- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 24, 2014
New House leader to raise money for Kentucky GOP

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky House Republicans said they worked for months to plan a fundraiser with California Congressman Kevin McCarthy. Lucky for them, they’ve finalized the event and McCarthy is now the second-most-powerful person in Congress.

The state GOP, trying to take control of the state House for the first time in nearly 100 years, said Monday that McCarthy will hold a fundraiser in Bowling Green on July 19.

“In politics timing is everything,” Kentucky House Republican Floor Leader Jeff Hoover said. “It’s very exciting that someone of such national prominence has decided that Kentucky is important and they are excited about our chances this fall.”

McCarthy was elected the new majority leader last week to replace Rep. Eric Cantor, who lost in a stunning upset to tea party favorite Dave Brat in the Virginia Republican primary. It was just a coincidence that Kentucky Republicans had already been planning a fundraiser with McCarthy, Hoover said.

This isn’t the first time McCarthy has visited the Bluegrass state. McCarthy spoke at the Jefferson County Lincoln Day dinner in 2012. U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie is close with McCarthy and helped set up the fundraiser, spokesman Scott Jennings said.

Republicans have not controlled the state House of Representatives since 1920, when Republican Warren Harding was elected the country’s 29th president. Republicans have a majority in the state Senate and have been slowly cutting into the Democratic majority in the House. Republicans need to pick up five seats to take control of the House. But because of a few open seats, Hoover said Republicans need to win nine seats to win the majority.


Doctors reconstructing face of stricken woman

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A woman left disfigured by radiation treatments for a cancer she never had underwent reconstructive surgery Monday in Kentucky, hoping to restore the life she once thought was over after losing her husband, business and home in a former Soviet republic.

Lessya Kotelevskaya could be in surgery for as long as 24 hours at University of Louisville Hospital, said Tiffany Meredith, a spokeswoman for the surgical team.

“She has waited for this day for many, many years,” said her older cousin, Oleg Sennik, who brought Kotelevskaya and her young son to live with him in Louisville last year. “She just wants to be a normal person.”

The procedure includes removing a leg bone to be conformed into a new jawbone, with the skin becoming the new inside covering of her mouth. Dr. Jarrod Little, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon with UofL Physicians, was donating his time and leading the team on the $1 million-plus surgery, said Meredith, a spokeswoman for UofL Physicians.

UofL Hospital President Ken Marshall said the hospital was doing its part, too.

“We will make sure Lessya does not incur any personal hospital charges from her surgery,” he said.


Experts: Revenue shortfall raises risk

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Some experts are warning that a recently announced shortfall in revenues raises the risk that spending cuts will be needed to balance the 2014-2016 state budget.

Kentucky Center on Economic Policy Director Jason Bailey told The Courier-Journal (https://cjky.it/1qsJKEn) that a shortfall in one year “has a kind of a domino effect on the next years.” He says revenue would have to increase more than expected and that’s unlikely to happen.

Gov. Steven Beshear’s administration announced this month that a significant shortfall is expected when the fiscal year ends June 30.

Budget Director Jane Driskell says Beshear has several sources of funding that he could use to balance this year’s budget without making cuts. She says the bigger concern is for the future.

“It puts pressure on us through the next two years because in order to balance, revenues will now need to grow more than we’ve projected,” said Rep. Rick Rand, a Bedford Democrat who heads the House budget committee.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer said it’s not clear whether lawmakers will have to adjust the budget. “But I know that we’re still in a weak economic recovery and revenues are spotty.”


Man arrested after Indiana teen dies on Ohio River

ROCKPORT, Ind. (AP) - Authorities say a boat driver has been arrested after a 19-year-old southern Indiana man was fatally injured when he became entangled in a boat motor on the Ohio River.

Indiana conservation officers say Garrett Ward of Boonville was with a group of people who had gone by boat to an island on Sunday. Officer Mike Kellner says the 24-foot boat was backing away from the island when the propeller struck Ward, causing severe injuries.

Kellner says Ward was brought to the beach and emergency workers were called, but he was pronounced dead at the scene about 25 miles east of Evansville.

Kellner says the 22-year-old man who was driving the boat was arrested on a preliminary felony charge of boating while intoxicated causing death.

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