- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Ky. man gets 44 years for fiery S. Indiana crash

NEW ALBANY, Ind. (AP) - A judge has sentenced a Kentucky man to 44 years in prison for charges stemming from a fiery 2012 southern Indiana crash that killed four people.

WHAS-TV reports (https://bit.ly/1ePdtjThttps://bit.ly/1ePdtjT ) 33-year-old Charles M. Barlow of Louisville received the maximum sentence in Floyd Superior Court on Monday. He pleaded guilty last month to one count of causing death when operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, three counts of reckless homicide, and being a habitual offender.

Court documents say Barlow was driving more than 80 mph before the crash on Indiana 111 near the Horseshoe Southern Indiana casino. The crash killed the other driver and the three passengers of his off-duty taxi, which burst into flames. All of the victims were Louisville residents.

Barlow’s attorney said he plans to appeal the sentence.


Parents want improved safety for softball players

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - The parents of a Lexington teen who was injured when she was hit by a softball while standing in a dugout are asking officials to improve safety.

Jay and Traci Doleman told the Lexington Herald-Leader (https://bit.ly/1ahrsiQ) that they don’t want another high school athlete to suffer injuries like those of their 14-year-old daughter, Jayda.

The teen, who plays softball for Lafayette High School, suffered multiple eye socket fractures, permanent vision impairment, a concussion and a broken nose when she was hit last year by an errant throw during warm-ups.

Her parents say they would like to see higher fencing or netting installed in order to better protect players.

Fayette County school officials say they are planning safety enhancements to address the concerns.

“We will be extending the height of the fencing by an additional 2 feet, bringing it to 8 feet at Lafayette,” Fayette County Superintendent Tom Shelton said on Friday. “We will also be inspecting the softball and baseball dugouts at all of our other high schools and making appropriate safety enhancements prior to the start of spring practice.”


E. Ky. city prepares to vote on alcohol sales

OLIVE HILL, Ky. (AP) - An eastern Kentucky city is planning to hold a referendum over whether to allow alcohol sales.

The Independent (https://bit.ly/1dinasH) reports Carter County Judge-Executive Charles Wallace set a special election on March 11 for precincts in Olive Hill. The move comes after residents submitted a petition asking for the vote.

Nici Raybourn, who headed up the petition drive, says she thinks allowing alcohol sales could boost the city’s economy. She said noted that at least four other nearby cities allow alcohol sales.

“I think it’s just ridiculous the amount of money that’s lost here,” she said.

She said the city not only loses tax revenue, but indirect expenditures, such as those for gasoline and food when people go somewhere else to purchase alcohol.

Mayor Kenny Fankell has said the city is in the midst of a budget crisis. Last fall, officials enacted a 0.5 percent payroll tax to deal with budgetary concerns.


Beam being acquired by Japan’s Suntory

NEW YORK (AP) - The maker of classic American whiskeys Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark has agreed to be acquired by a Japanese company in a $13.62 billion deal that would create the third largest global premium spirits business.

Shares of Beam Inc. rose 24 percent on Monday after it said that it agreed to be purchased by Suntory Holdings Ltd., a Japanese beverage company. The combined company would have annual sales of more than $4.3 billion.

The deal follows other recent acquisitions in the alcohol industry, including Anheuser-Busch InBev’s $20.1 billion deal last year to buy the other half of Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo that it didn’t already own.

It also comes at a time when the taste for bourbon - a type of American whisky that is made primarily of corn and typically distilled in Kentucky - continues to grow domestically and abroad.

In the U.S., sales volume for bourbon and Tennessee whiskeys such as Jack Daniels has grown 26 percent over the past decade, according to the Distilled Spirits Council, and industry group. Exports of U.S. whiskeys has grown to roughly $1 billion last year, more than double what it was a decade ago.

Demand is so robust that Beam last year even considered reducing the alcohol content for Maker’s Mark because of a supply shortage. The company scrapped the idea after a backlash by fans of the higher-end bourbon.



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