Home State News briefs from around Kentucky at 1:58 am EST

News briefs from around Kentucky at 1:58 am EST

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Pastor says prayer helped miner injured in fire

PINEVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Bell County miner injured when his bulldozer hit a gas line and erupted in fire is recovering.

Mark Elkins, a pastor, told WYMT-TV (http://bit.ly/1zj0PEYhttp://bit.ly/1zj0PEY ) that Will Muncy thought he was going to die when the fire broke out and the cab began to fill with smoke. Elkins said Muncy put his jacket over his face and jumped through the fire off the bulldozer. He broke his ankle and suffered burns to his hands and lungs.

“The fact that he lived through that was a miracle,” Elkins said. “I believe God healed him and restored his lungs.”

Elkins said that Muncy and his family believe that the prayers of friends, family and even strangers helped him survive the Thursday fire at the Nally and Hamilton strip mine in Bell County.

Muncy was taken to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

Elkins said Muncy could be released soon.

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Pastor putting Christmas signs in yards

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee pastor says he is using yards signs as a way of reminding people to keep Christ in Christmas.

Pastor Jimmy Terry of Tabernacle Baptist Church told The Leaf-Chronicle (http://leafne.ws/1IqIA5P) that he wants to put 10,000 signs up on private properties in Montgomery, Cheatham, Houston, Stewart and Dickson counties in Tennessee and in the cities of Oak Grove, Guthrie and Hopkinsville in Kentucky.

Terry says the holiday is becoming more and more about materialism. The signs he began distributing on Dec. 1 say the true meaning of Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus.

“We have lost the meaning of Christmas throughout the entire world, and when I say ‘we’ I mean Christians. Christmas is no longer about Jesus Christ. It’s all about materialism. These yard signs are just one way we can help keep Christ in Christmas.”

He said the day should be revered.

“It is a holiday, but first and foremost, it is a holy day. Christmas is not supposed to be about Black Friday and the success of America’s retail stores.

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Man who shot officer guilty of attempted murder

HINDMAN, Ky. (AP) — A man who shot at four Kentucky Department of Corrections Probation and Parole officers, injuring one, has been found guilty of attempted murder.

WYMT-TV reports (http://bit.ly/1umKry7) a Knott County jury pronounced the verdict on Friday in the case of Rocky Wicker Sr. Wicker also was found guilty of one count of attempted manslaughter and two counts of wanton endangerment in the 2013 shooting.

Wicker shot at the officers when they came to his home in the Mousie community to look for his wanted son.

Wicker testified that he thought the officers were bounty hunters who were going to kill his son. He claimed the officers shot first and he was only protecting himself.

Prosecutors said Wicker was trying to shield his son from law enforcement.

They have recommended a 17-year-sentence.

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Police in central Kentucky testing body cameras

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Police agencies around central Kentucky are gearing up to equip their officers with body cameras.

Since the shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, and the protests that followed, there has been an increased call for police accountability. President Obama has proposed reimbursing communities half the cost of buying cameras and storing video.

Berea Police Capt. Ken Clark told the Lexington Herald-Leader reports (http://bit.ly/1xdRlN3) that department has used cameras since 2009. He says they let taxpayers know that police want to be open and transparent.

“A lot of times when we are investigating complaints on our officers, it was sort of ‘he said, she said.’ Now, when we have this video footage that takes a lot of the gray area out,” Clark said.

Lexington’s police department has received a grant for body cameras for some officers, and Louisville police will start a pilot project next year. Versailles Mayor Brian Traugott said the city will start testing cameras on five officers next month.

In Richmond, Police Chief Larry Brock said the department already has deployed three cameras and another seven will soon go out into the field.