- Associated Press - Sunday, June 8, 2014
Lexington couple sentenced in starvation death

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - A Lexington couple has been sentenced for abuse and neglect in the death of their disabled adult son from starvation and dehydration.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports (http://bit.ly/1xo3jla) Jerry Lakes was sentenced to 20 years and Peggy Joyce Whitlock was sentenced to 10 years in Fayette Circuit Court on Thursday.

Gerald Lee Lakes was 24 when he was found dead last March in a Lexington motel room where the family lived.

Investigators testified that Jerry Lakes gambled with thousands of dollars in Social Security payments that were meant to support Lakes and the couple’s other children.

Police said an adult daughter was fed and cared for, but the two sons who survived subsisted mostly on chocolate milk. Police said both men were under 100 pounds when they were discovered and weren’t able to stand without support.

Investigators testified that Gerald Lakes could not feed himself and was completely dependent on others for his care.

___

Uncertainty dominates new hemp market

STERLING, Colo. (AP) - Marijuana’s square cousin, industrial hemp, has come out of the black market and is now legal for farmers to cultivate, opening up a new lucrative market. That was the idea, anyway.

Would-be hemp farmers are having mixed success navigating red tape on everything from seed acquisition to processing the finished plant. It will take years, farmers and regulators agree, before there’s a viable market for hemp.

Hemp is prized for oils, seeds and fiber, but its production was prohibited for five decades because the plant can be manipulated to enhance a psychoactive chemical, THC, making the drug marijuana.

The Farm Bill enacted this year ended decades of required federal permission to raise hemp, but only with state permission and checks to make sure the hemp doesn’t contain too much THC.

Fifteen states have removed barriers to hemp production, though only two states are forging ahead this year - Colorado and Kentucky. Both struggled to get their nascent hemp industries off the ground.

“We’re just going to try and see if this works,” said Jim Brammer, a Colorado alfafa and hay farmer who acquired one of the state’s 114 licenses to raise hemp.

Story Continues →