitive wanted on felony warrants. When officers asked him to step out of the car, police say he fled. A pursuit ensued until Collett lost control of his vehicle.

Police say Collett tried to run over approaching officers and rammed a police car, and that’s when troopers fired.

Police say Collett was flown to the University of Kentucky Medical Center. His condition wasn’t immediately available. No officers were injured.

Both troopers have been place on leave.

Bill would regulate online eye exams in Ky.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A bill moving through the Kentucky legislature would regulate the growing practice of offering eye exams through a smartphone app.

House bill 191 would ban companies from issuing prescriptions based on mobile eye exams unless the information is read and interpreted by a Kentucky-licensed optometrist, osteopath or physician. It would also require that Kentucky-licensed doctor to have real-time interaction with the patient during the exam. And a patient could not receive a mobile eye exam unless they have had an in-person exam within the past two years.

Representatives from companies including Simple Contacts, Opternative and Warby Parker say the bill would effectively ban them from doing business in Kentucky.

The bill cleared a legislative committee on Thursday and now heads to the full House of Representatives for consideration.

Salvage operation begins for sunken tow boat

KENOVA, W.Va. (AP) — Officials say a salvage operation has begun for a sunken tow boat that leaked oil in the Big Sandy River on the West Virginia-Kentucky border.

The U.S. Coast Guard said in a statement on Wednesday that crews have arrived on scene to remove the vessel Gate City from the water, and that remedial cleanup will continue through the weekend.

The vessel sank at its mooring on Jan. 10 and leaked oil into the river. Officials said at the time it had the potential to spill 5,000 gallons.

The Coast Guard said response teams have recovered 1,300 gallons of oil from the river and 4 tons of oiled debris. The salvage operator will remove the remaining oil from the tow boat.

The Coast Guard says it is investigating the incident along with environmental officials in West Virginia and Kentucky.

Man pleads guilty to sex trafficking of minor

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A Kentucky man has pleaded guilty to sex trafficking of a minor in West Virginia.

Forty-seven-year-old David Wayne Young of Ashland, Kentucky, entered the plea Tuesday in federal court in Charleston.

Prosecutors say Young admitted asking co-defendant Misty Dawn Baisden of Delbarton last March to provide him with a child under the age of 14 for sex trafficking. He also admitted discussing exchanging money or other things of value for sexually explicit photographs of the child, and that the pair discussed providing each other with a child for sexual activity.

Young faces up to life in prison. Sentencing has been set for May 1.

Baisden previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of a minor. She faces up to life in prison when sentenced on Feb. 13.

Rest area opening delayed by construction issues

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Construction issues have forced a delay in the opening of a rest area in Kentucky.

Finance and Administration Secretary William M. Landrum III says the Beaver Dam Rest Area was originally expected to open last week. The cabinet said in a news release that a new date hasn’t been determined but is expected to be in late February or early March.

The construction issues were not specified in the news release.

Illinois-based Martin and Bayley Inc. is the new operator for the rest area.

Company official Jim Whetstone says its goal is to get the rest area operational as soon as possible.

The company has a 20-year contract to renovate, reconstruct, operate and maintain general merchandise and fuel service operations.

Senate OK’s bill to relieve victims of abusers’ legal fees

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky Senate has voted to change an obscure law that now requires victims of domestic violence to pay all divorce-case legal fees when their abusive spouses are jailed.

Senators voted 37-0 Wednesday to send the measure to the House.

Current law requires victims to pay their abusive spouses’ legal fees in their divorce cases when the assailants are in jail.

Sen. Morgan McGarvey says for victims, that requirement is like “getting abused again.” The measure would require the state to start paying the legal costs of jailed abusers in divorce cases.

The bill is named for Jeanette McCue, who was ensnared by the provision. McCue found out she was obligated to pay her husband’s legal fees in their divorce because he was in prison.

The legislation is Senate Bill 68.

French films shown during festival at university, museum

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Several French films are being shown at the University of Louisville and Speed Art Museum, including the national premiere of the political drama “This is Our Land.”

A U of L release says the Lucas Belvaux film will be shown Feb. 22 and 23 prior to distribution in New York this April. The film, released just before France’s presidential election, chronicles the rise of far right French politics.

Five films are being shown at U of L’s Floyd Theater on the Belknap Campus, while Speed Cinema at the Speed Art Museum will feature two French films. They are restored classic “Beauty and the Beast” and the animated drama “Louise by the Shore.”

The free films begin Thursday and continue through March 2. A list and schedule are available online .