- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Japanese company to open facility in Kentucky

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A Japanese metalworking company said Monday it plans to spend $8.6 million and hire 30 people to open a plant, joining a growing number of Japanese businesses that have come to the state following Toyota’s decision to put its largest North American plant in Kentucky.

Kowa Kentucky, a wholly owned subsidiary of Kowa Kogyosho, announced it would open a plant in Knox County, where the unemployment rate is 10.7 percent. The company plans to have its facility open by August and will begin production in January 2016.

The company will work on pipes used in Toyotas to prevent fuel from corroding them.

Kowa Kentucky is one of more than 160 Japanese companies that have opened in Kentucky since Toyota announced its investment in 1986. Altogether, those companies employ more than 43,000 people, or about 3 percent of Kentucky’s workforce.

Last year, trade between Kentucky and Japan surpassed more than $1.2 billion, Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear said. And in the past two years, 52 Japanese companies have invested $1.3 billion in Kentucky. Per capita, only Hawaii has had more investment from Japan, according to Larry Hayes, secretary for the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development.

State officials say the state’s relationship with Japan first bloomed with Toyota, which opened its plant in Georgetown in 1988 and now employs more than 7,000 people. Since then, the plant has produced more than 10 million Toyota Camrys. Next year, the plant will begin building the Lexus ES 350, the company’s first luxury vehicle to be made in the United States.

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Judge: Kentucky to explain lethal injection drugs

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky officials should be prepared to explain how and why they arrived at what drugs to use in a lethal injection and at what doses, a state judge said Monday, though he didn’t decide how in-depth the explanation needed to be.

Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd told attorneys during a hearing in Frankfort that lawyers for multiple condemned inmates have a “fair inquiry” about the policy decisions. Shepherd said an order would be forthcoming about how much information the state must divulge.

“The state should be able to provide the basis for what the rationale is,” Shepherd said.

The issue is the latest in the decade-long battle over how Kentucky executes people and whether the current system passes constitutional muster and was properly adopted. But, it is also a complicated issue because, by law, doctors in Kentucky are not allowed to take part in executions or any part of the execution process. That left the decisions about how executions work up to lawyers reviewing what other states did in their lethal injection methods.

Shepherd halted all executions in the state in 2010 on the eve of a scheduled lethal injection. The judge raised concerns about how the state evaluates the mental status of condemned inmates. The lawsuit has since been expanded to look at the drugs Kentucky uses after problematic executions in other states.

Kentucky, which modeled its execution process on Ohio’s, proposes to use compounded drugs and of using midazolam and hydromorphone. Arizona and Kentucky conduct the IV insertions behind a closed curtain and do not allow the public to see the process.

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Ohio grand jury to review highway shooting case

LEBANON, Ohio (AP) - A grand jury will hear the case of a man accused of killing his estranged girlfriend’s son in Kentucky, kidnapping her and then killing her on an Ohio highway.

In a hearing Monday, Lebanon Municipal Court Judge Mark Bogen said there’s enough evidence for the case of 41-year-old Terry Froman to go to a Warren County grand jury to determine charges.

A message was left for Froman’s attorney.

Froman, of Brookport, Illinois, was taken into custody Sept. 12 on Interstate 75 in Warren County, Ohio. Authorities say he had a self-inflicted gunshot wound and 34-year-old Kim Thomas’ body was in his car.

Authorities in Graves County, Kentucky say Froman is charged with murder there in the slaying of Thomas’ teenage son and with kidnapping Thomas from her Mayfield, Kentucky, home.

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Lexington firefighter terminated after arrest

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - A Lexington firefighter who was charged with driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident has been fired.

The Lexington Herald-Leader (https://bit.ly/ZDpyqOhttps://bit.ly/ZDpyqO ) reports that 36-year-old Jarad McCargo’s termination was announced Monday, hours after he pleaded not guilty to driving his vehicle into a man Friday night.

Police reports say McCargo backed his vehicle over the curb outside a Lexington bar, hitting a man who is in critical condition at University of Kentucky Hospital. Police said McCargo drove away shortly after his sport-utility vehicle crashed into the building.

The city initially placed McCargo on administrative leave but issued a release Monday evening saying he had been terminated from his probationary employment. He had worked for the Lexington Division of Fire and Emergency Services since July 13, 2013.

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Information from: Lexington Herald-Leader, https://www.kentucky.comhttps://www.kentucky.com

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