The Commonwealth

6:43am

Mon July 11, 2011
The Commonwealth

KY Holds Millions in Unclaimed Assets

Kentucky’s treasurer says the state is now holding about $300 million worth of unclaimed assets. Unclaimed property typically includes savings and checking accounts, stocks and personal property forgotten by their owners. Sometimes the owners have died and their heirs aren’t aware of the property.

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6:00am

Mon July 11, 2011
The Commonwealth

National Guard Prepares for War's End

CAMP ATTERBURY, IND. - The United States invaded Iraq in 2003. Now eight years later, the Department of Defense is ready to finalize the military drawdown. Helping in that effort are soldiers from the Kentucky National Guard and three other states. Brenna Angel reports on what some are thinking about as they prepare for the historic mission.

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1:41pm

Thu July 7, 2011
The Commonwealth

Switch in 911 Duties Will Save Taxpayers

Tears streamed down Wendy Henson’s face Wednesday when Franklin and Simpson County leaders voted to outsource her job to Bowling Green. Henson is the interim supervisor for the Simpson County 911 Dispatch Services center. County leaders in a joint special called meeting Wednesday with the Franklin City Commission voted to terminate their agreement with the city of Franklin for dispatch services. Then, within minutes, both the city commission and county fiscal court voted unanimously to examine an agreement with the state to provide emergency dispatch services through Kentucky State Police Post 3 in Bowling Green. The switch is expected to save thousands in taxpayer dollars.

1:38pm

Thu July 7, 2011
The Commonwealth

Bowling Green Revisits Fireworks Law

The booms, bangs and bright flashes of fireworks over the weekend have given way to an acknowledgment by the Bowling Green Board of Commissioners that it must revisit the recently passed fireworks ordinance. Similar concerns about safety and noise have been expressed in Louisville and Lexington.

4:14pm

Wed July 6, 2011
The Commonwealth

Mayor Speaks Out About Terror Trials

The mayor of Bowling Green, Kentucky believes the two Iraqi nationals being held in his city on terrorism charges are secure and American courts can handle terror suspects. On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in a letter that the decision to treat Waad Ramadan Alwan and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi as civilian defendants in federal court was “ill-advised.” However, the city commissioners disagreed and voted by a three-to-two margin against a resolution asking Holder to move the trial.

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4:05pm

Wed July 6, 2011
The Commonwealth

Deadly Weekend on Kentucky Roads

The initial state-wide numbers are in on highway fatalities over the Fourth of July weekend. Six people died in six separate crashes between Friday afternoon and midnight Monday. Alcohol is a suspected factor in one crash. Four fatalities involved motorists not wearing their seatbelts. Lieutenant David Jude with the Kentucky State Police says to date, 321 people have lost their lives on Kentucky roadways.

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3:47pm

Wed July 6, 2011
The Commonwealth

Senator: Justice System not Meant for Terrorists

While the Bowling Green Board of Commissioners didn’t pass a resolution asking the Department of Justice to move the trial of two suspected terrorists, U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., continued his efforts Tuesday. McConnell, the Senate minority leader, sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder asking Holder to reconsider his decision to hold civilian trials for Waad Ramadan Alwan and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, both arrested on terrorism charges in Bowling Green in May.

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3:44pm

Wed July 6, 2011
The Commonwealth

Five Sentenced in Target Oil Fraud

FRANKFORT – Five individuals were sentenced in U.S. District Court in Lexington last week on charges related to an investment fraud scheme through a company called Target Oil and Gas.  The Kentucky Department of Financial Institutions was instrumental in assisting the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in investigating the case. . District Judge Joseph M. Hood handed down these sentences:

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7:26am

Wed July 6, 2011
The Commonwealth

McConnell Asks for New Trial Site

Kentucky senator Mitch McConnell is asking the U.S Attorney General to reconsider his decision to try terror suspects in a Bowling Green courtroom. In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, Senator McConnell writes the decision to try Waad Ramadan Alwan and Mohaned Shareef Hammadi in civilian court was “ill-advised." 

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10:03am

Tue July 5, 2011
The Commonwealth

Beshear Recognizes Lemonade Stand

He may only have graduated from kindergarten, but Harrison Owens is already being commended by the head of state. Harrison, 5½, came home last week to find a letter in the mailbox from Gov. Steve Beshear. The letter arrived in response to a letter Harrison sent in April. Harrison had told the governor he planned to hold lemonade stands to raise funds to place seat belts on school buses. The Stamping Ground Elementary School student said it was not safe to ride in vehicles without seat belts.

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10:56am

Mon July 4, 2011
The Commonwealth

North Kentucky Leads in "Detained" Youth

Kentucky detains the second highest number of youths in the nation for behavior that would not be considered illegal if committed by an adult. While national child advocates say Kentucky has been proactive in lowering the number of youths locked up for misbehaving - skipping school, running away or being out of control - the state's ranking is skewed by Northern Kentucky counties that jail an unusually high number of children.

10:52am

Mon July 4, 2011
The Commonwealth

Kentucky Guard Unit Prepares for War's End

Intense training occurs daily at this huge Indiana base as more than 1,300 Kentucky National Guard members from around the state prepare for a historic tour of duty in Iraq. They've been here about a month and will leave the United States in late July after their mobilization training is completed. The operation could make history in two ways. It will be the largest deployment by the Kentucky National Guard since World War II, and the troops probably will be the last Kentucky Guard members sent to Iraq. The U.S. military is on pace to end operations there and depart the country Dec. 31.

10:06am

Sun July 3, 2011
The Commonwealth

Man Assaults Police, Pleads Guilty

The man caught on tape dragging a Frankfort Police officer during a traffic stop has pleaded guilty to assault and other charges. Russell Wheat, 50, will be sentenced Sept. 2. He faces up to 20 years in prison, but Commonwealth’s Attorney Larry Cleveland recommends four years and will oppose probation, according to the plea agreement.

9:59am

Sun July 3, 2011
The Commonwealth

'Texting' Ban Lacks Enforcement

In early January, 22-year-old Elizabeth Burrous was driving to the hospital to see a family friend. She didn't make it out of her Erlanger neighborhood before a police officer pulled her over. Her offense: failing to yield because she was texting. The law went into effect one year ago, but for the first six months officers only issued verbal warnings. Citations and fines began Jan. 1. In the first six months, nine people in Northern Kentucky were cited for texting behind the wheel. Statewide there were 144 citations issued under the law, which also includes a ban on anyone under 18 talking on a cell phone while driving.

9:55am

Sun July 3, 2011
The Commonwealth

Man Allegedly Assaults Deputy

A Henderson man allegedly assaulted a Henderson County deputy early Saturday morning. He is also accused of resisting arrest and leading city and county law enforcement officials on foot and vehicle chases. According to police reports, Deputy Bob Wathen confronted 47-year-old Paul S. Gregory in an attempt to arrest him on a failure to appear warrant and domestic violence order violation. Gregory reportedly assaulted Wathen and fled the scene on foot.

2:48pm

Thu June 30, 2011
The Commonwealth

Louisville and Lexington Launch Job Study

Joined by Lexington Mayor Jim Gray at the Clinton Global Initiative American event held in Chicago Thursday, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced a regional economic development study to improve both cities’ competitiveness in advanced manufacturing. The Washington, D.C.-based Brookings Institution will provide support for the 18-month project to determine how Kentucky’s two largest cities can strengthen their existing job markets and work together to achieve significant job growth in manufacturing and other key industries.

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2:11pm

Thu June 30, 2011
The Commonwealth

Roadside Relief: Safety Teams on Patrol

Jim Elliott of Scottsville, a safety patrol officer with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet's Division of Incident Management, pulls a piece of tractor-trailer tire from the middle of Interstate 65. Elliott patrols 58 miles of I-65, from the Tennessee bo
Alex Slitz The Daily News

Eric Tipton of Morgantown breathed a sigh of relief Wednesday afternoon when Jim Elliott pulled his white Ford F-350 highway safety truck behind Tipton’s broken-down Nissan at mile marker 5 on the southbound William H. Natcher Parkway. Tipton wasn’t sure if his car had run out of gas or if he had a fuel line problem. Elliott grabbed one of his two gas cans out of the back of his truck and poured a half-gallon of gas into Tipton’s gas tank. The car didn’t start, but at least Tipton figured out the problem. “It’s a good feeling really,” Tipton said about Elliott showing up. “Just knowing if you’re out of fuel or need immediate help to know somebody is there for you.”

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10:18am

Thu June 30, 2011
The Commonwealth

Residents Fight to Keep Post Office

Members of Mason County's Minerva community came out in full force Wednesday night to protest of the possible closing of the post office. From the owner of the building leased by the post office to a representative from U.S. Rep. Geoff Davis' office, opinions and a message of community pride was voiced to USPS Cincinnati District Representative Bob Redden.

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1:31pm

Wed June 29, 2011
The Commonwealth

Office for the Blind Seeks Input

The Kentucky Office for the Blind in the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet seeks public input on the needs of Kentuckians with visual disabilities at two focus group meetings in July. One meeting will be held July 11 in Louisville with the second the next day in Lexington.

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1:43pm

Tue June 28, 2011
The Commonwealth

Firework Sales Spark Complaints

The sign beside the large white tent on Scottsville Road in Bowling Green says it all - “All fireworks now legal.” But Clint Lowrie of Franklin, manager of Fireworks Supermarket, said many people who walk in still ask if it is legal to buy the larger fireworks. The answer is yes, thanks to a state bill signed into law in March. “People are just relieved to not spend the money on gas to go to Tennessee,” Lowrie said, referring to the common practice of Kentuckians crossing the state line to buy fireworks they couldn’t buy here.

11:42am

Tue June 28, 2011
The Commonwealth

Former Lawmaker Guilty of Murder

Former state lawmaker Steve Nunn pleaded guilty to murder with aggravating circumstances in the 2009 death of Amanda Ross in Lexington.

Nunn, who was set to go on trial in August, entered the plea Tuesday morning in Fayette Circuit Court.

He waived formal sentencing and Judge Pamela Goodwine sentenced Nunn to life without parole. He also was given 12 months for violating a domestic violence order of protection. That sentence is to run concurrently. 

When Goodwine asked Nunn if he was guilty of the charges Nunn said "yes ma'am" in a quiet voice. 

Afterward, Nunn's attorneys, Warren Scoville said first-degree manslaughter was the best case scenario and with that charge he would have still spent the rest of his life in prison.

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10:20am

Tue June 28, 2011
The Commonwealth

Bridges Public Hearing Draws Impatience

The first of two public comment hearings on the Ohio River Bridges Project was last night  in Clarksville.

Curtis Morrison with Say No 2 Bridge Tolls was in attendance to criticize the process.

“I have an issues with this being called a public input meeting,” Morrison said “when the governors and mayor got together and come up with a plan and they’re wanting us to give input on their plan, in my perspective that’s a little backwards.”

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10:05am

Tue June 28, 2011
The Commonwealth

State Allows for More Explosive Holiday

A law passed by the state General Assembly earlier this year now allows the purchase and use of fireworks that shoot in the air, once prohibited in Kentucky. But both sellers and customers are being reminded that "safety and supervision remain the keys to a successful celebration," health and safety experts said.

10:01am

Tue June 28, 2011
The Commonwealth

Drunken Driving Persists in Kentucky

Twenty-three years have passed since the Carrollton bus crash claimed the lives of three adults and 24 children returning to Radcliff from a church-sponsored outing to Kings Island. Last week, the National Transportation Safety Board listed Kentucky among states that have done the least to address hardcore drunken driving. The analysis is rooted in the NTSB’s 11 safety recommendations published in 2000, said Mark Rosekind, an NTSB board member. Of those 11 recommendations, Kentucky has implemented four.

11:33am

Mon June 27, 2011
The Commonwealth

Equestrian Games Return $201 Million

 The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games held in 2010 at the Kentucky Horse Park had an economic impact of $201.5 million, Gov. Steve Beshear announced Monday. “The World Equestrian Games were indeed a success and this report illustrates the positive result that our local and state governments, our sponsors, the many volunteers, the business community and the citizens of the Commonwealth working together can have.” Beshear said. “It also underscores the important role of the Kentucky Horse Park and the legacy the games will have for future years.”

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3:06pm

Wed June 22, 2011
The Commonwealth

Non-Profits Lose Tax-Exempt Status

More than 3,000 Kentucky nonprofits recently lost their tax-exempt status with the IRS and a few are working to reverse that. The thousands of nonprofit organizations that lost their tax-exempt status with the IRS represent a wide range of interests, including county fair associations, American Legion chapters, and religious groups. Danielle Clore of the Kentucky Nonprofit Network says the groups were affected by the 2006 federal Pension and Protection Act.

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3:04pm

Wed June 22, 2011
The Commonwealth

Atty Agrees with Court's Wal-Mart Ruling

A Kentucky attorney who has worked extensively in employment litigation says he agrees with the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in a sexual discrimination case against Wal-Mart. The court ruled this week that the case involving more than 1.5 million plaintiffs cannot proceed as a class action.

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2:06pm

Wed June 22, 2011
The Commonwealth

Safety Day Revs Up Bikers

Temperatures climbed to 90 degrees Tuesday, but the heat didn’t stop nearly 100 motorcycle riders from showing up for the fourth annual “Motorcycle Safety Awareness Event” in Frankfort. In the parking lot of the Kentucky State Police headquarters, police, vendors and citizens gathered to spread the word about motorcycle safety. Officer Larry Farris, with KSP’s commercial vehicle enforcement division, shared his personal story about the dangers of motorcycles with those gathered.

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2:03pm

Wed June 22, 2011
The Commonwealth

State Corn Growers may Lose Subsidies

Members of Kentucky’s agricultural sector are keeping a close eye on the progression of a Senate bill on Capitol Hill. Last week, the Senate voted 73-27 in favor of an amendment to the Economic Development Revitalization Act of 2011 that would eliminate ethanol subsidies and protective tariffs. Should the economic development act become law - which many political analysts say is highly unlikely - the amendment would go into effect immediately and could mean trouble for Kentucky corn growers.

1:42pm

Tue June 21, 2011
The Commonwealth

Terrorism Case Deemed ‘Complex’

U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Russell granted a federal prosecutor’s motion Tuesday to declare a terrorism case against two Iraqi refugees as “complex,” which means that the trial against the two men will not have to be heard within the time frame of the Speedy Trial Act. Waad Ramadan Alwan, 30, and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, 23, are in custody facing terrorism charges after a federal grand jury in Bowling Green returned a 23-count indictment against the men May 26. They were arrested May 25. Both entered the country legally as refugees.

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