Kentucky Press News Service

Too many Kentuckians are locked up. Legislature can’t afford not to act.

March 7, 2018 - 2:43pm
Kentucky’s prisons and jails are bulging not with brutal fiends and diabolical criminal minds but with non-violent drug abusers who stole something to support their habit then failed a drug test or missed an appointment with their probation officer. The number of Kentuckians committing serious felonies is in decline. And, yet, prison admissions jumped 32 percent in five years, driven by the least serious felonies (Class D) and revocations of probation or parole for technical violations not for committing new crimes. At this rate, the prison population will swell by 19 percent — requiring 4,400 new beds — over the next decade at a yearly cost of $600 million. 2018-03-07T14:11:56-05:00

It may be pennywise, but it’s poison foolish

March 7, 2018 - 2:43pm
State funding for Kentucky’s Poison Control Center is one of 70 programs Gov. Matt Bevin targeted for elimination in his proposed budget put before the state legislature. State government provides $729,000 toward the operation of the center through a public-private partnership with Norton Healthcare, representing 43 percent of the center’s $1.7 million annual operating budget. The cut was one of 70 programs Bevin proposed for elimination in order to make up the $3.3 billion that must be pumped into the failing state pension system. 2018-03-07T13:42:38-05:00

Names of victim, alleged shooter in Tuesday’s fatal shooting released

March 7, 2018 - 2:43pm
Kentucky State Police have released the names of the woman killed in a fatal shooting Tuesday, and the man accused of killing her at a home on Shakertown Road in northern Boyle County. Jennifer Montgomery, 27, was killed as a result of gunshot wounds, according to Boyle County Coroner Don Hamner, who pronounced her dead at the scene on Tuesday. 2018-03-07T13:37:28-05:00

Raise age to get married in Kentucky

March 7, 2018 - 2:43pm
It is hard to imagine that in the year 2018, Kentucky still allows those under 18 years old to marry an older man or woman. Under current state law, 16- and 17-year-olds can get married to an older person as long as they have parental permission. In other cases, people under 18 are allowed to get married with a judge’s permission. Teens under 16 can marry with a judge’s permission in case of a pregnancy. Something is very wrong with this picture. Quite frankly, this sounds like something out of the pioneer days. The law is clearly outdated, and it is obvious that the legal age for a person to marry should be 18 years old. 2018-03-07T13:34:51-05:00

Turning pink into green: Homegrown 'e-tailer' continues to expand

March 7, 2018 - 2:43pm
Pink may be Bowling Green native Tori Gerbig’s favorite color, but green is closing fast. In only four years, she and husband Chris Gerbig have parlayed their Pink Lily Boutique into an e-commerce giant that is raking in enough green to make St. Patrick envious. And they’re not slowing down. 2018-03-07T13:06:01-05:00

Simpson man found with Molotov cocktails sentenced to 20 years

March 7, 2018 - 2:43pm
A Simpson County man who was arrested after law enforcement found Molotov cocktails in a shed at his residence was sentenced Tuesday to 20 years in prison. Trey Alexander Gwathney-Law, 20, of Franklin, was sentenced in U.S. District Court on charges of possessing an unregistered firearm and making a firearm. Gwathney-Law pleaded guilty to the charges last year, reaching an agreement with federal prosecutors that called for the 20-year sentence. 2018-03-07T13:01:10-05:00

Company that cultivates insect larvae for animal, fish food moving forward

March 7, 2018 - 2:43pm
A company which cultivates insect larvae for food expects to open its facility in Maysville sometime in the second half of 2018, according to a magazine article. EnviroFlight received $750,000 in tax incentives from the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority for a $32 million investment to establish a black soldier fly rearing and processing operation in Maysville, officials said in January 2017. 2018-03-07T12:55:29-05:00

Rescue group warns about camping while intoxicated after Red River Gorge death

March 7, 2018 - 2:43pm
A man who was under the influence apparently fell 150 feet to his death Tuesday in the Red River Gorge area, Wolfe County Search and Rescue Team reported on its Facebook page. “We can’t stress it enough that camping along cliffs while under the influence, is a terrible idea,” the search and rescue team’s Facebook page said. “Our condolences to his family and friends.” The coroner identified the man as Luis Fernando Carlos, 20, WKYT reported. 2018-03-07T12:51:37-05:00

Mike Pence touts tax plan and Andy Barr at Versailles event

March 7, 2018 - 2:43pm
Vice President Mike Pence touted the GOP tax overhaul and U.S. Rep. Andy Barr’s re-election bid Wednesday at More Than a Bakery in Versailles. The event was put on by America First Policies, which was created by six of President Donald Trump’s former campaign aides to help promote his agenda. Pence was introduced by Gov. Matt Bevin. 2018-03-07T12:44:37-05:00

Clay County school board votes to hire 10 armed guards

March 7, 2018 - 11:42am
A nearly three hour meeting Monday night by the Clay County Board of Education will culminate in 10 armed guards at area schools. Based on recommendations from various school safety experts, board members voted unanimously to have armed guards within the schools. 2018-03-07T11:24:15-05:00

Trial postponed for ex-cop accused of rape

March 7, 2018 - 11:42am
Delayed lab reports are to blame for the postponement of a March trial date for a former Oak Grove police officer charged with rape, misconduct and a series of other charges. Ben R. Walden, 45, appeared Wednesday in Christian Circuit Court with his attorney Rick Boling. 2018-03-07T11:11:43-05:00

Overcoming addiction: The story of Randall Craft

March 7, 2018 - 11:42am
A few years ago, Randall Craft couldn’t imagine his life without drugs, but today not only is he two years clean, he’s also helping others find their way out of addiction. “I grew up on Middle Fork and everyone in town knew my father,” Craft said. “I looked up to him and learned from an early age to hustle and con. My mom did the best she could to raise us – seven of us – but she struggled. I don’t know how she did it, but it’s hard for a woman to be a mom and a dad both.” Craft told the Independent that he was taught from a young age to hustle, con and steal, and that he thought that was what men were supposed to do. 2018-03-07T10:54:38-05:00

Three arrested for school threat

March 7, 2018 - 11:42am
According to Washington County School District officials, two juveniles and an 18-year-old student were arrested and charged with terroristic threatening, second degree, pending further investigation after allegedly talking about a shooting threat. Springfield Police Chief Jim Smith said the two juveniles, both 17 years old, were arrested after discussing the threats at Washington County High School. A third suspect, Orion Keistan Hash, 18, was arrested Friday on the same charge and lodged in the Marion County Detention Center. 2018-03-07T10:51:39-05:00

Pastor ousted from troubled Lexington church after months of controversy

March 7, 2018 - 11:42am
A newly elected board of elders for Southern Acres Christian Church has taken possession of the church and ousted senior pastor Cameron McDonald from his position. In a post on the church’s Facebook page Tuesday evening, the new board detailed the steps they have taken to acquire legal possession of the church. Monday night, the church posted on its Facebook page that services and events have been canceled until further notice. 2018-03-07T10:14:05-05:00

McLean County Schools chief Hayes suspended

March 7, 2018 - 11:42am
McLean County Schools Superintendent Terry Hayes was suspended with pay for one day Tuesday, following a nearly two-hour closed session of the McLean County Board of Education. Upon returning into open session, Board Chairman Bill Lovell said the board had received a report, and counsel for the school board is "preparing charges based on state statutes." 2018-03-07T09:25:12-05:00

Area flu numbers trending down

March 7, 2018 - 11:42am
Data from health care providers show the region's flu season likely peaked in January. Owensboro Health Regional Hospital's flu-related admissions dropped from 87 in January to 47 last month, according to OH spokesman Dariush Shafa. The health system's positive flu swabs dropped from 590 in January to 451 in February. 2018-03-07T09:17:50-05:00

State police program seeks to connect addicts with treatment

March 7, 2018 - 11:42am
The Kentucky State Police unveiled a program last week to help addicts find assistance from an unlikely source: the state police themselves. On Tuesday, the program was presented in more detail to local law enforcement agencies and health professionals at a meeting at Baptist Health Paducah. Called the Angel Initiative, the program calls on addicts to turn themselves in to any KSP post, where they will be directed to a rehabilitation center or program for treatment. 2018-03-07T09:14:12-05:00

Louisville's hepatitis A outbreak linked to first death

March 7, 2018 - 11:42am
A death at University of Louisville Hospital is the first known fatality connected to the city's hepatitis A outbreak, state health officials announced Tuesday. The individual who died also had "additional health issues," so Tuesday's news release from the state Department of Public Health and local health officials stopped short of saying the contagious disease caused the death and instead said it was "related" to the virus. The death is the first for the city and Kentucky since the outbreak began in November. Other counties with one or more confirmed cases of hepatitis A include: Anderson, Boyd, Carter, Hopkins, Kenton, Leslie, Marion, McCracken, Russell and Taylor. 2018-03-07T09:09:52-05:00

Kentucky employees and teachers could see health costs leap 50% under budget plan, critic says

March 7, 2018 - 11:42am
A Kentucky House proposal to transfer $481 million out of an employee health insurance fund could result in much higher premiums for thousands of teachers and other public workers, critics say. “This is a huge concern, in some ways more so than the pension issue because it would have a more immediate, significant impact,” said Brent McKim, president of the Jefferson County Teachers Association “… It would come next year and the year after, and we could be looking at premium increases as high as 50 percent.” David Smith, executive director of the Kentucky Association of State Employees, said, "It's a tax on state workers. ... It's bound to cause our workers’ health costs to go up.” 2018-03-07T09:01:01-05:00

Beshear: Latest version of pension bill still violates law 21 ways

March 7, 2018 - 11:42am
Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear told lawmakers Tuesday that the Senate’s new version of a bill to reform the state’s public pension systems remains unconstitutional. The latest version of Senate Bill 1 “fails to cure any of the 21 violations identified in SB 1, including unlawful reductions in cost of living adjustments for teachers, caps on the use of sick time and alterations to retirement allowance calculations.” Beshear wrote in a six-page letter to legislators that he posted on social media. 2018-03-07T08:56:18-05:00

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