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Governor Ernie Fletcher has requested a state police investigation into allegations of abuse and neglect at the state's largest center for mentally retarded adults.

Fletcher said he asked for the probe of the Communities at Oakwood after being briefed by some top assistants about problems there. The center is in Somerset in south central Kentucky.

Staffers told Fletcher there have been many extremely serious and troubling allegations of physical and mental abuse.

Oakwood has been cited numerous times by state inspectors for failing to protect residents from immediate harm. Two residents have died there since January 2005.

State police Commissioner Mark Miller said today that his agency is concerned about alleged criminal activity at Oakwood.