WKU’s director of basketball operations has resigned to pursue coaching opportunities. Jake Morton came to WKU in 2011 as an assistant coach, but was moved to the director of basketball operations job this past season.
Morton was an assistant coach at the University of Miami before he came to WKU. In February, WKU received word from the NCAA that Morton could be sanctioned for alleged violations that took place during his time at Miami.
The NCAA investigation of the Miami Hurricanes' athletic department from 2007 to 2009 involves a former booster who was later convicted of running a Ponzi scheme. The NCAA has accused Morton of accepting $6,000 from the booster, and providing transportation for the AAU coach of a top high school prospect Miami was recruiting at the time.
Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer has fired a top official in the department who was hired by his predecessor Richie Farmer.
Deputy Commissioner Bruce Harper was already on unpaid leave at his request after being charged with three ethics violations.
Although he declined to say why, Agriculture Commissioner James Comer says Harper was given the option to resign or be fired. Comer’s chief of staff Holly Harris VonLuehrte confirms to the Courier-Journal that Harper was dismissed.
Harper was hired as Deputy Agriculture Commissioner under Richie Farmer who is facing a record 42 charges stemming from his eight years at the helm of the department. The Executive Branch Ethics Commission found Farmer used state funds and state employees for personal gain.
The ethics charges were the result of an audit Commissioner Comer ordered when he took office in 2011.
Tennessee is making progress in fixing problems with the computer system that is designed to track abused and neglected children. The $ 27 million system, known as the Tennessee Family and Child Tracking System, or TFACTS—has been wracked with problems since it was introduced in 2010.
The Tennessean reports federal monitors filed papers this week detailing progress made by the Department of Children’s Services in getting those issues fixed.
The statewide computer system was supposed to be able to handle the majority of DCS cases, including suspicions of abuse and neglect, as well as adoption and foster care cases. But the system has been blamed for numerous problems, including a failure to produce reports regarding children who died while in agency custody and an inability to pay Tennessee foster parents.
DCS caseworkers say TFACTS is difficult to navigate and frequently kicks them out of the system halfway through writing reports.
A civilian employee died following a Wednesday shooting incident in the parking lot outside the U.S. Army Human Resources Command headquarters at Ft. Knox.
The victim, who was an employee of the Human Resources Command, was taken by ambulance to Ireland Army Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
"Special Agents from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command are investigating a personal incident and not a random act of violence," said Chris Grey, spokesperson for the independent Army investigative agency.
The name of the deceased is being withheld until 24 hours after family notification.
A news release from public affairs officers at Ft. Knox states that police are interested in speaking with an individual who is described as follows: A 5-foot, 9-inch African-American male with black hair and brown eyes. It is believed he may be using a black Yamaha motorcycle for transportation.
A proposal meant to put more armed guards in Tennessee schools has begun moving forward in the General Assembly. It offers money for schools to hire retired police officers and allows teachers with law enforcement backgrounds to carry a gun to class.
Whether a retired officer hired part-time as a security guard or a teacher already on the payroll, both would have to go through at least 40 hours of special training.
The legislation has the backing of Governor Bill Haslam and has trumped other proposals aimed at more broadly allowing teachers to go armed to class.
Some Republicans still want to mandate armed guards in every school, but others say the only reason they support this bill is because it doesn’t. Rep. Ryan Haynes of Knoxville says schools aren’t as dangerous as they’re made out to be.
Kentucky will shut down an expensive fuel testing lab run by the Department of Agriculture.
The lab was meant to test the quality of fuel from pumps across the commonwealth. It was the brainchild of former Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer, who promised other states would eventually sign contracts with the lab and generate significant revenue. However, those contracts never materialized and the lab has been a money guzzler.
Because of that, current Commissioner James Comer is shuttering the facility and outsourcing fuel testing to a private company. Comer expects to save money with the change.
Comer says the change won't affect his office's responsibility of testing fuel and maintaining fuel pumps throughout the Commonwealth.
Governor Steve Beshear has appointed Court of Appeals Judge Michelle Keller to a vacancy on the Kentucky Supreme Court, putting three women on the bench for the first time in state history.
Keller replaces retiring Justice Will Schroder, who is stepping down for health reasons.
Keller will represent her home region of Northern Kentucky on the state Supreme Court and will have to run for re-election next year.
Jason Nemes, a lawyer who has tried cases before the court, says Keller is a perfect pick.
"You cannot categorize her as being friendly to plaintiffs, friendly to defendants, friendly to criminals or the state or business. She is a fair judge right down the middle and exactly what a justice ought to be," said Nemes.
Keller joins justices Mary Noble and Lisbeth Hughes Abramson as the historic three women justices on the state Supreme Court. The court has seven total justices.