Wednesday, June 08, 2011
EKB Capsule News...Kentucky...6-9-'11
- A Pike County community said a sad goodbye Wednesday to Feds Creek Church of Christ minister, 63 year old William "Buddy" Hall. Hall was fishing with two grandsons Saturday at Ratliff Hole in Elkhorn City when the water got too swift. Hall had a rope tied around each of the boys, and when he went down, in order not to take them down, he turned loose of the rope and let them go.
- Whitley County Sheriff's Deputies say, on Tuesday, an AT&T employee caught two people in the process of stealing cable, worth $3,000, in the Gatliff community. The suspects took off, but the employee was able to provide a good description of them and their car. Deputies spotted the car on Highway 904. After a three mile chase, 30 year old Edna J. Holt, of Mud Creek was taken into custody, but the man ran. Holt is charged with theft by unlawful taking.
- Paintsville doctor Richard W. Albert, whose Care Management Clinic was by raided February 16, 2011 by federal law enforcement officials, has been charged with conspiracy to distribute and dispense schedule II controlled substances without a legitimate medical purpose between January 1, 2008 and February 16, 2011. An undercover investigation began in January 2009 after the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office received information from the Paintsville Police Department about what appeared to be a “pill mill” operating at a strip mall in Paintsville. The investigation continued through February 1, 2011. Dr. Albert appeared in U.S. District court in Pikeville last week where he waived his right to a preliminary hearing. The case now goes to a federal grand jury. During the raid, federal, state, and local law enforcement agents confiscated medical records and computers and arrested numerous people on the clinic’s parking lot on charges ranging from public intoxication, drug possession, outstanding criminal warrants, and suspended licenses, but Dr. Albert was not charged or arrested during the raid.
- A death investigation is underway after 33 year old Shawn Sweet was found dead inside his London home on Rader Ridge Road around 2:30 P.M. Tuesday afternoon. Sweet, who was found hanging and unresponsive by his girlfriend, was transported to St. Joseph Hospital in London where he was pronounced dead. No foul play is suspected.
- Betting services allowing Kentuckians to make phone or online wagers on horse races are facing the prospect of being licensed by the state as a result of action by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. The proposed regulation approved Wednesday calls for licensing advance deposit wagering operations with Kentucky customers. The regulation now heads for a review by state lawmakers. Currently, ADW bets are exempt from a levy applied to other types of wagers made on Kentucky horse races.
- The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission on Wednesday denied Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Rick Dutrow Jr.'s request that his license application be withdrawn. Earlier this year, the commission's License Review Committee denied Dutrow a license to race in the state in 2011. Commission executive director Lisa Underwood said at the time that the committee's denial was based on Dutrow's "consistent disregard for the rules of racing." Underwood said Wednesday the commission's latest decision means Dutrow's appeal can proceed to a hearing officer, who will review the case and submit a recommendation to the commission which can accept, reject or modify it. Dutrow won the Derby and Preakness in 2008 with Big Brown but has had trouble staying out of trouble since.
- Scott Wendelsdorf, the public defender for 30 year old Waad Ramadan Alwan, an Iraqi refugee charged with trying to send weapons from the U.S. to al-Qaida operatives in Iraq, opted not to pursue a bond hearing just before the scheduled start of court proceedings in Bowling Green on Wednesday morning. 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. Charged with Alwan is 23 year old Mohanad Shareef Hammadi. He has also waived his detention hearing.
- A new law went into effect Wednesday to try to crack down on metal theft in Kentucky. House Bill 242 passed both houses of the Kentucky General Assembly during the 2011 legislative session and was signed into law by Governor Steve Beshear on March 16th. It prohibits anyone from buying or selling metal that has been smelted, burned or melted. Attorney General Jack Conway says metal thefts cost businesses nationally around $1 billion dollars each year, including hundreds of thousands of dollars in property damage. It can also affect public safety by compromising communications or emergency response capabilities, such as 911 service. Penalties for damaging a communication or utility facility or interrupting services can include a felony conviction carrying prison time and heavy fines.
- In a speech at Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies in Washington Wednesday, Senator Rand Paul urged “a more restrained” foreign policy for the United States, one that recognizes constitutional constraints and the need to cut costs. Paul, who said Congress has become not even a rubber stamp, but an irrelevancy,” argued for a congressional vote on the U.S. military action in Libya, saying lawmakers have been left out of foreign policy decisions expressly reserved to Congress by the Constitution. Paul has been a frequent critic of the Obama administration’s decision to participate with NATO allies in a military campaign to oust Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi.
- Deputy Chief Justice Mary C. Noble, who was a Fayette County circuit judge for 15 years and served two consecutive terms as chief regional circuit judge, became the first woman to preside during oral arguments in the Kentucky Supreme Court on Wednesday. In the absence of Chief Justice John Minton Jr., who recused himself, Noble oversaw arguments in the Hancock County spousal rape case of Randy Leinenbach. Leinenbach claims his conviction should be overturned based on ineffective counsel. Noble has served as deputy chief justice since last year. She was elected to the Supreme Court from the central Kentucky region in 2006.
- If Kentucky's highways and byways look a little cleaner this week, you can thank the Adopt-a-Highway program. The Transportation Cabinet says this is Adopt-a-Highway Summer Scrub Week, and volunteers are expected to be out across the state cleaning the roadsides. Volunteers adopt two-mile sections of highway under a contract with the cabinet. More than 900 groups participate in Kentucky's program, cleaning some 6,800 miles of roadside annually. The cabinet says it spends $5 million and 200,000 worker hours every year removing 96,000 bags of highway litter and that the Adopt-a-Highway program helps save taxpayer dollars.
- Young Kentucky readers can get a head start on their college funds by participating in a summer reading program. The Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives and the Kentucky Education Savings Plan Trust are sponsoring the Destination College Savings Sweepstakes as part of this year's Summer Reading Program. The sweepstakes will award a $1,000 college savings account to eight children, 18 or younger. Each winner's local public library will receive $500 toward future reading programs. To enter the sweepstakes, fill out an entry form at the local library when signing up for the Summer Reading Program.
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