Regional
1:18 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Judge Concerned About 1-Drug Execution Method

A Kentucky judge has expressed concerns about the state's plan to use a single drug to carry out lethal injections after the same method resulted in problems in neighboring Ohio.

The issues raised Wednesday by Franklin County Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd could further delay Kentucky's ability to carry out death sentences and prolong the decade-long legal fight over how the state puts condemned inmates to death.

Shepherd told attorneys during a brief hearing in Frankfort that he may set a hearing about the state's proposal but didn't immediately set a date.

Ohio inmate Dennis McGuire repeatedly gasped and snorted and took 26 minutes to die during an execution in January.

Kentucky is seeking to implement both one- and two-drug lethal injection methods. Shepherd halted all executions in the state in 2010.

Politics
11:38 am
Wed July 9, 2014

McConnell, Grimes Agree... To Different Debates

Credit Offices of Sen. McConnell and Sec. Grimes

Sen. Mitch McConnell and Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes have agreed to debate each other - just not at the same time.

Tuesday, McConnell accepted an invitation to a candidate forum sponsored by the Kentucky Farm Bureau on Aug. 20. Grimes, meanwhile, has accepted an invitation to an Oct. 13 debate that would air on Kentucky Educational Television.

But the candidates have yet to agree to a debate they would both attend. One debate, to be hosted by WDRB, was canceled after McConnell accepted but Grimes did not.
 
McConnell has asked Grimes to agree to three debates with no audience and none after Labor Day. Grimes said she wants an audience and debates in September or October when more people will be paying attention to the election.

Read more
Business
11:15 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Dart Container Corp Expanding Operations in Hart County

A Hart County manufacturer is announcing plans to expand its facility and add jobs. Dart Container announced today that it will invest $23 dollars to build a new 650,000 square foot warehouse in Horse Cave.

Up to 30 new jobs are expected to be created through the expansion.

Dart Container currently employs approximately 1,400 people at its Hart County operation, where it manufactures cups, bowls, plates, and other food and beverage supplies.

The Michigan-based Dart Container Corporation has been preliminarily approved for $900,000 in state tax incentives and benefits in connection with the project.

David became Director of Educational Telecommunications at WKU on July 1, 2014.

Regional
9:47 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Man's Body Found Beside Highway in Somerset

Police say they think a Somerset man found dead alongside a roadway was hit by a car.

The body of 45-year-old Ricky Meredith was found Tuesday morning alongside a highway in Pulaski County. 

Sheriff's Detective Brett Whitaker told The Commonwealth Journal that it appears Meredith was headed west when he was struck by an eastbound vehicle. He said the accident probably occurred Sunday night or early Monday.

Police are searching for any witnesses who might have seen Meredith walking along the road.

The body was sent to Frankfort for an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

Regional
8:55 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Kentucky Pastor Arrested in Tennessee on Sex Charges

Police say a Kentucky pastor who is a registered sex offender has been arrested in Tennessee on rape charges involving a juvenile.

The Tennessean reports 46-year-old Roy Neal Yoakem is charged with aggravated statutory rape, sexual battery by an authority figure and statutory rape by an authority figure. He is being held at the Sumner County jail.

The newspaper reports Yoakem is accused of having sex with a 14-year-old boy at the New Gospel Outreach Church in Scottsville, Kentucky, where Yoakem is a pastor, and at a residence in Gallatin, Tennessee. He is also facing charges in Kentucky.

His attorney in Kentucky wasn't in the office Wednesday and didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.

Gallatin police said Yoakem was convicted in 2005 in of sexual abuse in Kentucky.

Regional
8:45 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Auditor Sets Public Hearings on Kentucky's Rural Hospitals

Kentucky State Auditor Adam Edelen will visit Westlake Regional Hospital in Columbia, Kentucky on Aug. 12.
Credit Westlake Regional Hospital

Kentucky Auditor Adam Edelen has set 10 hearings across the state to discuss the fiscal health of rural hospitals.

Edelen's office says 45 percent of Kentucky residents receive health care at small, community hospitals and that the facilities help drive local economies.

The hearings start next week in Prestonsburg and continue through Aug. 12 in Campbellsville. They kick off a study by Edelen's office to look at challenges facing small hospitals. The auditor's office is seeking financial records of dozens of rural hospitals and plans to issue a report this fall.

Edelen's office says hospital administrators and staff, local elected officials, other health care providers and the public are invited.

A list of hearing locations can be found at www.auditor.ky.gov.

Politics
4:33 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Conway Announces First-Quarter Fundraising Totals, Decries Super PAC Influence

Jack Conway

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jack Conway is concerned about the influence that a conservative 501(c)(4) group could have on Kentucky’s fall elections and beyond.

Americans for Prosperity was founded in 2004, and was led by David Koch of the billionaire, right-wing Koch brothers fame. The group and its network of undisclosed donors spent $40 million in 2010 to wrest control of the U.S. House from Democrats.

And with the recent announcement that the group has hired a director for its Kentucky chapter, Attorney General Conway says he’s concerned that the network of “dark” campaign money will warp Kentucky politics.

“I don’t think we ought to let in Kentucky state politics happen what’s happened at the federal level," said Conway. " Because people raise money for Senate campaign or House campaigns, and all of a sudden the corporate interests come in in the end and outspend what the individuals raised, and they treat the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives like it’s members are just nothing more than pawns in a larger corporate game.”

Read more
Regional
2:04 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Fountain Temporarily Shut Down at Bowling Green's Circus Square Park

Circus Square Park near downtown Bowling Green
Credit Emil Moffatt

One way many Bowling Green families cool off in the summer is with a stop by Circus Square Park near downtown.  But the water fountain at the center of the square that often serves as a playground for small children won’t be working for the next few weeks. 

On Monday, crews discovered a hydrochloric acid leak that damaged some of the underground wiring for the pumps that operate the fountain.  City spokesperson Kim Lancaster says a contractor is currently evaluating how much damage was done.

“It looks like we have a good chance of getting the fountain at least partially operational in the next couple of weeks,” said Lancaster.  “It may not have all of the pumps running and it may not have the patterns that we like to run.”

Lancaster says an estimated timetable for a full repair is still unknown.  She says the hydrochloric acid is used to maintain a pH balance of the chlorine, much like a swimming pool.

Politics
10:06 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Rand Paul Co-Sponsors Measure to Help Scrub Certain Criminal Records

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul

Kentucky’s junior U.S. Senator is partnering with a Democratic colleague to help low-level offenders wipe their criminal records clean. Republican Rand Paul of Bowling Green and Cory Booker of New Jersey plan to introduce legislation that would encourage states to increase the age of criminal responsibility to 18.

The bi-partisan effort is being called the REDEEM Act, and would automatically expunge the records of juveniles who commit nonviolent crimes before they turn 15 and would automatically seal the records of those who commit them after.

The bill would also create a broad-based federal path for sealing criminal record for adults, with non-violent offenders able to petition courts to make their case.  

Paul is considering a run for the White House in 2016, and a new Quinnipiac University poll shows the Kentucky Senator narrowly leading his potential GOP rivals with 11 percent ofthe vote. That’s just ahead of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who had the support of 10 percent of respondents.

Pages