News Around the State

Student accidentally shoots self at high school

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — A student accidentally shot himself Friday morning at a high school in Kentucky and authorities responded by announcing that stationary metal detectors would be placed in the building.

The boy was in class at Frederick Douglass High School when the firearm accidently discharged, wounding his hand, Fayette County Public Schools spokeswoman Lisa Deffendall said in a statement. No one else was injured.

Authorities said law enforcement at the school responded immediately, securing the scene and the weapon. The boy was taken to a hospital.

Deffendall said the student will face charges of possessing a weapon on school property and wanton endangerment.

While commending the response to the shooting, Fayette County Schools Superintendent Manny Caulk said more safety measures are needed and announced that metal detectors would be installed at the high school as soon as possible.

“This is something we must do,” he said. “Students cannot learn at high levels if they’re not safe and if they don’t feel safe. We’re going to do everything we can to make sure that students feel safe, and that teachers and staff are safe in the building as well.”

KSP to news outlets: Wait for news release

PIKEVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky newspaper and radio station have been ordered not to report on Kentucky State Police investigations before receiving a state police news release, under threat of being taken off the agency’s media distribution list.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports an email from a state police spokesman was sent last week to The Mountain Advocate newspaper in Knox County and a Bell County radio station.

Kentucky Press Association general counsel Jon Fleischaker told the newspaper the order constitutes a violation of the First Amendment and that state agencies can’t withhold information from certain media outlets if they don’t like what is written.

State police Capt. Ryan Catron said the email was to ensure accuracy and that police don’t plan to withhold information from either outlet.

Shelter owner: Animal-cruelty case is retaliation

WEBBVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The owner of a no-kill animal shelter has been arrested on 179 counts of second-degree animal cruelty in Kentucky.

But 67-year-old Randy Skaggs tells the Lexington Herald-Leader he was arrested in retaliation for pushing others to comply with animal-control standards and provide adequate shelters.

Skaggs was part of a 2000 lawsuit accusing dozens of counties of not having required animal control officers or shelters, among other claims. State police couldn’t tell the Leader how the Trixie Foundation owner mistreated animals, and the county attorney and animal control officer were unavailable for comment.

Second-degree animal cruelty includes intentionally subjecting animals to “cruel or injurious mistreatment” through neglect, among other conditions.

A Thursday state police release says the agency also charged Skaggs with 179 counts of not vaccinating dogs against rabies.

Historic bridge closes over structural concerns

RICHARDSVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A historic Kentucky bridge that dates back to 1889 has been closed over structural concerns.

The Bowling Green Daily News reports the bridge’s annual inspection by the state Transportation Cabinet found structural deficiencies that prompted Thursday’s shutdown. A cabinet engineer, James Edmunds, said the Old Richardsville Road bridge’s trusses are deteriorating but it can be reopened once they’re restored.

But whether the trusses are restored depends on how much Warren County can afford to pay.

Fifth District Magistrate Mark Young who represents the area says the last thing he wants is to see is the bridge close, but restoration costs will determine what happens next.

The bridge, which spans the Barren River, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

Replica Vietnam Wall with all Ky. names being unveiled

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A replica of the Vietnam Wall that displays names of Kentuckians killed in the Vietnam War is being unveiled next week in Frankfort.

The Traveling Kentucky Vietnam Wall also displays the names of Kentuckians who were taken prisoner or still missing. In all, there are 1,105 names on the 9-foot-tall (3-meter), 18-foot-long (5-meter) replica.

The Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs said the wall won’t have a permanent home but will travel through the state and visit every county.

Several veterans groups raised the funds to building the wall two years ago. The Kentucky Veterans Trust Fund granted $21,000 of the $29,000 total, and other sponsors include Eastern Kentucky Power Co., Humana and others.

The unveiling in Frankfort is set for 2 p.m. Monday.

Kentucky-Illinois bridge reopens, was closed 6 days

WICKLIFFE, Ky. (AP) — A bridge linking Kentucky and Illinois has reopened almost a week after it was closed by floodwaters.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet said the U.S. 51 Ohio River “Cairo” (KAY’-roe) Bridge reopened Thursday afternoon once engineers determined the roadway was safe for traffic.

The bridge carries north-south traffic between Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee on U.S. 51 and east-west traffic on U.S. 60 and U.S. 62 between Kentucky, Illinois and Missouri.

The bridge has been closed since last Friday. The closure created an 80-mile (130-kilometer) detour to get from Wickliffe, Kentucky, to Cairo, Illinois, a trip that’s normally 8 miles (13 kilometers).

The cabinet says an average of 4,700 vehicles cross the bridge daily between Wickliffe and Cairo.