On at least four occasions last year, 5-year-old children in Kentucky faced charges for alleged criminal mischief, harassment, abuse of a teacher and criminal trespassing. In all, 2,117 criminal charges have been filed against children 10 and younger in Kentucky since 2006. It's a number that shocked a key state lawmaker, who now plans to hold legislative hearings on the issue. "It merits our attention,'' said state Rep. John Tilley, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.
The Casey Anthony trial has inspired another piece of legislation in Kentucky. State Rep. Alecia Webb-Edgington, R-Fort Wright, pre-filed a bill this week that would make it a felony not to report a dead body. This follows a bill filed in July by Rep. Richard Henderson, D-Jeffersonville, and co-sponsored by Rep. Dennis Keene, D-Wilder, that would make it a felony to not report a missing child 12 years old or younger within 12 hours of the disappearance, known as "Caylee's Law."
A nationally known priest who participated in a ceremony in Kentucky ordaining a woman is refusing to recant his views despite pressure from his order and the Vatican. Rev. Roy Bourgeois was excommunicated by the Roman Catholic Church in 2008 for taking part in the ordination of Janice Sevre-Duszynska. Since that time, he's continued his affiliation with Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers but remains staunch in his support for the ordination of women. Mike Virgintino, communications manager for the order, said, "Maryknoll has tried to foster dialogue regarding this issue and now it's come to a time when Maryknoll can do no more."
Gov. Steve Beshear said Wednesday that it's too early for him to decide whether to approve a merger of several hospitals in the state that would leave them under the control of a Catholic health network. The proposed merger, which is subject to state approval, involves University of Louisville Hospital, Jewish Hospital and St. Mary's HealthCare, and the Lexington-based St. Joseph Healthcare System, owned by Denver-based Catholic Health Initiatives. It has raised questions about how reproductive medicine would be delivered and taught at University of Louisville Hospital, which has agreed to abide by the Catholic health system's limitations on reproductive-health procedures.
A judge on Wednesday refused to grant a new trial for the man convicted of second-degree manslaughter in the hit-and-run death of Lexington police officer Bryan J. Durman. In seeking a new trial, an attorney for Glenn Doneghy contended jurors were unlawfully allowed to walk freely around downtown Lexington during a lunch break after deliberations had begun, according to court records. Doneghy was charged with murder, but the jury found him guilty of manslaughter, a lesser crime, and other charges.
Officials with Immigration and Customs Enforcement conducted a roundup of alleged illegal immigrants working at a restaurant in Harlan. The operation took place shortly before noon Wednesday. Thirteen employees who were unable to provide documentation were detailed, according to the Lynch police chief. They were transported to immigration headquarters for processing.
Federal prosecutors contend that a terrorism-related case against Waad Ramadan Alwan, 30, should be tried in a civilian court because the Geneva Conventions don’t protect him from prosecution here. Alwan is charged in a 23-count indictment that accuses him and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, 23, of attempting to support terrorism in Iraq. Federal authorities arrested the men May 25 in Bowling Green. A federal grand jury indicted Alwan and Hammadi on May 26.
Following a luncheon Tuesday in Owensboro, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he was close to announcing his three appointments to the bipartisan supercommitee responsible for reducing the federal deficit. Wednesday morning, McConnell named Sens. Jon Kyl of Arizona, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Rob Portman of Ohio to the committee. The Kentucky Republican spoke alongside freshman U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., at the Noon Rotary Club in Owensboro. Both McConnell and Paul spoke to the crowd before opening the floor for questions. Their messages were similar: Spending in Washington, D.C., needs to be cut, and government has grown too large.
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 this week. Motorists should watch for roadside maintenance and pavement marking crews on interstates and highways throughout the rest of the district on a daily basis.
Government regulation is stifling the economy and the greatness of the nation, Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul told an audience Monday in Georgetown. Repeating many of the themes that got him elected last November, the Bowling Green eye doctor said the marketplace, not regulators, should decide the success of businesses. “If people want to buy a car that gets 15 miles to the gallon because they think it’s safer, they ought to be allowed to,” he said. “We need to get the government out of most of these decisions.”
For some 23-million students nationwide, the school day begins and ends with a trip on a school bus. Unfortunately, each year many children are injured and even killed in school bus related crashes. Last year, Kentucky had 985 school bus related crashes resulting in 278 injuries and four deaths. With school starting in many communities, KSP Spokesman Lt. David Jude is urging motorists to be alert for loading and unloading school buses.
The arrest and guilty plea by Covington City Commissioner Steve Frank for driving under the influence highlighted a detail of Kentucky's DUI law that distinguishes it from other states - the public doesn't have a right to view the police cruiser camera video of an arrest. Frank and his attorney asked that the video of his arrest in Covington early Saturday for drunken driving not be released. Kenton County District Judge Douglas Grothaus cited the Kentucky law that prohibits the release of any video of an arrest related to drunken driving. First Amendment experts say they don't know of any other state with an exemption for DUI videos.
The director of Kentucky's Office of Highway Safety has been fired after an investigation found improper acceptance of gifts, timesheet violations and racial harassment in the agency. The termination letter obtained by The State Journal Thursday under the Kentucky Open Records Act, did not give a reason for the firing of Director Boyd Sigler on July 22. But a report from the Transportation Cabinet's Office of Inspector General states that Sigler "accepted free passes to events at the Kentucky Motor Speedway, an organization under contract with (the cabinet) with specific oversight provided by" his office.
A Fayette Circuit Court judge on Wednesday dismissed the city of Lexington as a defendant in a civil lawsuit over the death of Umi Southworth, who lay alive for hours while police conducted a homicide investigation last year. The lawsuit, however, goes on. Judge Pamela Goodwine ruled that the Urban County Government was shielded from being sued under the legal concept of "sovereign immunity."
By Josh Kegley, Lexington Herald-Leader & Jennifer Hewlett, Lexington Herald-Leader
UPDATED: As police in Hart County closed in on Steve Nunn after he murdered his ex-fiancée in downtown Lexington on Sept. 11, 2009, the former state lawmaker apologized to his daughters by phone. Seven days after the killing, Mary Elizabeth Nunn and Katharine Courtney Nunn told police officers of the disturbing play-by-play they received from their father, who called them from a cellphone the day Amanda Ross was murdered. A summary of the police interview with the two women was among hundreds of pages of documents released Wednesday by the Urban County Government in response to the Lexington Herald-Leader's request under the Kentucky Open Records Act.
AFGHANISTAN – A day after greeting Kentucky troops serving in Iraq and Kuwait, Gov. Steve Beshear met more Kentucky servicemen and women in Afghanistan Wednesday. The governor’s trip is part of a special Department of Defense trip for selected governors and marks the first time a sitting Kentucky governor has visited active war zones.
After decades of prohibition, the second Boyle County city in less than two years will vote whether to go wet this October. Boyle Judge-Executive Harold McKinney has signed an order certifying that the petition seeking alcohol sales was valid and setting Tuesday, Oct. 4, as the election date.
KUWAIT – Gov. Steve Beshear visited US troops serving in Iraq and Kuwait Tuesday, including troops from Kentucky, as part of a special Department of Defense trip. The visit marks the first time in recent history that a sitting Kentucky governor has visited an active war zone.
Nineteen hours before he was found with no pulse in a cell at the Fayette County Detention Center in June, Anthony Dwayne Davis requested to go to the jail's medical unit and was denied, jail records show. The Herald-Leader has obtained the information under the Kentucky Open Records Law as police continue to investigate Davis' death. A nurse and a mental health specialist evaluated Davis at 1:41 a.m. June 25, and the mental health specialist told a correction's officer that Davis, 26, was probably "manipulating the system," according to the records.
FRANKFORT – Gov. Steve Beshear Monday announced that fiscal courts in 31 counties will receive refunds totaling $612,450 from mining permit and acreage fees. “Every effort is being made by my administration to help the mining industry extract coal in a manner that is safe, efficient and protective of our environment,” Beshear said. “Our coal-producing counties are our partners, and these funds provide a direct benefit for their efforts.”
Since Pat Baker first went to Norway as a 20-year-old in 1966, she always dreamed of returning to the nation she called home for seven months. So when Baker was finally able to make that return visit earlier this month, there was no way she thought she’d end up in a real-life nightmare. “The closest thing I can think of to describe the mood of Norway after the tragedy would be our 9/11,” Baker said Friday in her home, two days after returning.
When officials lobby for road projects during the 2012 legislative session, widening Interstate 64 in Franklin County will be a high priority. The Bluegrass Area Development District – tasked with economic development issues – published a list of key projects this week. The agency includes officials from 15 central Kentucky counties
Frankfort - Kentucky State Police is tapping into cyberspace through social media sites like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter to entice new recruits to join the agency. KSP Commissioner Rodney Brewer announced Friday that the agency launched its first of several recruiting videos via YouTube.
FRANKFORT – Blasting at two Eastern Kentucky mines sent rocks through the air that damaged nearby property, including two homes, according to the Department of Natural Resources, which suspended the blasting until those responsible could explain how they intend to prevent it from happening again.
While federal lawmakers wrestle with their debt ceiling, legislators in Kentucky have their own debt problems to worry about. A bill comes due in September that worries state officials and business leaders. Kentucky borrowed about 900 million dollars from the federal government for jobless benefits, and it must make a 28 million dollar interest payment. If the state falls short, the premiums paid by business for unemployment insurance could go up 400 dollars per employee or about 640 million dollars.
When President Obama visited Fort Campbell just before Derby Day, Kentucky’s Governor confirms he did not receive a formal invitation to participate. Nor, could Governor Steve Beshear rework his schedule to join in a ceremony for the Navy Seals who killed Osama Bin Laden. At the time, Beshear did not talk about not receiving an invitation. The governor said today (Thursday) it was not an attempt to mislead the public for political gain
While exasperated over the debt ceiling debate, Kentucky’s governor thinks its impacts on the Commonwealth could be minimal. The governor says there’s no way the United States ought to be at this crossroads right now. Steve Beshear says politicians in Washington have allowed partisan politics to rule the day with no thought to the interest of the American public. Beshear says Kentucky relies on the federal government for Medicaid, transportation, and education funding.
Following growing tensions between health care executives and those opposing the proposed merger among University of Louisville Hospital, Jewish Hospital and St. Mary's HealthCare, and the St. Joseph Healthcare System, Gov. Steve Beshear and Attorney General Jack Conway are weighing in. Beshear issued a statement Wednesday citing "growing concerns within the community about issues related to the hospital's future level of access to medical services" as a reason to conduct a "deliberate and thoughtful" review of the merger.
Some lawmakers continued to voice concerns about the potential for fraud if someone exploited the state’s policy for registering homeless voters. Others questioned if it is even an issue. Secretary of State Elaine Walker told legislators this week she doesn’t see any evidence that homeless voters have been used to commit voter fraud and said homeless voters across Kentucky are few.