The Commonwealth

1:46pm

Wed August 31, 2011
The Commonwealth

Good Review for Spenser Dispatch Services

More than a year has passed since Spencer County's 911 emergency dispatching service was transferred from a county-operated office above the sheriff’s department to the Kentucky State Police Post in Frankfort. Although some emergency service directors have identified minor problems with the service, the general consensus among local agencies is that the transition was mostly positive. And, according to KSP, the move saved Spencer County more than $93,000 in the first year.

10:31am

Wed August 31, 2011
The Commonwealth

Former Deputy Jailer Honored

Conrad Lanham, middle, stopped an inmate who threatened a jail nurse. Shelby County Jailer Bobby Waits, left, and Crystal Souders with Southern Health Partners pose with Lanham after he was presented with the Deputy Jailer of the Year award at a conferenc

It started out as just an ordinary day at work for Conrad Lanham, a deputy jailer at the Shelby County Detention Center. Then everything changed in a heartbeat when an inmate grabbed a female employee and put a sharp object to her throat. What Lanham did next earned him the title of Kentucky Deputy Jailer of the Year for 2010, an award given each year to a deputy who has displayed remarkable courage and bravery.

1:23pm

Tue August 30, 2011
The Commonwealth

Fewer Tobacco Crops Dot Kentucky Landscape

Stephen Gross ferried two empty tobacco wagons to the fields to pick up the next load of burley.
Charles Bertram Lexington Herald-Leader

A drive in the Kentucky countryside once meant frequent vistas of tobacco, growing golden green or — after it had been cut and spiked — wilting to a golden brown on sticks propped up in rows. Today, those scenes are more scarce. "It's going to be a thing of the past after a while," said Teddy Greathouse, who grows 120 acres of burley tobacco in Woodford, Scott and Franklin counties and is in the midst of a monthlong harvest. "I tell my grandkids, this is liable to be something you won't see."

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1:08pm

Tue August 30, 2011
The Commonwealth

Access Limited to Terror Case Evidence

U.S. District Judge Thomas B. Russell signed an order prohibiting the public disclosure of evidence in a terrorism case against two Iraqi refugees arrested in Bowling Green on charges of trying to send weapons and money to al-Qaida in Iraq. Waad Ramadan Alwan, 30, and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, 23, have pleaded not guilty to the charges in a 23-count federal indictment that accuses the men of attempting to support terrorism in Iraq. Federal authorities arrested them May 25 in Bowling Green. A federal grand jury indicted Alwan and Hammadi on May 26. Both entered the country legally as refugees.

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11:15am

Tue August 30, 2011
The Commonwealth

Public Comments Support East End Bridge

Public comments from earlier this summer on the Ohio River Bridges Project say building the East End Bridge is a priority, according to documents obtained by the Courier-Journal through an open records request. Developments for the project have been stalled since 2003 due to lack of funding. A new proposal by bi-state authorities in January cut around $1.2 billion from the project. But it also stemmed a new estimated year-long federal review called the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, which includes public comments.

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11:13am

Tue August 30, 2011
The Commonwealth

Rebuilding Downtown Louisville

The Louisville Downtown Development Corporation says it will take four new retail anchors and a bevy of small or independent businesses to revitalize south 4th Street. The DDC unveiled its proposal for turning the blocks between Muhammad Ali Boulevard and Broadway into a shopping district tonight at the Seelbach Hotel. While the Seelbach and the Brown Hotel would act as anchors for the district, the DDC’s proposal calls for the addition of four new anchors:

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9:55pm

Mon August 29, 2011
The Commonwealth

Rural Water in Wells

Many cities in central and southeast Kentucky draw water from the Kentucky River.  Other communities tap into the Big Sandy, Ohio, Licking and Mississippi Rivers.   Still, wells remain the chief source of drinking water for many rural towns.  Joe Burns, with the Kentucky Rural Water Association, says well water is often cleaner and cheaper.

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10:20am

Mon August 29, 2011
The Commonwealth

Departure Ceremony for KY National Guard

Hundreds of friends and family members turned out Saturday to honor a Kentucky National Guard unit preparing to deploy to Iraq. More than 300 soldiers with the 1204th Aviation Support Battalion based in northern Kentucky will provide logistical support and maintenance for the combat aviation brigade. The Iraq draw-down is expected to wrap up in December, but the yearlong deployment could have the 1204th sent to other areas.

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10:05am

Mon August 29, 2011
The Commonwealth

Coach Joins the Military at 42

Sean Gillespie

At the age of 42, Sean Gillespie, the head basketball coach at Kentucky's Union College, decided to join the Kentucky National Guard. Now, he's at basic training at Fort Benning. Gillespie said he didn't join the Guard to seek a career. "My first motive is to serve my country and do my part. My piece is really tiny. I am one of thousands and thousands of men," he said. "I didn't want to look back at the age of 45 or 50 and regret not trying to serve my country."

11:29am

Sun August 28, 2011
The Commonwealth

National Guard Leaves for Iraq

The Kentucky National Guard honored the 1204th Aviation Support Battalion Saturday at Northern Kentucky University with a departure ceremony as they prepare to leave for deployment in Iraq.
Jeff Swinger Kentucky Enquirer

A National Guard battalion based in Independence got a grand sendoff Saturday at the Bank of Kentucky Center before departing to serve in Iraq. A public departure ceremony was held at the arena for the nearly 600 soldiers from the 1204th Aviation Support Battalion. The battalion is made up of soldiers from Kentucky, Alabama, Florida and Maryland, with approximately 325 from Kentucky.

1:35pm

Fri August 26, 2011
The Commonwealth

Pharmacist Accused of Drug Theft

A Frankfort pharmacist has been charged with theft of a controlled substance after he was caught on video under the influence of a stolen pharmacy drug, a prosecutor says. “He stole liquid hyrdocodone from the pharmacy and was using it while on the job there at Walgreens,” Commonwealth’s Attorney Larry Cleveland said.

11:25am

Fri August 26, 2011
The Commonwealth

Families Reflect on Flight 5191

This weekend marks the five year anniversary of the crash of Comair Flight 5191. Forty-nine people were killed when the plane took off from the wrong runway at Lexington's Blue Grass airport.  Reporter Brenna Angel spoke with three victims' family members about how they continue to cope with the loss of loved ones and what a new memorial means to them.  "The first year was extremely difficult, particularly the weeks following the crash obviously."

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9:39am

Fri August 26, 2011
The Commonwealth

Prescription Medicine Abuse in Marshall Co.

Narcotics detectives in Marshall County say they have identified some residents of southeast Kentucky who obtained questionable prescriptions from doctors in Georgia but went to the lakes region of western Kentucky to have them filled.

9:39am

Fri August 26, 2011
The Commonwealth

Prescription Medicine Abuse in Marshall Co.

Narcotics detectives in Marshall County say they have identified some residents of southeast Kentucky who obtained questionable prescriptions from doctors in Georgia but went to the lakes region of western Kentucky to have them filled.

5:23am

Fri August 26, 2011
The Commonwealth

States Combine to Fight Prescription Drug Abuse

Kentucky is collaborating with three other states to form the Interstate Prescription Drug Task Force, which will attempt to stop prescription drug abuse. Soon, doctors will be able to request data across state lines to monitor patient prescriptions. Ohio and Kentucky announced earlier this month that they began exchanging prescription drug information in a similar program, and now Tennessee and West Virginia have been asked to participate.

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9:02am

Thu August 25, 2011
The Commonwealth

Madisonville Drug Unit Triples Arrests

Madisonville Police Department’s Vice and Narcotic Squad has confiscated almost $190,000 worth of drugs in the first six months of its existence, said Police Chief Wade Williams. “That’s drugs that would have made it to the streets of Madisonville,” he said. The amount of illegal substances are not the only thing taken off the street.

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3:59pm

Wed August 24, 2011
The Commonwealth

Red Cross Sends Volunteers to East Coast

The Bluegrass Chapter of the American Red Cross is preparing for Hurricane Irene. Spokesman Winn Stephens says as the storm moves closer to land, volunteers are mobilizing. "We have our emergency response vehicle and two local volunteers who left at 6 o'clock on Wednesday morning to drive to Columbia, South Carolina. And that is the staging location for all of the Red Cross' emergency response vehicles on the east coast." 

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1:43pm

Wed August 24, 2011
The Commonwealth

Alleged Copper Thief Electrocuted

A man was found dead Tuesday in the Harlan County Smith community on property owned by Manalapan Mining Company. The body was located inside the fenced area of an electric substation. Kentucky State Police Trooper Doyle Halcomb is in charge of the death investigation. KSP Sgt. Jeremy Lee said the man appeared to be have been electrocuted while attempting to steal copper wiring from a relay station that supplied power to the property of R & B Coal Company.

11:06am

Wed August 24, 2011
The Commonwealth

Former Oak Grove Police Chief Sues City

Milton Perry, Oak Grove’s former police chief, believes the city violated his state and federal rights when Mayor Dan Potter fired him in March. At the time, Potter cited “ongoing leadership issues” and said Perry had jeopardized the police department’s liability insurance coverage for the second time in three years.

10:41am

Wed August 24, 2011
The Commonwealth

Scattered Thunderstorms to Hit Tonight

An approaching cold front could create some scattered thunderstorms that might hit the greater Louisville area and parts of Central Kentucky during the overnight period early Thursday. Some of the storms could become severe, according to the National Weather Service. The greatest danger would be high winds, NWS said.

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10:29am

Wed August 24, 2011
The Commonwealth

Utility Owes Family for Gas Line

Jurors in Knott County have ruled that a natural-gas company should pay more than $600,000 for building a transmission line across a family's property without permission. The jury awarded the family $64,490 in compensation and $600,000 to punish Chesapeake Appalachia LLC for its conduct, said Lexington attorney Joe F. Childers, who represented the family.

2:39pm

Tue August 23, 2011
The Commonwealth

No Earthquake Damage Reported in Kentucky

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.9, according to CNN, struck Washington, D.C. shortly before 2 p.m. Tuesday. There were no injuries and only minor damage has been reported. The quake was felt in Eastern Kentucky, a Lee County resident said. The quake's epicenter was in Northern Virginia and it was felt up and down the East Coast, CNN reported.

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9:30am

Tue August 23, 2011
The Commonwealth

Kentuckians Recover from Fair Collapse

Shannon and Jade Walcott, of Erlanger, are shown waiting for the Sugarland concert at the Indiana State Fair moments before the stage collapse.
Kentucky Enquirer

A Northern Kentucky mother and daughter remained hospitalized in Indianapolis after being crushed by the falling stage at the Indiana State Fair on Aug. 13. Shannon Walcott, 34, of Erlanger, suffered broken ribs, broken vertebrae, a broken pelvis and a third-degree burn on her leg. Her 10-year-old daughter Jade a suffered a crushed skull, fractured neck vertebrae and an ear laceration.

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1:22pm

Mon August 22, 2011
The Commonwealth

Engineer Fitted With A Big Heart

Arnie LeMay, director of engineering at Frankfort Regional Medical Center, stands beside a 16 million BTU boiler.
Tricia Spaulding Frankfort State Journal

When Arnie heard that a woman was trapped alone in an elevator, he was off to the rescue. He climbed down the elevator shaft, crawled through the roof and kept her company until she was freed. The next day, he sent flowers. In his official capacity, Arnie LeMay, 58, is director of engineering at Frankfort Regional Medical Center. Unofficially, he’s “the engineer with a big heart.” Hospital CEO Chip Peal calls him Frankfort’s MacGyver. Arnie can fix, build or rig anything, which makes him a lifesaver at home, at work and across the globe.

12:37pm

Sun August 21, 2011
The Commonwealth

Disability Pension Could Cost Lexington

Embattled Lexington fire Chief Robert Hendricks already draws a service pension from his first career as a Lexington firefighter, from which he retired in 1997. He wants more. Hendricks' request is common in a city where disability pensions are more generous and easier to win than elsewhere. During the past five years, 38 percent of the 119 Lexington police officers and firefighters who retired were awarded disability pensions. That compared to 3 percent for Kentucky State Police and 7 percent for Louisville hazardous-duty workers, including police officers and firefighters.

11:50am

Sun August 21, 2011
The Commonwealth

Is Kenton Co Smoking Ban Repeal Ahead?

Four months after Kenton County became the first Northern Kentucky county to ban smoking inside most public establishments, the initial furor has died down, but neither side is satisfied. Enforcement issues, exemptions and the lack of uniform rules with neighboring communities raise the question of whether a community can effectively ban smoking on its own. With Campbell and Boone counties allowing smoking and Ohio having a state ban, Kenton County's ban has struggled to succeed and remains in the cross hairs of those opposed to it.

12:58pm

Fri August 19, 2011
The Commonwealth

State Roadshow Report for Next Week

Pothole patching, sweeping, drain and ditch cleaning, pavement marking, and maintenance crews may work on major interstates in the Louisville Metro area only during non-peak daytime hours and at night. Motorists should watch for roadside maintenance and pavement marking crews on interstates and highways throughout the rest of the area on a daily basis.

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10:35am

Fri August 19, 2011
The Commonwealth

Wilmore Tables Livestock Ordinance

Discussion about whether to enact a livestock ordinance was abundant at the Wilmore City Council meeting, but after talking for 40 minutes, the council voted to table the discussion until its next meeting on Sept. 12. Councilwoman Kim Deyer weighed both sides of the issue at the meeting, addressing protection of property values, safety and animal rights. Deyer said she’s not sure an ordinance is necessary but she does think the city needs some kind of boundaries for animal-owners.

10:22am

Thu August 18, 2011
The Commonwealth

Mason Bypass Nears Completion

Workers are hoping to complete the bridge over Clark's Run Road in the next four weeks.

The idea of a limited access bypass was first introduced to Mason County citizens in September 1999. The project was one of the last accomplishments under the tenure of the late State Rep. Pete Worthington and stirred opposition among landowners affected by the proposal. Nearly 12 years later, the footprint of the bypass is visible and construction is expected to be complete in late summer or early fall 2012, a project 13 years in the making.

10:14am

Thu August 18, 2011
The Commonwealth

Northern KY Receives Transportation Grant

A key Northern Kentucky transportation artery will get a major safety fix and a much-needed facelift, thanks to a federal transportation grant awarded Wednesday. Interstate 471 will be rehabilitated and repaved. The rehabilitation of I-471 will benefit tens of thousands of drivers. The 30-year-old interstate connects U.S. 27 in Highland Heights to I-71 in Cincinnati. I-471 is just 5.75 miles long, but average daily traffic is roughly 90,000 vehicles.

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