- Associated Press - Saturday, October 25, 2014
Kentucky Senate candidates spar over new ads

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - The campaign for Democratic senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes challenged a new ad from Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell that boasted his support among women, contending it featured a woman who is registered to vote in Pennsylvania.

The McConnell campaign fired back, saying she is a college student at the University of Louisville who hasn’t updated her voter registration yet. In a separate spat, the McConnell camp said a new ad from Grimes supporters falsely accused the Senate minority leader of using his office to improve his personal investments during the 2008 financial crisis.

It was the latest back and forth in one of the country’s most expensive and closely watched races, with control of the Senate at stake.

McConnell’s ad, released Wednesday, spotlights why four young women who support McConnell instead of Grimes. The Grimes campaign said one woman in the ad, Dallas Knierman, is registered to vote in Pennsylvania, implying the five-term Senator had to manufacture his support among Kentucky women. They account for more than half of the state’s registered voters.

McConnell’s senior campaign adviser Josh Holmes said Knierman lives in Louisville and attends the university there.

Knierman did not immediately return an email from The Associated Press. Her father in Mercer County, Pennsylvania, confirmed she rented a house in Louisville.

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State Senate candidates spar over TV ad

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Candidates in a contentious state Senate race are scuffling over a new TV ad with a little more than one week to go before the election.

Republican candidate Ralph Alvarado, a doctor, tried to get an ad by Democratic state Sen. R.J. Palmer removed because he said it altered courtroom footage to imply he unlawfully prescribed $3,000 worth of oxycodone to a criminal defendant. Alvarado’s attorney, Chad Meredith, says video from the court hearing is clear the defendant had a valid prescription from Alvarado for Oxycontin.

The Palmer campaign said the ad is still airing. Palmer spokesman Dale Emmons said Alvarado is trying to detract from the fact he opposed a prescription drug abuse bill in 2012.

Palmer, the Senate minority floor leader, defeated Alvarado in a close race in 2010.

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Burse chosen as Kentucky State president again

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Former Kentucky State University President Raymond Burse has been chosen by the school’s board of regents to return to the post he left 25 years ago.

Burse has been interim president since July 1 following the retirement of Mary Evans Sias from the historically black college.

The Lexington Herald-Leader (http://bit.ly/1DJluEdhttp://bit.ly/1DJluEd ) reports the board Friday unanimously extended Burse’s contract to June 30, 2018.

Burse left the presidency in 1989 after seven years and problems with the faculty. He made national headlines this year when he gave $90,000 of his then-nearly $350,000 annual salary to increase the pay of the lowest-paid workers at the university.

The 63-year-old Hopkinsville native became an executive at General Electric Co. after his first stint as president and retired in 2012.

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Jury hears police interview in Ala. child deaths

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) - The common-law wife of a man on trial for the deaths of his two children told police he said to her after disposing of one of the bodies: “Now you have to be with me forever.”

Jurors in the Mobile County trial of John DeBlase heard recorded interviews Friday that Heather Keaton gave to police several months after the children’s deaths. Both DeBlase and Keaton are charged with capital murder in the deaths of his 4-year-old daughter, Natalie, and his 3-year-old son, Chase. DeBlase is standing trial first, with Keaton scheduled to be tried separately in March 2015.

The couple had moved to Louisville, Kentucky, when Keaton was first questioned about the children by police in August 2010. One child’s body was found in Citronelle, Alabama. The other was found in Mississippi.

During the 90-minute interview, Keaton said Natalie had been having problems with potty training and other behavioral issues when she got sick in March 2010. She said she smelled a toxic odor on the child’s breath and saw her vomit “black stuff” two days before she died. Keaton told police the boy died about three months later after his breath took on a similar odor “like death.”

Authorities have said the children died by poisoning, asphyxiation, starving and dehydration. Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich has said the case will show Keaton severely disciplined the children and DeBlase killed them to end their suffering.

Initially, Keaton told police she didn’t know what happened to the children.

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