Saturday, June 11, 2011
EKB Capsule News...Kentucky...6-12-'11
- Pearl Combs, Jr., 58, of Perry County, pleaded guilty Thursday morning to an amended count of second-degree promoting gambling, a misdemeanor. Hazard Police say, while serving a warrant after receiving a tip that Combs was engaging in vote buying during the May 2010 primary election, they found four touch screen gambling machines at Combs’s High Street business on May 18, 2010. Combs was indicted by the grand jury last month on one count of first-degree promoting gambling, a Class D felony, but that charge was amended to a misdemeanor. The plea deal will have Combs pay a $500 fine and forfeit the machines as well as roughly $1,900 in cash found inside the machines in exchange for his guilty plea. Combs is scheduled to report to a federal penitentiary on June 14th to begin serving an 18-month sentence for vote buying after being sentenced in April alongside fellow Perry County residents Lewis “Cuz” Baker and Charles Marvin Herald for conspiring to buy votes in the 2010 primary. Baker and Herald were sentenced to serve 10 months and six months respectively.
- A University of Kentucky tweet Friday about work under way toward a contract extension for basketball coach John Calipari came as no surprise as it followed the school's first trip to the Final Four in 12 years, advancement to the Elite Eight the year before and his recruitment of three straight No. 1-rated classes. Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart termed an extension as a means "to ensure that Calipari has long tenure at Kentucky." Calipari's current contract expires on March 30, 2017. Barnhart tweet, which represented the second straight year of talk about a new contract for Calipari, did not mention a pay raise. Calipari's original eight-year contract called for pay totalling $31.65 million.
- Kathy Hart and her husband, Anthony Wayne Hart, a Berea couple indicted on human trafficking charges, pleaded not guilty Friday in Madison Circuit Court. The couple is accused of forcing their 13 and 14 year old daughters to perform sexual favors in exchange for money and gifts. The incidents allegedly occurred between October 10, 2009, and February 24, 2011. Madison County authorities began investigating the Harts on December 11th when a Foley Middle School teacher called Richmond Police to report two students from her school were dressed “inappropriately” as they stood in front of the cinema at Richmond Centre. Richmond Police Officer Nicholas Duvall says the girls were dressed in “lacy, hot-pink negligee-like tops, tight jeans and boots. Duvall interviewed both girls, who told him their mother “made them go out with guys for money, food and clothing. The teacher also told police she heard a man ask the girls’ father “how much he wanted for both of them.” Human trafficking is a Class B felony, punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
- The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) is recognizing World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15 by reminding citizens to immediately report suspected abuse or neglect. “We have a duty to protect Kentuckians of all ages from abuse, neglect and exploitation,” CHFS Secretary Janie Miller said. “Our most vulnerable citizens deserve our respect and our commitment to keeping them safe. We all can be a part of establishing their well-being.” Wednesday, June 15, marks the sixth annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, a time to raise awareness of elder abuse, neglect and exploitation throughout the world. In Kentucky, advocates of elder abuse prevention have encouraged individuals to wear purple to show their commitment to protecting older citizens and spreading the awareness message.
- Governor Steve Beshear spoke out on the improving economy. "I am pleased to see that revenues continue to improve beyond budgeted expectations. It appears that we will end the current fiscal year with unexpected funds, though the amount, of course, won’t be known until we close the books after June 30. The May revenue report gives us additional hope that the revenue outlook for next fiscal year may improve beyond budgeted levels as well. Therefore, at this time no furlough days for state employees will be scheduled for Fiscal Year 2012. We will continue to evaluate whether any furloughs will be necessary to balance the $169 million budgeted gap in the FY 12 budget when we have updated revenue projections; however, if things continue as they are going now, they will be unnecessary. My sincere thanks goes to all state employees for their sacrifice. Nearly every state employee took these days regardless of position, including me. This sacrifice saved over 400 state jobs and helped us balance our budget despite incredibly difficult financial times, and it will not soon be forgotten. I join state employees as well as all Kentuckians in looking forward to a more robust economy.”
- An intense storm roared through the Pikeville area Saturday. It appears the majority of the damage occured in the Pikeville city limits. Mudslides, rock falls and downed trees were the result of the cloudburst that happened shortly before 6:00 P.M. Several streets and roads in Pikeville were blocked for several hours as crews worked to clear the debris and downed tree limbs from city streets. On the East Kentucky Broadcasting Weather Center instruments, 1.42 inches of rain fell in less than a thirty minute period. Also, wind gusts were measured at 34mph.
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