News in Brief
Mother of teen who collapsed at high school files lawsuit
LEXINGTON (AP) — The mother of a teenager who collapsed and died at a Kentucky high school in April has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against school officials and others.
News outlets reported Monday the complaint was filed on behalf of the estate of 15-year-old Star Ifeacho and his mother, Peace Ifeacho.
It argues potential life-saving treatment for Star was delayed because Paul Laurence Dunbar High School’s automated external defibrillator wasn’t nearby. It claims an athletic trainer’s care fell below the appropriate standard of care for athletic trainers.
Basketball coach Scott Chalk said Star complained of light-headedness earlier that day at open gym. Chalk said he collapsed in the presence of teammates and a trainer, who began resuscitation efforts.
Fayette County Public Schools spokeswoman Lisa Deffendall says they can’t comment on pending litigation.
Ky. craft brewers reusing bourbon barrels
BARDSTOWN (AP) — A charred oak barrel can only be used once to create bourbon whiskey. But some of Kentucky’s craft brewers are proving that used barrels can be put to good use.
Those brewers are partnering with Willett Distillery for a barrel reuse program.
Twenty-five brewers gathered at the Bardstown distillery Monday to collect used barrels for a special barrel-aged beer showcase to be released next summer.
The brewers say beer and bourbon fans will be able to sample the barrel-aged beers at the Kentucky Craft Bash on June 23 at Louisville Waterfront Park’s Festival Plaza.
The event will feature 35 Kentucky breweries highlighting more than 90 beers.
Willett master distiller Drew Kulsveen says used bourbon barrels are sought after for aging everything from Scotch to pancake syrup to soy sauce.
Ky. autism center to train first responders
LOUISVILLE (AP) — The Kentucky Autism Training Center at University of Louisville is providing training to first responders.
A statement from UofL says the center will teach police officers, firefighters, emergency medical services staff and emergency dispatchers about the special needs of those on the autism spectrum during an emergency. More than 600 employees have already been through the training. Firefighters are expected to complete training by the end of the year and police officers are expected to complete training in 2018.
Heidi Cooley-Cook, who is the family field training coordinator at the center, says it is crucial in urgent situations for first responders to know how to best communicate with those on the autism spectrum.
Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad says the training is a way to better serve the community.
Man dies in accident at construction site
RICHMOND (AP) — A coroner in Kentucky says a 38-year-old man died in a construction accident at a site where a retail store is being built.
Madison County Coroner Jimmy Cornelison identified the man as Loren Richmond of Richmond. Cornelison said an autopsy is planned to determine how Richmond died.
The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that large heavy equipment could be seen digging at the future site of a Menards store in Richmond.
Cornelison said Richmond police and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are investigating.
Madison County Emergency Management Service said the accident was reported shortly before 11:30 a.m. Monday.
USA Gymnastics bans coach for sexual misconduct with athlete
CHICAGO (AP) — USA Gymnastics says it has banned an Illinois coach after an investigation revealed he violated its code of ethical conduct by engaging in a sexual relationship with an athlete.
The Indianapolis-based organization says Todd Gardiner has been placed on its list of coaches permanently ineligible to coach in USA Gymnastics. Gardiner had worked with the Illinois Gymnastics Institute in Westmont, a suburb of Chicago.
Gardiner is not charged with any crimes, and USA Gymnastics released no details about when the alleged relationship occurred.
A message left at a phone number listed for a Todd Gardiner in suburban Chicago was not immediately returned.
The announcement follows the conviction of a former elite sports doctor associated with USA Gymnastics, Larry Nassar, on child porn and molestation charges. Nassar had also worked at Michigan State University.
Singer of novelty song welcomes hippopotamus to Oklahoma
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma City native Gayla Peevey has welcomed another hippopotamus to the city’s zoo, more than 60 years after her song about wanting one for Christmas helped the facility purchase its first.
The singer was on hand as the 26-year-old pygmy hippopotamus Francesca made her first Oklahoma public appearance since moving from the San Diego Zoo.
In 1953, the then 10-year-old Peevey sang the novelty hit, “I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas.” It led to a statewide fund drive in which children donated dimes to purchase and bring a pachyderm to the zoo.
Peevey also was there in December 1953 when the Nile hippopotamus Mathilda arrived.
Francesca joins 43-year-old Wolee in the zoo’s pachyderm exhibit.
Pygmy hippos are listed as endangered with fewer than 3,000 in the wild.
Man pleads not guilty to killing former NBA player Wright
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A man charged with killing former NBA player Lorenzen Wright more than seven years ago in Tennessee has pleaded not guilty.
Attorney John Keith Perry entered the plea during an arraignment hearing Tuesday for 46-year-old Billy Turner in Memphis.
Turner was indicted Dec. 5 on a first-degree murder charge. His bail is set at $1 million.
Wright’s body was found in a swampy field in suburban Memphis on July 28, 2010, 10 days after the 34-year-old was reported missing. He was shot multiple times. Wright’s death has been one of the Memphis Police Department’s most high-profile unsolved cases.
Prosecutors and police have declined to provide details about the investigation. Perry said there should not be a “rush to judgment” regarding Turner, a landscaper and resident of the Memphis suburb of Collierville.