Sanders, former lawmaker Booker attend Kentucky rally

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders attended a rally Sunday with former Kentucky state Rep. Charles Booker, who is considering another run for the U.S. Senate.

The “Rally for Kentucky’s Working Class” was held outside the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville.

Booker, a Democrat whose unabashedly progressive campaign in Kentucky came up just short in last year’s Senate primary, is forming an exploratory committee as he weighs a follow-up race in 2022 against Republican incumbent Sen. Rand Paul.

Sanders thanked Booker ”not just for being here today but for showing this state and this country what grassroots activism can mean. And despite being heavily outspent, Charles ran a campaign that the whole country looked at and I have a feeling that the next time around, the results are going to be different.”

Last year, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell trounced well-funded Democratic challenger Amy McGrath, who narrowly defeated Booker in the state’s Democratic primary.

“I got a little bit of nostalgia here standing on this stage,” Booker, a Black former state lawmaker, told the crowd Sunday. “We were starting to tell a story, and I think we’re not done telling that story, if you understand what I’m saying.”

Trial against opioid distributors set to begin in West Virginia

A trial is set to start in a lawsuit filed in West Virginia accusing three drug distributors of fueling a local opioid epidemic with excessively large shipments of painkillers over several years.

The city of Huntington and Cabell County filed the lawsuit against drug distributors AmerisourceBergen Drug Co., Cardinal Health Inc. and McKesson Corp. The trial is scheduled to begin Monday in federal court in Charleston.

A judge last month rejected the companies’ attempt to dismiss the case. Hundreds of similar lawsuits have been filed across the country.

“It is fitting that the trial will proceed in West Virginia, which has been ground zero of the opioid epidemic,” plaintiff’s attorneys Paul Farrell and Anne McGinness Kearse said in a statement.

Food producer to locate in Louisville, create 109 jobs

A food producer is expanding to Kentucky with a location in Louisville that will create 109 jobs, officials said.

House Foods America Corp. plans to construct a 350,000-square-foot facility on 30 acres where the company will produce tofu, Gov. Andy Beshear said in a statement. The company will offer jobs that include machine operators, engineers and administrative positions that will pay an average hourly wage of $26.87 including benefits. Work on the project is slated to start next year and be completed by 2025.

“This company truly has its eye on the future, producing healthy food products and creating a significant number of high-paying jobs in the process,” Beshear said.

The announcement furthers a push by Kentucky leaders to establish the state as an agritech leader, the statement said.

House Foods America Corp. is a subsidiary of Japan-based House Foods Group.

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