News briefs from around Kentucky at 1:59 a.m. EDT

The Associated PressJuly 17, 2014 

Congressman: DC gun amendment likely to fail

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Kentucky congressman behind an amendment that would undo the District of Columbia's strict gun control laws says he doesn't think it will become law.

The GOP-controlled House on Wednesday approved Republican Rep. Thomas Massie's amendment. It would undo the District's gun control laws by blocking the city from spending any money to enforce them. A day after he got the language approved in a spending bill, Massie said he suspects it will fail in the Senate.

Still, he called the amendment an opportunity for "an important vote" on gun rights.

Twenty Democrats joined 221 Republicans in voting for the amendment. Four GOP lawmakers voted against it. Congress has the final say over the District's local laws and budget.

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Risk of earthquake increased for one-third of US

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new federal earthquake map dials up the shaking hazard just a bit for about one-third of the United States and lowers it for one-tenth.

The U.S. Geological Survey on Thursday updated its national seismic hazard maps for the first time since 2008, taking into account research from the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami off the Japanese coast and the surprise 2011 Virginia temblor.

The maps are used for building codes and insurance purposes and they calculate just how much shaking an area probably will have in the biggest quake likely over a building's lifetime.

The highest risk places have a 2 percent chance of experiencing "very intense shaking" over a 50-year lifespan, USGS project chief Mark Petersen said. Those with lower hazard ratings would experience less intense swaying measured in gravitational force.

"These maps are refining our views of what the actual shaking is," Petersen said. "Almost any place in the United States can have an earthquake."

Parts of 16 states have the highest risk for earthquakes: Alaska, Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Illinois, Kentucky and South Carolina. With the update, new high-risk areas were added to some of those states.

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Man shot at West Tenn. park was Iraq war veteran

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — An Iraq war veteran who was fatally shot by police at a West Tennessee park had sought care at the Memphis VA Medical Center for an undisclosed reason, officials said Thursday.

Justin Neil Davis, 24, was holding a rifle when he was shot by three officers in a park in the Memphis suburb of Germantown on Tuesday night, according to police.

Police said they had received a message from authorities in neighboring Fayette County that Davis was armed and dangerous and possibly suicidal before he was found in a vehicle at the park. The area was evacuated and police began talking to Davis by phone and a police car public-address system.

Davis, who had a rifle, then "escalated" the situation, and three officers fired their weapons, police said. David died at the scene.

Germantown police have not said how Davis escalated the situation. The officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. A bureau spokesman declined comment.

Davis, who went to high school in Germantown, was a private in the Kentucky Army National Guard from January 2008 to November 2012, according to Army Human Resources Command at Fort Knox, Kentucky. He served in Iraq as a vehicle mechanic from February 2010 to June of the same year and received several awards, including the Army Achievement Medal and the National Defense Service Medal, officials said.

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Jennie Stuart Medical Center to drop 70 jobs

HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Jennie Stuart Medical Center in Hopkinsville has announced the intention to eliminate 70 jobs — about nine percent of its workforce

Hospital officials said in a written statement issued Wednesday that the center faces significant regulatory and reimbursement challenges.

The Kentucky New Era reported (http://bit.ly/1qKKBzwhttp://bit.ly/1qKKBzw ) the hospital remains in solid financial condition, but posted an operating loss in the second quarter of 2014.

Officials at the 100-year-old hospital say the job cuts will come through a combination of an accelerated retirement program and layoffs.

Jennie Stuart Medical Center's primary service area is the southern Pennyrile region, but JSMC also sees patients from Caldwell, Hopkins and Muhlenberg counties in Kentucky and Montgomery County in Tennessee, all of which make up the hospital's secondary coverage area.

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