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Kentucky State Police makes over 200 arrests in statewide drug operation

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Kentucky State Police makes over 200 arrests in statewide drug operation


BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) – Following a three-month investigation into suspected drug trafficking rings, Gov. Andy Beshear announced the successful launch of a statewide drug operation by the Kentucky State Police.

All 16 posts participated in Operation Summer Heat and preliminary results indicate 206 arrests and 490 charges issued.

According to a press release, troopers seized 554 grams of fentanyl, 219 grams of cocaine, 4,862 grams of methamphetamine, 41 grams of heroin, 40 grams of spice, 2,931 fentanyl pills, 50 hydrocodone pills, 64 oxycodone pills, 90 hallucinogens, and 14 firearms. The street value of the illicit drugs seized is approximately $684,953.50.

Additionally, $37,159 in cash, $10,000 in stolen tools, and one stolen vehicle were recovered during the operation. The operation remains ongoing, and additional arrests will be made.

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“We have seen drug overdose deaths decline over the past two years and decreases in many of our serious crime rates – these results are in part thanks to the work of our Kentucky State Police,” said Gov. Beshear in a press release. “We are grateful for their continued commitment to help us build a better, safer Kentucky for all our families.”

“This operation is a testament to the hard work of our detectives and post-level personnel, who are dedicated to keeping Kentuckians safe from the dangers of illegal drugs,” said KSP Commissioner Phillip Burnett Jr in a press release. “This was an opportunity to remove deadly narcotics from our local communities and the money that drives this criminal activity.”

Arrests by state police post:

Post 1, Mayfield: 9

Post 2, Madisonville: 20

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Post 3, Bowling Green: 6

Post 4, Elizabethtown: 22

Post 5, Campbellsburg: 1

Post 6, Dry Ridge: 8

Post 7, Richmond: 7

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Post 8, Morehead: 12

Post 9, Pikeville: 37

Post 10, Harlan: 3

Post 11, London: 9

Post 12, Frankfort: 1

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Post 13, Hazard: 18

Post 14, Ashland: 9

Post 15, Columbia: 36

Post 16: Henderson: 8

Anyone with illegal drug activity information is encouraged to contact one of KSP’s 16 posts. You may also report tips confidentially through the KSP website tip form.

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Kentucky

‘It’s just a miracle’: Man found alive after 14 days in the Kentucky wilderness

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‘It’s just a miracle’: Man found alive after 14 days in the Kentucky wilderness



Scott Hern, a 48-year-old from Ohio, was found alive Saturday after spending 14 days in Kentucky’s Daniel Boone National Forest. Rescuers had all but given up hope and were ready for ‘sad news.’

A man was found alive after 14 days in the Kentucky wilderness in what rescuers are calling a miracle for the 48-year-old.

The Wolfe County Search and Rescue Team had been actively searching for Scott Hern since July 16, about 10 days after he was last was seen on Tower Rock Trail in southern Kentucky’s Daniel Boone National Forest.

Multiple agencies helped look for Hern through “heavy terrain” until Saturday afternoon, when they found a shoe print and evidence of a walking stick “in an area that few travel” near Bell Falls, the Wolfe County team posted on Facebook.

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“They continued pushing up the creek when they heard someone yell for help,” the agency said. “The five-person team then worked for some time to locate Scott up a steep embankment below a cliff line.”

The team “couldn’t be happier” to have found Hern after after he was gone for two weeks and went “12 days without any food or water,” the team wrote. “We were persistent in our search, but hope was fading.”

Hern was carried, airlifted and transported to a local hospital. He was discharged from the hospital on Tuesday and is currently recovering at home.

‘Best hug of both our lives,’ searcher says

Eric Wolterman, a Wolfe County Search & Rescue team member, took to Facebook to share a few thoughts a day after Hern was rescued. 

Wolterman, who doesn’t consider himself a particularly religious person, took some time to say a prayer for “Scott Hern and his family” early Saturday morning. 

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“To be honest, praying isn’t something that I do too often. We were working on this operation since Tuesday, and most of the team went into the day pretty much with the thought that this was going to be a recovery mission,” Wolterman wrote. “So, I said a prayer knowing the family would probably be getting some very sad news that day.”

They were set to embark on one last search in the hopes of finding Hern. 

“We were in the roughest terrain you could imagine and it’s very dangerous for anyone to even be out there,” he said.

Wolterman and his team spent hours cutting through vegetation in the search area, eventually finding a few muddy footprints. 

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They had stopped to regroup when another team member heard a “faint noise.”

“We paused and we shouted ‘who is that?’ Thinking it was another search team,” he wrote. “I then heard ‘help.’ We took off in the direction. As we got closer (we) asked what his name was and he (said) ‘Scott Hern’ I have never moved faster uphill in my entire life.”

Wolterman was the first to make contact with Hern, introducing himself and reassuring him they were going to get him out. 

“He looked at me and said ‘’Thank you so much. Will you give me a hug?’” he wrote. “I got teary-eyed and gave him a big hug. I think it was the best hug of both of our lives.”

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Hern is in ‘recovery mode,’ lucky to be alive

Hern is currently recovering from his stint in the wild, with the Wolfe County Search and Rescue Team reporting earlier this week that he had begun to consume solid food. 

John May, Wolfe County Search and Rescue Team chief, told USA TODAY on Wednesday that Hern is still “extremely weak,” struggling to walk and talk.

“I think he’s still in recovery mode, but he is home now,” May said.

“We were very concerned about his survivability at that point,” May said. “And on Saturday morning, I even met with the family again and said, ‘It’s not looking really good.’ We’ve not found him. We’re two weeks into this.”

May says the likelihood of survivability was “unheard of” since Hern was a fairly new hiker, had little experience and didn’t have many camping supplies with him.

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“We didn’t expect to find him alive. We really didn’t,” May said.

Hern’s family was “super appreciative” of all the support received, sharing a picture of Hern on Monday sporting a “big smile.” 

Democratic Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear also extended kudos to the team on Facebook. 

“What a remarkable outcome,” Beshear said. First lady Britainy Beshear “and I are praying for a speedy recovery for Mr. Hern. Thank you to the Wolfe County Search & Rescue Team and everyone who assisted in rescue efforts.”



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What to know about potential Harris VP Andy Beshear, Kentucky Gov. and Vance critic

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What to know about potential Harris VP Andy Beshear, Kentucky Gov. and Vance critic


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Just days after Joe Biden exited the 2024 race on Sunday, Kamala Harris’ presidential campaign and speculation about who will join her on the Democratic ticket are in full swing.

Within three days, the vice president secured key endorsements, received more than $100 million in donations and gained widespread support from delegates. With the debate about who will replace Biden all but over, the focus has shifted to discussions about who Harris will select as her running mate.

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According to earlier reporting by USA TODAY, the Harris campaign has already requested vetting materials from at least seven Democrats under consideration to be her vice president.

While the campaign has not yet publicly confirmed any potential vice presidential nominees, the conversation about Beshear being a candidate has not stopped. ABC News also reported that the campaign was vetting him.

More: Harris’ VP options: From Josh Shapiro to Mark Kelly, sizing up the slate’s pros and cons

Who is Andy Beshear?

Beshear, 46, was first elected governor of the Bluegrass State in 2018, and his current term ends in 2027. Like Harris, he is a former state attorney general. He served Kentucky in that position from 2016 to 2019.

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As a Democrat representing a reliably red state, the governor explained that the party needs a “unifying message” to win in November.

“The message ought to be: I’m in this to build a better life for everyone. Not just Democrats. Not just Republicans,” he said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Monday.

In 2019, the governor signed an executive order restoring the voting rights of more than 140,000 convicted felons with completed sentences, addressing one of the country’s highest rates of voter disenfranchisement. The order was similar to one his father and former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear issued in 2015, which was promptly rescinded by former Gov. Matt Bevin shortly after he took office the same year.

Will Harris select Beshear for VP?

Beshear said Harris has his “full endorsement” in the presidential race and would do all he could to support her during his MSNBC appearance. When asked if her campaign had reached out to vet him as a potential running mate, he said, “I don’t know how that process is going to work, (but) it’s flattering to be a part of it.

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He also criticized former President Donald Trump’s running mate, JD Vance, proving he could be an effective attack dog for the Harris campaign.

“I want the American people to know what a Kentuckian is and what they look like because let me just tell you that JD Vance ain’t from here,” Beshear said.

The VP nominee short-list is believed to include Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, and Cedric Richmond, a former congressman from Louisiana who served as a top aide in the Biden White House and on his campaign.

On Wednesday, comments from the Harris campaign downplayed the VP rumors and said any reporting on developments or updates in Vice President Harris’ running mate search is “premature and speculative.”

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Rachel Barber is a 2024 election fellow at USA TODAY, focusing on politics and education. Follow her on X, formerly Twitter, at @rachelbarber_



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Boston College 2024 Opponent Previews: Western Kentucky

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Boston College 2024 Opponent Previews: Western Kentucky


Out of the heart of ACC play, we move on to Boston College’s final out-of-conference opponent in 2024. The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers finished 8-5 last year, their third consecutive winning season in a row and fourth in five seasons under head coach Tyson Helton.



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