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Round-Up: Thursday January 24

Take a look at what's making news around Covington and around the Commonwealth:

HEROIN IN NORTHERN KENTUCKY IS SUBJECT OF DOCUMENTARY

A pair of Los Angeles filmmakers and an attorney from the Kenton County public defenders office are teaming up to document Northern Kentucky's heroin epidemic:

The three, all natives of Cincinnati or Northern Kentucky, and some of their collaborating team have had heroin touch their lives through family or a friend and decided to take action.

“Ameer brought to my attention just how bad the heroin problem has become in the area,” Treadway said.

“It took me by complete shock and horror to learn the number of people I knew from school who have been affected by this problem.”

Full story: Cincinnati Enquirer/Terry DeMio

TWO ESCAPE OVERNIGHT FIRE IN MAINSTRASSE VILLAGE

Fire broke out at a home on Philadelphia Street in Mainstrasse Village early Thursday morning:

Damages are estimated at $50,000. Both the man and his daughter were able to escape the home safely.

Was a gas furnace to blame? Full story: WXIX

HOW DOES A SCHOOL DISTRICT GO FROM THE TOP TO THE BOTTOM IN KENTUCKY?

That's what happened in Silver Grove:

In 2011, the school district in Silver Grove — whose high school has the nickname the “Big Trains” — was essentially the little engine that could.

Nearly all of the high school seniors were college bound. And test scores showed the school district was performing at a high level.

Then the most recent round of scores came out. And the small district of 221 students in K-12 did not fare well. The middle school dropped to the bottom 1 percent of Kentucky schools and is now in the “focus” category in which state officials will be monitoring it closely. And the high school fell to the bottom 9 percent.

Full story: cn|2

QUICK HEADLINES FROM FRANKFORT & POLITICS

INDUSTRIAL HEMP ADVOCATE SAYS BILL HAS VOTES IN STATE SENATE cn|2

GOV. BESHEAR SUPPORTS LOCAL OPTION SALES TAX WFPL

KY ONE OF 17 STATES TO SPLIT FROM AIR POLLUTION GROUP WFPL

REP. MASSIE OF NKY TO VOTE AGAINST DEBT CEILING INCREASE McClatchy

TEA PARTY PREPARES TO DRAFT CHALLENGER TO SEN. MCCONNELL WFPL

SEN. PAUL'S ATTACK ON SEC. CLINTON ENRAGES SEN. BOXER Politico

POLL: MAJORITY SUPPORTS PRESIDENT OBAMA'S GUN PROPOSALS Politico

KY AGRICULTURE COMMISSIONER UNVEILS FARM JOBS FOR VETERANS PROGRAM Herald-Leader

EX BEN-GAL CHEERLEADER WAS IN LOVE WITH 14-YEAR OLD BOY

Former Bengals cheerleader Sarah Jones is hearing her text messages to her teenage lover read aloud during a federal lawsuit case in Covington:

"I fell in love with you a long time ago," Jones texted to the teen in November 2011. "I knew when I saw you we'd be together, freshman year. It's weird because you were like, 14, and I was like, 22 ... It was love at first sight."

Alex Ward, one of the attorneys for thedirty.com and its owner, Hooman Karamian, told jurors in opening statements that the text messages prove that Jones is sexually immoral and, therefore, the posts about her are not defamatory.

Jones, who is now 27, took the stand and testified that she didn't fall in love with the teen when he was 14, and only told him that because he can be insecure and she was trying to reassure him. The former teacher pleaded guilty to charges that she had sex with the teen but avoided jail time. The two are still in a relationship.

Jones is suing Karamian, who goes by the name Nik Richie and lives in Orange County, Calif., over two posts in October and December of 2011.

Full story: Associated Press

GAY MINISTER ARRESTED AFTER BEING DENIED MARRIAGE LICENSE IN KENTUCKY

A Baptist minister and his same-sex partner were arrested for trespassing after being denied a marriage license in Jefferson County:

The Rev. Maurice “Bojangles” Blanchard and Dominique James were placed in a patrol car for the short drive to Metro Corrections when they declined to leave after the office closed at 5 p.m.

Led away without being handcuffed, Blanchard said they declined an offer from police to be cited rather than arrested.

“If we don’t act, we are accomplices in our own discrimination,” he said earlier. “We have to resist.”

Louisville Metro Police Lt. Robert Shadle told reporters that Blanchard, 34, and James, 29, said they felt a “spiritual obligation” to stay and be arrested.

Full story: Courier-Journal/Andrew Wolfson

SEE ALSO: What the Kentucky Fairness Alliance learned from gay rights ordinance passed in tiny Vicco, KY WFPL

QUICK HEADLINES:

(IN CASE YOU MISSED...) SOUTHERN AIR MOVING HEADQUARTERS TO CVG Cincinnati Enquirer

KY MAN ARRESTED ON 30-YEAR OLD RAPE CHARGE Paducah Sun

PROPOSED HISTORIC DISTRICT IN LEXINGTON CAUSING CONTROVERSY WKYT

KY COLLEGE OFFERS FREE TUITION WKRC

NKU STUDENTS WORKING ON CIVIL WAR DOCUMENTARY IN AUGUSTA Independent-Messenger

SAY WHAT?

DRUNK MAN WHO RODE HORSE INTO CHURCH SEEKS FORGIVENESS WKRC

COUPLE ARRESTED AT KY BOY'S FUNERAL WKRC

NEAT: KY WOMAN'S MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE FOUND MORE THAN 25 YEARS LATER The Daily Independent