State sets new daily high: 3,649 new coronavirus cases

Kentucky reported a new daily record of 3,649 coronavirus cases Thursday amid warnings by Gov. Andy Beshear that the situation for many of the state’s hospitals and healthcare centers could become far more deadly because of the surge.

Brushing aside criticism of his heightened restrictions to fight the pandemic, Beshear noted that more than 1,300 health care workers have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past two weeks. He said restrictions are needed to prevent more deaths.

“It’s going to be hard, it’s going to continue to harm our lives ... we will not simply let people around us die without putting up a fight against this virus,” the Democratic governor said at a virtual news briefing. He encouraged Kentuckians to forgo Thanksgiving travel, practice social distancing and wear masks.

Ja Raffe: Memphis zoo names baby giraffe after NBA star

The Memphis Grizzlies’ Ja Morant is pretty tall. The new kid in town will be taller.

The Memphis Zoo said Thursday that it has named a newborn reticulated giraffe after the 6-foot-3-inch guard and the reigning NBA rookie of the year. The calf’s name: Ja Raffe.

The baby giraffe was born Nov. 10, and it will join six other giraffes at the zoo. With their long necks and brown and white fur, reticulated giraffes can reach 14 feet to 18 feet tall, the zoo said.

Morant tweeted that the giraffe “was born a legend.”

Kentucky hunter charged with illegally killing trophy deer

A Kentucky man has been accused of illegally killing a trophy deer on a private property in the state and then lying about where it happened.

Conservation officers began investigating the killing earlier this month after receiving a photo of the dead animal that had been circulating online, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife said Tuesday in a news release.

When the officers met with Robert Koch, authorities say Koch told them he shot the buck on a private property in Kenton County after getting permission to hunt there. But the landowner told officers no one had permission to hunt on the property.

Hunters are required to report their harvest through Telecheck, an automated game harvest check-in system, by midnight on the day the animal is recovered and before processing the carcass.

Koch, 58, told officers he falsely reported that he killed the dear in nearby Owen County “to avoid speculation” about where he killed the animal, officials said. He has been charged with improperly reporting the harvest, hunting on private property without permission and illegally killing the deer.

Koch kept the buck in Franklin County and planned on getting it mounted, state officials said. Officers seized the the carcass as well as marijuana and drug paraphernalia, the release said, and Koch faces additional charges for drug possession.

It was not immediately clear if he has an attorney who could comment on his behalf.

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