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This Hour: Latest Kentucky news, sports, business and entertainment

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SOBRIETY CHECK

Kentucky joining effort to reduce drunken driving

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Law enforcement agencies around Kentucky are participating in a national effort to reduce impaired-driving fatalities.

The campaign started last week and runs through Labor Day. It's called "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over."

Kentucky State Police say the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports an average of one alcohol-related fatality every 51 minutes across the U.S. Police say campaigns like the one going on now can reduce such fatalities by up to 20 percent.

Kentucky recorded more than 5,500 alcohol-related crashes last year, resulting in 138 deaths and more than 3,000 injuries.

The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety and Mobile Life Solutions last year came up with a free app to help fight drinking and driving. The app is called "Driver Sober Kentucky" and is available at http://www.DriveSoberKY.com.

KENTUCKY-CHINA MILITARY DEAL

Kentucky business unspooled as feds closed in

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A northern Kentucky business executive and his wife have pleaded not guilty to illegally sending restricted military grade electronics components to China.

Louis Joseph and Rosemary Brothers of Union, Kentucky, are free on bail. A grand jury in Covington, Kentucky, charged the pair with violating International Traffic in Arms Regulations by selling the parts to Hong Kong over a four-year period.

Louis Brothers founded and is the majority stockholder in Valley Forge Composite Technologies.

The company is now in federal bankruptcy court in Pennsylvania. While the indictment remained under seal Tuesday, civil and bankruptcy court filings show the company unspooled after it acknowledged being under federal investigation in February 2013.

Prosecutors also seized $1.5 million in the company's bank accounts, saying the funds represent profits from the deals with China.

BILLIONAIRE'S COAL DEBTS-SETTLEMENT

Billionaire to pay $1.5M fine for Kentucky mines

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - West Virginia billionaire Jim Justice has reached a $1.5 million settlement with Kentucky officials over dozens of reclamation violations at several of his coal mines in eastern Kentucky.

The agreement between Justice and the state's Department for Natural Resources is a reduction from the $4.5 million in outstanding penalties he owed for the violations. Kentucky officials said the violations stemmed from the lack of post-mining restoration work required by law at Justice mines in eight counties.

Justice, who is worth about $1.6 billion according to Forbes.com, has idled several mines in eastern Kentucky and said his Appalachian mines are struggling to stay open due to poor market conditions.

The agreement also requires Justice to post millions in bond and complete the reclamation work by September 2015.

CORPS-INLAND WATERWAYS

Corps: Waterway infrastructure improvements needed

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - An Army Corps of Engineers official says infrastructure improvements are needed in the Mississippi River watershed to allow inland waterways to better handle increased agriculture, oil and natural gas production and the effects of climate change.

Brig. Gen. Peter A. DeLuca, commander of the corps' Mississippi Valley Division, spoke Tuesday at a public meeting on the Motor Vessel Mississippi in Memphis. The meeting was part of a low-water inspection trip that included a stop in Caruthersville, Missouri, on Monday.

DeLuca says more farming and manufacturing in the Mississippi Valley, plus a national rise in natural gas and oil production, are creating a higher demand for freight and materials shipping along the nation's inland waterways.

The Mississippi Watershed covers 41 percent of the country, including 31 states and 250 tributaries.

MINE SAFETY-LAWSUIT

New federal mining rule survives court challenge

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - New federal rules that labor officials say could save lives at dangerous mining sites have survived a court challenge from mining industry groups.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday dismissed the lawsuit brought by the National Mining Association and other groups.

The new rules, approved in January, allow federal labor officials to designate a mine as a repeat violator of safety rules without a prior warning. It also allows regulators to impose the pattern of violations designation before mine operators are finished appealing the violations, which could hold up enforcement for months or years.

The appeals court's opinion said it did not have jurisdiction to rule in the case.

The National Mining Association had argued that the new rules can be costly for operators.

OHIO RIVER-OIL SPILL

Stretch of Ohio River reopens after fuel oil spill

CINCINNATI (AP) - A 15-mile section of the Ohio River closed for cleanup after a fuel oil spill has reopened to river traffic, with some restrictions.

A Coast Guard spokeswoman says river traffic in that section southeast of Cincinnati must get Coast Guard clearance and maintain a safe speed as the cleanup continues. The spill was initially reported as about 5,000 to 8,000 gallons, but Coast Guard spokeswoman Lt. Katherine Cameron says authorities on site had lowered the estimate to around 4,000 to 5,000 gallons as of Tuesday evening.

A Duke Energy spokeswoman says the spill from a Duke power plant in New Richmond happened late Monday night.

The Charlotte, North Carolina-based Duke says the spill occurred during a fuel transfer and lasted about 10 to 15 minutes.

OIL CEO-CHARGES-KENTUCKY

CEO of bankrupt oil company sentenced to 33 months

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - The CEO of a bankrupt southern Kentucky oil company has been sentenced to 33 months in prison for scamming investors into giving him money for three oil partnerships in Kentucky and Tennessee.

Young Oil Corp. executive Anthony L. Young of Knob Lick pleaded guilty in March to defrauding investors in both states.

Young acknowledged that from November 2007 through December 2008, he fraudulently solicited investments through his company and took the majority of the money for personal and other uses.

Young also pleaded guilty to failing to file income taxes in 2005 and 2006 and having someone make a false statement on a federal form to purchase a pistol for him in 2010.

U.S. District Judge Thomas B. Russell sentenced Young in Louisville on Tuesday.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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