News Around the State

Bevin requests disaster declaration for flooding

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin has asked President Donald Trump to issue a disaster declaration for 35 counties affected by flooding.

The Daily Independent cites a Wednesday release from Bevin’s office that says the late February flooding caused an estimated $24.7 million in damages statewide, with 75 percent of that damage inflicted on highways, bridges and local infrastructure. Four Kentucky residents died.

The release says the requested Presidential Disaster Declaration will provide more than one-quarter of Kentucky’s counties with federal assistance to recover from the widespread storms.

Bevin’s office said Thursday that President Donald Trump has authorized assistance for 22 counties damaged in severe flooding in mid-February from a previous disaster declaration request.

Order stalls enforcement of new abortion law

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A federal judge in Kentucky has signed an order temporarily stalling enforcement of a new abortion law being challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Under the joint consent order, state officials agreed to take no action to enforce the law until a judge rules on the ACLU’s request for a preliminary injunction.

The ACLU filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday shortly after Republican Gov. Matt Bevin signed the law banning a common second-trimester abortion procedure known as “dilation and evacuation.”

The dilation and evacuation procedure was used in 537 of 3,312 abortions done in Kentucky in 2016, according to state statistics. The ACLU says the law would result in “extinguished access” to abortion in Kentucky for women in their second trimester who are covered by the ban.

Confederate statue vandalized for 3rd time

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The statue of a Confederate soldier in a major Kentucky city has been vandalized for the third time in less than a year.

The Courier Journal reports that the words “racist” and “traitor” were emblazoned on the base of Louisville’s John B. Castleman statue. Crews have placed signs informing residents of the previous vandalism.

The statue was first vandalized with orange paint in the wake of August’s deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. It was cleaned for $8,200.

Another can of orange paint was thrown at it in February.

City workers are testing methods to remove the writing, but will not remove the paint from February.

Senate confirms Jennings as federal judge in Ky.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The U.S. Senate has confirmed another new federal judge for Kentucky.

The Senate on Thursday confirmed Rebecca Grady Jennings as judge for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky. She was nominated by President Donald Trump last year.

On Tuesday, the Senate confirmed Claria Horn Boom to serve as U.S. District Court judge for the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky.

Jennings has served as director at the law firm Middleton Reutlinger in Louisville and chaired the firm’s litigation practice.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky announced Jennings’ confirmation.

Winery’s license revoked, may be in historically dry area

HENDERSON, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky officials say a winery’s retail alcohol license should be revoked because it is located where selling alcohol may be prohibited.

The Gleaner reports the state Alcoholic Beverage Control board has ruled the license for Farmer and Frenchman should be revoked. The ruling says the winery is in a part of Henderson County that some historical representations may consider dry territory.

The revocation would be effective May 14.

The winery’s lawyer, Steve Arnett, said Wednesday the decision will be appealed in Franklin County Circuit Court. He it will be business as usual until the court makes a decision.

Arnett says the winery’s license was challenged twice before on the same basis and both times the board allowed it to stand.^

Pentatonix to perform national anthem at Kentucky Derby

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Grammy award-winning a cappella group Pentatonix will sing the national anthem at this year’s Kentucky Derby.

The group was announced Thursday for the 144th Derby, set for May 5 at Louisville’s Churchill Downs. Pentatonix released its album, “PTX Presents: Top Pop, Vol. 1,” on Friday.

The performance will be broadcast live as part of NBC’s Kentucky Derby coverage.

Pentatonix has sold nearly 10 million albums worldwide.