FRANKFORT - The Kentucky Division of Forestry is sending additional personnel and equipment to assist with the current wildfire emergency in the south. Eleven division employees, comprising an engine strike team will report to Waycross, Ga. on Tuesday. The engine strike team consists of five 4-wheel drive pickup trucks with 200-gallon water tanks and foam capabilities, 10 firefighters and a strike team leader. The crews are being sent in addition to 11 Kentucky Division of Forestry firefighters who reported to Florida last week.
Hikers hoping to test the trails at Bridges to the Past or Tioga Falls will have to put those plans on hold. The two trail systems in the Fort Knox area have closed and could remain restricted to the public for up to three years. The post is coordinating the closures with the Paducah & Louisville Railway as it makes repairs and upgrades to its rail network, which will create a maze of safety hazards. Part of the project involves replacing a railroad bridge nearly 600 feet long that was built in 1889.
A consumer protection lawsuit has been filed against developers of Green Farm Resort in Grayson County. The lawsuit, filed Friday by the attorney general’s office in Grayson Circuit Court, accuses the defendants of engaging in unfair, false, misleading or deceptive acts in the marketing and selling of lots at resort in Falls of Rough.
About 40 cats and dogs that were displaced by severe storms in Alabama will soon be up for adoption in the Louisville area. The pets could not be reunited with their owners after tornadoes devastated Tuscaloosa and the surrounding area. The Humane Society collected the animals and is distributing them to various shelters. Locally, the Kentucky Humane Society and the New Albany/Floyd County Animal Shelter will be responsible for finding new homes for the animals.
The Louisville Metro council committee on Public Safety held a special meeting today that ended with the passage of a revised ordinance that allows the sale and use of fireworks within city limits. The ordinance was created to respond to a move by state lawmakers that made it legal to sell and ignite fireworks anywhere in Kentucky. The initial proposal in the council reinstated the ban, limiting the sale and use to only small grade novelties. However, amendments added by the county clerk’s office changed the ordinance to allow the sale of larger fireworks.
Growing up with two parents working as police officers, Kentucky State Police forensic scientist Vanessa Beall knew she wanted to work in law enforcement. Beall is one of 60 forensic scientists at the Kentucky State Police Central Laboratory branch in Frankfort. Every police agency in the state relies on the forensic scientists in KSP’s six crime labs to process evidence gathered at crime scenes. The central lab is the only full-service lab in the state.
Stan Chesley was asked a few years ago if he ever would consider walking away from the law career that has brought him more fame, wealth and influence than the former shoe salesman ever thought possible. "I've known a lot of lawyers, and there's nothing sadder than when they retire," Chesley said in that 2006 interview. "People completely forget about them." The job he couldn't imagine giving up could be taken from him unless he can convince the Kentucky Supreme Court later this summer that he did not violate ethics rules and should be allowed to keep his law license. The state bar association's board of governors recommended disbarment last week.
US Senator Mitch McConnell met this morning with law enforcement and community leaders in Bowling Green to discuss concerns about an upcoming terror trial that could be held in Kentucky. Two Iraqi nationals were arrested in Bowling Green late last month on charges that they tried to supply cash and weapons to Al qqeda in Iraq. Senator McConnell says the defendants should have been treated as enemy combatants and sent to Guantanamo Bay.
After more than 40 years working at the Elizabethtown Police Department, Chief Ruben Gardner said the one thing that continues to baffle him is people’s inhumanity toward one another. “I’ve seen brothers kill brothers and a few hours later they’ll be asleep when we go get them,” Gardner said. “It’s really mind boggling to see that kind of behavior.” Gardner, 65, is retiring at the end of July. Despite the sometimes dark nature of the job, he said what he enjoys about law enforcement and what has pushed him to continue working is the opportunity to help others.
Several local organizations are included in more than 3,000 entities in Kentucky which have not filed necessary information with the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS posted a 101 page list of Kentucky organizations on its website, including Maysville Younger Women's Club, Mason County Little League, Lions International in Maysville, and the Maysville Mason County Humane Society. MMCHS is not The Humane Society of Buffalo Trace; HSBT is not on the revoked list.
Federal and state law enforcement authorities raided a Dry Ridge doctor's office Thursday morning. The raid at Dr. Sundiata El-Amin’s office at 95 S. Dixie Highway began about 11:30 a.m., said Russ Neville, agent in charge at the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Cincinnati office, which covers Northern Kentucky.
Cincinnati lawyer Stan Chesley, who already faces the potential loss of his law license, took another hit Thursday when Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine barred him from representing the state in a major case. A DeWine spokeswoman said Chesley would no longer be permitted to oversee the state's class action lawsuit against mortgage giant Fannie Mae. The decision comes two days after the Kentucky Bar Association's board of governors recommended that Chesley should be permanently disbarred in the state for his role in the settlement of the fen-phen diet drug case.
Attendees of this morning’s premiere of the short movie Building Bridges with Benny Breeze were asked to sign an oath saying they would listen to all sides of the debate over the Ohio River Bridges Project and be respectful of anyone with differing opinions. At the end of the movie, the star—Chris Saunders playing Benny Breeze—faced the camera and told the dozen people who signed the oath and stayed for the show that they were either for progress (meaning they were in favor of the bridges project) or against it. And if they were against it, they should “get the f*** out of this region.”
The former executive director of the Kentucky Pharmacists Association has been indicted by the Franklin County Grand Jury on charges of embezzling $78,000 from the agency. Gary Hall, 39 of Lexington, was indicted Wednesday on three counts of theft by deception over $500 and three counts of theft by deception over $10,000.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.