The Commonwealth

10:06am

Thu June 16, 2011
The Commonwealth

Judge in Fen-Phen Case Faces Disbarment

The Kentucky Supreme Court will have the final say on whether former Boone Circuit Judge Joseph "Jay" Bamberger will be permanently disbarred. Bamberger presided over the scandalous fen-phen settlement that has already destroyed the legal careers of at least three lawyers, and chased him from the bench.

10:04am

Thu June 16, 2011
The Commonwealth

Federal Judge Sanctions Talk Show Host

A federal judge has announced that he will sanction lawyer and radio personality Eric Deters for filing a lawsuit in January against Kentucky Supreme Court Chief Justice John Minton Jr. and the state bar association. U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves will hold a hearing July 13 in Frankfort to determine the appropriate sanction for filing the suit, which was later withdrawn. The order said the sanction may take the form of something other than a monetary fine but didn’t specify what that might be.

1:30pm

Wed June 15, 2011
The Commonwealth

LOU Airport Expansion Funded

Paying for vital upgrades, U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., announced that the Louisville International Airport is receiving $6.6 million from the Federal Aviation Administration for a new construction project. The federal funds will go toward completing work on the Taxiway Alpha project, which is designed to ensure the terminal can handle the largest and newest long-range commercial and passenger aircraft.

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1:34pm

Tue June 14, 2011
The Commonwealth

State Unveils $3.5 million in Waste Grants

The state on Tuesday announced 59 recycling and 14 household hazardous waste grants to expand recycling, reduce the amount of solid waste going into landfills, and sustain the environmental management of household hazardous waste, which includes electronic scrap and mercury from homes throughout Kentucky.

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11:27am

Tue June 14, 2011
The Commonwealth

Heat Helps Farmers Finish Planting

Record high temperatures during recent weeks have done more good than harm to Hardin County crops. The heat hasn’t yet reached a point at which it is damaging crops, said Matt Adams, an extension agent for agriculture and natural resources with the Hardin County office. Warm and dry conditions allowed farmers to finish spring planting, which a wet April and early May postponed, he said. The area received more than 20 inches of rain over those months. The heat also helped late-planted corn grow faster than it would under cooler conditions, Adams said.

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11:22am

Tue June 14, 2011
The Commonwealth

Muhlenberg Roundup nets 29 Drug Suspects

GREENVILLE — The Muhlenberg County Sheriff’s Department arrested 29 people on drug-related charges last week during a countywide roundup. A Muhlenberg County grand jury indicted 49 people in May on drug-related charges, the majority of whom were arrested Thursday, according to a press release from the Muhlenberg County Sheriff’s Department. Officers with the Sheriff’s Department, Central City Police, Greenville Police, Powderly Police, Kentucky State Police and Pennyrile Narcotics Task Force took place in the roundup. All agencies working together reflects an aggressive and ongoing effort to combat drug problems in Muhlenberg County, according to the press release.

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11:07am

Tue June 14, 2011
The Commonwealth

Disaster Help Expanded to 29 KY counties

FRANKFORT – U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has granted Gov. Steve Beshear's request for disaster assistance to Kentucky farm families in 29 counties, due to severe weather conditions that occurred beginning April 17. “The severe storms and flooding impacted all facets of Kentucky’s agricultural industry" Gov. Steve Beshear said in a press release, "and assistance from the USDA will help offset resulting income losses.” Counties covered in the declaration include:

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1:25pm

Mon June 13, 2011
The Commonwealth

New Display Devoted to Kentucky Governors

One governor was assassinated more than a century ago, and his killer remains a mystery even today. Another governor died soon after being sworn in. A third tried to impose a sales tax and instead caused riots. Theses stories of Kentucky’s governors as well as artifacts from their terms are now on display at the Toyota Kentucky Hall of Governors at Frankfort's Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History. Among the artifacts are pocket watches, walking canes, a wedding ring and the bloody undershirt worn by Gov. William Goebel when he was assassinated.

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1:23pm

Mon June 13, 2011
The Commonwealth

Keeping Waterways Safe

One day late last week, a teenage girl and a young woman were adrift on a boating tube at the opening of one of the busiest channels on Barren River Lake. The craft that had been towing them was a mile away. “This is one of the most dangerous things I’ve seen in 16 years,” said Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation Officer Sgt. Brett Zalla. He then turned his patrol boat and asked the young women to board and point out the boat that had been towing them. Once he caught up to the boat’s driver, he explained that the girls were floating and helpless if a boat had coming zipping around the corner. A boater might not have seen them drifting on top of the water.

10:47am

Mon June 13, 2011
The Commonwealth

Public Intoxication Arrests Increasingly Rare

During a seven-day period beginning June 1, Hardin County Detention Center booked eight people charged with alcohol intoxication in public. Now, state law no longer allows arrests on the charge, except in limited circumstances. Under House Bill 463, which went into effect June 8, police no longer can make arrests for certain misdemeanor crimes, including alcohol intoxication in public, Sgt. Tim Cleary of the Elizabethtown Police Department said. Instead, officers are to cite misdemeanor offenders.

10:40am

Mon June 13, 2011
The Commonwealth

Business Hopes New Law Deters Metal Theft

A new law took effect Wednesday, to deter the growing problem of metal theft in Kentucky. House Bill 242 directs recycling centers and scrap yards to require signed proof of ownership or authorization to sell any metals that have been smelted, burned or melted. According to Attorney General Jack Conway, metal thefts costs businesses nationally around $1 billion each year, including hundreds of thousands of dollars in property damage. It can also affect public safety by compromising communications or emergency response capabilities, such as 911 service.

9:04am

Mon June 13, 2011
The Commonwealth

Ohio Lawyer faces Kentucky Disbarment

If the Kentucky Bar Association Board of Governors votes to disbar Stan Chesley on Tuesday in Lexington, it would be a professional death sentence for Cincinnati's most famous lawyer - known as the "Master of Disaster." The same trial commissioner who recommended disbarment also wants Chesley to return $7.6 million of the $20 million he was paid in fees from a Boone County settlement for people sickened by the diet drug fen-phen. Since Kentucky has a reciprocal agreement with Ohio, Chesley could lose his law license in Ohio if he is disbarred in Kentucky.

10:37am

Sun June 12, 2011
The Commonwealth

Fort Knox's Armor Era Ends

The last members of Fort Knox’s U.S. Army Armor School stood steadily at attention through light rain Friday at Fort Knox’s Brooks Field. They took the parade field for a ceremony marking the end of the school’s 71-year history at Fort Knox. The ceremony, which drew a hearty crowd, also symbolized completion of the transition of the last remaining elements of the school to its new home at Fort Benning, Ga.

3:00pm

Fri June 10, 2011
The Commonwealth

State Furlough Days Unlikely in 2012

FRANKFORT — Based on a strong General Fund tax revenue trend for fiscal year 2011, Gov. Steve Beshear announced Friday afternoon that it appears no furloughs for state employees will be necessary in 2012.  “I am pleased to see that revenues continue to improve beyond budgeted expectations," Beshear said in a press release from his office. "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.

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2:51pm

Fri June 10, 2011
The Commonwealth

State Revenues Increase, Again

Frankfort - For the 13th consecutive month, Kentucky's General Fund tax receipts grew in May. The state budget director Friday reported that May’s receipts grew 17.8 percent compared to May of last year, an increase of $113.6 million. Total revenues for the month were $750.3 million, compared to $636.7 million during May 2010. Receipts have now grown 6.7 percent for the first 11 months of fiscal year 2011.

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2:49pm

Fri June 10, 2011
The Commonwealth

Hard Winter Prompts Road Repairs

FRANKFORT – Gov. Steve Beshear has directed the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to undertake 19 emergency maintenance projects to repair sections of highway pavement damaged by severe weather last winter. The cabinet will use $13.6 million of contingency funds for the projects, most of which are on interstate highways and Kentucky parkways. The projects are being added to the cabinet’s 2011 highway maintenance schedule.

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10:30am

Fri June 10, 2011
The Commonwealth

Seven Indicted in Drug Ring

Two South Florida residents allegedly helped funnel 20,000 or more prescription pills to an Owsley County drug ring in April and May, according to federal court documents. George Darden, 44, and Elisa H. Alston, 40, are charged in federal court in Kentucky with conspiracy to distribute pills in Owsley County, court records show.

10:04am

Fri June 10, 2011
The Commonwealth

Alcohol Sales in State Parks

The Kentucky Department of Parks wants a license to sell alcohol at Lake Barkley State Resort Park, as well as state parks in other wet counties. State Parks spokesman Gil Lawson said the application is one of five involving state parks in wet counties and other territories, and that the application at Lake Barkley State Resort Park includes liquor by the drink in the dining room. Meanwhile, the parks department is also seeking beer licenses at two state park golf courses – Audubon in Henderson and My Old Kentucky Home in Bardstown.

10:35pm

Thu June 9, 2011
The Commonwealth

Further Fireworks in Kentucky

Many people might consider fireworks to be as much a part of the American fabric as apple pie, particularly during this time of year.  In Kentucky, it’s likely you’ll be seeing more flashes and hearing more bangs.  A new law opens the door to many fireworks previously deemed illegal in the commonwealth.

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11:54am

Thu June 9, 2011
The Commonwealth

DNA may Support Theory of Officer's Death

DNA evidence found on the steering wheel of the vehicle that hit and killed Lexington police Officer Bryan Durman last year matches the DNA of a woman whom police apparently ruled out last fall as a possible suspect in Durman's death, says a defense attorney for the man accused of murder in the case. The woman, who goes by the nickname "Juicy," is the same woman alleged to be on a recently made video recording admitting she was the driver who hit Durman.

11:34am

Thu June 9, 2011
The Commonwealth

Bowling Green Iraqis Waive Rights

Two Iraqi refugees facing federal terrorism charges have waived their rights to have a detention hearing at this time in U.S. District Court. Waad Ramadan Alwan, 30, was brought into the federal courthouse in Bowling Green early this morning but decided to sign a waiver giving up his right to a detention hearing today. However, Alwan has reserved the right to ask for it at a later date, said U.S. Department of Justice spokeswoman Stephanie Collins. Alwan’s codefendant, Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, 23, signed a similar waiver that was filed in U.S. District Court on Tuesday.

11:30am

Thu June 9, 2011
The Commonwealth

New Law Changes Bond Rules

A new slate of laws that took effect Wednesday will change the way judges set bonds. Bonds will be issued based on the assessed risk of defendants. Under the new law, more people will be released on unsecured bonds or on their own recognizance, Hopkins District Judge Logan Calvert said. This part of the provisions was set forth by House Bill 463, which was passed into law earlier this year by the state legislature.

11:18am

Thu June 9, 2011
The Commonwealth

Ft. Campbell Welcomes Home a Hero

The crowd at Outlaw Field Airport erupted with cheers the second that Staff Sgt. Charles “Chaz” Allen’s plane touched the ground. Allen, a member of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 101st Airborne (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, Ky., was not able to come home from Afghanistan with the rest of his unit in April. Instead he was undergoing surgery and rehabilitation at Walter Reed Army Medical Center after stepping on an improvised explosive device in January that destroyed part of both of his legs and broke his right elbow.

3:27pm

Wed June 8, 2011
The Commonwealth

Heat Wave Contributes to Poor Air Quality

Despite predictions that this summer would be milder than usual, Louisville has been experiencing temperatures reaching the mid 90s.  The Climate Prediction Center made the original forecast, and the center still holds that the heat will plateau as the summer goes on.  Ryan Sharp from the National Weather Service says Louisville residents should be thankful for this year’s wet spring.

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3:06pm

Wed June 8, 2011
The Commonwealth

New Law Targets Metal Theft in Kentucky

Among the many new laws taking effect today is one whose purpose is to deter the growing problem of metal theft in Kentucky. House Bill 242 unanimously passed both houses of the Kentucky General Assembly during the 2011 legislative session and was signed into law by Gov. Steve Beshear on March 16.

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9:53am

Wed June 8, 2011
The Commonwealth

Feds Fund Storm Cleanups

FRANKFORT – The state will receive a $4.27 million National Emergency Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor that will create about 317 temporary jobs for eligible dislocated workers to assist with clean-up and recovery efforts as a result of the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that struck Kentucky in April. “This money will help Kentucky communities rebuild after suffering extensive damage this spring,” Gov. Steve Beshear said in a press release from his office. “The temporary jobs it will create will not only benefit current jobseekers but will provide much-needed assistance in those hard-hit areas.”

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9:50am

Wed June 8, 2011
The Commonwealth

New State Laws go into Effect

Senate Bill 110, which would allow optometrists to perform some uncomplicated medical procedures currently reserved for ophthalmologists, officially becomes law on Wednesday. The new law will allow optometrists to perform a variety of simple procedures, like removing non-malignant skin tags from eyelids or clearing lenses implanted by ophthalmologists in cataract surgeries. It would not, however, allow optometrists to perform LASIK surgery, which is used to correct poor vision. This is one of many laws that went into affect Wednesday.

9:42am

Wed June 8, 2011
The Commonwealth

Police Officer Killed in Afghanistan

Funeral arrangements have been set for former Kenton County Police Sergeant Brett Benton, who was killed in Afghanistan on Saturday while working for a contractor. Visitation will be held at 3 p.m. Tuesday, June 14, at First Church in Richmond. Funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, June 15, at the church with burial at Richmond Cemetery immediately following. Benton, 37, was killed when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle near Alingar District, Langham Province.

9:30am

Wed June 8, 2011
The Commonwealth

Tougher Rules on Scrap Metal Dealers

Elizabethtown city officials are in the process of tweaking an ordinance regulating purchases made by junk, secondhand and scrap metal dealers through the Leads Online database, which can be accessed by the Elizabethtown Police Department as a tool to locate stolen items. Under the ordinance, dealers would be required to obtain the license plate number of the vehicle in which the registered item was transported, in addition to photo identification, the address of the seller, the date the property was received and an accurate description of the item.

1:12pm

Tue June 7, 2011
The Commonwealth

Putting a Bigger Boom in your Summer

Ladies and gentlemen, do not start your engines. There’s no need to drive out of state to buy fireworks to light up the summer sky. Starting Wednesday, you’ll be able to buy them legally in Kentucky. Roman candles, firecrackers and bottle rockets can be sold and used here, legalized by a bill passed during the last legislative session. Personal use of the larger versions of these fireworks, such as those used at public fireworks shows, will still not be allowed.

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