- Associated Press - Friday, July 17, 2015
Kentucky flood victims tell anguished tales of loss, grief

FLAT GAP, Ky. (AP) - The last time Heather Blair saw her disabled son, Richard, both were fighting for their lives as floodwaters rose inside their home.

Richard Blair, unable to walk because of cerebral palsy, was on the bed as a swollen creek invaded the home that Heather Blair rented for her and her three sons near tiny Flat Gap.

“The whole house started caving down on us,” Heather Blair said Thursday from a hotel in nearby Paintsville. “Everybody ended up in the water trying to fight for their life in all that debris … the strength of that water was nothing I’ve ever seen. It was hell.”

She said she never heard Richard say a word.

Richard Blair, 22, was one of at least three people killed when a flash flood devastated this rural stretch in eastern Kentucky, about 120 miles east of Lexington. His body was found Wednesday afternoon.

Another man remains missing.

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Independence Bowl’s new title sponsor, Camping World

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) - The Independence Bowl Foundation has named Camping World as the title sponsor of the Independence Bowl.

The 2015 bowl game is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 26 at 4:45 p.m. CST and will be known as the Camping World Independence Bowl.

Camping World and Good Sam CEO and Chairman Marcus Lemonis tells The Times (http://bit.ly/1DjukqFhttp://bit.ly/1DjukqF ) the partnership is a great way to kick off its yearlong celebration marking the 50th anniversary of its businesses. Bowling Green, Kentucky-based Camping World is the nation’s number one retailer of RVs, RV accessories and RV-related services.

The Independence Bowl - the nation’s 11th-oldest bowl game - began in 1976 and is celebrating its 40th game in 2015. It recently renewed its primary conference partnerships with the Atlantic Coast Conference and Southeastern Conference through 2019.

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S. Indiana man charged with murder in death of girlfriend

CORYDON, Ind. (AP) - A New Albany man has been charged with murder in the strangulation death of his girlfriend, whose body was found last month in the Ohio River, a prosecutor said Thursday.

Clair Eugene Chaplin, 51, was arrested on a warrant Wednesday evening, court records show. He’s being held without bond at the Harrison County Jail in Corydon.

The body of 35-year-old Genevieve Rogge of New Albany was discovered June 28 in the river near Mauckport, about 30 miles southwest of Louisville, Kentucky.

A probable cause affidavit said Chaplin and Rogge were in a relationship and that Chaplin may have been jealous she was spending time with another man.

Detectives reviewed exterior surveillance video from the Horseshoe Casino in Elizabeth, Harrison County Prosecutor Otto Schalk said.

“During this observation, detectives noticed a vehicle matching the description of a truck that Mr. Chaplin drives and owns that passed the cameras, and in the back of his pickup, there appeared to be an object in the back of the bed of the truck,” Schalk said.

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Robertson stepping down as Kentucky GOP executive director

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - The Republican Party of Kentucky will have new leadership four months ahead of a pivotal election for governor.

Steve Robertson, the party’s chairman and executive director, is stepping down as executive director next month. Mike Biagi, a Kentucky staffer for U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, will replace him.

Robertson is joining the Lexington-based public affairs firm CivicPoint, a subsidiary of the Frost Brown Todd law firm. He will join former Kentucky Democratic Party chairman Jonathan Miller to form what the company calls a “bipartisan public affairs team in Kentucky.”

While Robertson will come off the state party’s payroll on Aug. 15, he will remain chairman of the state party through the November elections. He will eventually resign as chairman because his duties with CivicPoint will require him to eventually register as a lobbyist.

“It’s time for me to do that,” Robertson said. “This will allow me to focus more on raising money for the party, raising money for our candidates. I’m still obviously approving the expenditures this organization makes in this election and I’ll make sure we have a well-crafted plan.”

Biagi is McConnell’s field representative for Louisville, where McConnell lives, and its surrounding counties. The Shelbyville native is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and has worked for U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield and former U.S. Rep. Anne Northup, both Kentucky Republicans. He’s also had stints at the National Republican Congressional Committee and two of Northup’s political campaigns, giving him extensive campaign experience heading into the fall.

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