The Associated Press

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Crime
8:21 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Fort Campbell Woman Sentenced 25 Years for Fatal Fire

Credit www.daylife.com

A Fort Campbell woman accused of trying to collect on her Army husband's life insurance policy has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for setting fire to her home and killing two of her children. Billi Jo Smallwood maintained her innocence at her sentencing Thursday in Louisville. 39-year-old Smallwood could have been given life in prison. She was convicted in federal court of maliciously setting fire to the family’s housing unit in 2007 while her children slept inside. Prosecutors say her intent was to kill her husband and cash in his $400,000 insurance policy.

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Government
8:18 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Ag Department Investigation Not on Personnel Board Agenda

Credit Ed Reinke / AP

An ongoing investigation into alleged improprieties at the Kentucky Department of Agriculture isn’t on the agenda of the Personnel Board’s last meeting for the year. Board members voted earlier this year to open an inquiry into personnel issues at the Department of Agriculture under former Commissioner Richie Farmer. Board Executive Director Mark Sipek says it could be months before the investigation is completed. A state audit accused Farmer of using state employees for personal business like hunting and shopping trips, yard work, and chauffeuring his dog.

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Environment
7:44 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Beshear Urges Leaders to Release Water from Missouri River

Credit flickr

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear is urging U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell to sponsor and pass legislation that would force the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to release water from the Missouri River to raise levels on the Mississippi.  Drought conditions there could soon halt barge traffic. Beshear sent a letter to McConnell and U.S. Sen. Rand Paul Wednesday asking them to take action quickly. If the Mississippi continues to drop there could be negative economic consequences.

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Environment
8:39 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Mississippi River Level Expected to Keep Dropping

A new National Weather Service forecast projects water levels on the Mississippi River will keep dropping over the next several weeks.  The outlook comes amid worries barge traffic could soon be affected along the vital shipping corridor.  NWS hydrologists say the Mississippi River at Saint Louis will fall to about 9 feet by the end of December, and, barring significant rainfall, another six inches in the first week of January.  Months of drought have left levels up to 20 feet below normal along a 180-mile stretch of the river from St. Louis to Cairo, Ill. 

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Society
7:49 am
Thu December 13, 2012

KY Hunters Kill 11 Black Bears

Credit Wikimedia Commons

Kentucky hunters killed 11 black bears last weekend, including one that set a record for its size. Doug Adkins of Jenkins killed the state-record bear estimated at more than 450 pounds in Letcher County. All the bears killed came from Harlan and Letcher counties. The hunting season was scheduled to continue through Monday but wildlife officials closed it down Sunday night because hunters killed the maximum number of bears.

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Education
7:46 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Ohio Co. Teacher Chosen for Hall of Fame

Credit iStockPhoto

A western Kentucky teacher is among the three chosen for the Gov. Louie B. Nunn Kentucky Teacher Hall of Fame. Juanita Park began teaching in Ohio County in 1944 and worked with student teachers from Western Kentucky University until 2012.

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Politics
7:43 am
Thu December 13, 2012

TN House Democrats Keep Top Leaders

Tennessee House Democrats have voted to keep their top leadership in place. Rep. Mike Turner overcame a challenge Wednesday from Rep. Johnny Shaw to hold on to his chairman seat. Rep. Craig Fitzhugh was also re-elected as minority leader without opposition.

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Society
7:40 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Conway Advises Caution When Giving

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway is warning people to watch out for scams throughout the season of giving.  Conway says donations to reputable charities can provide clothing or food for people who are struggling, but fraudulent groups take advantage of donors and prevent those who need help from receiving it.

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Government
7:36 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Chicago Aldermen Fight Concealed Carry Ruling

City officials throughout Illinois are urging the state to appeal a court decision that would throw out Illinois' ban on concealed carry weapons. A federal appeals court ruled earlier this week the state’s ban is unconstitutional. The court gave lawmakers 180 days to come up with a law legalizing concealed weapons.

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Business
8:10 am
Wed December 12, 2012

IL Attorney General Sues Over Scam

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is filing suit against a company for allegedly conning businesses into paying unnecessary fees with an official-looking letter. The bogus letters told companies to pay a $125 fee for an "annual minutes records form." Madigan's office says the letters were made to look like they were from the Illinois Secretary of State's office. Madigan says companies can toss the letters in the garbage because the fee isn't required by Illinois law.

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