The conviction and 50-year prison sentence of a Todd County teenager has been overturned after the Kentucky Supreme Court concluded his confession was coerced.
The high court on Thursday ordered a new trial for 19-year-old Garrett Thomas Dye. Dye was convicted in 2011 of beating his adopted sister, 9-year-old Amy Dye, to death.
Justice Will T. Scott concluded that police improperly told Dye, then 17, that if he didn't confess, a jury would convict him and hand down a death sentence. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that anyone under 18 is ineligible for execution.
The case drew the attention of state lawmakers. Records were released showing that social workers either ignored or dismissed allegations of abuse and neglect against the child.
Rob Clayton was chosen unanimously this week by the Warren County Board of Education to become the next superintendent of the public school district. He comes from South Oldham Middle School in Crestwood, Kentucky where he served as principal the past seven years. Lisa Autry spoke with him.
What attracted you to this job?
I was mainly attracted to the position because of the people, the quality of the students, staff, and school community. There's a tremendous reputation out there in the state that's certainly well-deserved and I was aware the school board was committed to high levels of achievement and continuous improvement. That certainly gives me great confidence in our ability to excel.
You just completed your 20th year in education. Talk about how your past experiences brought you to where you are today.
I began in 1993 as a high school science teacher and coached football and track and field at Pleasure Ridge Park High School in Jefferson County. I was attracted to being a teacher primarily because previous teachers I had and their influence on me. I feel fortunate to be able to say that I've rarely worked a day in my life in education because I truly enjoy working with kids, watching them grow, and helping them find the opportunities I think all kids deserve. Most recently, I've had the opportunity to be have a larger influence on my students from an administrative standpoint (as principal of South Oldham Middle School).
The Kentucky Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence of a western Kentucky man who pleaded guilty to killing three children and attacking their mother near Fort Campbell.
The high court on Thursday found a judge committed no errors in allowing 41-year-old Kevin Wayne Dunlap to admit to the killings in Trigg County and have a jury decide only if he would be condemned to death or face a lesser sentence.
Dunlap was sentenced to death March 19, 2010. He pleaded guilty to stabbing and killing 5-year-old Ethan Frensley, 17-year-old Kayla Williams and 14-year-old Kortney Frensley when they returned home from school on Oct. 15, 2008 near the Fort Campbell military installation in southern Kentucky.
The incoming president of the Kentucky Association of School Superintendents says he fully backs efforts to increase the state's dropout age to 18.
Simpson County Superintendent Jim Flynn told WKU Public Radio he thinks some kids drop out because they know they aren't going to college. But Flynn believes the state is starting to do a better of identifying ways to help those not going into postsecondary education.
"Now that the state is focusing on multiple pathways into career and college readiness, it gives some students that may feel a little left out when the focus was simply on college readiness and proficiency only," says Flynn.
Flynn takes over as head of the state's Association of School Superintendents at the group's summer meeting this week in Bowling Green.
Future of Education Funding?
Flynn is hopeful that the state's improving economic outlook will boost chances for increased education funding.
The WKU Board of Regents will vote on the school’s next budget at a meeting Friday afternoon. The nearly $394 million spending plan for 2013-14 is a 1.4 percent increase over last year’s budget.
If approved, 46 percent of the revenue used to run WKU would come from tuition and student fees. Only 18 percent of the proposed budget comes from state funding.
The budget vote comes after several tumultuous months on the WKU campus. In April, the Council on Postsecondary Education rejected President Gary Ransdell’s request for a 5 percent tuition increase, granting just a 3 percent hike. Ransdell told WKU faculty and staff that the decision meant the school was going to have to cut jobs.
Kentucky’s junior U.S. Senator says a growing number of young people agree with his stance that the federal government is infringing on the privacy rights of Americans.
Bowling Green Republican Rand Paul told CNN a recent poll conducted by the cable network proves his point. The CNN poll showed a 17 percentage point drop in support for Obama among those between the ages of 18 and 20.
Paul has been outspoken in recent months about the Republican Party’s need to reach out to groups that have been supporting Democratic candidates and causes, like young voters.
Paul has also been outspoken on his criticism of the National Security Agency, following new revelations surrounding data-surveillance programs that collect phone-call records from million of Americans and use U.S. internet companies to capture foreign communications.
Paul, who is thought to be preparing for a possible 2016 White House bid, told CNN the GOP should “do everything we can to protect our country, consistent with our Constitution.”
The Warren County Public School system has a new superintendent.
The Warren County Board of Education Tuesday night named Rob Clayton to succeed the retiring Tim Murley. Clayton has been the principal of South Oldham Middle School in Crestwood, KY for the past seven years. He's been in education for 20 years including the past 13 in administration.
Clayton says his three main goals are insuring the safety of students, assuring all students learn at a high level and that all graduates are ready for college or a career.
Clayton was one of three finalist the Warren County board interviewed. Board Chairman Kerry Young said Clayton stood out because of his leadership qualities.
Dr. Ching-Yi Lin of Bowling Green received a Jefferson Award Tuesday in Washington.
Dr. Lin, a world-class violinist, was recognized for sharing her talent within the community by serving as the director of the WKU pre-college strings program. That program has about 70 children between four and 18 years old studying the violin, viola and cello. Besides giving performances at area schools, her students also perform at local retirement homes, charities and businesses.
The Jefferson Award is given to exceptional Americans who strive to make their communities better and stronger. Recipients are nominated from throughout the country.
Besides leading the pre-college strings program, Dr. Lin is assistant professor of violin at WKU and Concertmaster of the Symphony at WKU.
A Kentucky State Police spokesman says it appears more than one person was involved in the ambush slaying of a Bardstown police officer.
State police Master Trooper Norman Chaffins said Tuesday that based on circumstances, investigators believe more than one person had a hand in the slaying of Officer Jason Ellis. The 33-year-old K-9 officer was gunned down on May 25 after he got out of his cruiser to pick up tree limbs on a highway exit ramp.
Chaffins said police have interviewed a woman who drove around the trap before Ellis stopped.
He says police are following up on multiple tips but don’t have a suspect.
State police have set up a special email address for tips in the investigation.
Kentucky lawmakers are reviewing a proposal that would place middle school athletics under the control of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association, with the regulations going into effect for the 2014-15 school year.
If approved, the measure would mark the first time middle schools fell under statewide oversight.
The state board of education has already signed on to the idea. KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett told the Lexington Herald-Leader the lack of statewide oversight over middle school athletics has led to problems that include some schools playing more games during a season than is considered safe and parents holding students back a year simply for athletic reasons.
The regulation was filed with the Legislative Research Commission on Friday. After a month long public comment period and a public hearing, the General Assembly's Administrative Regulation Review Subcommittee and the Interim Joint Committee on Education will give the regulation a final review.