Monday, May 30, 2011
EKB Capsule News...Kentucky...5-31-'11
- Another funeral will be held Tuesday for one of four Kentuckians killed when a plane crashed in western North Carolina Wednesday. A memorial service for pilot Matt Shuey, a Lexington native, was held Sunday night in Lexington. Tiffany Maggard, Kassie Robinson and Miranda Morgan, all from Knott County, died in the crash. Tiffany Maggard's funeral was held Monday. Robinson's funeral will be held at 11:00 A.M. Tuesday morning at Hindman Funeral Services. Morgan's visitation will begin after 6:00 P.M. Tuesday, and her funeral will be at 1:00 P.M. Thursday at Nelson Frazier Funeral Home in Hindman.
- In 2009, Cynthia Mullins took a steak knife off a Walmart shelf in Pikeville, Kentucky and stabbed Lora Damron several times. Damron was eight-months pregnant at the time. Last Wednesday, a Pike County jury convicted Mullins but found her to be mentally ill. The jury recommended a 20 year sentence for Mullins, but that she serve her time in a mental health facility. Police say Mullins stabbed another woman four years prior and was on probation for that crime when she stabbed Damron.
- Friends and family of Michael Crowe, a former football player at Prestonsburg High School, gathered at the school Monday to celebrate his life, on what would have been his 19th birthday. Crowe was shot in a Versailles Apartment complex parking lot in April. Police have arrested Alexander Muniz and charged him with Crowe's murder. Muniz is expected to appear in Woodford County court Wednesday.
- The Knox County Grand Jury indicted James Bargo of Haber Heights, Ohio last week on two counts of first degree assault for the shooting of 60 year old Wade Croley and 30 year old Charity Carter. The shooting occurred near a cemetery off Hedden Flats Road near Woodbine on April 10th. Bargo is being held in Knoxville, Tennessee, where he was arrested. He faces charges in both Tennessee and Kentucky.
- Kentucky prosecutors are seeking to extradite from Ohio 36 year old Rodney Dodson, 43 year old Ronald Fairchild and 36 year old Jason Jackson, three men charged with the May 2005 shooting deaths of 43 year old Donald Walker and 23 year old Marlane Mauk. Fleming County Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Gary Adkins says the men are fighting extradition, where they were arrested May 10th. Adkins says a governor's warrant needed to return the men to Kentucky is being sought. Kentucky State Police say theft and drugs were the motives for the slaying of Walker, while Mauk was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
- Senate President David Williams and House Speaker Greg Stumbo, Kentucky's top two legislative leaders, aren’t among a growing list of lawmakers who have reimbursed pay they received for a two-week period in March with the House adjourned and the Senate in recess. The total bill for the period was estimated at more than $600,000. The disputed pay became a heated issue in the final days of a special legislative session that had been called by Governor Steve Beshear to balance the state’s Medicaid budget. Williams and Stumbo have taken other routes to deal with the pay issue, which explains why they aren’t among some 23 lawmakers who have refunded the state more than $61,000. Williams spokeswoman Lourdes Baez-Schrader says Williams has opted to forgo pay during the legislative interim until the state is fully reimbursed for the disputed wages paid to him between March 25th and April 6th. Stumbo and House Majority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins say they and many other House lawmakers have given their wages to charities, a move that provides them a tax write-off. Some also have followed Williams’ lead.
- T.C. Drake, a tight end for the University of Kentucky Wildcats from 2006 through 2009, remained in serious condition at University of Louisville Hospital Monday after his motorcycle was struck by a car about 9:00 P.M. Sunday night. Police say Drake, a Bardstown native, was thrown from the motorcycle when a car made a left turn in front of him on U.S. 62 in Nelson County. Police say 35 year old Jennifer Reed has been charged with first-degree assault, and operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Drake, a walk-on at Kentucky, had a total of 20 catches for 281 yards in his career with the Wildcats.
- In an effort to reduce teacher absences, beginning July 1st, Knox County teachers will receive a cut in the amount of emergency days they’re granted. In 2010, the district spent over $618,000 for substitute teachers, enough to pay up to 12 first-year teachers. Knox teachers are given ten paid sick days and two paid personal days each year. Unused days are allowed to accumulate. Rather than eliminate the three emergency days granted to teachers, the board opted to reduce the number from three to two and limit them to use for bereavement. Beginning in August, the district will report to the state the percentage of teacher absences by school.
- James Davis Jr. describes spending nine months in jail on a murder charge as "God testing my faith." Prosecutors in Louisville have dropped a murder charge against him, choosing to pursue a case against a man who served as an informant against him. Jefferson County Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Erin White says a case against the informant, 19 year old Stephen Sykes, will be submitted to a grand jury. Sykes was charged in the April 5, 2010 death of Jeffrey Lay after charges were dismissed against Davis. Davis, 20, was initially charged with killing Lay, a California man, in a drug deal gone bad. White said the theory of the crime changed after they received information that Sykes was involved in the murder, but the decision to drop charges doesn't clear Davis. White says he's not convinced James Davis isn't involved, but he doesn't believe he can prove he is the triggerman. Sykes pleaded guilty in 2008 to a robbery and burglary of a convenience store as a juvenile but was given probation when he turned 18. His probation was revoked after he was arrested in May 2010 in a restaurant shooting, and he is now serving a 10-year sentence. Police say Sykes allegedly confessed to other inmates recently that he was responsible for the killing.
- The Legislative Ethics Commission says special interests spent $7 million lobbing Kentucky lawmakers from January through April. Most of that money, $6.1 million, was paid to the lobbyists who work the halls of the state Capitol pushing for legislation that benefits their employers. So far this year, health care has been the highest spending industry, putting $1.5 million in lobbying efforts at the state Capitol. Hospital operators accounted for about $300,000 of that. Among the biggest spenders, the Kentucky Hospital Association spent $56,000. Norton Healthcare spent $44,631. Baptist Healthcare System spent $42,800.
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