Update 6:21 p.m.: Gov. Beshear Again Says No To Special Session For Clerks Bill

In a statement released Thursday evening, Gov. Steve Beshear again said he would not call a special session for the General Assembly to consider legislation that would relieve county clerks of the obligation to issue marriage licenses.

The legislative effort, which has support in both political parties, is a response to Kim Davis’ ongoing refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Lisa Autry

The National Corvette Museum marked a milestone Thursday when it celebrated the reopening of the Skydome, the site of a massive sinkhole collapse on February 12, 2014. 

Eight prized cars fell into the 45-foot hole and most suffered extensive damage. 

Executive Director Wendell Strode thanked the community for its support throughout the ordeal.

"While we had a disastrous situation, everybody worked together and we're back better than ever, stronger than ever, more united than ever," Strode told WKU Public Radio.  "It's just a great day."

Construction Manager Mike Murphy of Murphy, Scott, and Daniel reflected on the past 18 months and said each phase of reconstruction had its challenges.

"Initially, it was how to get all the cars out safely with the structure in the condition it was in, so it was two-fold," Murphy explained.  "We had to secure everything first to bring the heavy equipment in, and then extract the cars, and of course a lot of them weren’t intact. This was the first big challenge."

The repair work took the Skydome from three levels to one, which created more display space. 

A federal judge ordered that Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis be taken into custody on Thursday over her refusal to issue marriage licenses despite a court order.

Kentucky Public Radio’s Ryland Barton reports:

We’ll have more soon.

Ryland Barton

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis will be back in federal court Thursday morning in Ashland. For the past several days, she has defied a federal judge's order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, saying her religious views prevent her from signing off on them.

An appeals court and the U.S. Supreme Court have declined to interject on her behalf. So today's hearing will determine whether Davis is in contempt of U.S. District Judge David Bunning's order last month to resume issuing marriage licenses. She could be fined or even put in jail.

This week, Davis spent much of her days with her office door shut and the blinds down, avoiding people and the media spotlight.

Under normal circumstances, Davis' is responsible for mundane tasks — vehicle registration renewals, running elections — for a county of fewer than 24,000 residents. But this summer, she's found herself at the center of a national controversy.

So who is Kim Davis?

The 49-year-old Democrat was first elected to this post in November. She replaced her mother, Jean Bailey, who served as county clerk for 37 years.

Ludovic Bertron, Wikimedia Commons

The controversy continues to swirl around Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis and her repeated defying of court orders to issue marriage licenses based on her religious opposition to gay marriage. 

The director of The Fairness Campaign in Kentucky Chris Hartman was in Rowan County this week when several couples were denied marriage licenses and saw how devastated they were. 

“It’s a dehumanizing, demeaning and demoralizing feeling to be told over and over and over again that you are so different and I am so opposed to you that I simply cannot give you the basic right the Supreme Court of the United States has twice affirmed you deserve,” said Hartman.

Hartman said there are only three county clerks refusing to issue marriage licenses out of the 120 clerks in the state. He said he thinks that if those three clerks can’t do their jobs, they should step aside. 

“They’re getting paid to do a job," said Hartman. "They were elected to do that job. The folks of Rowan County and everywhere else deserve to have their basic rights met and these marriage licenses delivered and if they can’t do they need to step aside and let someone who fulfill their role who can.”

Kim Davis and the six deputy clerks in Rowan County have been summoned to a contempt hearing Thursday in Ashland.

Kevin Willis

A new support center at WKU will provide help to the more than 2,000 students with military backgrounds.

The Military Student Support Center at the WKU-Glasgow campus was officially opened at a ceremony Wednesday. Military Student Services Director Tonya Archey says the center will assist students from all over the world who are enrolled in WKU classes.

“We have Coast Guard students in Florida right now, we have active duty Navy in Hawaii right now, and we have students serving all over the world, in Europe and Asia. It’s hard to get admitted when you’re stationed in Korea, for example. It’s hard to navigate the admissions process from overseas. So they call us and we help them through that process.”

Archey says completing college admissions and financial aid forms can be complicated for any student. But she says it can be especially daunting for military students, who face additional paperwork related to admissions and benefits they are entitled to based on their service.

Defying legal decisions that go all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court, Kim Davis, the Rowan County, Ky.., clerk, continued to deny marriage licenses on Wednesday in protest of same-sex marriage.

As Kentucky Public Radio's Ryland Barton reports, Davis, who has become a divisive figure in the national debate on same-sex marriage, has been summoned to a federal court on Thursday for a hearing on whether to hold her in contempt.

With that, here's what we know about Davis:

A substitute teacher for the Bowling Green Independent School District is under arrest on child pornography charges. 

A letter that went out Wednesday to staff and parents says Leon Lussier was suspended from employment indefinitely while he is under federal investigation. 

According to Superintendent Gary Fields, Lussier passed background checks before he was hired in 2012.

"On all of our employees, we do state and federal criminal background checks," Fields told WKU Public Radio.  "There were no red flags on those reports, as well as professional references that applicants have to complete, as well."

Fields said the 49-year-old Lussier has worked in all schools buildings in the district, but there’s no indication any of his victims were students.  It's also unlikely that Lussier received or viewed images while on school grounds.

"Our substitute teachers do not have access to logging into the computers or have any access to technology while they're in the building," explained Fields.

Lussier holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees and has been in education since 1998. 

He was arrested at his home Tuesday and taken to the Warren County Regional Jail.  Lussier is scheduled to appear Friday in U.S. District Court in Bowling Green.

flgov.com

Florida Governor Rick Scott will visit Kentucky this month in an effort to recruit businesses to relocate or expand to Florida. 

About two years ago, Scott tried something similar. He sent letters to businesses in Kentucky inviting them to the Sunshine State. 

At the time, Gov. Steve Beshear called the letters a “crude method of recruitment.”

Kenny Colston with the left-leaning Kentucky Center for Economic Policy agrees. 

"Right to work laws don’t grow jobs," said Colston. "Not in manufacturing. Not in other sectors."

Colston disagrees with Scott’s main pitch to companies that Florida has a better business climate because it’s a Right to Work state.  Colston says he thinks the trip is a political stunt.

“You know this is attention seeking for one reason of the other," said Colston. "I don’t know the governor and I don’t know why he is coming here, but I know the last time he came here he got a pretty strong rebuke from our governor, Steve Beshear.”

Beshear doesn’t have nice things to say about Rick Scott’s latest recruitment effort, either. In a statement, he said Scott’s trip will be waste of time.

Update 9:10 p.m.: Beshear’s Statement

In a statement Tuesday afternoon, Gov. Steve Beshear said “117 of our 120 county clerks are following the law and carrying out their duty to issue marriage licenses regardless of gender.”

Here’s his full statement:

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