- Associated Press - Monday, June 30, 2014
Grimes, Warren hit McConnell on student loan debt

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Brandon Davis has an undergraduate degree, a law degree and more than $200,000 in student loans - which is why he is living with his future in-laws.

“We’re probably going to be living like college students for at least the first five or so years, minimum, just so I can make my minimum monthly payment,” he said.

Davis was one of hundreds of students who came out Sunday morning to hear Democratic U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren campaign for Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Kentucky Secretary of State who is locked in one of the most competitive Senate races in the country this year as she tries to unseat 30-year incumbent Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell.

Tuition and fees at Kentucky’s public colleges and universities have increased 110 percent over the last decade. With the exception of Kentucky State University and the University of Kentucky, more than half of all Kentucky public college graduates have debt, according to a state government report. The average Kentucky college graduate leaves school more than $22,000 in debt, the ninth lowest in the country, according to The Project on Student Debt.

Warren has been canvassing the country following a failed vote in the U.S. Senate that would have allowed some people to refinance their student loan debt to take advantage of lower interest rates. But Republicans, led by McConnell, blocked the bill because it would have raised taxes on wealthy Americans to pay for it.

“When you’ve got a choice between billionaires and students, Mitch McConnell says it is more important to protect the billionaires,” Warren told hundreds of students and other supporters at a Sunday morning rally on the University of Louisville’s campus. “And that’s what this race is all about. It’s about a man who stood up and filibustered the student loan bill.”


Black bear spotted outside church near Cincinnati

OAKLEY, Ohio (AP) - The elusive black bear wandering all over suburban Cincinnati this past week has been spotted again, this time outside a church.

Residents a police say the young bear was seen outside a church Sunday morning in the suburb of Oakley just east of Cincinnati.

Police tell WCPO-TV that a wildlife officer from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has been called in to track the bear as it made its way along a creek bed.

Ohio wildlife officials have been warning people to stay away from the bear believed to be 2 or 3 years old and weighing about 85 pounds.

Officials think it swam across the Ohio River from Kentucky and was first seen earlier this week.


2 killed when hit by train on bridge, boy survives

CHILHOWIE, Va. (AP) - A man and a girl were hit by a train and killed Sunday while fishing from a railroad bridge, and a boy who was with them survived by dropping roughly 30 feet to the ground below, officials said.

The Norfolk Southern train was traveling near Chilhowie (pronounced (CHILHL’-how-ee) in rural southwestern Virginia about 2 p.m. when its crew saw the group and put on the emergency brakes, spokesman Robin Chapman said. The man and the girl tried to stand off to the side on the bridge, but were still hit by the train.

“There’s no room on a trestle. When the train comes by, it takes up the entire width of the bridge,” he said.

The boy dropped between the rails, which were about 25 to 30 feet high, but it wasn’t clear whether he went into water or on the ground, Chapman said. He was initially reported missing, but showed up at a relative’s house several hours later. He was taken to a hospital, but didn’t have any signs of injuries, Chapman said.

The Smyth County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release that the man was 52 years old, the girl was 7 and the boy was 8. The release did not identify them and a police dispatcher said no one was immediately available to talk.

The bridge was about 200 feet long. The mixed freight train consisted of three locomotives and 74 cars and the track speed was 45 mph. Chapman said a train that size traveling at that speed would take about 1 mile to stop.

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