- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Comer calls abuse allegations untrue, vows to stay in race

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - With his wife by his side, Republican candidate for governor James Comer flatly denied abusing his college girlfriend on Tuesday after she outlined several accusations in a letter to a newspaper and threatened to derail his campaign two weeks before Election Day.

In a letter to The Courier-Journal, Marilyn Thomas said Comer hit her and drove her to a medical clinic to receive an abortion.

“Did Jamie Comer ever hit me? Yes,” Thomas wrote in a four-page letter, excerpts of which were published. She said her relationship with Comer was “toxic, abusive and caused me a lot of suffering. His controlling and aggressive personality alienated me from most of my family and friends at the time.”

Attempts to reach Thomas were unsuccessful. Her letter indicated she would have nothing else to say on the matter.

Comer acknowledged dating Thomas after they met while serving as officers in Future Farmers of America. But he denied abusing her, saying the crime of domestic violence “sickens me.”

“Everyone who knows me understands that the charges are completely incompatible with everything I stand for, everything that I am,” Comer said. “I flatly deny the allegations that we had an abusive relationship. Those allegations are untrue.”

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Kentucky hemp production up in 2nd year of crop’s comeback

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky’s second hemp crop in decades is expected to surpass 1,700 acres, up from about three dozen acres a year ago, as the versatile crop’s comeback starts to attract interest from processors looking to turn it into products, state agriculture officials said Tuesday.

Hemp advocates led by state Agriculture Commissioner James Comer touted the crop at an event in an old tobacco warehouse that could symbolize the past and future of Kentucky agriculture. Tobacco production has plunged in the past decade, and farmers have looked for alternative crops to maintain income. Hemp, which once flourished in Kentucky, is seen by some as one potential option on the farm.

Comer predicted that within a decade, hemp will take its place as a major Kentucky crop.

“We’ve proven this is a viable industry in this state,” he said. “We’ve proven that our farmers want to grow it. We’ve proven that we can grow it.”

Kentucky has been at the forefront of efforts across the U.S. to revive hemp, but for now, hemp production is limited to pilot projects.

Growing hemp without a federal permit was banned in 1970 due to its classification as a controlled substance related to marijuana. Hemp and marijuana are the same species, but hemp has a negligible amount of the psychoactive compound that gives marijuana users a high.

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Pizza deliveryman stabbed, carjacked; calls for new pizza

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A Louisville pizza delivery driver who was carjacked, robbed and stabbed still managed to get the pizza delivered, calling the restaurant for a fresh pie while he was being treated in the hospital emergency room that ordered the food.

The Courier-Journal (https://cjky.it/1ABi9nKhttps://cjky.it/1ABi9nK ) reports 19-year-old Josh Lewis was delivering a pizza from Spinelli’s Pizzeria to Norton Hospital emergency room when a man stabbed him in the back, robbed him and stole his black Jeep Cherokee on Sunday afternoon.

The pizzeria’s regional manager says Lewis called the restaurant while being treated at the same emergency room to ask co-workers to make the interrupted delivery.

The manager says Lewis, a college student from Detroit, is in stable condition and recovering from a collapsed lung at a different hospital.

A police spokesman says officers are still looking for the suspect and Lewis’ truck.

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McConnell, Paul introduce tax code change for bourbon makers

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky’s two U.S. senators have introduced legislation they say will level the playing field for American bourbon and whiskey producers.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office said in a news release Monday that unlike most other spirits, bourbon and whiskey producers must capitalize interest expense that’s incurred to finance inventories and it isn’t deductible until the product is sold, as long as 23 years after the liquor is aged. The release said in the U.K., spirit producers may deduct interest the year it’s capitalized.

McConnell and Sen. Rand Paul on Monday introduced a bill that would allow American bourbon and whiskey makers to deduct interest associated with production in the year it’s paid.

McConnell said more than 15,000 jobs in Kentucky are related to the bourbon industry, which produces billions of dollars for the state’s economy.


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