News briefs from around Kentucky at 1:59 a.m. EDT

Friday, July 18, 2014

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Congressman: DC gun amendment likely to fail

WASHINGTON (AP) - A Kentucky congressman behind an amendment that would undo the District of Columbia’s strict gun control laws says he doesn’t think it will become law.

The GOP-controlled House on Wednesday approved Republican Rep. Thomas Massie’s amendment. It would undo the District’s gun control laws by blocking the city from spending any money to enforce them. A day after he got the language approved in a spending bill, Massie said he suspects it will fail in the Senate.

Still, he called the amendment an opportunity for “an important vote” on gun rights.

Twenty Democrats joined 221 Republicans in voting for the amendment. Four GOP lawmakers voted against it. Congress has the final say over the District’s local laws and budget.

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Risk of earthquake increased for one-third of US

WASHINGTON (AP) - A new federal earthquake map dials up the shaking hazard just a bit for about one-third of the United States and lowers it for one-tenth.

The U.S. Geological Survey on Thursday updated its national seismic hazard maps for the first time since 2008, taking into account research from the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami off the Japanese coast and the surprise 2011 Virginia temblor.

The maps are used for building codes and insurance purposes and they calculate just how much shaking an area probably will have in the biggest quake likely over a building’s lifetime.

The highest risk places have a 2 percent chance of experiencing “very intense shaking” over a 50-year lifespan, USGS project chief Mark Petersen said. Those with lower hazard ratings would experience less intense swaying measured in gravitational force.

“These maps are refining our views of what the actual shaking is,” Petersen said. “Almost any place in the United States can have an earthquake.”

Parts of 16 states have the highest risk for earthquakes: Alaska, Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Illinois, Kentucky and South Carolina. With the update, new high-risk areas were added to some of those states.

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Man shot at West Tenn. park was Iraq war veteran

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