A major step was taken Friday in filling an open judicial seat in Warren County Family Court.
Kentucky’s Judicial Nominating Commission selected three Bowling Green attorneys whose names will be submitted to Governor Beshear for consideration.
The nominees included James Richard Downey, David Lanphear, and Rebecca Adams Simpson.
"The committee considered several factors such as experience in the practice of family law-type cases, the depth of the practice, the amount of cases they've handled, the places they've handled those cases," said Kentucky Supreme Court Chief Justice John Minton. "The committee interviewed these three and others, and selected these three."
Governor Beshear will appoint one of the nominees to serve the remaining term of the late Judge Margaret Huddleston. Beshear has 60 days to make the appointment or the duty falls to Supreme Court Chief Justice Minton.
Lanphear and Simpson are among six attorneys who have filed to run in the November election for a full term. The others candidates are Rebecca Gibson, Ralph Beck, Jennifer Brinkley, and John McCracken.
Four couples from southern Indiana are asking a federal judge to force the state to recognize same-sex marriages from other states and issue marriage licenses to gay couples.
The couples are suing the state of Indiana in a lawsuit filed Friday in federal court in New Albany that seeks to overturn an Indiana law that declares same-sex marriages void, even if another state recognizes the union.
The plaintiffs and their attorneys met with reporters Friday afternoon in Louisville, Ky., and said the recent debate over a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage in Indiana spurred their suit.
The lawsuit comes on the heels of multiple rulings around the nation striking down same-sex marriage bans in states ranging from Texas to Kentucky.
Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers says there's a "real possibility" the Senate will pass some form of a minimum wage bill. Stivers said Friday that senators are working on the bill that passed the House a month ago.
The House-passed version would gradually raise the state's minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 per hour in July 2016. The bill is a top priority of House Speaker Greg Stumbo.
Stivers anticipates the Senate will make changes to the bill.
Stumbo signaled a willingness to possibly compromise as long as it brings some relief to minimum-wage workers.
The House-passed measure calls for 95-cent increases in three phases until the minimum wage would reach $10.10. The House amended the bill to exempt businesses with annual gross receipts of under $500,000.
Rand Paul's biggest political decision is approaching: whether to run for president in 2016 or focus solely on re-election to his U.S. Senate seat.
A Republican lawmaker from his home state wants to free him from the potential dilemma by letting him run for both.
State Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer said Thursday he wants to clarify that current Kentucky law, which prevents someone from running for multiple offices, does not apply to federal elections.
A bill he introduced would allow candidates' names to appear twice on the same ballot if one or both offices sought are federal offices.
Thayer says he was approached by Paul's staff about the legislation and later spoke several times with Kentucky's freshman senator about it.
“I think Sen. Paul has a strong legal case, whether or not the General Assembly takes action," said Thayer." I’m interested in supporting his desire to consider the presidency, because I don’t want him to run with one hand tied behind his back.”
Paul has said he won't make a decision about a White House bid until after the midterm elections in November.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is continuing his push for the local option sales tax, which would let communities vote on temporary sales tax increases to fund projects.
The Democratic mayor is facing opposition to the plan, but not from where you might expect. Much of the criticism of the effort comes from the political left.
In a 15-minute pitch in Frankfort, Fischer extolled the civic virtues of a sales tax that he says would be used to fund local projects chosen by committee and placed on a ballot before voters.
“We need additional capital sources," the mayor told his audience. "In the case of Louisville, 11 years ago four percent of our general fund was for pensions. Today it’s 15 percent. So it’s like a business, we’ve had an 11 percent increase in our expenses, but we haven’t been able to raise our prices; that is, we haven’t had a tax increase.”
But fellow Louisvillian and fellow Democrat Rep. Jim Wayne cited a study that showed the local option means lower income residents would pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes than wealthier residents.
State fire marshal offices are reminding residents to inspect their smoke alarms, especially the batteries, when they turn their clocks ahead one hour Saturday night. Tennessee Commissioner Julie McPeak says people should change their batteries in their smoke alarms just to be on the safe side.
She also urges everyone to consider the age of their smoke alarms. McPeak says alarms, even those that are hard wired, should have their batteries replaced regularly and should be tested monthly to ensure they are providing the proper protection. Any smoke alarm that is ten years old or older should be replaced entirely.
Statistics show nearly two-thirds of all home fire deaths result from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or with ones that aren't in proper working order.
The sponsor of a bill that would ban smoking in public places and some private businesses in Kentucky says House Democratic leadership has killed the measure.
Democratic Rep. Susan Westrom of Lexington, says a combination of pressure from lobbying groups and political concerns of colleagues with tobacco farms in their districts were behind the bill's failure.
“Some of our leadership polled here on the floor, they weren’t convinced that we had the votes," Westrom said. "And, quite frankly, I just don’t think they wanted to risk it in case it was an uncomfortable vote for somebody.”
Westrom says some lawmakers were likely “scared” by lobbyists.
Tobacco companies have spent handsomely this year, at $70,000 in lobbying expenditures in the first month of the session.
House Speaker Greg Stumbo denies that leadership killed the bill. He says support for it dwindled as the session continued.
A bill that would restrict the sale of e-cigarettes to minors is one step closer to becoming law. The Kentucky Senate passed the measure on a nearly unanimous vote, with only two Senators voting “no”.
The bill treats e-cigs like traditional tobacco products. Although e-cigs don’t contain tobacco, some people worry, and some studies have shown, that use of the devices could lead young people to start using tobacco. A similar bill is being considered by the Kentucky House.
Soldiers from a Fort Knox-based infantry brigade combat team are set to return home from Afghanistan.
The 110 members of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division are scheduled to arrive at Ft. Knox Friday at midnight. They’ll be welcomed home during a ceremony at the Natcher Physical Fitness Center at the army post.
The event will be the final redeployment ceremony for the brigade, signaling the end of its nine-month deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
The unit has been stationed in the Zabul province in southern Afghanistan, an area larger than the state of Connecticut. The soldiers have been assisting Afghan security forces, government members, and police forces in the province.
Kentucky transportation officials are suing the crew of a cargo ship that struck and collapsed part of a bridge over the Tennessee River in western Kentucky.
The state Transportation Cabinet says in a lawsuit moved to federal court this week that it spent at least $7 million to repair the Eggner's Ferry Bridge after the Delta Mariner struck it on Jan. 26, 2012. The cabinet's lawsuit says the ship's crew ignored warnings from the U.S. Coast Guard about the bridge's navigation lights being out.
A message left for Seattle-based Foss Maritime, the owners of the cargo ship, was not immediately returned Thursday.
The wreck caused a 322-foot section of the span to collapse. The bridge carries traffic from near Aurora, Ky., to Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area.