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KENTUCKY GOVERNOR’S RACE

Bevin points to suicides as reason to oppose gambling

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Gov. Matt Bevin says suicides are part of the societal costs related to casino gambling, as he lashed out at his opponent’s support for expanded gambling as a way to help fund pensions.

In a radio interview Wednesday, Bevin said: “Every night somewhere in America, somebody takes their life in a casino because they’ve wasted the last semblance of dignity and hope that they had.” Bevin says “families are ruined” due to gambling.

Kentucky’s Republican governor made the comments on WKDZ without offering evidence.

His Democratic challenger, Andy Beshear, wants to push for expanded gambling as a revenue resource to support chronically underfunded public pension systems.

Bevin says the revenue generated would not come close to fixing the state’s pension woes and says there’s “no political appetite” for expanded gambling in Kentucky.

MCCONNELL-ELECTION SECURITY

Kentucky Democrats: ‘Just say Nyet to Moscow Mitch’

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Democrats in Mitch McConnell’s home state are pitching “Moscow Mitch” merchandise to try and capitalize on a bitter dispute involving the Kentucky senator over election security legislation.

The Kentucky Democratic Party said Wednesday it’s launching the “Moscow Mitch” webstore in a dig at the Senate majority leader.

The party is selling red T-shirts for $25. They depict a picture of McConnell wearing a Cossack hat with the “hammer and sickle” symbol. The shirt declares “Just say Nyet to Moscow Mitch” in yellow, Soviet-style letters.

A Washington Post columnist recently criticized the Senate Republican leader for blocking legislation aimed at protecting the nation’s political system against foreign attack. MSNBC host Joe Scarborough weighed in with the “Moscow Mitch” nickname.

McConnell fired back in a speech comparing the attacks to “modern-day McCarthyism.”

COAL BANKRUPTCY

Auction set for bankrupt coal producer Blackjewel’s assets

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — An auction is set for the assets of bankrupt coal operator Blackjewel LLC.

A notice filed in federal bankruptcy court in West Virginia said the auction is scheduled for Thursday morning in Cincinnati.

Bristol, Tennessee-based Contura Energy last week offered $20.6 million as the stalking horse bidder for Milton-based Blackjewel’s Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr mines in Wyoming and Pax Surface Mine in Scarbro, West Virginia. They’ve been closed since Blackjewel filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection July 1.

According to the bidding process, other qualifying bids made by Wednesday’s deadline triggered the auction. The notice didn’t disclose the other bids.

Blackjewel attorney Stephen Lerner had said any party could bid on any combination of Blackjewel’s assets.

Blackjewel also operates mines in Kentucky and Virginia, and the fate of those depends on the outcome of the bidding process.

MAMMOTH CAVE-GUNSHOT

Camper: Alleged Bigfoot sighting prompts gunfire at park

CAVE CITY, Ky. (AP) — Federal officials are investigating a report that a man fired a gunshot while camping at Mammoth Cave National Park, an incident that another camper says was prompted by an alleged sighting of Bigfoot.

Mammoth Cave said law enforcement rangers responded early Sunday to a report of a person with a firearm at one of the Kentucky park’s backcountry campsites.

Brad Ginn told news outlets he and his girlfriend were camping nearby and were awakened about 1 a.m. by a man with his son. The man said they were going to investigate strange noises he kept hearing. Ginn said he heard a gunshot minutes later and the man returned to say Bigfoot had emerged from the woods, so he fired.

Ginn said he and his girlfriend decided to leave and report the incident.

Park spokeswoman Molly Schroer says an investigation continues and the park is safe to visit.

GASOLINE PRICE-LAWSUIT

Marathon, Speedway settle Kentucky lawsuit over pricing

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Marathon Petroleum Co. and Speedway have agreed to pay more than $22 million to settle a lawsuit brought by the Kentucky attorney general’s office in 2007 over alleged gasoline price gouging.

Attorney General Andy Beshear’s office said the companies didn’t admit any wrongdoing or liability. The case was set to go to trial Aug. 19 in Franklin County Circuit Court.

Beshear’s office said in a news release that the settlement resolves claims that the companies violated the state Consumer Protection Act by engaging in price gouging in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and that Marathon engaged in price gouging after a 2011 flood. The complaint was amended in 2011.

A lawsuit filed in federal court in 2015 alleging that Marathon violated antitrust laws is still pending.

POLICE SHOOTING-DOMESTIC

Kentucky police officer accused of shooting, wounding son

(Information from: Commonwealth Journal, http://www.somerset-kentucky.com)

SOMERSET, Ky. (AP) — A police officer in Kentucky is accused of shooting and wounding his 24-year-old son in what state police described as a “domestic dispute altercation.”

Citing a state police statement, news outlets report troopers responding to a shooting Monday determined that 47-year-old Somerset police Officer Jason Griffith had shot 24-year-old Devin B. Griffith. The younger Griffith was hospitalized.

The Commonwealth Journal reports Trooper Lloyd Cochran said that the son had assaulted his father, who then fired his gun in self-defense.

Cochran says investigators believe that Devin Griffith was unarmed at the time. Cochran says no charges have been filed against the father, though charges are expected to be filed against the son.

Police Chief William Hunt says Jason Griffith is on administrative leave pending the investigation.

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