News Around the State

Ky. awarded federal grant for road improvements

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Officials say Kentucky has been awarded a federal grant for road improvements.

A statement from the state Transportation Cabinet says the $67.5 million grant will help transform interchanges along the Interstate 71-Interstate 75 corridor in northern Kentucky.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell helped secure the funding and says the project in Boone County will help improve mobility and safety for both passenger and freight vehicles that travel along the corridor.

The $150.9 million project will also receive funding from state, local and private sources.

Construction is set to begin in 2019 and be completed by the end of 2021.

The project was one of 26 awarded a federal grant to help address critical infrastructure needs around the country.

2-year-old girl found dead in hot car

CRITTENDEN, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky State Police are investigating the death of a 2-year-old girl found inside of a hot car.

Trooper Charles Loudermilk says in a news release the child was found unresponsive Saturday night outside a residence in Crittenden in northern Kentucky. A coroner pronounced the child dead at a hospital.

Neighbor Eric Davis tells WLWT-TV the girl’s skin was hot when he found her. Davis lives across the street and says his four children were playmates with the girl.

The state police statement says an autopsy has been scheduled and the investigation is ongoing.

Salmonella linked to pre-cut melon sickens 60

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Health officials say a salmonella outbreak linked to pre-cut melon has sickened 60 people in five Midwestern states.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Caito Foods LLC on Friday recalled pre-cut watermelon, honeydew melon, cantaloupe and fruit medleys containing at least one of those melons that were produced at its facility in Indianapolis.

It says the five states where people were sickened are Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio. The CDC says the fruit was also distributed to stores in Georgia, Kentucky and North Carolina. It was sold in clear plastic clamshell containers at Costco, Jay C, Kroger, Payless, Owen’s, Sprouts, Trader Joe’s, Walgreens, Walmart and Whole Foods/Amazon.

Officials say people should throw away or return recalled products.

The CDC says 31 of the people sickened have been hospitalized, but there have been no deaths reported. Those sickened often develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after eating the contaminated food. The illness often lasts 4 to 7 days.

Missing 2-year-old found safe

SHEPHERDSVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky searchers have found a 2-year-old girl safe after officials looked through fields and wooded areas for a day and a half.

News outlets report Bullitt County Sheriff Donnie Tinnell said Charlee Campbell walked up to a home, where the homeowners recognized her and called authorities Friday evening. The family dog was found around the same time.

Police say the child was taken to a Louisville hospital with no apparent serious injuries but said she appeared dehydrated and had several tick bites.

Search crews worked in heat and humidity Thursday and Friday, going over terrain that was rocky, dangerous and snake-infested.

Tinnell said he was starting to lose hope but didn’t give up. He said it was emotional for him.

Charlee disappeared early Thursday from her grandparents’ home.

Tinnell said Child Protective Services will interview family members.

Woman, boyfriend charged after fiance’s shallow grave found

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. (AP) — Authorities say a Kentucky woman helped her boyfriend kill her fiance, who was buried in a shallow grave.

Hardin County Sheriff John Ward tells news outlets that deputies and Elizabethtown police acting on a tip Saturday found freshly disturbed dirt behind a home, and digging yielded a man’s body.

According to an arrest report, 43-year-old Rick Fisher was found “sweating heavily” as he exited the wooded area where the body was found. He and 50-year-old Lisa Harvey were arrested.

Harvey’s arrest report says she helped Fisher murder the man found buried, who was her fiance. Fisher’s arrest report says the couple gave conflicting stories.

Fisher and Harvey are both charged with murder. It’s unclear whether they have lawyers.

The victim’s name hasn’t been released. He will undergo an autopsy Monday.

Ky. seeking nominations for environmental awards

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet is asking for nominations for the annual environmental awards to be presented this fall.

The awards will include the Secretary’s Award, the Kentucky Excellence in Energy Leadership Award, the Environmental Pacesetter Award, the Resource Caretaker Award, the Community Environmental Luminary Award and the KY EXCEL Champion Award.

The deadline for nominations is Aug. 1. The awards will be presented during the Governor’s Conference on Energy and the Environment, which is being held in October in Lexington.

More information is available online .

Man sentenced in Native American artifacts theft

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky man has been sentenced to 15 months in prison for removing and selling artifacts from Native American graves.

Federal prosecutors say in a news release 60-year-old Gary Womack of Woodburn was sentenced last week in Bowling Green federal court for his guilty plea to three felony violations of the Archaeological Resources Protection Act.

The statement says the FBI assisted the National Park Service during a three-year undercover investigation.

Prosecutors say Womack dealt in artifacts removed from Native American graves in southcentral Kentucky and other locations.

The statement says Womack bought artifacts recovered from an Indian burial mound in Indiana and sold them to an undercover federal agent.

Prosecutors say the artifacts have been recovered and will be repatriated.