5:57 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

Law Enforcers Putting Extra Eyes on Tailgate Parties

College football season begins this weekend and Kentucky’s Department of  Alcoholic Beverage Control says investigators will be out in force, looking for underage people drinking alcohol before and after games.
Director Mike Razor says the tailgating scene provides a different kind of challenge for investigators.

“In a controlled environment in licensed premises it’s easier because the licensee is our friend and they want to make sure they’re not serving underage kids,” said Razor.  “But in a tailgating scenario, you’ve got a whole lot of people out there and there’s no one really in control.”

He says those caught providing alcohol to minors could face jail time.  Investigators will be patrolling tailgate parties and stores near college campuses where football games are being played.

4:35 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

Kentucky Education Commissioner Backs State Tax Reform

Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday is calling the next legislative session a “make or break year” for the state’s public school system.

“I think we’ve hit the wall for increasing student performance and without some reinvestment in public education I think kids are going to lose out.”

Holliday is asking state lawmakers to restore per student funding to their 2009 levels during  biennium budget discussions next year. He also says state grant funding needs to be restored. That will mean committing nearly $270 million dollars more to education for the next two years.

Holliday says the General Assembly can accomplish this through tax reforms and approving expanded gaming, two issues that have not made headway in the recent past.

Education will be competing with state pension and healthcare issues among the other state agencies that have seen cuts to their budgets.

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9:28 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Bowling Green Attorney Said To Be Considered for Federal Judgeship

The Louisville Courier-Journal is citing other local judges and political insiders in reporting that Bowling Green attorney Greg Stivers is being considered to fill a vacant federal judgeship in Kentucky.

U.S. Attorney David J. Hale is reportedly also being considered.

The paper says two Warren Circuit Court judges and others have indicated they've been interviewed by the Justice Department as part of the vetting process of Stivers who is outside counsel for Western Kentucky University and a partner in the 14-lawyer Bowling Green firm of Kerrick, Stivers and Coyle. The firm is an underwriter for WKU Public Radio. Federal district judges are paid $174,000 a year and are appointed for life.

Stivers' name is expected to be put forth by Kentucky senator Rand Paul, a neighbor and close friend of Stivers. According to the Warren County Clerk's office, the 53 year old Stivers was a registered Democrat until November 2009 when he switched parties as Paul was mounting his Senate campaign. Paul's Bowling Green Senate office is in a building that also houses Stivers' law firm. Federal records show Stivers contributed $800 to Paul's campaign.

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3:45 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Arrest Made in Fatal Holdup in Bowling Green

Credit BGPD photo

Bowling Green police have arrested a man and charged him with murder and robbery in a fatal holdup at a Domino's Pizza franchise early Monday morning. Twenty-year-old John Paul Shobe is in custody.

Police say officers were called to the Domino's on Stonehenge Avenue just after the store closed at midnight Monday.

They found 51-year-old Harold Dean Johnson of Bowling Green in a side parking lot dead of an apparent gunshot wound. A news release said soon after that, police found Shobe while searching the area and arrested him on charges of giving a false name and fleeing and evading.

Police said after searching Shobe's apartment, he was charged with Johnson's death and first degree robbery.

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3:43 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

FBI Announces Reward in Investigation of Slain Bardstown Officer

Officer Jason Ellis
Credit Bardstown Police Department

The FBI has announced it is offering a reward of up to $50,000 in the death of a Bardstown police officer three months ago. 

Officer Jason Ellis was ambushed and shot to death when he stopped to pick up tree limbs as he was driving home May 25.

Kentucky State Police Trooper Jeff Gregory said rewards in the case now total $218,000.

The FBI was holding a news conference Monday to announce the reward information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of whomever is responsible for Ellis’ death and to release a revised poster seeking information in the case.

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12:32 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Owensboro Builds on Old Tradition With Dragon Boat Races

Teams line up alongside the Ohio River in Owensboro
Emil Moffatt

Emil's feature on the Owensboro Dragon Boat Festival

As early-morning fog gave way to a clear blue August sky, 30 teams dressed in bright-colored t-shirts climbed into narrow wooden boats, adorned with a dragon head in the front. The teams paddled out to the starting line in the middle of the Ohio River.  

Todd Petzold expressed cautious optimism as his team prepared to participate in the Owensboro Dragon Boat Festival for a second straight year.

“We’re team MPD, and we’re not going to sink this year. And we’re going to have fun,” said Petzold.

The teams were made up of between 15-20 people, including men and women. Their experience level ranged from veteran to novice.

They’re taking part in an athletic event and tradition whose origins date back to the year 278 B. C. in China and a man considered the father of Chinese poetry, Qu Yuan.

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9:52 am
Mon August 26, 2013

I-65 Northbound Lanes Closed in Hart County Following Accident

Update at 2:01 p.m. :
Cleanup continues on Northbound I-65 in Hart County.  The Kentucky Transportation cabinet estimates the work will take another four hours. Detour information below...

Update at 10:33 a.m.:

The closure of the northbound I-65 lanes in Hart County is now expected to last until 6:30 p.m central/ 7:30 eastern time:

Northbound Interstate 65 is now closed at Mile Point 56 in Hart County.  A semi crash occurred earlier, initially reducing the interstate to one lane.   The vehicle’s cargo includes used batteries.  Due to safety concerns, northbound traffic is now being detoured off of I65 at Cave City (Exit 53), onto KY 70 east, to US 31W north, to KY 218 west and rejoin the interstate at Horse Cave (Exit 58).

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9:50 am
Mon August 26, 2013

New Study in Kentucky Paints Mixed Picture for Hemp's Potential Economic Impact

Hemp supporters have made a strong push to get the crop legalized in Kentucky and at the federal level.

A study conducted by the University of Kentucky contains mixed results concerning the economic viability of growing hemp. Hemp supporters have been pushing to get the crop legalized at both the state and federal levels, saying it could create thousands of jobs and help boost the bottom lines of farmers.

The UK study says hemp could be a profitable option for some farmers in central Kentucky, but not everywhere.

The Chairman of UK’s agriculture economics department told the Courier-Journal that he didn’t want to portray the study as a “negative outcome”, saying the crop “should be viewed as one more opportunity amid many opportunities for farmers." Leigh Maynard said there would be a big “learning curve” for producers and processes to climb, given that growing hemp in the U.S. has been illegal for decades.

Maynard said it's likely hemp could become a niche crop for some farmers. Hemp seeds can be used to make fuel, foods, and personal care products.

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer has made hemp legalization his chief legislative priority, and says he’s optimistic about the crop’s future despite the study. According to Comer, it’s difficult to estimate the economic impact of an industry that doesn’t exist.

6:23 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Libertarian Candidate Enters Kentucky Senate Race

Libertarian David Patterson has announced his intention to run against incumbent Republican Senator Mitch McConnell.

The 42-year old Harrodsburg police officer said in a statement that he's making the bid to unseat McConnell because voters are looking for an alternative.

Ken Moellman, chairman of the Libertarian Party's state executive committee, said he's pleased Patterson wanted to get into the race. Patterson will seek the party's nomination in an internal primary on March 1.

McConnell is seeking a sixth term in office in next year's election. His chief rival is Democratic secretary of state Alison Lundergan Grimes. Republican Matt Bevin is challenging McConnell in next spring's primary.

5:46 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Police Investigating Deadly Armed Robbery in Bowling Green

Bowling Green police continue their search for a suspect following a deadly armed robbery in the city early Monday morning.

The shooting happened just after midnight at the Domino's on Stonehenge Avenue. WBKO-TV is quoting police as saying a black man came in the back door shortly after the store closed at midnight. Witnesses say there was a struggle and a lot of yelling. When police arrived, they say a white man was found shot to death by the side of the building.

His name has not yet been released.

Employees were inside the building during the robbery but there were no other injuries reported.

Police say they're not sure if the suspect took any money. Surveillance video shows the man to be about 6'1" tall but his face was covered.