SEPTEMBER 20, 2019

The new Chick-fil-A restaurant on the first floor of the Curris Center at Murray State University is scheduled to open to the public at 10:30 Wednesday morning. Traffic congestion in the vicinity of the Curris Center is anticipated as part of the restaurant’s opening. The Murray State University Police Department will alter traffic patterns both entering and exiting the parking lot. The public is asked to be attentive to directions provided on signage and to officers providing directions in the area. Since the University’s dining partnership began with Sodexo, a new Einstein Brothers Bagels opened inside Waterfield Library on the Murray State campus as plans move forward with the addition of Starbucks and Steak ‘n Shake as well.

A pedestrian was airlifted to Deaconess Hospital in Evansville after being struck by a vehicle in Benton just before noon Thursday. Benton Police responded to the accident on Poplar Street in front of the Little General convenience store. The street was closed for about an hour after the accident and a collision reconstruction expert was called to help at the scene. Names of those involved have not yet been released. The incident came less than 24 hours after another pedestrian vs vehicle accident. The Marshall County Sheriff’s Office reports that a woman was struck by a vehicle late Wednesday night while walking down US Highway 68 West. 60-year-old Bill Stacey of Calvert City was traveling Westbound when he noticed 19-year-old Shila Burton of Benton, walking in the roadway. Stacey attempted to swerve around Burton but was was unable to react in time. Burton was flown for treatment to Skyline Medical Center in Nashville.

Murray State University hosted its Agricultural Hemp Field Day yesterday. Since the first plot was planted in 2014, the university has hosted field tours, updates, and panel discussions on the crop and Murray State’s role in hemp education. MSU works with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, area farmers, researchers, legislators, companies, and others to assist in hemp development in the state and region.

Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell’s office reports that the Senator has secured a number of critical hemp resources for Kentucky in three government funding bills approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee. The full Senate must now approve the three bills. Included is $16.5 million for the USDA to implement hemp provisions in the 2018 Farm Bill. Support for the hemp industry is also featured, with $2.5 million for the research of hemp through Agriculture Research Service sites, and a measure encouraging the FDA to issue formal enforcement discretion guidance for CBD products. Also included is a prohibition on the federal government from banning the transfer, production or sale of hemp in accordance with the 2014 Farm Bill in addition to support for competitive USDA grants for hemp projects.

West Kentucky Star reports that the Paducah Tilghman High School cheerleading coach facing a charge of evidence tampering has resigned. A Paducah Public Schools spoksman confirmed that 43-year-old David Wade resigned his position as cheerleading coach at PTHS, and also resigned as an instructional assistant at McNabb Elementary School. Wade pleaded not guilty in court on Tuesday to one count of tampering with physical evidence, related to a Monday complaint from several cheerleaders about a lewd video they reported as being sent from Wade’s phone.

The murder trial for a man charged in the 2018 death of a 15-year-old girl is being pushed back. Tyler Jones is facing murder charges in connection to the fatal shooting of Peyton Hurt. Peyton was shot at a party in Ledbetter last June. A judge decided to move the case so Jones’ attorney could examine evidence more thoroughly. He’s back in court in December.

The Jackson Purchase Energy Corporation wants to build a new headquarters. They filed an application last week saying they wanted to acquire an existing building to remodel for them to move in to. President Greg Grissom says they’ve outgrown their facility on Irvin Cobb Drive in Paducah. He says the 1970s-era building is having issues with new technology.

This year marks the ninth annual Murray Half Marathon which is set for October 26. Next year however, organizers of the that race will combine with the Paducah Iron Mom Half Marathon and the Hoptown Half Marathon for a three event race series. Participants will receive an additional shirt and custom designed medal to commemorate the inaugural running of this series.

Facility Services Management of Clarksville, Tennessee, recently became a Bronze Level Oak Leaf Business Partner with the Friends of Land Between the Lakes. Bronze Level Oak Leaf Partners donate at least $5000 annually. FSI is a woman-owned small business, with over 25 years’ experience performing complete facilities services maintenance contracts for federal agencies. FSI owner Carolyn Hamby said that her family spends a lot of time at Land Between the Lakes. Business partners support the Friends of LBL’s work in the areas of environmental and cultural education, volunteer activities, visitor services, conservation projects, and the operation of the Golden Pond Planetarium.

Murray State University welcomes future students to campus for three Racer Days planned for the 2019-2020 academic year, with the first set for Saturday. Racer Days are open house-style visits where prospective students are invited to meet the University’s Office of Recruitment & Transfer Center staff, professors and student organization representatives. Future Racers are also encouraged to meet with financial aid and scholarship office staff. Guided campus tours will be available for students looking to explore the Murray campus. Each Racer Day will feature themed sessions and participants will have the opportunity to complete the on-site admission experience by bringing any official transcripts and test scores. For a full itinerary of each event or to RSVP, please visit

WASHINGTON DC—Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is signaling his support for an election security bill. The Kentucky Republican said yesterday that he would back a bill giving states 250-million dollars to increase their election security. He had previously received heavy criticism for not allowing a vote on several similar bills aimed at countering foreign attacks from places like Russia.

LEXINGTON—Kentucky Utilities is working to restore power after a massive outage in Lexington. Officials say at least six-thousand customers along the Versailles Road corridor were without power at one point yesterday. An equipment failure had knocked out three substations. A spokesperson says there were no transformer fires, but sparks may have happened after a switch malfunctioned.

FRANKFORT—The flight log is out for many of Governor Matt Bevin’s official trips using a state-owned plane. Bevin’s administration released the log yesterday that details the purpose of each flight. The reasons for official trips by public officials don’t have to be released and are exempt from Kentucky’s open records law. Bevin says his administration is committed to being good stewards of taxpayer dollars and displaying financial integrity.

LOUISVILLE—A tentative plan for the future of Louisville youth detention would send kids out of the county. The plan would keep Louisville kids suspected of crimes in a new hybrid center in Jefferson County. If they’re detained, they would be transported out of the county. The move aligns Jefferson County with other Kentucky counties. City leaders are moving away from providing youth detention because of budget concerns.

LEXINGTON—A woman is being charged with three murder counts after a deadly crash. Investigators say 42-year-old Tammy Rodriguez was under the influence as Winchester police and Clark County deputies chased her in her pickup late Wednesday. Rodriguez turned the wrong way onto I-75 and hit two other vehicles. Her sister was one of two passengers in her pickup and was killed. Two people in one of the other cars were also killed.

DAVIESS COUNTY—Daviess County Public School Board of Education members are getting their first look at design plans for the new Daviess County Middle School. Members were able to review the plans last night, but no vote happened because minor changes needed to be made. The board also saw plans for Apollo High School.

LOUISVILLE—Louisville is the place to be this weekend for those who love bourbon. The three-day Bourbon and Beyond festival starts today at the Kentucky Expo Center. Foo Fighters, Robert Plant, the Zac Brown Band and ZZ Top are among the acts scheduled to play the festival. Bourbon and Beyond is billed as the World’s Largest Bourbon Festival.

OWENSBORO—An Owensboro man will be turned over to U.S. authorities soon after being arrested in Central America. Lad Duane Ottofy was arrested yesterday in Belize. Authorities had been looking for the 60-year-old after he failed to show for arraignment in a child sexual abuse case in March. A Belize TV station reports Ottofy was found during a search of an apartment belonging to a Belize Senator.

TENNESSEE—The number of vaping-related illnesses in Tennessee is on the rise. Last week, the Tennessee Department of Health reported ten vape-related illnesses. The state reported yesterday that the number has reached 26. The TDOH says the patients showed evidence of respiratory illness without any other cause identified and all reported vaping within the previous 90 days.

TENNESSEE—Tennessee is among the top ten states on a somber list. A recent study by Violence Policy Center puts Tennessee at number five among states with the highest rates for women who are murdered by men. Nationally, the study found women were killed by their husbands or romantic partner eleven times more than women who were killed by strangers. The data shows 69 women were killed in Tennessee in 2017 with 90 percent of them being killed by someone they knew.

NASHVILLE—Officials are warning Metro area drivers to be prepared for traffic delays and issues this coming weekend. TDOT says that the planned closure at the interchange of I-65 and I-440 will create backups and drivers should add extra time for travel. The closure will begin tonight at 9 and last until Monday morning. Franklin Pike from Berry Road to Woodmont Boulevard will also close, and traffic headed north on I-65 will be detoured on I-440 east while traffic heading south will be shifted to I-440 west.

TENNESSEE—Clarksville’s mayor is asking people living within the city limits to obey the city’s ordinance on open burning. The request from Joe Pitts comes after the National Weather Service said hot and dry weather will continue through this weekend, possibly bringing drought conditions and fire danger. Clarksville’s burning ordinance allows for small piles of leaves and wood debris to be burned without a permit. However, someone must watch the fire and a hose must be within reach of the fire.