- Associated Press - Saturday, February 1, 2014
Child who survived deadly Ky. fire recuperating

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A girl who escaped a western Kentucky house fire that killed her mother and eight siblings is recuperating from burns and communicating with her hospital nurses, a family friend said Friday.

Kylie Watson wrote “I’m hungry” on a dry erase board from her hospital bed, pastor Tim Burden said. Burden said the 11-year-old girl’s father, Chad Watson, is also making progress at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.

Eight of Chad Watson’s children and his wife, Nikki, died in a house fire in rural Muhlenberg County early Thursday morning. Investigators say the fire was likely ignited when a combustible material made contact with a baseboard heater.

“The whole community is mourning. This is a tragedy, and it could happen to any of us,” said Duane Harvey, a neighbor who was the first person to arrive at the fire just after 2 a.m.

The father and daughter were listed in critical but stable condition on Friday afternoon.

Friends and relatives around the community of Depoy say the church-going family was loving and close but struggled with finances. Local banks are accepting donations to help the two survivors.

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McConnell, Grimes release contribution numbers

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes kept pace with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in fundraising late last year in one of the nation’s most closely watched campaigns.

But the longest-serving senator in Kentucky’s history headed into an election year with three times as much money in the bank as Grimes.

McConnell’s campaign said Friday that the Senate’s top-ranked Republican raised $2.22 million in the final three months of 2013. Grimes‘ campaign said she took in $2.1 million during the period.

Heading into 2014, McConnell had the luxury of dipping into a campaign bank account that totaled $10.9 million, while Grimes had almost $3.5 million on hand, the respective campaigns said.

McConnell, always a prolific fundraiser, has already collected $20 million for the election, gearing up for another tough race in his home state.

By the end of 2013, Grimes had taken in $4.6 million since launching her campaign last year to win back a Senate seat for Democrats in Kentucky. Grimes is secretary of state in Kentucky.

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