News Around the State

Clean technology facility draws $325M investment

PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (AP) — A technology plant has announced a $325 million investment for the first of three facilities coming to a Kentucky county.

WYMT-TV reports that RCL Chemical has partnered with Y2X Infrastructure to secure the funding for a facility to operate clean conversion of natural gas-to-liquids technology, announced Wednesday.

Floyd County Judge-Executive Ben Hale says the facility will change the landscape of the region, which has long been dependent on coal. The eastern Kentucky county was picked for its available infrastructure and ready access to natural gas.

RCL Chairman Bill Johnson praised Floyd and Pike counties for their patience and support.

The project is expected to generate more than 500 construction jobs. Permanent jobs will follow as facility operations grow. It’s expected to be operational by 2020.

63,000 pounds of unused medicines collected in 3 states

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Officials say the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day collected more than 63,000 pounds of unused medicines in the Louisville Field Division’s three-state area of Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia.

A statement on Tuesday from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says the agency and its partners worked at 451 sites across the states last month to collect the medications.

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is now in its ninth year. The DEA says this collection was its most successful, with nearly 475 tons of unused medicines collected at about 6,000 sites nationwide.

The initiative allows people to safely get rid of unused medicines, which officials say are highly susceptible to misuse and abuse.

According to a 2015 national survey, more than 6 million Americans abused controlled prescription drugs.

I-64 project in eastern Ky. to begin next week

MOREHEAD, Ky. (AP) — Work is expected to begin next week on a project that will replace nearly 4 miles (6 kilometers) of blacktop on Interstate 64 in eastern Kentucky.

A statement from the Kentucky Department of Highways says work on the $2 million project begins Monday and is expected to last through June. Traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction in the work area which will be between Exit 137 at Morehead and eastbound mile marker 142.

Road crews will replace the top layer of asphalt on the highway, smoothing out broken pavement and potholes, and make other upgrades.

The speed limit in the construction zone will be reduced to 55 miles per hour.

Janitor wills $175K savings to child abuse victims

COVINGTON, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky man who worked as a school janitor for more than three decades and never touched a dime of his pension has willed his life savings of $175,000 to child abuse victims.

The Kentucky Enquirer reports Alvin L. Randlett’s estate donated the sum to the Kentucky Child Victims’ Trust Fund on Tuesday. The lifelong Covington resident had retired in 2001, and died in December 2015 at age 75.

The money came from Randlett’s pension and the sale of his house.

Estate executor Jeff Siska shared the news at Sixth District Elementary School, where Randlett worked for 32 years. Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear visited the school district to accept the money on behalf of the fund, praising Randlett’s selflessness.

Siska says it was Randlett’s “last wish to help those who can’t help themselves.”

Grant to help pregnant women with opioid dependence

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — The University of Kentucky has received a multimillion-dollar grant to expand and improve a program to help pregnant women with opioid dependence problems before, during and after delivery.

The Perinatal Assistance and Treatment Home (PATHways) program is helping women with medication, peer support and health services to reduce the number of babies born with an opioid addiction.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reported Tuesday that with the grant, university researchers will compare two elements of the program in rural areas.

In one, women will attend pregnancy/parenting support and education groups led by a trained nurse and a peer support specialist.

In the other, women will have meetings via telemedicine with specialists in high-risk pregnancy, addiction care, pediatrics or substance counseling.

The $4.9 million award has been approved pending completion of a business and programmatic review.

Billy Ray Cyrus, among 6 to join Kentucky Music Hall of Fame

MOUNT VERNON, Ky. (AP) — Billy Ray Cyrus, David “Stringbean” Akeman and four other artists are being inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports the Hall will induct its latest class Friday night at the Renfro Valley Entertainment Center. The new class of Kentuckians will join honorees including 2015’s Backstreet Boys Brian Littrell and Kevin Richardson.

Alongside Cyrus and Akeman are bluegrass vocalist Dale Ann Bradley, gospel singer Jason Crabb, country performer Bobby Lewis and singer-songwriter Jackie DeShannon, who sang “What the World Needs Now Is Love.”

The ceremony will feature remarks and performances from the inductees. Its location is new, as the past several inductions were held in Lexington.

Akeman, a prolific banjo player, will be posthumously inducted. Cyrus, known for line-dancing hit “Achy Breaky Heart,” will not attend.

Car rams into Denny’s, injuring at least 10

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Authorities say a car crashed into a Denny’s in Kentucky, sending 10 people to the hospital.

Louisville Metro Police spokeswoman Alicia Smiley tells news outlets that officers responded to a report of a car hitting the restaurant near the University of Louisville late Tuesday night. She says the male driver had lost control of the car, which traveled about 10 feet (3 meters) inside the Denny’s.

Smiley says the driver and nine others were hospitalized with injuries that appear to be non-life-threatening. Victims included both employees and customers.

Authorities say some others at the scene were injured, but didn’t want to go to the hospital.

The police traffic unit is investigating. Further details haven’t been released.

4 Ky. high school seniors are Presidential Scholars

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Four Kentucky high school students have been named 2018 U.S. Presidential Scholars.

All four are from Lexington schools. A total of 161 high school seniors around the country were recognized.

Kentucky’s Presidential Scholars are Aaron Choate and Kasey C. Fields, both of Lafayette Senior High School, and Zsombor T. Gal and David W. Ma, both of Paul Laurence Dunbar High School. Choate is a Presidential Scholar in the Arts.

The U.S. Education Department said in a news release the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars chooses each year’s scholars based on academic success, artistic excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, and evidence of community service, leadership and commitment to ideals.

Honorees will receive a Presidential Scholar Medallion at a ceremony June 24.