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January 31, 2020 at 3:23 AM EST – Updated January 31 at 9:23 PM

Planned Parenthood to resume abortions at Kentucky clinic

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Planned Parenthood clinic in Louisville is resuming abortions later this year after the procedure was halted in 2016. Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky announced Friday that its Louisville center received a provisional license from Kentucky officials, making it the second abortion provider in Kentucky. The group says the license allows for a full range of reproductive care, including abortions, beginning in March. Former Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, a staunchly anti-abortion Republican, had ordered abortions halted at the downtown Louisville facility in 2016. The two sides had battled in court, but Bevin lost a bid for re-election last year.

Bell County jail closed due to bad smoke evacuation system

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Corrections officials say a Kentucky jail has been closed after the detention center was unable to fix problems with its smoke evacuation system. The Kentucky Department of Corrections said in a news release that Bell County Detention Center must be evacuated by Wednesday. The department previously ordered the jail closed by Dec. 1. But an extension was given after the jail made minimal progress correcting violations related to the system. Officials say the jail’s closing came after officials determined the smoke evacuation system remains inoperable. The department says inmate living areas would be unprotected in a fire without a functioning system.

ELECTION 2020-BIDEN-MCGRATH

McConnell’s Democratic rival McGrath endorses Biden for 2020

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Marine combat aviator Amy McGrath, who has raised more than $16 million in her Democratic bid to challenge Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in November in Kentucky, is endorsing Joe Biden for president. Amy McGrath made the announcement Friday. Biden campaigned in Kentucky for McGrath in 2018 in her unsuccessful race for a U.S. House seat. She says she believes Biden “can return honor and integrity to the Oval Office.” McConnell is considered a solid favorite in the race. He is one of the most powerful men in Washington and one of the officials most key to President Donald Trump’s success.

AP-US-ALUMINUM-MILL-KENTUCKY

Company looking to build mill embroiled in internal dispute

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — An aluminum company planning to build a $1.7 billion plant in Appalachia has announced a management shakeup. The announcement is being disputed by an executive at Braidy Industries. The boardroom drama began when Braidy said Thursday that Chairman and CEO Craig Bouchard would step down from that role. The company offered no reason for the change. Bouchard disputed the announcement Friday. He says on social media that he did not authorize the company release and had not relinquished his job. The dispute comes as Braidy tries to complete financing for the Kentucky project staked to millions in taxpayer money.

Kentucky House votes to add sexual harassment to ethics code

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky House has voted to strengthen the legislative ethics code by adding sexual harassment to the list of violations. The bill passed the House on an 85-0 vote Friday. It now goes to the Senate. Republican Rep. Kimberly Poore Moser, is the bill’s lead sponsor. She says the legislation reflects bipartisan work spanning the past three legislative sessions. The effort began after revelations in 2017 that four Republican lawmakers had signed a secret sexual harassment settlement with a female employee. The bill defines sexual harassment as ethical misconduct, outlines reporting standards and strengthens confidential investigations of sexual harassment.

Jury convicts former Kentucky jailer of perjury

PADUCAH, Ky. (AP) — A jury has convicted a former Kentucky jailer on one count of perjury. News outlets reported jurors handed down the verdict Thursday in the trial of former McCracken County Jailer Tonya Ray. She was charged with lying under oath about jail policies that would have been in place when a former jail deputy was charged with official misconduct. The question centered around whether the jail was following policies from a manual dated 2010 or 2012. Ray’s attorney, Thomas Clay, called the testimonial error “an innocent mistake.” Sentencing was set for March 12.

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