FRANKFORT - Gov. Ernie Fletcher, who returned to Kentucky from Germany last Monday after the crash of Comair Flight 5191, left the state yesterday to return to Germany.
Aachen, Germany, is hosting this year's World Equestrian Games, which are to be held at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington in 2010. Fletcher is to attend closing ceremonies this weekend.
Fletcher told reporters yesterday morning that he is pleased how the state has responded to Sunday's plane crash that killed 49 of the 50 aboard in Lexington.
He said it was "very important" for him to cut short his trip to Germany earlier this week to represent the state to the victims' families and now believes "most people understand how important" it is for him to return to Germany.
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First lady Glenna Fletcher has remained in Germany this week to represent the state, the governor said. Their son, Ben, lives in Germany.
Fletcher noted the Kentucky Horse Park also has had a delegation at this week's games.
Besides attending the games, Fletcher said, he will be meeting with representatives of some of the 155 businesses in Europe that have a presence in Kentucky. He also said he will be in Italy for 11/2 days for an economic development meeting. He did not elaborate.
While he is gone, Fletcher said, his chief of staff, Stan Cave, will be overseeing the governor's office, and Justice Secretary Norman Arflack will be working with the state medical examiner's office and other state resources dealing with the Lexington crash.
He said he has "not purposefully" left out Lt. Gov. Steve Pence in handling state business. Pence said earlier this year that he would not run with Fletcher in next year's race for governor and lieutenant governor.
The governor flew out yesterday from Blue Grass Airport in Lexington to Atlanta. He said he had "no reservations" about using the airport after Sunday's crash.