A state ethics trial involving former Rep. John Arnold has been delayed again.
The Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission ordered that the sexual harassment trial against Arnold, a Democrat from Sturgis, be postponed.
Arnold’s lawyer, Bowling Green attorney Steve Downey, says that he is still awaiting diagnoses from several doctors on whether Arnold, who may have suffered a series of minor strokes, is mentally competent to stand trial.
“His mental and cognitive status is very pertinent to the charges against him. Despite his doctors’ best efforts, a definitive diagnosis has not been reached,” said Downey. “Without this proof, this matter is not ready for a hearing, and John’s health is so poor that it is doubtful he will participate in that hearing.”
Arnold was accused of sexual assault and harassment last August by female employees of the state Legislative Research Commission.
He has denied the charges.
Thomas Clay, the Louisville attorney representing Arnold’s accusers, calls the continuance a delay tactic, and says the women are cynical about the state’s ability to investigate the matter.
The ethics commission is expected to announce a new hearing date in the next few days.
Former President Bill Clinton will be in Kentucky Tuesday to help raise money for a U.S. Senate candidate.
Clinton will headline a lunchtime fundraiser at a Louisville hotel for Democrat Alison Lundergran Grimes. The cost of admission to the event at the Galt House is a contribution of $100-$5,200.
The Courier-Journal reports those who give one-thousand-dollars will get access to a rope line. Donors at the $2,600 level will also gain entry into a reception featuring Clinton, and $5,200 gets the donor a special commemorative gift.
Grimes and Clinton have a history. Grimes’ father, Jerry Lundergan, is a longtime friend of the former President and was Kentucky chairman Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is urging people to watch where they place yard signs – be they political in nature, or otherwise. The signs can only be placed on private property and not public right-of-ways.
District 4 spokesman Chris Jessie says they’re issuing the reminder as we head toward spring – a time when many residents hold yard sales or put out a sign supporting a political candidate involved in a primary.
“Sometimes I don’t think people really give thought to the fact that when they put an illegal sign out there, it can create a road hazard by blocking sight distance or maybe distracting drivers, and particularly at intersections,” said Jessie.
He says transportation cabinet crews have the authority to remove any sign placed in a public right-of-way. Confiscated signs will be held at the nearest county transportation center for 30 days.
A Senate candidate in Kentucky says same-sex marriage could lead to parent-child marriages for tax purposes.
Matt Bevin is challenging five-term Sen. Mitch McConnell in the May 20 Republican primary. Bevin told a radio talk show that marriage should retain its traditional definition as being between a man and a woman.
He says changing that could open the door to arbitrary definitions, such as people claiming to be "married to one of their children" for matters such as inheritance and hospital visits.
Bevin's campaign says he was not linking gay marriage to incest. The campaign says he was speaking of questions such as "hospital visitations and benefits."
For the first time since a house fire killed his wife and eight of his nine children, Chad Watson shared his story Sunday, just days after leaving the hospital and returning home to Muhlenberg County.
A packed auditorium at Muhlenberg County High School sang worship songs and joined in prayer, but when Chad Watson took the stage, you could hear the proverbial pin drop.
With his burned hands still bandaged, Watson said as the father of nine healthy and vibrant children, he considered himself the most blessed man on earth.
"That night as Kylie and I waited for an ambulance to come, all I could think of was 'It's being taken away,' and the only one who can stop it is allowing it to happen," Watson said passionately.
He choked back tears, but otherwise the preacher by trade was right at home as he read scripture and spoke of his unwavering faith in God in the most trying time.
“He is the one, no matter what happens, no matter what we think He should have done, no matter what we think He could have done, no matter what we think of His plan, He is the only one that has any true comfort to offer," Watson told the audience.
The Kentucky House has overwhelmingly approved a bill requiring teachers to be paid for a minimum of 120 minutes a week for non-teaching activities.
Bill sponsor Rita Smart says having adequate planning time in the daily schedule seems to be a bigger issue for elementary teachers.
“But, what we found that almost all high school and middle school teachers get more than that, many high school teachers get an hour, 60 minutes, but elementary teachers were not getting, in some districts no planning time," the Richmond Democrat said.
The bill sets out the daily allotted time to be a minimum of 24 minutes. The measure, which goes on to the Senate, passed by a vote of 85 to 8 on Friday.
Trency Jackson scored 25 points and Chris Harrison-Docks added 15 as Western Kentucky got off to a fast start and beat Louisiana-Monroe 72-63 on Saturday night.
Western Kentucky (18-9, 10-4 Sun Belt Conference) raced to an 18-1 lead to start the game as Louisiana-Monroe (8-14, 5-9) struggled to score. It took the Warhawks more than 8½ minutes to make their first field goal.
The Hilltoppers held a 43-28 advantage in rebounding, which helped them overcome their own offensive struggles. Western Kentucky won their eighth game out of their last 10 despite shooting just 39.7 percent from the field and hitting only 17 of 32 field goals. The Hilltoppers also committed only six turnovers.
Tylor Ongwae scored 19 points and Jayon James had 13 for Louisiana-Monroe, which has now lost seven of its last nine.
House Speaker Greg Stumbo is invoking the state constitution as his reason for not appearing at next week’s legislative ethics hearing looking into sexual harassment allegations against former State Representative John Arnold.
Stumbo received a subpoena from Arnold’s lawyer, but says the constitution exempts him from appearing while the General Assembly is in session. Stumbo also tells the Lexington Herald-Leader that he has no knowledge of the complaints against Arnold, other than what he’s read in the news media.
Arnold, who resigned last September, continues to deny allegations that he sexually harassed female LRC staffers.
The Warren County school district and the Bowling Green school system remain at odds over a student transfer agreement.
The county school board has rejected the city’s latest proposal to cut the number of non-resident students over a ten-year period. The county wants to keep more of its students and the state funding that comes with them.
Warren County Schools Superintendent Rob Clayton told WKU Public Radio that he also didn’t like the city's plan to allow transfers on a first-come, first serve basis.
“The board feels that the process needs to be the most transparent, efficient, and equitable process available and it’s the board’s conclusion that a random draw meets this criteria the best," said Clayton.
Negotiations between the two districts began in last September and went into mediation this month. Clayton said he felt that now is the time to appeal to Kentucky’s Education Commissioner.
“We’re coming to the point where a timely resolution is critical," Clayton added. "Both school districts need to have the opportunity to plan and prepare for the 2014-15 school year, but more importantly, the families in this community need a resolution so they can plan and prepare for the upcoming school year, as well.”
Education Commissioner Terry Holliday can either make a ruling or recommend a hearing take place similar to the one the school systems took part in last summer.