The Latest: VP Pence visits Kentucky company to talk trade

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Vice President Mike Pence hugs a congregation member as he visits pastors and congregation at the Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church, which was burned along with two other nearby African American churches, in Opelousas, La., Friday, May 3, 2019. Holden Matthews, who is white, was arrested for arson and other charges in relation to the church burnings.

Vice President Mike Pence hugs a congregation member as he visits pastors and congregation at the Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church, which was burned along with two other nearby African American churches, in Opelousas, La., Friday, May 3, 2019. Holden Matthews, who is white, was arrested for arson and other charges in relation to the church burnings.

AP Photo






The Latest on Vice President Mike Pence’s visits to Louisiana and Kentucky:

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8:20 p.m.

Vice President Mike Pence has made a stop in Kentucky, speaking to employees at an equine feed company where Gov. Matt Bevin also appeared.

WKYT-TV reports Pence stopped at Hallway Feeds in Lexington on Friday on the eve of the Kentucky Derby. Pence campaigned earlier this year for Bevin in Lexington, supporting Bevin’s re-election race. The primary in May 21.

Pence was also expected to attend a gala in Frankfort.

The White House said earlier that Pence would meet with employees at the small business to talk about the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade accord. Trade policies are a big issue for Kentucky’s business sector. The state’s renowned bourbon industry has been hit with retaliatory tariffs in some key markets as part of broader trade disputes.

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2:50 p.m.

Speaking in front of the remains of an African American church in Louisiana torched by an arsonist, Vice President Mike Pence says attacks on communities of faith have become “all too frequent.”

Pence was meeting with parishioners and pastors of the three churches that were burned in March and April. He spoke Friday at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Opelousas.

He praised the church members for their response to the blazes — particularly the forgiveness offered to the man accused of setting the blazes — and said their faith and courage has inspired the nation.

A local sheriff’s deputy’s 21-year-old son, Holden Matthews, has been charged with offenses including arson in burnings. He has pleaded not guilty.

A crowdfunding campaign for the churches’ restoration has raised more than $2.1 million.



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