In recent weeks we’ve run several editorials warning motorists about the importance of care and caution required to make sure students remain safe as they return to school this month. In those editorials we have touched on the importance of adhering to laws regarding stopping for school buses. In our Aug. 10-11 weekend edition, reporter Lashana Harney took a closer look at why these laws are important, as local officials called on motorists to keep in mind what is at stake if they don’t follow these rules.
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Faced with a life-or-death emergency, we all would like to think we could step up and do the right thing. But unless you’re in the moment, when moments matter most, how you react is unknown. Looking at a burning home in Elizabethtown’s Nicholas Ridge neighborhood, Jesse “J.T.” Bryant ran to help. The 18-year-old pounded on a door to alert the family. When no one responded, he pounded some more.
Dozens of community members and state officials came to witness the groundbreaking for the first film studio in Hart County. In a lot donated by the Bale family, Branscombe Richmond, an advisory member of the Southern Kentucky Film Commission who has appeared in movies such as “License to Kill” and “Commando,” came together with other figures in the fledgling southern Kentucky film industry and others from across the state who have taken notice of the area’s potential.
Six Eastern Kentucky musicians will come together for a special concert in Prestonsburg this month to help coal miners who were laid off and were not paid after Blackjewel went bankrupt. The ‘Benefit Concert for Coal Country” will begin at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 25, at the Mountain Arts Center, featuring musicians Sean Whiting, Nick Jamerson, Logan Hall, Bek and the Starlight Revue, the Laid Back Country Picker and Waylon Ray Nelson.
The federal government has designated parts of far western Kentucky and all of Illinois as natural disaster areas due to damage and losses caused by extreme weather, including excessive moisture, flooding and flash flooding that occurred starting Sept. 1, 2018, into this summer. Five Kentucky counties are included in the designated area: Ballard, Crittenden, Livingston, McCracken, and Union.
The University of Louisville decided to buy Jewish Hospital and the Frazier Rehab Institute, in part, to protect the research initiatives rooted there and to ease uncertainty among faculty. Losing employees was a fear, university President Neeli Bendapudi said, and a factor that fueled the school's efforts to strike a deal to buy Jewish, Frazier and other local KentuckyOne Health facilities.
Around 1,400 customers who purchased a vehicle from Nicholasville-based Auto Plaza USA will receive a portion of $450,000 after being inaccurately billed, according to the Attorney General’s office. According to a 2017 lawsuit filed by Andy Beshear’s office, between 2012 and 2016 Auto Plaza USA told around 1,400 consumers that the price of their purchased vehicle included all fees and taxes, but the auto dealer submitted insufficient tax amounts. The customers then received delinquent tax notices from the state and owed tax bills they thought had already been paid, the attorney general’s office said.
Seventeen people were taken to hospitals Thursday after an accident involving a Greyhound bus on 1-75 in Rockcastle County, a Facebook post from the Mount Vernon Fire Department said. The accident involved a Greyhound bus and a commercial vehicle on I-75 near the 71-mile marker, the post said. The 17 people were transported to Rockcastle and Madison County hospitals by Rockcastle and Madison County EMS crews.
Hickman City Commissioner Phillip Williams died Thursday morning in a single-car accident at the intersection of Ky. 125 and Ky. 166. The Fulton County Sheriff's Office is investigating the crash. Williams was into his seventh two-year term, serving on the Hickman City Commission since 2007. Williams had held the title of mayor pro tem since 2015, a position given to the commissioner who receives the most votes in the general election.
An outspoken advocate for Louisville’s public schools wants to know how parent teacher associations in Jefferson County are spending their money. The Kentucky PTA sued to block her. Now, a Louisville judge is asking Attorney General Andy Beshear to intervene.
Kudos to Fayette County Public Schools, where administrators deserve a medal for creativity, problem solving and cutting costs, all very much needed in our public schools. Because Kentucky legislators like to focus on weighty issues, they recently passed a law that required all schools to post “In God We Trust” prominently in their halls. Other schools have bought big signs; Fayette County simply provided framed $1 bills to all their schools, showing the back with the required motto. Good for them, and any other districts that came up with this extremely neat solution. I sincerely hope there’s no backlash from the state or anyone else.
A Lexington company that distributes technology, electronic, network and security products throughout the world plans to add 103 full-time jobs at an investment of $4.23 million, Gov. Matt Bevin said Thursday. The project will create a centralized, Kentucky-based sales team to provide services for east coast customers.
Following the high-profile bankruptcy of a coal company that left hundreds of Kentucky miners with bad checks last month, Sen. Johnny Ray Turner (D-Prestonsburg) said he will pre-file a bill Thursday aimed at closing a loophole that allowed the company to operate in violation of state law. The bill would also compel state agencies to determine whether other companies are currently in violation of the law, and could revoke mining permits if the companies don’t comply.
A Midway man has been released from custody after pleading guilty to driving a man to the scene of a fatal shooting and then driving him to dispose of the alleged murder weapon. Billy Jo Turner, 38, pleaded guilty Wednesday to reduced charges in the case. As part of his plea agreement, Turner is expected to testify against his co-defendant and the suspected gunman, 39-year-old Derek Garten. In the meantime, Turner will be released from custody and closely monitored.
There are hundreds of companies in Northern Kentucky that hold toxic chemicals. But there are 23 that emergency workers think pose a "greater vulnerability," than the rest if the toxic chemicals leaked. Where are they? Good question. State law won't let The Enquirer know, or tell you, which companies pose the most risk. Or where they are, or what schools, housing developments and highways they might be near.
Newport Independent Schools retaliated against an employee who reported cheating on tests, a civil lawsuit says. Ruth Johnson, the employee with Newport Intermediate, claims she notified Newport Superintendent Kelly Middleton of cheating on Measure of Academic Progress testing, also known as MAP testing, in 2013. She "indicated" testing violations continued afterward, the suit says. "Ruth (Johnson) indicated she was being punished and retaliated against for speaking out," the suit says.
The modern 24-hour news cycle can be heartless. The constant focus on whatever is the biggest, most shocking thing happening right this moment all too often has a dehumanizing effect on the actual people affected by whatever news item is getting the clicks and shares. For most people around Kentucky and the U.S., the story of the Texas Eastern Pipeline exploding in Lincoln County Aug. 1 ended after the TV news cameras packed up and headed for the next dramatic story, wherever that might be. But for the people in Lincoln County affected by the explosion, the story is far from over.
Kentucky attorney general candidate Daniel Cameron is a personable and intelligent man who has come a long way in 33 years of life. Cameron is a respected attorney and previously worked closely with U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., as legal counsel who helped get Neil Gorsuch onto the U.S. Supreme Court. In securing the Republican Party’s nomination for attorney general, Cameron carried 104 of Kentucky’s 120 counties. Cameron is a class act, no two ways about it. But some who are opposing him are anything but classy. They are shameless people who have said some disturbing things about Cameron, who happens to be black.
Former University of Kentucky standout DeMarcus Cousins has suffered a torn ACL, according to a report Wednesday. Shams Charania, lead NBA writer for The Athletic and Stadium, reported that the Los Angeles Lakers center was undergoing final tests that would confirm the knee injury. Earlier Wednesday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Cousins bumped knees with another player during training in Las Vegas. Cousins signed a one-year, $3.5 million contract with the Lakers this offseason, joining a team that includes former UK star Anthony Davis and LeBron James.
Federal prosecutors continued building their case Wednesday that Lexington businessman Jerry Lundergan made illegal corporate contributions to the campaign of his daughter, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, while the defense worked to discredit a key prosecution witness. Lundergan and prominent political consultant Dale Emmons, of Richmond, went on trial in federal court in Frankfort this week for allegedly scheming to support Grimes’ 2014 U.S. Senate campaign with illegal contributions from Lundergan’s companies, which the two have denied. Grimes, a Democrat, lost a bid to unseat U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Louisville Republican.
Arraignment was scheduled this week for two employees of the state public assistance office in Whitesburg accused of illegally receiving Medicaid benefits. The two were named in two indictments each by the Letcher Grand Jury.
An alleged Pike County DUI wreck resulted in a vehicle crashing into a roadside residence and, according to the resident, nearly injuring an infant inside the house. No one was injured in the vehicle crash, nor was anyone injured when Tackett’s vehicle crashed into the house, although a family of four was home at the time of the incident.
Although they have been operating since May, the staff and crew of the Air Evac Lifeteam base in Paducah were officially welcomed to the community Wednesday. Paducah is one of 143 air medical bases across 15 states. Each base has four full-time pilots, nurses and medics, as well as a program director and mechanic.
What James Ramsey said and what David Grissom heard is in dispute. But the University of Louisville’s concerns about rogue trustees were real, were investigated and were ultimately unsubstantiated. “I have to get all of the facts, but that is my understanding,” U of L President Neeli Bendapudi said Wednesday. “It was investigated by our athletics department.” Asked if that investigation took place subsequent to speculation that a trustee had provided funding for the stripper parties that cost the university its 2013 NCAA men’s basketball championship, Bendapudi replied, “Yes, and they found no basis for it.”
Two key state senators expressed strong reservations Wednesday about the University of Louisville's request for a $50 million state loan needed to help finance the university's plan to acquire Jewish Hospital and other KentuckyOne Health assets. "At this point, I don't support doing what they're asking to be done," said Sen. Chris McDaniel, a Taylor Mill Republican who chairs the Senate budget committee. "You have a struggling hospital buying a failing hospital, and I think that this is a very bad idea." Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer, a Georgetown Republican, said a $50 million loan "is a lot of money for a cash-strapped state ... a lot of money for a state that has a multibillion-dollar pension debt. I don't know if the support is there (in the legislature) to do it or not. I'm not saying there is; I'm not saying there isn't."
When Brittany Pike saw the back of a dollar bill framed at Lexington’s Athens Chilesburg Elementary School last week, she couldn’t have been more pleased. Pike took a photo and posted it on Facebook Wednesday along with this message about Fayette County Public Schools’ response to Kentucky’s new law that requires the national “In God We Trust” motto to be displayed prominently at schools. The new law is required as a result of legislation filed by State Rep. Brandon Reed, a Republican minister from Hodgenville.
Briggs & Stratton Corp. announced Thursday morning plans to consolidate production of its small vertical-shaft engines into its Poplar Bluff, Missouri facility. A news release from the company said this consolidation would result in the closure of the company's Murray facility by the fall of 2020 and is intended to align production capacity with current and expected future market needs. Six hundred work at the company's Murray facility.
Former Webster County Middle School teacher Lucia Jenkins was sentenced in U.S. Federal Court in Owensboro recently on charges of distributing and receiving child porn. She was sentenced to 60 months in federal prison. She will be subject to ten years of supervised parole following her release.
Normally when an employer shuts down its operation, the public concern is for the jobs of the workers, but in the case of Dotiki Mine, which will shut down Friday after 52 years in business, that isn't the case. According to sources within Alliance Resource Partners LLC (ARLP), all employees of Dotiki are being offered the chance to transfer to one of the company's other mines. What Webster County residents and officials have to concern themselves with is the impact the closure will have on the local economy.
First United Methodist Church senior pastor the Rev. Paige Williams, 61, and former day care director Abby Leach, 32, were arraigned Wednesday morning in Judge John Atkins’ Hopkinsville courtroom. Williams and her defense attorney Bill Deatherage as well as Leach and her attorney Ben Fletcher entered not guilty pleas as they both consider plea offers from the commonwealth moving forward. Williams is charged with first-degree complicity to criminal abuse of a child under 12 years of age in connection to a child abuse case that arose in January at the day care. Leach was the day care director at the time of the alleged abuse and is also charged with first-degree complicity to criminal abuse of a child under 12 years of age.
Matt Jones, the founder of Kentucky Sports Radio and a rabid University of Kentucky fan, has proven over the years he knows how to throw jabs at University of Louisville athletic programs. He now is planning to unload on U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in a new book titled “Mitch, Please! How Mitch McConnell Sold Out Kentucky (And America Too).” The news about Jones’ new book was first published Thursday morning in The Washington Post and on KSR.
The University of Kentucky was mentioned in the latest development related to the ongoing and widespread corruption scandal in college basketball, though no wrongdoing against the UK program was implied in a court filing Wednesday. A motion filed in federal court seeking the dismissal of charges against attorney Michael Avenatti alleged corruption by senior officials in the Nike grassroots basketball program that included a plan to pay top-level recruits while they were still in high school.
Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton filed suit against Gov. Matt Bevin on Thursday, asking for court orders that would restore her two fired staff members to their jobs. The lawsuit, filed in Franklin Circuit Court, argues the Bevin administration illegally dismissed Hampton's chief of staff Steve Knipper in late January and deputy chief of staff Adrienne Southworth in late May. The lawsuit seeks a court order declaring that the lieutenant governor is the proper appointing authority for employees of the lieutenant governor's office.
Message received from my mom at 11:42 a.m. Friday: FYI we no longer have a telephone land line. I love my parents dearly. In fact, they still live in my hometown of Cumberland, Maryland, cradled in the mountains of the western panhandle, and reside in the same house my brother, sister and I grew up in. The fact they are just now cutting their landline ought to be a clue that my parents remain stuck in a bygone era. Most people dropped their home service in favor of cellphones ages ago.
A reader told me a week or so ago that my columns too often come across as angry or negative. I can’t say that I agree with that assessment, but at the risk of coming across as “get off my yard” guy this week, how about we start with some happy news? For those of you — and judging by our Facebook page, you are legion — fuming mad that the high school’s site-based decision making council opted out of a Bible elective, here’s a glass-half-full way of looking at that issue.
I love newspapers and the communities we serve. That may sound self-serving, but it’s not completely. I’ve worked inside the industry my entire adult life, but I actually pay for three other newspapers to be delivered to my home and visit other communities as much as I possibly can. If God is willing, I’ll be visiting my daughter Reagan in Vienna, Austria this fall and there is a very good chance I’ll pick up a dozen newspapers in my travels at that time. It is a way of life for me. It is because of this job that I have love for our communities and can see our true beauty.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service's August crop production report for Kentucky shows a potential record production forecast for corn, increased burley tobacco production and reduced soybean production. “Based on producer reports, 2019 corn production may reach a record high in Kentucky, surpassing the 243 million bushels grown in 2013,” said David Knopf, director of the NASS Eastern Mountain Regional Office in Kentucky.
A Canadatown teen died Saturday from injuries he sustained after his ATV ran head-on into a pickup truck. James E. Fore, 19, died at the University of Tennessee Medical Center where he had been airlifted following the crash on D Fore Road. Whitley County Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Lawson said the wreck occurred at approximately 2:30 p.m. Saturday.
Drivers in Eastern Kentucky may have noticed an increased presence of law enforcement on local roadways — a presence that will continue at least for the next few months, according to Johnson County Sheriff Doug Saylor. The ramp-up in city, county and state police enforcement is part of the statewide “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, which begins around the time schools return to session and ends around Labor Day.
A judge declined to throw out the case against a Carlisle County man accused of manslaughter after his attorney argued Tuesday that his client's actions were protected under the state's "castle doctrine." Matthew Turnbow faces manslaughter, assault, domestic violence and other charges related to the Aug. 11, 2018, incident that resulted in the death of Kelly Clanahan and injuries to Doug Compton.
Two years ago, alone, lonely — and briefly homeless — Cynthia Schepers was afraid she might become another casualty of Kentucky's foster system. Schepers knows too well what happens to foster children — how they are far less likely to graduate from college and far more likely to become homeless or wind up in jail or prison. But at 23, through her own determination and the aid of a mentor family that took her in when she had nowhere to live, Schepers believes she's headed for success.
The University of Louisville is moving forward with a new deal to buy Jewish Hospital in a move its president said is risky but will ensure the facility's doors stay open while also greatly expanding the size of U of L Health's operation. The school's board of trustees gave President Neeli Bendapudi's plan its blessing Wednesday in a unanimous vote. The vote clears the way for the university to finalize an agreement with KentuckyOne Health and its parent organization, CommonSpirit Health, that will allow it to buy Jewish as well as other local operations, including Our Lady of Peace Hospital.
A Kentucky man was arrested last week after showing up at the Pentagon visibly drunk with a loaded shotgun, saying he was there on “liberty business,” federal court records said. Charles Lawson of Pineville, was speaking incoherently when Pentagon police officers approached him in a parking lot at the U.S. Department of Defense’s sprawling Virginia headquarters on Aug. 6, according to an affidavit written by a special agent who interviewed Lawson. The affidavit was filed in support of an arrest warrant in a Virginia federal court.
A former chairman of the Kentucky Democratic Party and a prominent political consultant flouted federal campaign law to make illegal contributions to the 2014 U.S. Senate campaign of Alison Lundergan Grimes, a federal prosecutor argued Tuesday. It is illegal for corporations to contribute to campaigns. However, Grimes’ father, Lexington businessman Jerry Lundergan, and strategist Dale Emmons, a close family friend, schemed to make secret donations to Grimes through Lundergan’s companies, Assistant U.S. Attorney Kate K. Smith said.
Attorney General Andy Beshear’s office will investigate whether coal companies that have secured mining permits in Kentucky over the past five years have posted performance bonds aimed at protecting miners’ wages. The issue of performance bonds came to the forefront last month when the Herald-Leader reported that Blackjewel LLC., which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy July 1, had failed to post the bond with the Kentucky Labor Cabinet.
Just a week after students in Todd County returned to school for a new year, the Todd County Schools district has received a threat directed toward the Todd County Central High School campus. A letter posted online by Todd County Schools Superintendent Ed Oyler said the threat was from students who had been identified. He said the threat was received Tuesday during the morning commute, and he said school administrators responded by contacting law enforcement agencies when the threat was received.
The Anderson County High School site-based council voted unanimously last Tuesday evening to not proceed with offering a Bible elective about the historical influences of the Old Testament. The school will instead offer a “world religions” course that will include Christianity and Islam, among others. Principal Chris Glass and social studies teacher Corey Sayre, who belong to the eight-member council comprised of elected parents and teachers, both expressed concerns that such a course could create numerous legal problems, a perspective they said is shared by the district’s attorney, Robert Chenoweth.
A Frankfort resident has been tapped to serve as executive director of the Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission following the retirement of current Director John Schaaf. Laura Hromyak Hendrix, who presently serves as the commission’s legal counsel, will assume the post Sept. 1.
Phoenix Paper LLC plans to invest $200 million to build a paper recycling facility on the grounds of the Wickliffe mill it purchased only a year ago, Gov. Matt Bevin announced. Company leaders plan to use the existing site to build a paper-and-pulp recycling facility.
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul may have scaled back his travel schedule after surgery to remove part of a lung damaged when he was tackled in 2017 outside his Bowling Green home, but the Republican isn't scaling back his calls for taking a scalpel to a burgeoning federal budget.