Kentucky Press News Service

Kentucky high court rejects medical review panels, clearing way for malpractice suits

November 15, 2018 - 1:38pm
The Kentucky Supreme Court unanimously struck down Thursday a 2017 law creating medical review panels to limit medical malpractice lawsuits. In a 34-page ruling, the state’s highest court said the law is unconstitutional because it delays access to the state’s courts for adjudication of common-law claims. The state legislature approved the measure sponsored by Sen. Ralph Alvarado, R-Winchester, and Gov. Matt Bevin signed it into law. Alvarado is a physician. The law requires that claims filed against doctors, hospitals, nursing homes, their executives and other health care providers must first be evaluated by panels composed of three medical providers before proceeding in court. The panels’ opinions could be entered as evidence in any subsequent litigation. 2018-11-15T11:28:59-05:00

Hopkinsville man gets 65 years for murder

November 15, 2018 - 1:38pm
Julius Catlett Jr., who was found guilty by jury of the murder of Shaun Smith, received his final sentence Wednesday afternoon. Judge Andrew Self ultimately gave him the maximum sentence of 65 years in prison, with credit for time already served. Catlett was found guilty of murder by jury as well as additional charges of a convicted felon in possession of a handgun and second-degree persistent felony offender. Catlett was accused of the shooting death of Smith on the early morning of Sept. 4, 2016, on Hopkinsville's Younglove Street. 2018-11-15T11:25:05-05:00

Child abuse trial set to begin

November 15, 2018 - 1:38pm
Following a lengthy discussion over a psychologist’s report for a Radcliff mother charged with striking her then-8-month-old son last March, Hardin Circuit Judge Kelly Mark Easton ruled the scheduled trial will begin Thursday. Katie Fultz, 32, is charged with first-degree criminal abuse of a child younger than 12, a Class C felony punishable by five to 10 years in prison, if convicted. Her attorney, public defender Lee Davis, sought a delay in a case, which was set for trial in May, saying psychologist Kristen McCrary for the defense wouldn’t be available this week and likely next week. He said the second report by McCrary “outlines some psychological and mental problems. It’s important that the jury hears that.” 2018-11-15T11:19:18-05:00

Superintendents say charter schools funding mechanism should wait

November 15, 2018 - 1:38pm
As Kentucky Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis urges lawmakers to consider a charter schools funding mechanism next year, local school district superintendents contend that should wait until their schools are fully funded by the state. “We need to find the revenue to truly fund the full cost of educating all students now,” Warren County Public Schools Superintendent Rob Clayton said. Bowling Green Independent School District Superintendent Gary Fields shares that view. “If we want to move the needle, let’s move the needle with the 99.9 percent of the school districts that are educating kids,” he said. 2018-11-15T11:14:35-05:00

Key takeaways from ‘Dangers in Plain Sight’

November 14, 2018 - 4:37pm
According to Kentucky State Police Trooper Robert Purdy, in an internet minute, there are 973,000 logins on Facebook, 18 million text messages sent, 4.3 million videos viewed on YouTube, 375,000 apps downloaded, 174,000 people scrolling Instagram, 481,000 tweets posted, 1.1 million swipes on Tinder, 187 million emails sent, 2.4 million snaps created on Snapchat, $862,823 spent online, 266,000 hours watched on Netflix and 3.7 million search queries on Google. And with cellphones, that’s all at our fingertips. In many ways, the internet opens up a world of opportunities. But, for children and teens, the internet can also be a dangerous place. 2018-11-14T13:42:16-05:00

Where is the 40 percent?

November 14, 2018 - 4:37pm
Last week we wrote about Franklin County’s impressive turnout in the 2018 midterm election in an editorial titled “Franklin Co. should lead in voter turnout for every election,” but over the weekend an astute reader reminded us in an email that 60 percent is failing. The reader said it’s aggravating that people fail to realize how fortunate Americans are to have the right to vote, and we agree. Where are the other 40 percent? 2018-11-14T13:37:41-05:00

How can Trump be re-elected president? By talking about the economy

November 14, 2018 - 1:37pm
I wrote in this space before the midterm that Donald Trump has a better than 50 percent chance of being re-elected in 2020. Since the results of the 2018 election rolled in, several people have asked if I feel the same way given the Democratic gains in the suburbs and upper Midwest. I continue to favor the president for re-election, but Mr. Trump must do what he clearly hates: Embrace the boring. 2018-11-14T13:24:59-05:00

There's snow easy way to say this, Louisville. Wintry weather is coming

November 14, 2018 - 1:37pm
The first snowfall that actually sticks to the ground could hit the Louisville area late Wednesday. But don't fret: It will not be much. A wintry mix of snow, ice and freezing rain could hit Jefferson County and much of central Kentucky and Southern Indiana beginning Wednesday night, according to the National Weather Service. The mixture of wintry conditions will likely hit Louisville and much of central Kentucky between 9 p.m. Wednesday and 9 a.m. Thursday, according to the NWS. 2018-11-14T13:20:13-05:00

Up to 4 inches of snow expected to blanket western Kentucky

November 14, 2018 - 1:37pm
After a dusting of snow hit western Kentucky early Tuesday morning, the season's first big bout of winter weather is expected to hit late tonight and into Thursday morning. "Right now we have really good agreement within the forecast models that our first significant winter storm is moving in," said Trent Okerson, a meteorologist with WPSD Local 6. "It looks like quite a bit of the area could pick up at least 2 to 4 inches of snow. At this point it looks like we'll have snow and possibly a bit of wintry mix." While the exact timing of the storm remains uncertain, Okerson expects the brunt of the storm to arrive after midnight. 2018-11-14T12:56:46-05:00

Kids Count report shows growing child poverty

November 14, 2018 - 1:37pm
A new statewide report finds Daviess County children living "in deep poverty," described as below 50 percent of the federal poverty level, and those residing in low-income households jumped between 2011 and 2016. In addition, out-of-home care rates — or the number of children living with foster parents or relatives — increased in Daviess, Hancock, Muhlenberg, McLean and Ohio counties, but, in particular, Ohio County's numbers jumped from 22 to 58 per 1,000 children. Kentucky Youth Advocates released Tuesday its 2018 Kids Count report, a county-by-county assessment of 17 categories that deal with child well-being. To read the entire Kids Count County Data Book, go to kyyouth.org. 2018-11-14T12:54:01-05:00

KSP seeks possible other victims in Murray attorney’s case

November 14, 2018 - 1:37pm
A Kentucky State Police spokesman said Tuesday that troopers were informed in May that a Murray attorney was allegedly not making dispersal payments on behalf of a deceased person’s estate. On Monday, an extensive investigation resulted in the arrest of that attorney, Joe Bolin, 72, on two counts of theft by failure to make required disposition over $10,000 in a pair of cases in which more than $900,000 disappeared. It might not end there, police say. “Essentially, it’s embezzlement,” said Calloway Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney James Burkeen. “Here in Kentucky, though, there is no such charge, so we have theft by failure to make required disposition. They mean the same thing; money was taken from somebody and wasn’t used how it was supposed to be used." 2018-11-14T12:49:40-05:00

Ex-coroner pleads guilty to assault

November 14, 2018 - 1:37pm
A former Letcher County official has pleaded guilty to charges he hit and bit his ex-girlfriend last month. Marty Alan Baker, 44, who was coroner for five years before he resigned last year, was sentenced to six months, probated for two years. Baker was charged with fourth degree assault with minor injury after allegedly head-butting, biting and kicking Brittany Boggs on Sunday, Oct. 14. 2018-11-14T12:39:55-05:00

New Jersey mom who helped prevent school shooting will ride in Christmas parade Dec. 1

November 14, 2018 - 1:37pm
Santa Claus is coming to town, and so is Koeberle Bull. The New Jersey mom made famous for helping prevent a school shooting in Lawrenceburg will be in town to ride in the city’s Christmas parade, scheduled for Dec. 1, Judge-Executive Orbrey Gritton has confirmed. “I’m real excited,” said Gritton, who worked with city officials for the past several weeks to bring Bull to town for the parade. Contacted Tuesday morning, Bull said she’s excited to make her first trip to Kentucky. “I can’t wait to finally be able to meet all of the people I’ve been talking to on Facebook,” said Bull, who said she’s also looking forward to being honored in the parade. 2018-11-14T12:24:10-05:00

Room packed, views clash as trial over Kentucky abortion law begins

November 14, 2018 - 1:37pm
It's either "the safest procedure that can be used" or a "gruesome, brutal procedure." That was the description used by lawyers in court Tuesday on opposite sides of a new state law that bans a method of abortion as currently used in Kentucky. At stake is the constitutionality of House Bill 454, a law that bans a method of abortion known as "dilation and evacuation," generally performed later in a pregnancy. A trial over a challenge to the law began Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Louisville. 2018-11-14T12:19:37-05:00

Do zombie shows lead to mass shootings? Matt Bevin thinks so

November 14, 2018 - 1:37pm
Gun regulation isn't the solution to mass shootings in the U.S., Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin said Tuesday, and America's culture of death, illustrated by Americans' obsession with zombie television shows, is more to blame. In a radio interview with conservative talk show host Leland Conway, the Kentucky Republican said new laws aren't the solution to violence, but addressing a "culture of death" in media is the start. Last month, Bevin literally shot grenade launchers and threw smoke bombs in a video as an analogy for "blowing up things like corruption, blowing up things like pay-to-play and inside deals," he said in a tweet featuring the video. In June 2018, Bevin blamed video games, psychotropic drugs and smartphones as some of the root causes for violence in America's schools. 2018-11-14T12:14:56-05:00

Financial health of Teachers’ Retirement System of Kentucky improves slightly

November 14, 2018 - 1:37pm
The Teachers’ Retirement System of Kentucky had 57.7 percent of the money it’s expected to need to honor its future pension obligations as of June 30, bringing its unfunded liabilities to $14.3 billion, the agency’s trustees were told Tuesday. The pension system’s funding level is up slightly from the previous year’s level of 56.4 percent. The pension fund should slowly continue to rise if state leaders follow through on Gov. Matt Bevin and the legislature’s recent commitment to provide “essentially all” of the money recommended for the fund, said Gary Harbin, TRS executive secretary. 2018-11-14T12:07:42-05:00

One Ohio family accused of killing another. Man wanted in 8 slayings arrested in Lexington.

November 14, 2018 - 1:37pm
A man wanted in the execution-style shooting deaths of an Ohio family was arrested Tuesday in Lexington, according to police. George “Billy” Wagner, 47, was arrested without incident at 2150 Georgetown Road, the address for Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, Tuesday afternoon, Lexington police said. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation assisted Lexington police in the arrest. He was found in a horse trailer that was pulled over, the Associated Press reported. It is unclear what brought Wagner to Lexington. 2018-11-14T12:01:40-05:00

Former Lexington, Campbellsville basketball standout murdered in Kansas

November 14, 2018 - 1:37pm
A former standout basketball player for Lexington Christian Academy and Campbellsville University was killed in a murder-suicide in Kansas Sunday. Police in Shawnee, Kansas, said Tuesday that Courtney Bivins, 27, of Kansas City, Mo., died after being shot by Joshua P. Mobley, 34, of Mission, Kansas, who then killed himself. Officials at Campbellsville University confirmed that Bivins was previously known as Courtney Clifton. 2018-11-14T11:56:38-05:00

Two children shot accidentally in Lawrence County home

November 14, 2018 - 1:37pm
Two children are recovering after an accidental shooting Tuesday afternoon at a residence in the Blaine community of Lawrence County. 2018-11-14T11:38:21-05:00

Preschool enrollment down in state

November 14, 2018 - 1:37pm
In 2008 the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence, which is a private, non-profit educational advocacy group, challenged Kentucky education institutions to move the education system to the top 20 in the country by 2020. On Monday, the committee presented its 2018 update. The biggest surprise in the report is that Kentucky dropped 17 spots in preschool enrollment since the original report in 2008, landing at 41st out of the 50 states. Only 41 percent of three-and four-year-olds participate in public or private preschool in the state. 2018-11-14T11:34:51-05:00

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