Weather takes a 180: cold, snow, rain, sleet
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky residents have said goodbye to temperatures in the 70s for the time being and are gritting their teeth as forecasts fill with sleet, snow and plummeting thermometer readings.
The National Weather Service issued winter storm warnings for western and central Kentucky through late Friday or early Saturday, while eastern Kentucky had a flood watch in effect into Saturday morning. Some parts of the state were expecting single-digit temperatures Friday night.
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet maintenance crews were standing by to treat and clear thousands of miles of roads, with more than 1,000 trucks with front-end blades and salt-spreading equipment.
Gov. Steve Beshear urged residents to prepare for possible power outages and difficult travel. He said the state's emergency management system will monitor conditions and stay in contact with local officials.
Boxing great Muhammad Ali pays tribute to Mandela
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Muhammad Ali is remembering Nelson Mandela as a symbol of forgiveness who overcame racial injustice as the boxing great joins in mourning the death of the anti-apartheid leader.
An Ali Center spokeswoman in Louisville said Thursday that the two icons met twice, once in South Africa and once in North America.
Ali said in a statement released by the Ali Center that Mandela inspired others to "reach for what appeared to be impossible" and to break through barriers. He said the South African leader could not be restrained by racial and economic injustices, and that Mandela taught forgiveness "on a grand scale."
Among the exhibits at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville is a photo of Ali and Mandela, their hands clenched into fists as if they're boxing.
Judge declines to lift execution ban
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A circuit court judge who halted lethal injections in 2010 has declined to lift that injunction, ruling Thursday that a lawsuit brought by death row inmates over Kentucky's execution procedures has some unresolved issues.
In the order, Franklin County Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd denied a motion by state corrections officials to lift the injunction that halted executions. Shepherd ruled the inmates could amend their original 2006 legal action to challenge state regulations relating to an inmate's access to an attorney, public viewing of executions and execution of the mentally ill.
Shepherd halted executions in 2010 as the state prepared to lethally inject Gregory L. Wilson for a 1987 murder in Kenton County.
Earlier this year, Kentucky revised its regulations to allow for the use of one- and two-drug cocktails during executions, depending on the availability of the drugs.
Hearing on Big Rivers rate proposal canceled
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A meeting scheduled next Tuesday in Henderson to take comment and provide information on a western Kentucky utility's proposed rate increases has been canceled due to expected severe weather.
The state Public Service Commission said staff is trying to reschedule the session regarding Big Rivers Electric Corp.'s proposal. Comments can also be submitted to the PSC in writing.
Big Rivers wants to increase rates early next year to boost annual revenue by $70 million. The increase is to partially offset the loss of about $175 million in annual revenue that will occur when the Century Aluminum smelter in Sebree ceases to be a Big Rivers customer at the end of January.
The rate increase is estimated to increase monthly residential bills by about $25 to $30 per month.
Woman accused of trying to sell newborn
ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. (AP) - A central Kentucky woman is jailed on a charge of endangering the welfare of a minor after police say she tried to sell her newborn to pay for legal expenses in another case.
The News-Enterprise reports the arrest citation said 24-year-old Leeanna Brown of Elizabethtown promised to sell her daughter to two different people. The citation alleges Brown told her cousin she would turn over the baby if the cousin paid fines and court costs.
Brown was charged in July with nonpayment of fines and first-degree possession of a controlled substance.
The citation said an agreement with another person to sell the baby for about $5,000 to cover legal expenses "fell through."
Brown is being held on $2,500 bond in the Hardin County jail. Online jail records did not indicate whether she had a lawyer.
Panel moving slowly in sexual harassment probe
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A special legislative committee investigating claims of sexual harassment by a former lawmaker has concluded a closed-door meeting without issuing any findings.
The panel convened Thursday morning in Frankfort for its first meeting since October.
Chairman Jeffery Donohue, a Democrat from Fairdale, said the panel will meet again next Thursday as it trudges ahead with an investigation of former Democratic Rep. John Arnold of Sturgis.
The committee is investigating allegations that Arnold sexually harassed three legislative staffers. Members could ultimately recommend Arnold be reprimanded or fined. They could have recommended Arnold's ouster from the Legislature if he had not resigned shortly after the allegations were made public.
The legislative staffers who made the allegations have filed a lawsuit claiming their supervisors didn't protect them from Arnold after they complained.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.