Latest Kentucky news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. EDT


Beshear announces action against gatherings to curb virus

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Gov. Andy Beshear has taken a new step against mass gatherings. He said Friday that anyone attending in-person gatherings will be ordered to self-quarantine for two weeks. The action comes as he announced a single-day high for coronavirus cases in Kentucky. With Easter two days away, Beshear took the step against gatherings in an attempt to contain the virus’s spread. Under the new action, he says anyone participating in a gathering this weekend will have their license plates recorded to provide to local health departments. Beshear says local health officials will go to each participant’s home with a 14-day self-quarantine order.


For McConnell, virus carries echo of his boyhood polio

WASHINGTON (AP) — As the coronavirus pandemic unfolds, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell flashes back to an earlier crisis that gripped the nation, and his own life, when he was a boy. McConnell was stricken with polio. His earliest memory is of leaving a Georgia polio treatment facility as his mother is told he'll be able to walk without a leg brace. He says he “was lucky.” The two crises now bookend McConnell’s years, making the Kentucky Republican an unexpected voice of personal reflection. McConnell told The Associated Press “fear” is why this current pandemic reminds him of that one. The echoes are familiar, but McConnell says so is the solution of an eventual vaccine.


University of Louisville to furlough employees, cut pay

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The University of Louisville will furlough some employees as well as implement hiring freezes and pay cuts because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. News outlets report the university’s president announced the move in a campus-wide email to staff and students Thursday. The Courier Journal reports the email did not say how many employees will be hit with furloughs, or for how long they might last. Officials say lower tuition rates for summer classes, the cancellation of the March Madness basketball tournament and a government-ordered halt on optional medical procedures all contributed to a financial drain on the university.


Federal utility board backs CEO under Trump's fire for pay

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — The board of a federal utility is criticizing “ill-informed opinions” about how much their organization’s top executive gets paid after President Donald Trump blasted the salary level as “ridiculous.” According to the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Tennessee Valley Authority board chairman Skip Thompson sent a memo to the utility’s more than 10,000 employees and contractors Thursday defending the board’s decision to pay CEO Jeff Lyash an $8.1 million compensation package. Trump appoints the TVA board. He suggested he could reduce the CEO’s salary in a coronavirus-related infrastructure bill. TVA does not receive federal taxpayer funding and serves 10 million ratepayers in seven southeastern states.


Louisville Orchestra launches site for virtual performances

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The Louisville Orchestra has launched a new website page where people can watch virtual performances by musicians. The move comes after the organization canceled the end of its concert season due to the coronavirus pandemic. The orchestra says in a statement that it's a way for members to share music and connect with people confined due to social distancing requirements. The webpage will include videos of performances, interviews, instrument demonstrations and other content. One of the latest videos features music director Teddy Abrams and concertmaster Gabriel Lefkowitz. More content is planned for the future.


More than 275,000 Kentuckians seek jobless aid in 3 weeks

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — More than 275,000 Kentucky residents have filed for unemployment benefits in the past three weeks. The surge comes as the coronavirus pandemic causes widespread economic damage. The U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday that more than 117,000 Kentuckians filed unemployment claims last week. It was an increase of nearly 4,000 people from the prior week. Nationwide, 16.8 million Americans filed for unemployment aid in the past three weeks. Like elsewhere, Kentucky’s unemployment benefit enrollment system has been overwhelmed by surging numbers of applicants. Kentucky dramatically increased the number of employees handling unemployment insurance claims.