State Capitol

10:20am

Wed October 5, 2011
Statehouse News

Guthrie Voters Expand Alcohol Sales

People in Guthrie will not have to leave the city, Todd County or state to buy alcohol in the near future, following the results of a special election Tuesday. Residents voted overwhelmingly to expand alcohol sales in the city, with 196 votes cast in favor of the change and 62 against.

10:02am

Wed October 5, 2011
Statehouse News

Junction City Votes 'Yes' for Alcohol Sales

Voters said "yes" to alcohol sales in Junction City by the slimmest of margins Tuesday. The final tally for the three precincts, all located at First Baptist Church of Junction City, was 198-195. The outcome of the election opens the door for retail beer sales and package liquor stores.

4:08pm

Mon October 3, 2011
Statehouse News

Beshear Adds Members to Law Enforcement Council

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear signed an executive order Monday expanding membership of the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council to add representatives from three of the state’s largest law enforcement training academies. The order adds officials from the Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government Division of Police and the Louisville Metro Police Department to the council.

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1:32pm

Mon October 3, 2011
Statehouse News

State's Law Enforcement Council Expands; Governs Training

Gov. Steve Beshear Monday signed an executive order expanding membership of the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council to include representatives of the state’s three law enforcement training academies.  The executive order adds representatives of the Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government Division of Police and the Louisville Metro Police Department to the council.

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2:55pm

Sun October 2, 2011
Statehouse News

Billboard Suit Awaits KY Supreme Court Review

A billboard, located on private property adjacent to Interstate 65 near Upton, is the subject of a lawsuit that may be headed to the Kentucky Supreme Court.
Neal Cardin The News-Enterprise

Interstate 65 is a major U.S. artery cluttered with billboards advertising everything from fast food to health care services. In the case of a set owned by a Scottsville real estate developer, a billboard is an opportunity to evangelize to the traveling public. Jimmy Harston owns three billboards in the counties of LaRue (“Hell Is Real”), Hart (“If you died today where would you spend eternity”) and Warren (“Jesus Saves”). In 2008, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet filed a civil suit to force Harston to remove the billboards because Harston did not have a permit to erect the signs.

2:53pm

Sun October 2, 2011
Statehouse News

Officials Focus on Fighting Child Abuse

When a 3-month-old infant was thrown to the floor by her father, scarring her for life, Will Constable’s organization stepped in. Constable, executive director of the local Court Appointed Special Advocate Association, sees his share of disturbing child abuse cases. He works with several others - from social workers to physicians - to protect children and get help for families. As child abuse continues to plague families throughout the area, those organizations are making a unified effort to combat the problem.

2:48pm

Sun October 2, 2011
Statehouse News

Death Focuses Concern on Personal Care Homes

Larry Joe Lee was worried about his mother. Carolyn Lee was recovering from heart surgery at her Lebanon farm. When her son called her on Wednesday, Aug. 3, "he told me to take care of myself and that he loved me." Phone calls from her second-oldest child weren't always pleasant. Larry Joe Lee, 32, had a brain injury, was schizophrenic, bipolar and diabetic. Sometimes, he would get agitated and say hurtful things to his parents on the phone. But on that Wednesday, Larry Joe, as his family called him, was having a good day. It was the last time she talked to him.

2:46pm

Sun October 2, 2011
Statehouse News

Winchester Files Lawsuit Against Telecom Tax

Winchester is asking the Franklin County Circuit Court to issue a declaratory judgment that the state telecommunications tax is unconstitutional. Through the Kentucky League of Cities, to which Winchester belongs, the city, along with Greensburg, Mayfield and Florence, filed a lawsuit Sept. 23 because of millions in tax revenue lost since the Jan. 1, 2006, enactment of the legislatio

10:54am

Thu September 29, 2011
Statehouse News

Why New Kentucky Roads Take Years

After legislative approval, it took more than 14 years to complete a project to reroute and improve a 6.6-mile section U.S. 68 in Jessamine County that had a high number of accidents.
The Lane Report

U.S. 68 in Jessamine County in the mid-1990s was a narrow, winding two-lane that 15,000 vehicles traversed daily, with more than its share of accidents. In response to area residents’ complaints, state transportation officials and legislators recommended and authorized replacing the worst section with 6.6 miles of modern, safer four-lane.

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1:19pm

Wed September 28, 2011
Statehouse News

Iraqi Refugee Receives Civilian Court Trial

U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Russell ruled Tuesday that an Iraqi refugee accused of terrorism activities can be tried in a civilian court. Waad Ramadan Alwan, 30, who had been living as a refugee in Bowling Green, is accused of terrorism activities in a 23-count indictment. Alwan’s attorneys argued in a July 19 motion that the rules of the Geneva Convention apply to him and had attempted to get the first two counts of the criminal indictment against him dismissed. Russell denied that motion Tuesday.

1:03pm

Wed September 28, 2011
Statehouse News

Northpoint Prison Scores 100 on Re-Accredidation

Northpoint Training Center received a perfect score during its re-accreditation audit with the American Correctional Association. The 100-percent score is the highest the medium-security prison in Boyle County has ever received.

11:43am

Wed September 28, 2011
Statehouse News

Spencer County Clerk Owes Over $64,000

Judy Puckett

Spencer County Clerk Judy Puckett must pay back $64,717 for undeposited receipts, disallowed expenditures and personal non-sufficient fund checks, according to the 2010 audit report released by Crit Luallen, Kentucky’s auditor of public accounts, last week. “This is a serious issue,” Luallen told The Spencer Magnet. Luallen’s office has referred the report to Kentucky’s attorney general.

11:39am

Wed September 28, 2011
Statehouse News

Forty-Five Hours of Despair, Then Joy

Randall Chesser was found on Monday afternoon after roughly 45 hours of being lost in the Willisburg area.

Hundreds of volunteer searchers played an instrumental role in locating a missing 7-year-old autistic child from Willisburg this week. The ordeal brought together an already closely knit community but not before so many endeared 45 hours of despair after little Randall Chesser disappeared from his home.

11:37am

Wed September 28, 2011
Statehouse News

Shock Probation Has Freed Thousands

Shock probation cases in Kentucky from 2006 through 2010, as recorded by the Administrative Office of the Courts.
Steve Doyle Sentinel-News

Since 2006, the state of Kentucky has used shock probation, the program that last year allowed for the release of admitted killer Tonya Nicole Brown from state prison, to send 10,006 convicted criminals back into public life. She was freed by Senior Judge Steven Mershon after serving 15 months and 14 days, benefiting from this unusual, decades-old program that grants judges wide latitude in dealing with first-time offenders. A study of state records acquired by The Sentinel-News shows that Brown’s release is far from a rare occurrence and that many who have been released on the same terms as she frequently find themselves back before a judge for new or related offenses.

1:50pm

Mon September 26, 2011
Statehouse News

Man Deported Six Times Sent to Prison

Raul Estrada-Chavez

An undocumented citizen living in Shelbyville has been sentenced to 38 months in federal prison for entering the United States illegally for the seventh time. U.S. District Judge Danny C. Reeves handed down the sentence to Raul Estrada-Chavez, 32, for illegal re-entry after deportation. On March 2, Estrada-Chavez was arrested by Kentucky State Police Trooper Trevor Harris for various traffic violations, including no operator’s license.

11:10am

Fri September 23, 2011
Statehouse News

Conway Announces Indictment in Cattle Scheme

Attorney General Jack Conway and his Office of Special Prosecutions today announced the indictment of four people in connection with a check-kiting scheme that resulted in a loss of more than $840,000 by 172 Kentucky cattle producers and others in late 2010. The indictments follow a nine-month investigation by General Conway’s Department of Criminal Investigations that began when Eastern Livestock failed to pay nearly 800 producers nationwide an estimated $130 million.

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11:08am

Fri September 23, 2011
Statehouse News

Highway Safety Organizations Receive Federal Funding

The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety (KOHS) has awarded over $4.7 million to law enforcement agencies and highway safety organizations across the commonwealth to help bolster safety enforcement and education in local communities. The federally funded grants from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are administered by the KOHS, which is part of the Transportation Cabinet.

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12:44pm

Thu September 22, 2011
Statehouse News

Ribbon Cut on New Trooper Training Center

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 22, 2011) – Governor Steve Beshear today joined Justice Cabinet leaders and KSP officials to offer the first public glimpse of how a former prison is now functioning as a modern training facility for the Kentucky State Police.

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9:10pm

Wed September 21, 2011
Statehouse News

Family Foundation Asks A-G to Step In on Instant Racing

The Family Foundation of Kentucky is asking the Attorney General to step in and stop the operation of instant racing video machines at a southwest Kentucky racetrack  Kentucky Downs in Franklin began operating instant racing video machines earlier this month.  They allow gamblers to bet on previously run, anonymous horse races.  The question of their legality is still before the state court of appeals.  But, Family Foundation Executive Director Kent Ostrander says it’s time for the attorney general to 'roll up his sleeves and enforce Kentucky law'.

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1:33pm

Wed September 21, 2011
Statehouse News

Investigation on KSP Trooper Crash May Take Time

The investigation into a traffic fatality last week in Park City involving a Kentucky State Police trooper could take a few months to complete, state police spokesman Lt. David Jude said Tuesday. Trooper Jonathan Biven, public affairs officer for the state police post in Bowling Green, was driving south Thursday afternoon on U.S. 31-W north of Park City in a caravan with other troopers when his cruiser crossed the center line and struck a car driven by Nurcan Ceylan, 33, of Riverside, N.J. She died from her injuries.

11:33am

Wed September 21, 2011
Statehouse News

Human Trafficking Review

Human trafficking is an activity in Kentucky which authorities admit is another under-reported crime.  The issue was recently discussed before a corrections panel in Frankfort.  Aundria Burkhart is a detective with the Lexington police department.  She says there was a case out of Memphis which had a tie to the central Kentucky area.

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10:38am

Wed September 21, 2011
Statehouse News

CNN Highlights Kentucky Lawmaker's Opposition to Bill

Profiling a 14-year-old boy who committed suicide after years of alleged anti-gay taunts at school, CNN’s Anderson Cooper covered opposition to bullying legislation in Kentucky by highlighting state Rep. Mike Harmon, R-Danville, who believes homosexuality is a sin.

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10:18am

Wed September 21, 2011
Statehouse News

Radcliff Man Repays Over $450,000 in Bank Fraud Case

A Radcliff man and former PNC Investments employee was sentenced Tuesday afternoon to 41 months in prison on charges of bank fraud. William T. Hernandez, 41, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Louisville to two counts of bank fraud June 21 for executing a scheme to defraud PNC and its customers. In addition to prison time, the court also ordered Hernandez to pay $453,819.21 in restitution to the bank.

10:14am

Wed September 21, 2011
Statehouse News

Lexington Considers Fireworks Ordinance

After hundreds of people complained that Lexington sounded like a battlefield during the Fourth of July weekend, the city has taken the first steps toward stricter controls on the sale and display of fireworks in Fayette County. The law department has drafted an ordinance to limit when and where fireworks may be set off.

4:00pm

Tue September 20, 2011
Statehouse News

Grant Funds Fight Against Jobless Benefits Fraud

FRANKFORT - Kentucky has been awarded nearly $1.7 million in federal funding to improve program integrity and technology in the state’s unemployment insurance system. The funding will help Kentucky develop new or enhanced systems to reduce unemployment insurance fraud.

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2:16pm

Tue September 20, 2011
Statehouse News

Compromise Sought with Amish on Buggy Safety

First District Sen. Ken Winters is hoping to help in a Graves County dispute over requiring Amish residents to display a florescent triangle on buggies contrary to their religious beliefs. Winters, R-Murray, says he has asked his staff to review how laws in other states deal with highway safety concerning buggies. Kentucky law requires display of driver-alert signage such as a yellow-orange triangle with a reflective border that is dark red. Several Amish residents of Graves County have been ordered to jail for refusal to post the signage because they consider the colors a violation of religious beliefs, according to news reports.

10:30pm

Wed September 14, 2011
Statehouse News

Reforms Cut Prison Population

The meeting of the Penal Code and Controlled Substances Act Task Force Wednesday in Frankfort
Stu JOhnson Weku

Although it’s early, it appears reforms made to Kentucky’s penal code is cutting prison populations.  Members of the Penal Code and Controlled Substances Act Task Force got a report Wednesday.  Laurie Dudgeon directs the Administrative Office of the Courts.  "Of the 40 thousand approximate defendants our pre-trial officers interviewed in jail, we have a release rate of those folks, an increase of two percent.  So two percent more of those folks have been released than in the previous time period,” said Dudgeon.

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1:34pm

Wed September 14, 2011
Statehouse News

Pill Ring Earns Organized Crime Status

Neil Clark stands in front of a judge in district court Tuesday afternoon during a preliminary hearing where his bond was set at $100,000.
Tricia Spaulding Frankfort State Journal

A Frankfort man charged with organized crime planned and financed road trips to Florida for prescription pills, a detective said in court testimony Tuesday. Detective Matt Brown, speaking on behalf of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, said 36-year-old Neil Clark was “ringleader” of the trips, which may have involved as many as 15 people over the course of several trips. Clark sold the pills after they arrived in Frankfort, Brown said.

10:32am

Sun September 11, 2011
Statehouse News

KY Urged to be Viligant on Anniversary

The Kentucky Office of Homeland Security reminds citizens to be particularly vigilant as Kentuckians observe the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.  In many cases terrorist plots have been detected and attacks thwarted based on the timely reporting of observations of ordinary citizens.

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1:45pm

Fri September 9, 2011
Statehouse News

State Sees Dip in General Fund Tax Receipts

For the first time in 15 months, Kentucky's General Funds tax receipts failed to increase over the prior year.  General Fund taxes in August hit $623 million - down 3 percent over year-ago figures, according to state Budget Director Mary Lassiter.

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