- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Candidates for governor propose privatizing parks

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - How will Kentucky’s next governor help pay for a $14 billion shortfall in public school teacher pensions and adding an extra 400,000 people to Medicaid? By cutting loose a portion of the state’s 49 state parks.

Kentucky’s two major nominees for governor said Tuesday the state should consider privatizing at least some of its public park system as a way to save money to deal with upcoming budget issues.

“We are not our best advocate for becoming the tourist destination we could be,” Republican nominee Matt Bevin said at the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting in Louisville. “You know how many people drive through here on the way to somewhere else who don’t stop here? Too many. Frankly, our state parks are a little sad, some of them. That’s an area where frankly I think privatization could go a long way toward enhancing them, making them more of a destination that people would want to return to.”

Kentucky has 49 state parks and spends about $83 million a year maintaining them, according to the most recently approved budget. They include resorts with restaurants and hotels and recreational parks with camp sites and picnic shelters.

“I’ve been to a lot of our state parks and the rooms are in real dilapidated condition right now. They’re suffering from neglect,” Democratic nominee Jack Conway said. “That’s something I want to take a look at if I’m elected.”

Bevin and Conway answered questions for about an hour on the final day of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting, touching on health care, education and taxes. And they continued to snipe at each other, with Bevin taking shots at Conway’s degree from Duke University, the hated rival of the University of Kentucky’s basketball team. Conway responded by saying “at least I tell the truth about where I went to college,” a reference to Bevin including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on his LinkedIn profile even though he attended a business education program there and did not earn a degree.

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Sheriff’s office: Man dies from snake bite at church service

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A Kentucky sheriff’s office says a man has died from a snake bite suffered during a church service.

The Bell County sheriff’s office said Monday that 60-year-old John David Brock of Stoney Fork was handling the snake during a Sunday service at a Pentecostal church in Jenson.

Authorities say Brock was bitten on his left arm and refused medical treatment. The sheriff’s office says Brock went to his brother’s home, where he later died. The local coroner pronounced Brock dead.

Snake handling at religious services is most common in Southern Appalachian states. The basis for the practice is a passage in the Gospel of Mark.

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Northbound I-65 reopens near Elizabethtown

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. (AP) - Northbound Interstate 65 lanes north of Elizabethtown have reopened.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says traffic is moving again near mile marker 97 and 98 where a multiple-vehicle wreck earlier shut down the highway in one direction.

The wreck happened Tuesday afternoon, and the cabinet around 8 p.m. the road was open again.

Crews had to clean diesel from the crash site.

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1 killed, 1 injured in Elizabethtown shooting

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. (AP) - One man has been killed and another injured in an Elizabethtown shooting.

Hardin County Coroner William Lee told The News-Enterprise (https://bit.ly/1IppGZwhttps://bit.ly/1IppGZw ) that the dead man was found inside a home and was pronounced dead at the scene from multiple gunshot wounds.

The injured man was found in the front yard of the home. He was sent to University Hospital in Louisville.

Police haven’t released the men’s names.

The shooting happened shortly before 1 a.m. Tuesday.

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