- Associated Press - Thursday, May 22, 2014
Kentucky beats top-seed Florida 4-2 at SEC tourney

HOOVER, Ala. (AP) - Kentucky continued an impressive run in the Southeastern Conference tournament with a 4-2 victory over top-seeded Florida on Wednesday night.

The No. 9 seed Wildcats (34-22) jumped out early, scoring four runs in the first three innings to take a 4-1 lead. Kyle Cody (4-0) gave up two runs over 5 1/3 innings to earn the win while Chandler Shepherd threw 3 2/3 scoreless innings of relief for his first save.

Kentucky will play on Thursday against the winner of Wednesday’s late game between Mississippi State and South Carolina. Florida will face the loser of the Mississippi State/South Carolina game on Thursday.

Florida (37-20), which had a 21-9 regular-season record in the SEC, managed just six hits. Gators’ ace Logan Shore (7-3) took the loss, giving up four runs in 5 2/3 innings.


Ky. ag officials upbeat about gaining hemp seeds

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Attorneys for the Kentucky Agriculture Department and federal government resumed discussions with a judge on Wednesday to try to resolve a standoff over hemp seeds from Italy that customs officials have blocked from reaching fields for spring planting.

Afterward, a top aide to Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer sounded upbeat about getting the seeds in Kentucky soil in coming days.

“It’s a much less adversarial process now,” Comer chief of staff Holly Harris VonLuehrte said. “I’m hopeful that we’ll have this fully resolved.”

Kentucky’s pilot hemp projects for research were put on hold after the 250-pound seed shipment was stopped by U.S. customs officials in Louisville earlier this month. The state’s Agriculture Department then sued the federal government in hopes of freeing the seeds. Defendants include the Justice Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Eight test projects are planned in Kentucky as part of a small-scale comeback for the long-banned crop that once flourished in the state. Six universities in the state plan to help with the research.

Growing hemp without a federal permit was banned in 1970 due to its classification as a controlled substance related to marijuana.


Fort Knox-based combat team inactivated

FORT KNOX, Ky. (AP) - The end of the historic “Duke Brigade” came Wednesday amid cannon-fired salutes, orders barked across the parade grounds at Fort Knox and expressions of gratitude to soldiers past and present who fought in the 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 1st Infantry Division in the Army.

The stand down of the brigade is the latest for a unit that traces parts of its history back to the 1770s and the foundations of the U.S. Army. Despite being inactivated two other times, the brigade served in every U.S. war except Korea since World War I.

Maj. Gen. Paul Funk, commander of the 1st Infantry Division, said the Army has been called to “right size” itself, resulting in cutbacks aimed at bringing the number of soldiers down to about 490,000 by 2015 and an inactivation of 10 Brigade Combat Teams. The “Duke Brigade” is the fifth one inactivated this fiscal year, including the original “Band of Brothers” unit, the 4th Brigade Combat Team of the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell.

In addition to the combat team cuts, the Army will reorganize most of its remaining combat teams by adding a third maneuver battalion to its armored and infantry brigades.

Even deeper manpower cuts to the Army are expected after 2015; projections call for the Army to drop more than 400,000 soldiers.

“The Army is shrinking. The Army is waning,” Funk said. “But, this ceremony is a testament to the strength of the United States Army.”


Former secretary of state returning to Kentucky

FORT MITCHELL, Ky. (AP) - Former Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson has been tapped from his post at Harvard University to become president of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

Incoming Chamber Chairman Steve Harper of Harper Oil Products said in a news release on the chamber’s website that the organization conducted a national search for a new president. The chamber said more than 100 people applied.

Chamber Chairwoman Debbie Simpson of Multi-Craft said Grayson will have a new approach to help the region work together.

The 42-year-old Grayson is a northern Kentucky native. He was secretary of state from 2004 to 2011 before becoming director of Harvard’s Institute of Politics.

Grayson ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in 2010, losing to eventual winner Rand Paul.

He succeeds Brent Cooper, president of C-Forward Information Technologies in Covington, who has been interim president since February.

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