Saturday, April 23, 2011
EKB Capsule News...Kentucky...4-24-'11
- Kentucky State Police say Jimmie K. Scott, 35, of Irvine was pronounced dead at the scene of a two-vehicle collision near Irvine Friday. Troopers investigating the crash say a pickup truck driven by Ronnie Abney Jr., 36, of Irvine, was traveling south on Ky. 89 when it crossed the center line and struck a vehicle driven by Scott. Abney and his wife, Kimberly, 31, were treated for minor injuries at Marcum & Wallace Memorial Hospital in Irvine. Scott’s wife, Jessica, 30, was also treated at the Irvine hospital for a minor injury.
- State legislators have received a portion of their pay for the disputed final 13 days of this year's special session. Another round of checks on May 10th will pay salaries for the final six days. The Treasury recently distributed paychecks for the first seven days, which came after the House adjourned but the Senate did not, accounting for roughly half of the $580,000 owed to legislators. The legislators were called into special session after the House and Senate were unable to deal with a major shortfall in the Medicaid budget, but the two chambers continued to disagree. The House adjourned with a pledge from Governor Steve Beshear to veto objectionable parts of the Senate-passed bill. Friday Senate President David Williams said senators must return their compensation to the state, or he will deduct an equivalent amount from any salary and expenses senators receive this year for such things as attending conferences. House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, has largely left the matter up to individual members, saying some members have plans to return the pay. Others intend to make donations to charity or to the family of Representative Dewayne Bunch, a teacher who was seriously injured while breaking up a school fight in Whitley County.
- Hazel Dickens, a folk singer and bluegrass musician who advocated for coal miners, died Friday morning at a Washington hospice of complications from pneumonia at the age of 75. Dickens, a vocalist and double-bassist, became a fixture in the bluegrass circuit in the 1960s and 1970s with her musical partner, Alice Gerrard. The duo performed as Hazel & Alice and released several albums, emerging as some of the earliest prominent women in bluegrass and paving the way for other female folk singers. Dickens's music was later featured in the "Harlan County, USA," Barbara Kopple's 1976 Oscar-winning documentary about Kentucky coal miners. Among her honors was a 2008 induction into the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame and a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.
- The Kentucky Supreme Court has ruled that a Winchester man found guilty in the beating death of his 10-year-old daughter should be granted a new trial. The court on Thursday found that Patrick Watkins' wife, Joy, had made 17 incriminating statements about him that were played for jurors, but Patrick Watkins was never allowed to respond to or refute those statements, violating his right to confront his accuser. Patrick Watkins was the father of Michaela Watkins, who was found dead in March 2007. Joy Watkins was her stepmother. Both were convicted in Michaela's death and were sentenced to life in prison in September 2008. During the Watkins’ trial, Deputy Coroner Dr. Andy Hamon testified that Michaela suffered from a crushed chest and second and third degree burns on the backs of her legs, buttocks and her heels. She also had multiple bruises on her face. The state medical examiner, Dr. Cristin Rolf, also testified that Michaela’s injuries were the result of an assault, and that burn marks indicated she was placed in scalding water.
- A collision between a CSX train and a passenger car has sent two occupants of the car to the Emergency Room of the Pikeville Medical Center. The accident happened at the Vera Drive Crossing behind the Pikeville Wal-Mart Supercenter on Thompson Road. Pikeville City Police and emergency crews responded to the incident. The identity of those involved was not released.
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