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Posted December 9, 2016 [ Courier-Journal ]
Tim Longmeyer pleads guilty to state felony
     Criminal prosecutions of the Steve Beshear administration's Personnel Cabinet secretary Tim Longmeyer came to a sudden end Thursday when Longmeyer pleaded guilty in Franklin Circuit Court to a single state felony count. In a plea agreement, Franklin County Commonwealth Attorney Larry Cleveland recommended a sentence of five years, but that Longmeyer could serve that time concurrent with the 70-month sentence he begins serving next month on a related federal bribery conviction. The sentencing date is scheduled for Jan. 3, two days before Longmeyer is ordered to begin serving his federal sentence.

Posted December 9, 2016 [ Courier-Journal ]
Kentucky seeks to slash coal ash oversight
     The Bevin administration is taking steps to make it harder for the public - and the state's own regulatory agencies - to ensure utilities properly manage the mountains of toxic ash and scrubber sludge that their coal-fired power plants produce in Kentucky. Even one of the environment cabinet's own scientific experts is speaking out against the plan to change how ash landfills and ponds are regulated in Kentucky

Posted December 8, 2016 [ Kentucky Press News Service ]
KSP charges Russell County man with child sexual exploitation offenses
     The Kentucky State Police Electronic Crime Branch arrested Stephen M. Stargle, 21, Wednesday night at his Russell Springs home on charges related to distribution and possession of matter portraying a sex performance by a minor. Stargle was arrested as the result of an undercover Internet Crimes Against Children investigation. The KSP Electronic Crime Branch began the investigation after discovering the suspect sharing images of child sexual exploitation online.

    Posted December 8, 2016 [ Kentucky Press News Service ]
Kentucky Department of Revenue warns of tax scams and recent schemes
      The Kentucky Department of Revenue said in a news release that it wants all Kentuckians to be aware of possible schemes that are designed to steal identities and important personal information. As tax season approaches, the department, along with the Internal Revenue Service, and tax industry representatives, reminds taxpayers to be on the lookout for an array of evolving tax scams related to identity theft and refund fraud.

Posted December 8, 2016 [ Kentucky New Era ]
Plea agreement reached in murder case
     Ryan Champion has agreed to life in prison without parole on charges of four counts of murder and one count of kidnapping. "Ryan Champion never has any hope of being released from prison," Commonwealth's Attorney Carrie Ovey-Wiggins said. The prosecutor said she entered into a plea agreement with blessing of the family.

Posted December 8, 2016 [ Bowling Green Daily News ]
Defense attorney tries to lay blame on mother of dead child
     Laynee Wallace's mother was the first witness to testify Wednesday in the murder trial of Anthony Barbour, and her testimony attempted to fend off efforts by Barbour's attorney to present an alternate theory that placed responsibility for Laynee's death on her mother. Barbour, 26, of Summer Shade is on trial in Barren Circuit Court on charges of murder, tampering with physical evidence and abuse of a corpse in connection with the death of 2-year-old Laynee on May 17, 2015.

Posted December 8, 2016 [ Bowling Green Daily News ]
Four students report minor head pain after school bus collides with pick up truck
     A Warren County Public Schools bus carrying 18 students collided with a truck about 4:08 p.m. Wednesday. Four students reported having head pain after the wreck and were taken by private vehicles for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

Posted December 8, 2016 [ Bowling Green Daily News ]
Guthrie takes Comer under his wing in Washington
     U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie wants to make sure Kentucky's newest representative gets a head start on the other newcomers who take office in January. Guthrie, a Bowling Green Republican, and James Comer, R-Tompkinsville, have met several times since Comer was sworn in last month. Comer was picked in November in a special election to fill the unexpired term of former 1st District Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Hopkinsville, and to serve another term. Guthrie was unopposed in his re-election bid.

Posted December 8, 2016 [ Frankfort State Journal ]
GPS tracker thwarts Frankfort man’s attempt to use stolen car
     A GPS tracker thwarted a man’s attempt to use a car reported stolen from Lexington on Tuesday after the tracker alerted Frankfort police to his location. At 12:45 p.m., Frankfort police were notified of the stolen Lexington vehicle’s location in Franklin County. Police chased the suspect to the KSU campus where he was taken into custody.

Posted December 8, 2016 [ Frankfort State Journal ]
Violent man served as informant for Frankfort Police Department
     Despite conflicting statements from a detective, Frankfort Police Department records indicate a Frankfort man with a four-decade violent criminal history served as a confidential informant for the city as early as 2012 before a woman he temporarily housed on its behalf killed him.

Posted December 8, 2016 [ The Advocate Messenger ]
OEA report: Email on Boyle schools hiring practices ‘circumvented’ law
     Boyle County Superintendent Mike LaFavers and Assistant Superintendent David Young had to undergo state-mandated training on the scope of their duties after an investigation by the Office of Education Accountability found that an email sent by Young laid out policies that “circumvented” school control over hiring decisions. Two memorandums from OEA dated Nov. 15 document the OEA investigation into Young and LaFavers. The documents were released to The Advocate-Messenger on Tuesday after the paper filed an open records request.

Posted December 8, 2016 [ Levisa Lazer ]
Lawrence schools reopen following chemical spill
     Lawrence County schools reopened Thursday after students and staff got an unexpected day off on Wednesday following a chemical spill inside Lawrence County High School. Once fire and emergency personnel arrived on the scene, they discovered that a small amount of industrial strength acid (thought to be sulfuric acid), had been spilled inside a contained room next to the chemical lab.

Posted December 8, 2016 [ Lexington Herald Leader ]
Great-grandmother of 2-year-old killed in shooting: ‘It seems like a bad dream'
     The great-grandmother of a Lexington 2-year-old who died Tuesday after a shooting said she will be at every court appearance of the two men who were arrested. Tammye Sparks was in the Fayette County district courtroom Wednesday when the men, each charged with two counts of assault and one count of robbery, pleaded not guilty. On Wednesday night, police said one of the assault charges against each man had been upgraded to murder charges after police determined “both men are responsible for shots being fired,” police spokeswoman Brenna Angel said. The men will be arraigned on the murder charges later.

Posted December 8, 2016 [ Messenger Inquirer ]
Downtown Owensboro TIF district OK expected
     The city of Owensboro's proposal for a downtown tax increment financing (TIF) district appears headed for final approval at the Thursday morning meeting of the Kentucky Economic Development Authority board meeting in Frankfort.

    Posted December 8, 2016 [ Paducah Sun ]
State earns high ranking on early retirement survey
     While Kentucky slipped out of the top spot on its annual list of Best States for an Early Retirement, the commonwealth still has plenty to offer, according to the financial website smartasset.com. The Bluegrass State dropped from No. 1 in 2015 to No. 2 on the 2016 list with first place going to Wyoming, which jumped up two spots from its third-place ranking last year. Kentucky fully exempts all Social Security income from taxation while providing a significant deduction for seniors receiving other types of retirement income, the website notes, in addition to its relatively low sales and property taxes.

Posted December 8, 2016 [ Paducah Sun ]
High-speed chase ends with arrest
     A 19-year-old Missouri man was arrested Tuesday after he allegedly led police on a high-speed chase on Interstate 24 in Lyon County. According to the Kentucky State Police, troopers saw a 2014 Dodge Charger, driven by Tajuan M. Davidson Jr. of St. Louis, traveling at a high rate of speed on the interstate near mile marker 48. Police said they attempted a traffic stop, but Davidson sped up and police gave chase.

    Posted December 8, 2016 [ Courier-Journal ]
Heiner favors grading schools on A-F scale
     The state’s education secretary wants to see Kentucky schools be given A to F grades under its rede­signed accountability system, say­ing that having the report card­style labels will be clear and easy for parents and the community to understand. Hal Heiner, Kentucky’s Educa­tion and Workforce Development Secretary, lobbied for the A-F grad­ing system during Wednesday’s state Board of Education meeting. He said he’d like to see the letter grades in addition to a proposed dashboard that would show the community multiple measures of how a school and its students are performing.

Posted December 8, 2016 [ Courier-Journal ]
Bevin reacts on Yum issue
     Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin said Wednesday evening that the city of Louisville will have to car­ry the heaviest financial burden in restructuring the KFC Yum! Center’s debt plan. Speaking to 84 WHAS radio host Terry Meiners, Bevin, a Republican, said the downtown arena is connected to the state’s economic well-being but that he wanted to see how the negotiations between the arena’s partners played out.

Posted December 8, 2016 [ Courier-Journal ]
Child abuse ‘evil’ found in reviews
     Beaten regu­larly with a belt, pushed into cold showers, forced to drink garlic water and made to sit at a kitchen table for 12 to 13 hours a day writing sentences as supposed home schooling, the young girl from Southeastern Ken­tucky was nearly dead when she was admitted to a hospital last year. “Basically, her body was shutting down,” said Brenda Bremenkamp, an analyst who summarizes cases for Kentucky’s 20-member Child Fatality and Near Fatality External Review Panel. “She was close to death.”

Posted December 8, 2016 [ Lexington Herald Leader ]
Unclaimed: $1 billion RECLAIM Act to help coal regions not included in budget resolution
     A $1 billion proposal to help struggling coal regions didn’t make it into a short-term federal spending bill, as backers had hoped. The U.S. House did not include the measure in a plan to fund government operations through the end of April. The bill, called the RECLAIM Act, would have accelerated the release of $1 billion from the federal abandoned mine land fund to finance mine-reclamation projects in ways that would boost the economy of Eastern Kentucky and other regions hurt by a sharp downturn in coal jobs.


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