Kentucky Unemployment Rate Drops to 6-Year Low
Kentucky officials say the state's unemployment rate dropped to 6 percent in November, the lowest rate in more than six years.
The state Office of Employment and Training said Thursday that last month's seasonally adjusted rate was down from a revised 6.2 percent jobless rate in October. Officials say last month's rate was Kentucky's lowest since April 2008, when the rate was 5.9 percent.
The trade, transportation and utility sector added 2,300 jobs in November from a month earlier.
Manufacturing jobs in the state held steady from October to November, while employment in the mining and logging sector dropped by 400 in November.
The preliminary November rate was 2.1 percentage points below the state's 8.1 percent jobless rate in November 2013.
Louisville Raises Minimum Wage, 1st in Kentucky
The Louisville council has voted to raise the minimum wage, becoming the first city in Kentucky to do so.
The Metro Council voted Thursday to raise the minimum wage to at least $9 per hour by 2017. The National Employment Law Project says Kentucky's largest city is the 21st local government in the country to raise the minimum wage.
The increase will happen over three years. After that, the minimum wage will increase with the cost of inflation. It does not apply to employees who work for tips or small businesses with sales less than $95,000 per year.
Thursday's vote followed months of intense debate about the benefits of higher wages for the poor versus the impact on local businesses and the city's ability to attract new jobs.
KSP 'Cram the Cruiser' Event Nets 116 Tons of Food
Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rodney Brewer announced Thursday that the agency’s ‘Cram the Cruiser’ food drive netted 232,011 pounds of food statewide.
Brewer initiated the program in 2010 to assist needy families in each post's local areas. Since that time, the agency has contributed more than 500,000 pounds of food to shelters, food banks and churches across the Commonwealth.
“The Cram the Cruiser food drive was established with the goal of giving back to our local communities who support our units throughout the year,” Brewer said. “Helping those in need is a fundamental part of our mission throughout rural Kentucky.”
Brewer said the campaign has developed into a friendly competition among KSP posts to see which location can collect the most food. The Harlan Post is the reigning champion this year with a total of 43,825 pounds of food collected.
“Words can’t express how proud I am of the posts and community members who went above and beyond to make this food drive successful,” added Brewer. “Cram the Cruiser is a great example of law enforcement partnering with their communities for the betterment of the Commonwealth.”
The Messiah Presented at Immanuel Baptist Saturday
The Paducah Chamber Orchestra will present Handal's Messiah this Saturday at Immanuel Baptist Church at 7:30 pm.
Overdose Leads to Arrest of Paducah Woman
A Paducah woman has been arrested, after police say she gave some of her prescription medication to another woman who overdosed.
According to Paducah Police, the investigation began in October when officers were called to a North 34th Street home where they found a semiconscious woman with a bottle of Clonazepam belonging to 42-year-old Jennifer Sutton in her hand.
Detectives said they soon learned that Sutton had filled the 30-day supply of Clonezepam just days prior to the other woman’s overdose. The bottle was reportedly empty when police found it.
Police said Sutton had given the woman Clonazepam at least one other time prior to the woman’s overdose.
Sutton is charged with third-degree trafficking in a controlled substance. She turned herself in Thursday afternoon and was booked into McCracken County Regional Jail.
Both Drivers Hurt in West Paducah Collision
Both drivers involved in a West Paducah collision Thursday afternoon need treatment for injuries they received.
McCracken County Sheriff's Department came to the intersection of U.S. Highway 60 and Metropolis Lake Road at 1:40 pm. They determined that the brakes failed on a pickup driven by 20-year-old Dustin Duncan of Paducah, and he could not stop for the red light on Highway 60. His truck collided with a car driven by 69-year-old Richard B. Frazier of Paducah, who was trying to cross the highway on Metropolis Lake Road.
Both men were taken to local hospitals by Mercy EMS for treatment of what appeared to be minor injuries. West McCracken Fire Department helped at the scene.
Graves Deputies Arrest Two on Pot, Other Charges
Two men were arrested on drug charges Thursday in Graves County. After receiving a tip, Graves County sheriff's deputies stopped and searched a vehicle in Fancy Farm. During the search, methamphetamine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia were located inside the vehicle.
Deputies arrested 27-year-old Curtis Draper of Kevil and 28-year-old Kenneth Throgmorton of Paducah. Both were charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. They were lodged in the Graves County Jail.
Detectives later searched an apartment the two men were seen leaving from earlier in the day. During the search, deputies found marijuana in a bedroom. The woman who lived at the apartment, Brittiany Nicole Hollan of Fancy Farm, was cited for possession of marijuana.
Conway Calls for Stiffer Heroin Penalties
Kentucky's top prosecutor joined other law enforcement officials on Thursday to call for higher penalties for heroin dealers and better treatment options for overdose victims.
Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway, who is running for governor in 2015, made the announcement a few weeks before state lawmakers return to Frankfort for the 2015 legislative session. Earlier this year, lawmakers were unable to pass a heroin bill despite widespread support from both political parties.
Conway said any heroin legislation in 2015 should allow first responders to give Naloxone to overdose victims without fear of civil liability. He also called for a Good Samaritan law that could allow people to avoid drug possession charges if they call for help during an overdose.
Kentucky's heroin overdose deaths increased 60 percent in 2013
Police Seek 'Armed and Dangerous' Suspect
Police are still searching for a Paducah man after he reportedly broke into a south side home in November and threatened residents with guns.
According to police, a woman told them she heard noises at her back door of her home on Walter Jetton Boulevard at about 8:00 am November 13, and when she went to check she found 27-year-old Jamal M. Nance standing in the kitchen. She said Nance went into a bedroom of the home and threatened a man and woman with two handguns.
Nance reportedly assaulted the woman in the bedroom and fought with the man, apparently as part of an ongoing dispute with someone in their family. There were four small children in the home at the time, but none of them was injured. When Nance left, the woman called police.
Nance faces charges of first-degree wanton endangerment, first-degree burglary, fourth-degree assault and possession of a handgun by a convicted felon. Anyone with information about Nance is being asked to call the Paducah Police Department at 270-444-8550 or Crime Stoppers at 443-TELL. Crime Stoppers is offering a $750 reward to the person providing information about Nance’s whereabouts.
Police said they believe Nance is still is armed with at least two handguns, and has said that he is prepared to use them against police officers who try to arrest him. They are reminding the public that anyone who provides shelter or transportation to a suspect facing charges is breaking the law and could be arrested.
Tamms Man Sentenced on Federal Gun Charge
A Tamms man has been sentenced to more than five years in prison on a federal gun charge.
On Tuesday, 21-year-old Keithy D. Carter, a/k/a Darnell K. Carter, of Tamms, IL was sentenced for a federal firearm violation, the United States Attorney for the Southern
District of Illinois Stephen R. Wigginton announced today.
Wigginton said Carter, who had previously pled guilty to a one-count indictment of unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, was sentenced to five years ten months in prison, to be followed by 3 years supervised release, and a fine of $200.00.
Wigginton said Carter possessed a 9mm pistol, in Tamms, Alexander County, and that the firearm had been used the day before by another individual to commit a homicide in Jackson County.
The ongoing investigation is being conducted by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and
the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. The Carbondale Police Department and Jackson County State’s Attorney’s Office also assisted in the investigation.
Sen. Paul: Trade with Cuba 'Probably a Good Idea'
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul says starting to trade with Cuba "is probably a good idea" and the lengthy economic embargo against the communist island "just hasn't worked."
Paul is the first potential Republican presidential candidate to offer some support for President Barack Obama's decision to seek to normalize U.S. relations with Cuba.
Paul says in a radio interview Thursday with Tom Roten of News Talk 800 WVHU in Huntington, West Virginia, that many younger Cuban-Americans support opening up trade with Cuba. He says many U.S. farmers support open trade with the country because it would be a new market for their crops.
The senator says if the goal is regime change, the embargo doesn't seem to be working. Other Republicans accused Obama of appeasing the Castro regime.
Police Seek Pair Suspected in Wallet Theft
Paducah Police are looking for a couple suspected in a wallet theft from a local restaurant in early October.
Police said Fredrick Wiley, of Harrisburg, IL told them he ate at Panera Bread restaurant in Paducah between 8:30-9:30 pm Saturday, Oct. 4. He said when he arrived home, he realized he didn’t have his wallet and he contacted the restaurant.
The restaurant manager told officers there was surveillance video of a man taking the wallet from the counter, and police said they got several photographs from the video this week.
Police are asking anyone with information about the identity of either the man or woman pictured to call the Paducah Police Department at 270-444-8550 or Crime Stoppers at 270-443-TELL. Information leading to an arrest or indictment may result in a reward of up to $1,000.
Five Paducah Residents Face Drug Charges
Five Paducah residents face drug charges, after police responded to a complaint at a Paducah mobile home park.
The McCracken County Sheriff’s Department had received tips that meth was being made at a mobile home in Woodlawn Mobile Home Park. On Wednesday, detectives went to search the trailer on Meacham Lane, and found four people inside. Police said detectives found several components that are used to make meth in a locked backpack hidden in a closet. Marijuana, methamphetamine, prescription medication, and drug paraphernalia were also reportedly found. Detectives said they also found a recent meth lab outside the home.
Police said 24-year-old Johnathan Bledsoe and 23-year-old Samantha Gagnon met 33-year-old Austin Lockhard and 23-year-old Bryan Cook to smoke marijuana at the trailer, and that Cook had been keeping the meth supplies in his closet and that some of the meth and prescription medication belonged to Lockhard. 52-year-old Randall Gordon came to the trailer to speak with Cook while police were at the home. They searched Gordon, and said they found marijuana and prescription medication on him.
Cook was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of meth, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Lockhard was charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of hydrocodone, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Bledsoe and Gagnon were charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. Gordon was charged with possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, controlled substance not in proper container, and failure to notify DOT of address change.
Cook, Lockhard, and Gordon were taken to the McCracken County Regional Jail.
3 Plead Not Guilty to Sodomizing Teen in Kentucky
Three adults charged with sodomizing a 15-year-old boy who suffered critical injuries in the attack have entered not guilty pleas.
The Kentucky New Era reports 20-year-old Dayton R. Jones, 18-year-old Samuel A. Miller and 19-year-old Tyler R. Perry were arraigned by video Wednesday in Christian County Circuit Court.
Meanwhile, the newspaper reports a court docket shows a 17-year-old boy charged in the case is set to be arraigned on Thursday and will be charged as an adult.
In all, six people have been charged in the case, with some counts stemming from sharing video of the attack.
Police say the boy was sodomized in October while incapacitated at a house party in Hopkinsville.
The adults are each being held on $1 million bonds, though defense attorneys are seeking reductions.
Information from: Kentucky New Era, http://www.kentuckynewera.com
Rollover Crash Sends Two People to Hospital
Two people were injured after a crash on Lebanon Church Road in McCracken County Wednesday night. According to the McCracken County Sheriff's Department, 19-year-old Autumn Dowdy, of Paducah, was driving when she somehow lost control of the vehicle and ran off the road. The vehicle came to a rest in a ditch, on its roof.
Deputies say Dowdy and her passenger, 20-year-old Katelyn Teague, of Paducah, crawled out of the vehicle and appeared to have only minor injuries.
Deputies say they were both taken to a local hospital for treatment of their injuries. A passing motorist found the car on its roof.