Kentucky Insurance Commissioner Sharon P. Clark has been named chairwoman of the Market Regulation and Consumer Affairs committee of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The committee monitors all aspects of the insurance market’s regulatory practices and reviews how those efforts affect insurance consumers.
The city of Lexington's Law Department is revisiting its decision not to release the criminal case file of former state lawmaker Steve Nunn until after Nunn has completed his life sentence in prison. The Herald-Leader had requested the case file under the Kentucky Open Records Act after Nunn, 58, pleaded guilty on June 28 to fatally shooting his ex-fiancée, Amanda Ross. The police department, citing a 1992 Kentucky Supreme Court decision, responded with a letter saying the request would not be fulfilled until Nunn completed his life sentence in prison.
The U.S. Attorney's Office announced Monday that it filed a civil complaint alleging that an Erlanger nursing home provided "worthless" services that resulted in the deaths of five residents and injuries to others. This is the first suit filed in Kentucky in which the government alleges that a nursing home defrauded Medicare and Medicaid by submitting bills for reimbursement while providing systemically poor resident care. The nursing home owner denies the allegations.
An official with a coalition of Kentucky veterans groups has asked state lawmakers if something more can be done to keep protesters farther away from military funerals. Dave Jarrett made the appeal recently to a legislative Committee on Veterans and Military Affairs. Jarrett is chairman of the Joint Executive Council of Veterans. He says he realizes free speech must be protected, but the funeral of a soldier is a solemn occasion.
Many Kentucky public schools have until Jul. 29 to become part of a new pilot food program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, but all may not participate. The program provides free breakfast and lunch to all students in schools where at least 40 percent of students are on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program—or SNAP—or participate in the Free and Reduced Meal Program. In Kentucky 102 school districts are eligible; Jefferson County is one of them.
FRANKFORT – At Gov. Steve Beshear’s direction, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has taken action to speed the emergency response to neighboring states hit with widespread electrical outages earlier this week. Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock signed an official order to waive special registration and permit requirements for utility repair vehicles headed to stricken areas.
An open records ruling from the attorney general’s office says Kentucky State Police must turn over photos from the Beverly Hills Supper Club fire even if they are in possession of a former employee. Attorney General Jack Conway‘s office said KSP, which refused to give copies of photos of the deadly 1977 fire in northern Kentucky to a survivor of the blaze, must comply. David Brock, 52 of Florence, who was an 18-year-old busboy at the supper club the night of the fire, made the request. Brock wants to see the photos because he says he believes they will show the fire was caused by arson.
Nineteen defendants from Adair, Butler and Russell counties have been sentenced in United States District Court for their role in a crack cocaine and controlled substance distribution ring operating in and around Adair County, according to David J. Hale, United States Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky. According to evidence presented in court, the drug trafficking organization operated between July 2007 and May 2009 and was responsible for the distribution of at least 300 kilograms of crack cocaine and prescription pills with an estimated street value in excess of $10 million, in and around Adair County.
FRANKFORT – Gov. Steve Beshear has asked for a major disaster declaration from President Obama for those parts of Eastern Kentucky damaged by flooding, high winds and tornadoes on June 19. Beshear requested Individual Assistance, Disaster Unemployment Assistance, Crisis Counseling, Public Assistance, Hazard Mitigation and Small Business Administration disaster loans.
Frankfort - Five more Kentucky counties - Garrard, Jessamine, Pulaski, Lincoln and Rockcastle - have been added to eWarrants, the state's electronic warrant management system. This brings to 84 the number of Kentucky counties utilizing eWarrants. The Office of the Attorney General, along with the Administrative Office of the Courts, the Kentucky State Police, the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security and Open Portal Solutions, Inc., provided training and support for eWarrants.
FRANKFORT – Gov. Steve Beshear has directed that flags at all state office buildings be lowered to half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Thursday in honor of Deputy State Fire Marshal Charles Sparks, who passed away on July 8 from a heart attack he suffered while battling a fire in Adair County.
With a little less than a month to go, organizers of “Breathitt County Day” in Frankfort are making final preparations to make this year's event – the seventh annual one – to exceed last year's record turnout. They hope to tie into this November's elections for state offices, by inviting Democratic and Republican candidates for governor to the festivities, which will be held on Friday, Aug. 5, starting at 10 a.m. at VFW Post # 4075, located at the corner of East Second Street and Capital Avenue in Frankfort, just five blocks away from the Kentucky State Capitol.
For the first time in three years, Kentucky’s general fund tax receipts have increased. The fiscal year, which ended last month, saw a six point five percent increase...that's the highest growth rate since 2006. State budget director Mary Lassiter says it’s a sign of economic recovery.
FRANKFORT – To help ensure the Ohio River Bridges Project moves forward, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Monday filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit by River Fields and the National Trust for Historic Preservation against the Federal Highway Administration. The two groups are seeking to stop the Bridges Project, in which new bridges to Indiana would be built in downtown Louisville and eastern Jefferson County, and the downtown Kennedy Interchange would be reconstructed.
FRANKFORT – The electrocution of a man who allegedly was attempting to steal copper wire from an electric substation highlights just how dangerous this illegal activity can be, the Kentucky Public Service Commission said Monday. A 22-year-old man was killed early Thursday at an electric substation in McCreary County. According to news reports, the man had taken copper from a Kentucky Utilities Co. substation and was attempting to do the same at a nearby East Kentucky Power Cooperative facility when he was killed.
Law enforcement agencies in Frankfort and Franklin County caught more than 300 people without their seat belts during this year’s national “Click It or Ticket” promotion, according to a recently released report. During the special two-week enforcement period from May 23 to June 5, the Frankfort Police Department and the Franklin County Sheriff’s office issued a total of 323 seat belt citations.
A proposed state law that would make it a felony to wait more than 12 hours to report a child missing appears to have bipartisan support from Warren County’s legislative delegation. State Rep. Richard Henderson, D-Jeffersonville, is prefiling legislation that would make it a felony to fail to report children ages 12 and under who have been missing more than 12 hours. The announcement came at the conclusion last week of the Casey Anthony trial in Florida. In that case, Casey Anthony failed to report her daughter, Caylee Anthony, missing for a month in the summer of 2008
A former Magoffin County school principal pleaded guilty Wednesday to federal drug and gun charges. Darrell B. Patrick, 46, admitted selling pain pills to an undercover informant several times in 2009, possessing pills for the purpose of distribution and possessing guns in furtherance of a drug crime, according to a court document. Police found more than 100 shotguns, rifles and pistols, as well as a bulletproof vest, when they raided Patrick's home near Salyersville in October 2009.
After more than 80 years, Farmers Bank’s run as the depository for Kentucky’s state government is officially over. J.P. Morgan Chase, with regional headquarters in Louisville, won the contract earlier this year to provide depository-banking services to state government between July 2011 and June 2013 at a cost of $1.3 million. Frankfort’s Farmers Bank held that contract since 1928 and was one of four other firms that unsuccessfully vied for the chance to handle billions in taxpayer dollars. Although they scored highly on technical requirements and in an oral presentation, Farmers asked for more than $900,000 above J.P. Morgan’s price.
The Bowling Green City Commission will vote Tuesday on a resolution opposing the potential prosecution of terrorism suspects Waad Ramadan Alwan and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi in federal court in Bowling Green and urging officials such as U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Justice to move the case.
It could be as long as six weeks before the two Whitley County High School students charged with assaulting teacher Dewayne Bunch know if they will be tried as adults. Whitley County Sheriff Colan Harrell said at a hearing Tuesday, Judge Cathy Prewitt recused herself from the case involving Dewayne Cox and Trevor Canada.
The Corbin man, who was indicted by a federal grand jury in March, pleaded guilty Tuesday to setting fires in the Whitley County portion of the Daniel Boone National Forest. U.S. Magistrate Judge Hanley A. Ingram accepted the single-count, guilty plea for setting fire to land under the exclusive control and jurisdiction of the United States, from Michael L. Luttrell, 20, a former Woodbine volunteer firefighter.
Legislators say they would support a recommendation to require investment middlemen who deal with the state pension fund to register as executive branch lobbyists. The recommendation was one of 92 made in a report by Auditor Crit Luallen during an investigation of the Kentucky Retirement Systems. She presented her findings at a press conference Tuesday and to the joint interim committee on state government Wednesday. The use of placement agents led to “pay to play” scandals in the New York and California state pension systems, but Luallen’s report found no evidence of wrongdoing here.
Attorney General Jack Conway is alerting Kentucky consumers to a resurgence of the "grandparent's scam" targeting senior citizens. The Office of Consumer Protection has received nearly a dozen complaints this year related to the "grandparent's scam" with victims reporting losses of nearly $40,000. Four of the complaints were received within the last month.
Former state lawmaker and convicted murderer Steve Nunn is eligible to get about $28,210 a year in state retirement benefits, plus cost-of-living increases, once he turns 62. Kentucky law does not allow the pension benefits of state lawmakers to be withheld unless they commit a crime while in office in their capacity as a legislator.
Lawmakers are promising legislation addressing issues raised in a state audit of the Kentucky Retirement Systems. The 118-page audit made 92 recommendations for strengthening Board of Trustees’ oversight and governance of the Kentucky Retirement Systems. The board manages investments of nearly $13 billion for 300,000 active and retired state workers. State Auditor Crit Luallen says the audit primarily focused on the use of placement agents, which she defined for House and Senate State Government Committee members.
State Auditor Crit Luallen says she found no evidence of wrongdoing in an audit of the Kentucky Retirement Systems. But Luallen says the audit does raise several areas of concern. The audit primarily focused on the use of placement agents, who act as middlemen to secure investments from entities like KRS. Placement agents have been at the center of "pay-to-play" scandals in other states, but Luallen says that does not appear to be the case in Kentucky.
Former state legislator Steve Nunn, the son of former Gov. Louie B. Nunn, appeared at a court hearing in Lexington today and pleaded guilty to killing his former fiancee, Amanda Ross, in September 2009, according to WKYT-TV. As part of a plea deal, Nunn will serve a sentence of life in prison without parole, the station reported.
Instant Racing is another step closer to leaving the gate at Kentucky horse tracks. But opponents of the new form of gambling still hope to block it. Instant Racing, which involves electronic gambling on previously-run horse races, has never won legislative approval in Kentucky. But last month, a legislative oversight panel refused to block regulations allowing it.
The legal hunting of sandhill cranes in Kentucky has moved another step closer to becoming a reality, but final approval is still pending. Earlier this month, the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission unanimously approved a sandhill crane hunting season in Kentucky. The season, with a mid-December start, would last for 30 days, or until 400 of the huge, migratory birds have been killed, whichever comes first.