Tuesday, May 31, 2011
EKB Capsule News...Kentucky...6-1-'11
- Eighteen year old Dylan Lawson of Whitley County has been missing since Monday, May 23rd, and his family is asking for help in locating him. The family filed a missing person’s report Wednesday with the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department. He has dark hair, cut into a buzz cut, and drives an orange Chevy Colorado. If you have any information on Dylan Lawson’s whereabouts you are urged to contact the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department at 606-549-6006.
- Preliminary statistics indicate that two people died in two separate crashes on Kentucky’s roadways during the official Memorial Holiday period, which began at 6:00 P.M. Friday and ended at 11:59 P.M. Monday night. Both fatalities involved motor vehicles and one of the victims was not wearing a seat belt. The crashes occurred in Pike and Jefferson counties.
- Twenty-three year old Amanda Johnson of Laurel County has been sentenced to 45 years in prison after being convicted of killing her 23-month-old son. Earlier this month, a jury found Johnson guilty of murder and criminal abuse in connection with the 2009 death of her own son, Stephen Troy. Johnson’s boyfriend reported seeing her throw the toddler and punch him in the back. An autopsy revealed bruises on the child’s lower back, abdomen and the top of his head, as well as fractures in his legs. The jury recommended 35 years in prison for the murder charge and 10 years for criminal abuse.
- Kentucky State Police in Pikeville say an accident Monday afternoon on Ky. Route 1441 at Raccoon Road resulted in the death of John Charles, 77, of Newaygo, Michigan, who was a passenger in the car. Police say the driver ran off the roadway and struck a support beam, causing the car to overturn. Pike County Coroner Russell Roberts pronounced Charles dead at the scene.
- The body of Brian Jacob Gayheart was found in the Big Sandy River in Boyd County, but police say he was killed in Floyd County. Prestonsburg Police have arrested 20 year old Benjamin Meek and his wife, 21 year old Kaitlyn Crum Meek. Benjamin Meek is facing charges of murder, robbery, assault, theft, and tampering with physical evidence, while Kaitlyn Meek faces complicity charges. Prestonsburg Police say Meek and his wife met Brian Jacob Gayheart in the Goble-Roberts community on May 1st with plans to rob him. Prestonsburg Police Chief Mike Ormerod says it appears the motive for the robbery was drug-related.
- Two Bowling Green residents have been indicted on federal terrorism charges. Thirty year old Waad Ramadan Alwan and 23 year old Mohanad Shareef Hammadi were arrested last week following an investigation that began months after they arrived in the U.S. in 2009. According to court documents unsealed Tuesday, the two Iraqi men living as refugees in Kentucky tried to send sniper rifles, Stinger missiles and money to al-Qaida operatives in their home country, and both boasted of using improvised explosives against American troops there before moving to the U.S. Alwan is charged with conspiracy to kill a United States national, conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to provide material support to terrorists. Hammadi is charged with attempting to provide material support to terrorists and knowingly transferring, possession or exporting a device designed or intended to launch or guide a rocket or missile. Neither is charged with plotting attacks within the United States, and authorities said their weapons and money didn't make it to Iraq because of a tightly controlled undercover investigation. Criminal complaints against the two men say they entered the United States legally in April 2009 and had refugee status. By late 2010, Alwan had told the informant he wanted to help terrorists in Iraq, and he recruited Hammadi early this year.
- Investigators say the body of 19 year old Dillon Bryant, known as Nemo, was found in April in a shallow pond in the Sinking area near KY-1620 in Elliott County, but he didn't die there. The Elliott County coroner says Bryant died after he was shot, and police confirm they are now investigating the death as a homicide. Bryant went missing on February 28th.
- Kentucky Senate President and Republican gubernatorial candidate David Williams is offering further details into why he is not directly reimbursing the state treasury for pay during an unusual idle period in March. Williams said Tuesday that he has opted to work without pay for 13 days when he is in Frankfort during the legislative interim, a move that lets the state save more money by avoiding Social Security or retirement contributions.
- Former longtime Kentucky lawmaker Joseph "Eddie" Ballard, who championed veterans issues including the development of state-run nursing homes for ex-military members, died Tuesday at a hospital in Madisonville, his hometown. He was 81. Ballard joined the Kentucky House of Representatives in 1987 and served in the chamber through 2010. During part of his House career, the Democrat served as chairman of the House Tourism Development and Energy Committee. Ballard, who served in the Air Force, sponsored legislation to create Kentucky's Department of Veterans' Affairs.
- Lt. Governor Daniel Mongiardo and his wife, Allison Patrick Mongiardo, are expecting a son due this fall. The couple have a daughter, Kathryn, born December 22, 2009. Daniel Mongiardo, 50, and Allison Mongiardo, 25, married in 2008 after an 18-month engagement. The last child born to a couple in the lieutenant governor's office in Kentucky before Kathryn Mongiardo was to Steve and Heather French Henry, who had two daughters while he was in office. The last before that was a daughter to John Crepps Wickliffe Beckham and his wife, Jean Raphael Fuqua Beckham, in 1901.
- A preservation group says the state's picturesque small towns are in danger of fading away. Preservation Kentucky's Most Endangered Historic Places for 2011 highlights the history being lost in small hamlets across the state. Rachel Kennedy, executive director of Preservation Kentucky, part of the Kentucky Heritage Council, says disinvestment in small towns is "a serious problem" in the state.
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