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Posted February 12, 2016 [ Courier-Journal ]
Bluegrass Pipeline loss big win for landowners
     The Kentucky Supreme Court has let an appeals court decision stand that only regulated utilities can use the power of eminent domain to get land for pipelines. That decision deals a blow to companies looking to lay new pipeline to carry natural gas liquids from through Kentucky from oil and gas fields in Ohio and western Pennsylvania to the refineries and ports along the Gulf Coast because it will make it more difficult and expensive to get the land they need. That became a controversial across Kentucky in recent years amid a boom brought on by new drilling methods using hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, with concerns about property values, safety, water pollution and property rights.

    Posted February 11, 2016 [ Kentucky Press News Service ]
Governor signs pro-life legislation at right-to-life rally
      In front of a record crowd at the annual Kentucky Right to Life Rally Thursday, Gov. Matt Bevin ceremonially signed Senate Bill 4, a pro-life bill to ensure informed consent prior to abortions. A number of legislators joined Bevin for the ceremony.

    Posted February 11, 2016 [ Kentucky Press News Service ]
Beshear announces plan to stop Bevin from pulling plug on kyconnect
     Even though former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear left office in December, he's battling current Gov. Matt Bevin over the Republican governor's goal of dismantling the state's health insurance expansion. Beshear and a group that shares his views have organized under the name Save Kentucky Healthcare and aim to continue Kentucky's health insurance expansion under the Affordable Care Act, according to WAVE-TV's website.

Posted February 11, 2016 [ Winchester Sun ]
Clark County Fire Department, others practice ice rescue training
     Clark County Fire Department Chief Billy Jones knows he and his staff have to be prepared for any type of emergency call that may come in. In order to prepare for such calls, the fire department trains for a variety of situations. One such situation is ice rescue, which 11 members of the Clark County Fire Department trained for on a freezing Tuesday afternoon at Harper Valley Farm along KY 627 near the Clark-Bourbon county line. “If we don’t train for them, that jeopardizes the safety of the guys,” Jones said.

Posted February 11, 2016 [ The Advocate Messenger ]
Police seek Danville woman on theft charges
     A Danville woman is being sought by police on charges of theft by unlawful taking. Juniqua C. Coulter, 22, of Danville is currently wanted by the Danville Police Department. Officers are investigating several incidents where Coulter allegedly entered homes of unsuspecting residents, asked for help and then committed theft if given the opportunity.

    Posted February 11, 2016 [ Frankfort State Journal ]
Bevin must give back $57.5M
     Even though Gov. Matt Bevin has called kynect just a redundant website, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services (CMS) has sent notification he must present a plan by mid April to transition Kentuckians to the federal exchange and give back approximately $57.5 million in grant money. On Jan. 28, Andrew Slavitt, acting administrator for CMS under the Department of Health and Human Services, sent Bevin a letter that appeared Wednesday on several news sites saying there were certain actions his office would have to take immediately if it planned to transition to the federal exchange.

Posted February 11, 2016 [ Bowling Green Daily News ]
Conviction for Dollar General fire starter upheld
     A federal appeals court upheld the conviction of a Smiths Grove woman who was found guilty of arson in the 2011 fire at a Dollar General store she managed. The three-judge panel for the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Tuesday affirmed the guilty verdict and six-year prison sentence given to Debra Fowler Kessinger. The 59-year-old was accused of intentionally setting the Dollar General store in Horse Cave on fire June 27, 2011, leading to the facility being razed.

Posted February 11, 2016 [ Paducah Sun ]
Suspect's attorney wants statements suppressed
     At a hearing Wednesday in McCracken Circuit Court, Jeffery Conrad, who is scheduled to stand trial on a murder charge next month, and his attorney Doug Moore argued to suppress statements Conrad made to McCracken County Sheriff's Capt. Matt Carter. Conrad, 49, was charged after he allegedly shot and killed Garlon Casey Cox, 30, on June 8 at a Reidland storage unit. Officials said Conrad caught Cox and a friend stealing from his unit. Conrad has stated he fired his weapon to protect a female friend who had accompanied him to the storage facility. The statements Conrad is seeking to exclude were made at the sheriff's department after the shooting.

Posted February 11, 2016 [ Messenger Inquirer ]
Homeless data called 'grossly inaccurate'
     The Homeless Council of the Ohio Valley disputed the annual 2015 K-Count homeless figures at its monthly meeting Wednesday morning. According to the K-Count report, Daviess County had 13 individuals considered chronically homeless for the year. In 2014, K-Count listed Daviess County with having two chronically homeless people. However, Jenni Warren, Daviess County liaison to homeless issues and Homeless Council chairwoman, called the K-Count numbers "grossly inaccurate."

Posted February 11, 2016 [ Messenger Inquirer ]
Clock ticking for Owensboro mall
     The clock is ticking for Towne Square Mall. Unless U.S. Bank National Association is able to find a buyer before 10 a.m. Monday, the 38-year-old shopping mall will be sold in a foreclosure auction in the lobby of the Daviess County Courthouse a few minutes later. Master Commissioner Ron Presser, who is handling the sale, said bids could begin at $1. But they won't.

Posted February 11, 2016 [ Murray Ledger & Times ]
Seeking answers, community searches for missing Calloway woman
     The search for a missing Calloway County woman intensified Wednesday as law enforcement officers sought to put the pieces together as to why she disappeared. Jennifer Hicks, 31, of Calloway County, was last reported being seen at about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday as she was leaving for what is believed to be a lunch break from work. She is the current marketing director/teller at the Lake Chem Federal Credit Union office in Murray. Calloway County Sheriff Sam Steger said Wednesday that his office is utilizing all means necessary in the search.

Posted February 11, 2016 [ Courier-Journal ]
Bill to protect Kim Davis passed by committee
     A Senate commit­tee on Wednesday voted for a bill that is intended to shield county clerks from having to put their names on the mar­riage licenses of same-sex couples. Senate Bill 5 passed the Senate State and Local Government Committee with­out serious opposition but with some con­cern that a plan to create two different marriage licenses would tend to treat gays and lesbians differently. The bill is an attempt to largely codify an executive order by Gov. Matt Bevin that was designed to allow Rowan Coun­ty Clerk Kim Davis to have her office is­sue gay marriage licenses without hav­ing her name on them.

    Posted February 11, 2016 [ Courier-Journal ]
Some are embracing clean power plan delay
     The coal industry and its political supporters in Indiana and Kentucky on Wednesday welcomed a big Su­preme Court ruling that puts a hold on President Barack Obama’s new and historic limits on climate pollution from power plants. Utilities said it means they won’t have to spend money that may turn out not to be necessary - while envi­ronmental advocates expressed their disappointment. The 5-4 ruling along ideological lines with liberal judges dissenting means the U.S. Environ­mental Protection Agency cannot en­force its Clean Power Plan until the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Cir­cuit decides on the merits of a lawsuit by more than two dozen states, includ­ing Kentucky and Indiana.

    Posted February 11, 2016 [ Courier-Journal ]
Beshear campaigns to save health care expansion
     Seeking to preserve Kentucky's "dramatic success" in expanding health care coverage to more than half a million Kentuckians, former Gov. Steve Beshear today is launching a statewide campaign asking public support for what's considered one of his major accomplishments in office. Beshear has scheduled news conferences in Louisville and Lexington Thursday to kick off the campaign outlined in a website unveiled Thursday morning, Savekyhealthcare.org.

    Posted February 11, 2016 [ Lexington Herald Leader ]
Bevin drops defense of consumer-protection law on life insurance benefits
     Gov. Matt Bevin’s new insurance commissioner this week dropped Kentucky’s legal defense of a 2012 consumer-protection law intended to help life insurance beneficiaries. The Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits Act requires insurance companies to make “good faith efforts,” using public death records, to determine if policyholders have died so their benefits can be paid. Several insurance companies owned by Kemper Corp. of St. Louis, Mo., sued the state in 2012 to argue that the law should not apply retroactively to their thousands of existing policies in Kentucky.

Posted February 11, 2016 [ Lexington Herald Leader ]
UK game ‘dancing guy’ falls with girl during performance
     UPDATED: A man known for dancing at University of Kentucky basketball games took a tumble Tuesday night during the Cats’ game against Georgia in Rupp Arena. Darren Moscoe has danced at UK games for years, but during a dance Tuesday he fell while carrying a girl who stood to join him. TV cameras caught the moment. The girl sustained superficial abrasions, UK police Chief Joe Monroe said. UK police talked to Moscoe after the fall, but there were no charges filed and he was soon able to return to his seat, Monroe said.

Posted February 11, 2016 [ Business Lexington ]
CentrePointe’s new developers pull out after Lexington balks at government center plan
     Lexington’s seemingly snake-bit CentrePointe development is back to square one, just one day after consultants hired by the city to help find viable options for a new city hall released a report that listed the downtown project among its top three choices.

Posted February 11, 2016 [ Kentucky New Era ]
Defense: Evaluation not ready for man accused of killing mother
     A 30-year-old man accused of murdering his own mother is not ready for a trial just yet, as his attorney has requested a continuation of the case. Jamal S. Mounts, originally of Evansville, Indiana, is charged with murder, attempted murder, first-degree burglary, fourth-degree assault and resisting arrest. Police found his mother, 65-year-old Roxie Mounts, dead in her North Elm Street apartment in Hopkinsville on March 1, 2014, and Jamal Mounts naked as he was choking his mother’s next door neighbor, Marvelyn Spray, 69, inside her apartment, according to court documents.

Posted February 11, 2016 [ Kentucky New Era ]
Details emerge in fatal wreck
     As Christian Circuit Judge Andrew Self denied a defense motion seeking to have the charges against Travis L. Orten dismissed, competing narratives emerged Wednesday regarding the events leading up to a fatal high-speed collision. The 43-year-old Hopkinsville man is charged with murdering two people — 23-year-old Jacob Ort, Clarksville, and 19-year-old Kendra Lee, Montgomery County — who allegedly broke into his home on Independence Day. Police believe he intentionally rammed the back of their pickup truck with his SUV in the early hours of July 4.

Posted February 11, 2016 [ Harlan Daily Enterprise ]
Harlan magistrate cleared of charges
     The Bell County District Court has dismissed charges including abuse of public trust that were brought against Harlan County Magistrate James F. Howard in October. The case was moved out of Harlan County and heard by the Bell County district judge. A previous report said on Oct. 16, detectives from Kentucky State Police Drug Enforcement/Special Investigations served a warrant on Howard on charges of misuse of confidential information and abuse of public trust. According to the Bell County Circuit Court Clerk’s office, the charges were dismissed on Monday by Judge Robert Yoakum for lack of probable cause.


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