The Kentucky senate has passed a bill to create a quick process for domestic violence victims to obtain temporary concealed weapons permits. The bill would allow abuse victims receiving court-issued protective orders to apply for provisional concealed carry permits lasting 45 days.
Republican senator Jared Carpenter said his bill would help abuse victims better protect themselves. Democratic senator Robin Webb called it a good deterrent, noting protective orders are made of paper. The measure passed the senate 35-0 and now goes to the house which has passed a similar bill.
Under the senate bill temporary permit applications would go to state police. Background checks would be required before the permits would be issued and victims could receive firearms safety training with 45 days to convert short term permits into regular concealed carry licenses.
Thirty-four year old Adam Bunger pled guilty in United States District Court Wednesday to a four count federal indictment charging him with exporting firearms from the United States during the summer of 2013.
Prosecutors say Bunger mailed the weapons to Australia, Sweden and the United Kingdom hidden inside videogame systems. At least two of the weapons had their serial numbers removed.
Bunger faces a maximum 25 year prison term, a one million dollar fine and a three year period of supervised probation. Sentencing is scheduled in U. S. District Court in Bowling Green on May 29.
Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers has proposed reducing the number of days lawmakers meet each year.
The Manchester Republican said Wednesday his proposal would save the state about $7 million each year and encourage more people to run for the General Assembly. He says the current schedule discourages many people from serving because they can't take that much time away from work.
His proposal is a constitutional amendment that would go on the November ballot if it clears the General Assembly.
He wants to limit sessions in even-numbered years to 45 days. Those sessions -- when lawmakers pass the state budget -- now last 60 days.
In odd-numbered years, lawmakers could meet up to 15 days. Those sessions now last 30 days.
Gov. Steve Beshear says his appeal of a judge's order to recognize same-sex marriages is meant to clarify the law. Beshear acknowledges that marriage equality supporters are disappointed with his decision to mount an appeal, even though Attorney General Jack Conway has opted not to.
Beshear says the appeal is needed to get the matter settled as quickly as possible and without Conway on the case, Beshear has sent out a request for proposals for attorneys to handle the state’s appeal.
While he refuses to state his personal opinion on gay marriage, Beshear contends that an appeal is the quickest way to get the matter settled, and that he and Conway simply reached different conclusions.
“We had a lot of conversations about this issue, and as I said, he wrestled with it, and I wrestled with it,” said Beshear. “We ended up coming to different conclusions. And I respect the decision he made, and I think he respects mine.”
The Kentucky House has rejected changes to a bill that would automatically restore voting rights to many felons.
This throws out a set of revisions from the Republican-controlled Senate that would have reduced the number of affected felons by more than half.
Bill sponsor Jesse Crenshaw implored colleagues to vote against the changes.
“The Senate committee substitute is a totally different bill. It does not accomplish what House Bill 70 was intended to accomplish,” said Crenshaw
The Senate must decide whether to drop its changes or keep them. If it’s the latter, the bill will go to a conference committee so lawmakers can seek a compromise.
Sen. Damon Thayer proposed the rejected changes in the Senate. He says it's premature to speculate about how the Senate will react.
Thousands of people descended onto the Kentucky state Capitol building Wednesday to celebrate the 50th anniversary of a Civil Rights march led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The original 1964 march on Frankfort agitated for Civil Rights in segregation-era Kentucky, building support for the passage of the 1966 Kentucky Civil Rights Act.
One of the nation's largest coal producers will pay more than $27 million in fines and spend another $200 million in a settlement with the federal government. Alpha Natural Resources was fined for violating water pollution limits in Kentucky and four other Appalachian states.
The settlement is for more than 6,000 violations between 2006 and last year. Some of the violations were at mines owned by other companies—like Massey Energy—that Alpha purchased. The EPA says the company’s Appalachian mines discharged large amounts of heavy metals directly into streams.
Alpha Senior Vice President Gene Kitts says the company has implemented advanced technology to control pollution at some of its coal mines.
"We feel the settlement is fair. We have systems already going into place," he said.
Kitts says the settlement payout won’t affect ongoing operations, or cause the company to close any mines or lay off any workers.
This is the largest penalty the EPA has ever levied under Section 402 of the Clean Water Act. After the settlement was announced, environmental groups sent out a statement criticizing the agency for letting the pollution happen in the first place.
When Jan Allan Zarr takes the reins of the Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center later this month, it will be a homecoming.
Zarr has been hired as the new executive director of SKyPAC, a facility he helped open. He’s been away for a year, but he told WKU Public Radio it won’t take long to get up to speed.
"The staff knows me, I know the staff," he said. "That takes off a lot of pressure and time. Normally, you come into a situation and you spend the next six months of the staff getting to know you, you getting to know the staff and how everybody works."
Zarr currently directs the Topeka Performing Arts Center in Kansas. His first day on the job in Bowling Green is March 24.
SKyPAC, now in its third season, has seen a drop off in attendance, but Zarr says that’s normal.
“You’re going to see that," replied Zarr. "We started above the bar there and outpaced ourselves starting out. What you’re seeing now is Skypac coming in where it should be.”
Two more sunken sports cars were pulled from the sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green on Wednesday. Officials at the museum estimated that it might take weeks to pull the next cars from the hole, but on Wednesday, crews were able to extract a white, 1992 model, the one-millionth Corvette to roll off the assembly line. Later in the afternoon, they recovered the 1984 PPG Pace Car.
Five of the eight cars that fell into the hole February 12th have now been recovered and will be on display at the museum through early August.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says salt supplies statewide are reaching critically low levels.
A nationwide salt shortage and perpetual snowfall has diminished supply.
The state has used more than 410,000 tons of salt this season, compared with 160,000 tons at this point last year. More salt is on order, yet officials are unsure when it will get delivered.
“With the regional demand in this part of the country, there just is no salt to find anywhere," explained Transportation Spokesman Chris Jessie. "We’re on the waiting list, and we’ve been ordering salt all along, it’s just the supply has stopped.”
Some counties are in worst shape than others, so to level supplies, salt has been shifted among highway districts, and the state’s emergency reserve has also been tapped.
Currently, the state has less than 70,000 tons of salt on hand. Historically, this amount has been more than enough for the winter, but the transportation cabinet wants to make sure every county has enough salt to handle another snow and ice event.
Four schools at the Fort Knox military post in central Kentucky will be shut down as the post loses its lone combat brigade as part of military base realignment.
The four schools -- Kingsolver Elementary, Mudge Elementary, Pierce Elementary and Walker Intermediate account for 877 students.
The shutdown will take place at the end of the current school year. Fort Knox's lone combat unit, the 3rd Combat Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, is being deactivated.
Department of Defense spokeswoman Cindy Gibson says it is unclear if schools at other posts will be shut down as the military tries to shrink to about 450,000 active-duty soldiers over the next five years.
The Defense Department spends about $375 million annually to operate its schools.