News Around the State

Health agency recommending hepatitis A vaccination

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky Department for Public Health is recommending hepatitis A vaccinations for everyone in six counties associated with an outbreak of the illness.

Acting Commissioner Jeffrey Howard says hepatitis A is preventable by vaccine.

The affected counties are Jefferson, Bullitt, Hardin, Greenup, Carter and Boyd. The department says 214 cases have been reported in the Jefferson County area, while the other counties each have reported five or more cases. The total number of cases associated with the outbreak is 311. One person has died.

Hepatitis A vaccine is available at local pharmacies and health care providers.

Bevin official resigns, joins Kentucky Board of Education

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Gov. Matt Bevin’s secretary of the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet has resigned to accept an appointment to the state Board of Education.

Hal Heiner announced his resignation in a news release on Monday. The Louisville businessman was one of Bevin’s GOP primary opponents in 2015. He has worked in the Bevin administration since December 2015.

Heiner was one of seven new appointments Bevin made to the state Board of Education on Monday. They include Amanda Stamper, Bevin’s former communications director who is now the public relations director for Anthem Inc.

Heiner called his time at the cabinet the highlight of his career. He said he plans to use his new role to help improve test scores and other academic achievement indicators.

State agriculture department offers wedding contest

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky Department of Agriculture is offering a $5,000 grand prize package in its wedding contest.

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said in a news release that the Kentucky Proud Weddings Contest is aimed at giving Kentucky Proud businesses a chance at some of the U.S. wedding industry.

The agency launched a website in February for businesses that offer picturesque farm venues for wedding and receptions, foods and beverages, catering, flowers, gifts and other goods and services.

To enter the contest, entrants have to post a qualifying photo or video with the hashtag #KyProudWeddings and tag a Kentucky Proud vendor and/or member through any social media outlet by 11:59 p.m. EDT June 30. Monthly prizes will also be awarded. See the website for more information.

Center will now be Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum

OWENSBORO, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky building will be the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum when it opens in October after a name change.

The Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer reports the International Bluegrass Music Center has been talked about for years but, museum executive director Chris Joslin says people didn’t understand what a “bluegrass center” was.

Joslin says he had to explain that it was a hall of fame and museum, so they decided to call it that.

Joslin says the museum reached an agreement with Nashville, Tennessee-based International Bluegrass Music Association to house the Hall of Fame for the next 20 years, with an option to renew.

Joslin says the name change will bring the museum in line with the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum in Nashville and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

3 nominees named for circuit judge vacancy

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A panel has nominated three people to potentially fill a vacant circuit court judgeship that serves Madison and Clark counties.

A statement from the Administrative Office of the Courts says the Judicial Nominating Commission chose attorneys Brandy Oliver Brown of Berea, Heidi Beth Engel of Winchester and Jeffrey M. Walson of Winchester to be considered for the position. The seat became vacant in February when Judge William G. Clouse Jr. retired.

The statement says Brown has served as a district judge for nearly 17 years, Engle has served as a prosecutor for two decades and Walson is a former judge and current attorney at Rowady Hendricks Law.

The governor has 60 days to choose one of the nominees to fill the position.