- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Suggestions sought for Ky. education standards

VERSAILLES, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky’s top education official unveiled a website on Monday designed to solicit anonymous feedback on the state’s Common Core education standards.

“But don’t tell us it is a Communist conspiracy to take over education by the federal government,” Education Commissioner Terry Holliday told the crowd at Woodford County High School. “Tell us what’s wrong with the standard and how to fix it.”

Kentucky’s state leaders adopted its state standards for English and math in 2010 and implemented them in 2011 with little fanfare. But the standards, based on the Common Core state standards initiative, have since become a flashpoint in national politics representing to some the overreach of the federal government in educating the nation’s children.

The standards were created by the National Governor’s Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. Most states voluntarily adopted the standards. But the federal government angered many when it began tying grant money to whether a state had adopted the standards.

Kentucky was the first state in the country to adopt the English and math standards, and Holliday said it is the first state in the country to offer this type of feedback website.

“The national opinion has made Common Core state standards a polarizing term, and we’re seeing that in Kentucky, too,” Holliday said. “What we need to do is change the conversation from us vs. them to focusing on the standards themselves.”


Ford adds workers, investment to back MKC output

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Ford Motor Co. said Monday it has beefed up its workforce and investment at a Kentucky plant to support production of its new Lincoln SUV as the automaker looks to reinvigorate its luxury brand.

The company added 300 workers and invested another $129 million recently at the Louisville Assembly Plant, where Ford makes the Lincoln MKC and Ford Escape, said John Savona, Ford’s director of manufacturing.

The sprawling plant ranks as one of Ford’s largest manufacturing facilities. The automaker invested $600 million in 2010 to renovate the factory that had churned out Explorers for decades until that production was shifted elsewhere.

The updates gave the plant the flexibility to assemble multiple models at the same time without requiring downtime for tooling changeovers.

The MKC went on sale in May. It’s the second of four all-new Lincoln vehicles the automaker plans to introduce by 2016.

“We think it’s going to be a very strong competitor in the premium small utility segment, which is the fastest-growing luxury segment on the globe right now,” Savona told reporters after the event, which drew state and local officials and union leaders.


Police still seeking clues in missing woman case

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Nineteen years after a young woman vanished while sunbathing on an Ohio River beach in western Kentucky, police are still digging for clues that could solve the mystery of what happened to Heather Teague.

Kentucky State Police received fresh tips recently that led investigators to excavate two sites - retention basins at a hog farm and a cistern at another location. No evidence was found.

Tuesday marks another anniversary of Teague’s abduction from Newburgh Beach in Henderson County. The one-time honor student and beauty contestant was 23 years old when she disappeared in 1995.

A man came forward claiming to have seen the abduction through a telescope on the Indiana side of the Ohio River. He told police that a burly man with a gun pulled Teague into the nearby woods by her hair.

Early on, police appeared to be making headway in the investigation.

The one suspect named in the case owned a red Bronco like one seen on a videotape of vehicles entering and leaving the Newburgh Beach area. Farmers had hired a photographer to videotape the traffic because of damage done to cornfields by motorists.


Man charged in Jessamine inmate death

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A Lexington man has been charged with murder in the death of an inmate at the Jessamine County Detention Center.

Kentucky State Police say 55-year-old Michael B. Jones is accused of smuggling a controlled substance into the detention center and providing it to 33-year-old Corey D. McQueary of Stanford.

Police say deputies found McQueary unresponsive on Thursday, and he was taken to Saint Joseph Hospital in Nicholasville, where he was pronounced dead. The cause of death is under investigation.

Jones was also charged with first-degree promoting contraband and second-degree possession of a controlled substance. He is lodged at the same detention center. Online jail records do not indicate whether Jones is represented by a lawyer.

Police said Monday the investigation is continuing.

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