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KENTUCKY GOVERNOR-TAXES

Comer reignites rivalry with Bevin over tax returns

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Republican U.S. Rep. James Comer has reignited an old political rivalry by publicly releasing his personal income tax returns and questioning why Gov. Matt Bevin has not done the same.

Comer was one of six members of Congress to release tax returns at the request of Roll Call, a Washington-based publication. Comer told Roll Call he offered to release his tax returns in 2015 when he ran for governor "against two wealthy opponents." Comer lost the 2015 GOP primary to Bevin by 83 votes.

Comer told The Associated Press Bevin promised to release his taxes during a debate in 2015. Bevin denied this, saying he never made that promise. He said Comer was "still licking his wounds."

OVERDOSE DEATHS

Report: Overdose deaths climbed by 7.4 percent in 2016

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Officials say overdose deaths in Kentucky have increased to unprecedented levels.

A report released Tuesday by the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy says there were 1,404 fatal overdoses in 2016, a 7.4 percent increase from the previous year. The report found that fentanyl contributed to at least 623 overdose deaths and heroin was a factor in 456 deaths.

The highest number of fatalities occurred in Louisville, Lexington and northern Kentucky but the report found fatalities happened in nearly all communities in the state. Leslie County in eastern Kentucky had the highest number of fatal overdoses on a per capita basis.

The number of fatal overdoses was compiled with data from the Kentucky Medical Examiner's Office, the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center and the Kentucky Office of Vital Statistics.

HEALTH OVERHAUL-KENTUCKY

Bevin reluctantly supports Senate health care overhaul

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky's Republican governor said he reluctantly supports the Senate's plan to replace the Affordable Care Act and blamed its shaky prospects for passage on "mushy moderates" who "don't have enough spine" to pass the bill.

Kentucky was one of 31 states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. It did so under a previous Democratic governor who supported the law. The expansion added another 400,000 people to Kentucky's Medicaid program, causing the state to have among the largest coverage gains in the country.

Bevin told WVHU radio host Tom Roten on Tuesday the Senate proposal was "not really a good bill" but said it would start the process of giving states more control. He said he understands some conservative opposition, but said Republican lawmakers who support the Medicaid expansion should be ashamed.

POSSIBLE RABIES EXPOSURE

Officials: Camp attendees may have been exposed to rabies

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Louisville health officials are looking for people who may have come into contact with bats that may have rabies.

WDRB-TV reports the Louisville Department of Public Health and Wellness wants to interview families who attended Camp Blanton in Harlan County earlier this month.

The health agency's director, Dr. Joann Schulte, says nearly 100 people were exposed to the bats. The department wants to talk to them about their possible risk. Schulte says some campers reported bats flying in their faces while they were sleeping in a cabin.

Officials say many people don't realize a bat has bitten them, and the rabies virus is almost always fatal if victims begin showing symptoms.

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TEEN DROWNS

Crews pull body of 16-year-old boy from Laurel Lake

WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. (AP) - Crews have pulled the body of a 16-year-old Kentucky boy from Laurel Lake.

Whitley County Sheriff Colan Harrell told media that crews were called to the scene Monday after two friends jumped into the water from a cliff and one didn't resurface. Harrell said the teen's body was recovered near the spillway a couple of hours after the search began.

The Whitley County coroner identified the victim as Joshua Antonio Hipolito from neighboring McCreary County.

GIRL STABBED

14-year-old girl stabbed at Kentucky gas station

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A 14-year-old girl is in critical condition after police say she was stabbed at a gas station in Kentucky.

Louisville Metro police Lt. Emily McKinley tells local media that emergency crews responded just before 6 p.m. Monday to a Speedway in Louisville's Portland neighborhood. There, responders found a girl who had been stabbed in the stomach.

McKinley says a group of girls got into a fight in the parking lot of the Speedway, leading to the stabbing. She didn't provide exact ages for the girls involved. She says it's unclear if the fight was planned or why the girls met at that location.

The LMPD's Homicide Unit is investigating the stabbing due to the severity of the victim's injuries.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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