Wednesday, February 09, 2011
EKB Capsule News...Kentucky...2-10-'11
- Interstate 75 in Whitley County was shut down for most of the afternoon Wednesday due to a multi-car crash related to snow. The National Weather Service says, Wednesday, 1 to 3 inches of snow fell along and south of the Western Kentucky Parkway and the Bluegrass Parkway, with some areas of southwestern Kentucky getting as much as 5 inches. More snow fell than had been expected, and dropping temperatures made salt treatments less effective, prompting the Transportation Cabinet to urge motorists to limit travel in many counties because of hazardous conditions. Weather service forecasters in Jackson predicted areas of eastern Kentucky could see 1 to 3 inches, with more in the higher elevations near the Kentucky-Virginia border.
- In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Rhino Resource Partners has reported that its subsidiary CAM Mining Mine 28 in Pike County was cited Friday for an imminent danger. MSHA says two carpenters employed by another company were working 10 feet above ground without tie-off lines. The filing says the carpenters were immediately told to safely return to the ground and were given safety training and that the actions terminated the order.
- Fifty year old Marion Kilburn of Floyd County, who has a 30 year criminal history and was released from prison on December 29th for a 2007 drug trafficking conviction, is now facing new charges. Police say he was DUI when he wrecked Friday, sending a five year old girl to the U-K hospital. Floyd County Jail records show he was arrested 27 times since 1995 on alcohol related charges, the latest on January 29th, but he was released on the 30th. He was paroled in 2008, but then went back to prison in 2009 after a DUI conviction violated his parole.
- The American Heart Association held a rally at the state Capitol Wednesday urging Kentucky lawmakers to pass legislation that would outlaw smoking in all indoor public places in Kentucky. Many at the rally support the ban even though Representative Susan Westrom, a Democrat from Lexington, the bill's chief sponsor, admits it's going to be tough to get it passed this year. The Knox County Health Department plans to meet with Barbourville's City Council in a push to see more smoke free businesses across the county.
- Curtis Moore and Jessica Vaughn of Corbin and Lawrence Collinsworth of Knox County were all charged with engaging in organized crime after a string of thefts of televisions and other electronic items from the Corbin Walmart.
- Less than five months before his time as University of Kentucky president ends, Lee T. Todd Jr. announced Wednesday that he had given Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart a contract extension and six-figure salary increase. Todd denied that the new contract, which added three years and boosted Barnhart's annual pay from $475,000 to $600,000, would hinder the new president from enjoying the same privilege. Todd described Barnhart's extension through June 30, 2019, as a gift to the new president.
- U.S. District Judge Charles R. Simpson III wrote Wednesday that claims by Karen Cunagin Sypher of "newly discovered" evidence are merely compilations of items her former attorney, James Earhart, had during her trial. Since being convicted in August of extortion, lying to the FBI and retaliation against a witness, Sypher has hired a new attorney and claimed a broad conspiracy involving Pitino, Earhart, Simpson and others to ensure she would be found guilty. Judge Simpson says Sypher has not produced any new evidence and a claim against Earhart was ineffective. She will not get a new trial, but, instead, is scheduled for sentencing February 18th.
- The state Department of Charitable Gaming announced Wednesday that Jesse James Hall Sr., 64, and his wife Juanita Hall, 54, of Bell County, were arrested after a two-month investigation showed money was missing from games held at a bingo parlor in Middlesboro. The Halls are listed as officers of the Bell County Fair and Exposition Board Inc., which owns the bingo hall. Jesse J. Hall was charged with five felony counts of diverting charitable-gaming funds and with one count of failing to make required disposition of funds, while Juanita Hall is charged with four felony counts of diverting charitable-gaming funds.
- As part of a GOP package to slow spending, Congressman Hal Rogers, chairman of the Appropriations Committee, recommended cuts Wednesday morning in a food program for pregnant women and their children. Rogers is also proposing a sweeping 17 percent cut for the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as eliminating subsidies for public broadcasting. The bill is expected to reach the House floor next week.
- A House committee on Wednesday approved a bill that would add some mentally ill Kentuckians to a national list of people who can't buy guns. House Bill 308 would require Kentucky to notify the FBI when a court commits people to a mental institution or otherwise finds them mentally incompetent. The FBI would add the names to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, used by federally licensed gun dealers to screen customers. Federal law prohibits such sales. The House Judiciary Committee also approved bills to reduce incarceration for juvenile offenders and create a venue for citizens to allege fraud on behalf of the state.
- Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Janie Miller told a House budget subcommittee Wednesday the state's Medicaid health program for the poor and disabled is on track to save $86.5 million this fiscal year. To balance the state's Medicaid budget, Governor Steve Beshear is asking that $166 million from the next fiscal year be moved to the current fiscal year. The administration says it can generate savings in the next fiscal year to cover the $166 million. Senator Bob Leeper, chairman of the Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committee, said Wednesday that before the Senate agrees to move the $166 million, the administration needs to show that the $6 billion health care program has generated previously promised savings.
- The Senate voted 34-1 Wednesday, passing a bill under which Bible classes could be taught in Kentucky public schools. Republican Senator Joe Bowen of Owensboro, the bill's sponsor, says the intention is to acquaint students with a book that has had tremendous impact on American society and western culture, but Democratic Senator Kathy Stein of Lexington says the measure is unnecessary because nothing currently prohibits Kentucky public schools from teaching about the Bible. Under the Kentucky proposal, Bible courses would be offered as electives, meaning students could decide whether to take them.
- The Senate Health and Welfare Committee approved a measure Wednesday under which people who abuse the elderly would be placed on a registry to prevent them from getting jobs caring for senior citizens. Republican Senator Julie Denton of Louisville says elder abusers often can go from job to job without anyone knowing about previous instances of mistreatment.
- Debbie Moskwa and Carolyn Scharf, who both lost children to drunk drivers, hit the halls of the Kentucky Legislature Wednesday morning talking to anyone who would listen about changing the state's shock probation law when it comes to offenders who kill while driving drunk. They eay the present law is unjust, and they're determined to change shock probation laws. Currently, shock probation can't be appealed. Moskwa says she believes shock probation should be up to the victim's family, not a judge.
- A Louisville high school student has died after being struck by a car as she walked to school. Sixteen-year-old Adrienne White died at a hospital Tuesday night. Police said White was struck at about 7 a.m. Tuesday on her way to Western High School, walking with some other students. Louisville Metro Police spokesperson Carey Klain said the driver of the car was not speeding and the student was not using a crosswalk. No charges are expected.
- Four grants totaling $1 million have been awarded to recipients in Kentucky to address health service access, health risks and health equity in different communities. The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky says the projects are expected to reach nearly 9,000 people around Kentucky in the next year. The recipients are Home of the Innocents in Louisville, St. Joseph Health System in Lexington, Cumberland Family Medical Center in Burkesville and Montgomery County Health Department in Mount Sterling. Each organization will receive $250,000, half of which is from the foundation. The grants are a result of the federal government's Social Innovation Fund.
- Thunder over Louisville returns on April 16. The fireworks and air show kicks off the Derby Festival, and this will be the 22nd annual staging of the event. New this year is a prime spot at Waterfront park that's being reserved for those with Pegasus Pins, which are sold to the public and help fund Derby Festival events. Festival President Mike Berry says this year's event will be what he termed a "roof-rattling experience." The theme of this year's event is "Thunder Power." The air show begins at 3 p.m. and will feature about 80 aircraft. More than 500,000 people gather along both sides of the Ohio River for the show.
- Police in northern Kentucky say an Edgewood couple who were found dead in their home apparently had been having an argument before the wife suffered a fatal cardiac event.Edgewood Police Chief Tony Kramer says the husband took his own life after his wife died. The couple were identified as 46-year-old Asenath Mastin and 48-year-old Thomas Mastin. Police believe she died before 11 p.m. EST Sunday and he died early Monday.
- Hundreds of protesters have shown their displeasure with a proposal intended to prod Kentucky police to crack down on illegal immigrants. The legislation would give local and state police broad authority to check the immigration status of people they suspect to be in the country illegally. It sailed through the Republican-controlled Senate last month, but faces strong opposition in the Democratic-controlled House. Democratic state Sen. Perry Clark of Louisville, one of the leading opponents of the measure, said it is both unnecessary and costly. The Legislative Research Commission estimated the cost at $89 million a year, primarily from putting more people in jail. Some 300 people took part in the demonstration Tuesday on the front steps of the Capitol.
Links to this post: