Regional
6:56 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Letcher County Farmer's Market Designated USDA “Summer Feeding” Site, Becoming First in State

An Eastern Kentucky farmer’s market has become the first in the state to be  designated a “Summer Feeding Site” by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

As part of a joint effort led by the Community Farm Alliance, the program will provide farm-to-table meals free of charge to children under the age of 18  during summer break.

The program also aims to shore up business among local farmers by providing them with a steady source of income, and to improve community health.

According to U.S. Census data, about a quarter of Letcher County’s 23,600 residents live below the federal poverty line.

The CFA will celebrate the announcement July 26.

Politics
4:59 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

McConnell/Grimes Race Could Draw 20,000 to Fancy Farm Picnic

The brand new stage at St. Jerome Parish.
Credit WKMS

The 134th Fancy Farm Picnic is now just a little more than two weeks away and the line-up of speakers is almost complete.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and his challenger, Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, are expected to face off for the second time in as many years on August 2. Fancy Farm political chair Mark Wilson says, unlike Grimes, McConnell has yet to confirm his appearance, but expects the five-term Senator will make the trip.

Wilson said the picnic’s attendance could swell to as many as 20,000 people.

“Normally we’ll do 10-12,000 or so," Wilson said. "But with all the heightened interest in the McConnell/Grimes race and then you’ve got U.S. Sen. Rand Paul with some presidential aspirations and then we’ve got Jack Conway and James Comer, both sitting state officials who have gubernatorial aspirations.”

Comer has yet to actually declare himself a candidate for governor. The lone Republican to officially enter the race, Hal Heiner, will not be invited to speak, according to Wilson, because he’s not a sitting public official. McConnell's primary challenger, Matt Bevin, ran into the same problem at last year's event, but was eventually invited to speak.

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Health
4:48 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

WKU Likely to Announce Proposed Changes to Employee Health Plans by End of August

WKU employees listened to a presentation about the future of the school's self-funded health plan.
Credit Kentucky Dept. of Agriculture

WKU is beginning to prepare its employees for likely changes to the school’s health plan. At a forum Wednesday afternoon, representatives from the school’s Human Resources Department told workers that WKU’s self-funded model is coming under significant strain.

The school says it saw a 13.3 percent increase in medical expenses in 2013 compared to the previous year, with expenses exceeding revenue by more than $2 million.

WKU is predicting that unless changes are made, the school’s health plan expenses could increase by 8 to 10 percent in 2015.

No definitive announcement was made, however, about whether employee premiums or deductibles will be increasing. Speaking to WKU Public Radio after the forum, Assistant Director of Human Resources Kari Aikins described the school’s timeline for announcing any changes.

“We’re going to continue to evaluate and model these options financially over the next month, month-and-a-half, and then start making some formalized recommendations to our leadership and President--through our benefits committee--and hopefully have something set in stone by the end of August,” Aikens said.

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Regional
3:46 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Officer: Man says Hidden Message Told Him to Kill Somerset Attorney

Clinton Inabnitt
Credit Pulaski County Detention Center

A detective has testified that a man accused of gunning down a prominent Kentucky defense attorney told police he had deciphered a newspaper message instructing him to carry out the killing.

Somerset Police Detective Chris Gates said at a hearing Wednesday that the defendant, Clinton Inabnitt, believed that if he killed Mark Stanziano, the ringing in his ears would stop.

Gates was among officers who interviewed Inabnitt shortly after Stanziano was shot repeatedly as he arrived at his law office in downtown Somerset last month.

Gates says Inabnitt told police he didn't want to carry out the shooting and understood it was wrong but it was something he had to do.

A judge sent the case to a grand jury after hearing testimony from Gates and a sheriff's detective who witnessed the shooting.

Regional
12:08 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Campbellsville University Board of Trustees Opts For More Control Of Appointees

The Board of Trustees for Campbellsville University says it is moving forward with a plan to phase out of its existing relationship with the Kentucky Baptist Convention over the next four years. 

The change will likely mean the loss of nearly $1 million dollars in funding per year.  The Board of Trustees and the university wanted more control in the trustee selection process.  Earlier this week, it was reported that part of the new plan was to have the ability to appoint a non-Baptist trustee. 

But in a letter co-signed by board chairman Joseph Owens, the board said trustees would remain 100 percent Baptist. The letter also stressed Campbellsville University will remain a “strongly Christian, evangelical, Baptist-connected institution”. 

“We are terribly saddened to learn that Campbellsville has adopted bylaws inconsistent with their Covenant Agreement with the churches of the Kentucky Baptist Convention,” said Chip Hutcheson, president of the KBC in a written statement. “The statement released by Campbellsville brings to mind the husband who wants to divorce his wife but still offers to live with her. The university has taken steps to remove itself from a covenant relationship yet still wants to claim it is ‘committed’ to the family."

A meeting of Kentucky Baptist Convention officers was previously scheduled for Thursday to discuss the latest developments.

Politics
11:23 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Marksberry Says He Won't Meet August Deadline To Appear on Ballot

Ed Marksberry

Ed Marksberry, the Owensboro contractor who had hoped to appear as an independent candidate on this November’s ballot for the Kentucky Senate race, says he will stop trying to collect signatures to that end. 

In a written statement, Marksberry says he collected only half of the 5,000 signatures needed to appear on the ballot. He says recent health issues have impeded his efforts to meet an August 12th deadline. 

Marksberry says the race between incumbent Republican Mitch McConnell and Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes lacks a progressive voice. When asked whether he’ll support Grimes, Marksberry told the Herald-Leader,  “absolutely not”.  

Regional
10:11 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Judge Rules Ex-Deputy Violated Rights of Detainee

Billy Stinnett's rights were violated by deputy.
Credit Kentucky Department of Corrections

A federal judge has ruled that a former Barren County sheriff's deputy violated the constitutional rights of a man under arrest. U.S. District Judge Joseph McKinley found that Adam Minor used excessive force on Billy Stinnett after a 2010 chase.

The decision is the latest in the long-running case involving former Barren County sheriff Chris Eaton and other officials.

Stinnett claimed in a civil suit filed in federal court in 2011 that Eaton, Minor and other officers struck him or failed to intervene when others struck him after he was arrested.

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Politics
9:56 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Reports: Pro-McConnell Super PAC Seeing Much More Fundraising Success than Group Supporting Grimes

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell and Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes
Credit Offices of Sen. McConnell and Sec. Grimes

A Super PAC supporting Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell is greatly out-performing a similar group that is raising money for Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes.

According to a report in the Courier-Journal, the vast majority of the contributions made to the pro-McConnell group Kentuckians for Strong Leadership come from out-of-state individuals.

That Super PAC this week reported raising nearly $424,000 during the months of May and June. None of that money came from Kentuckians. The single biggest donation came from Sam Fox of St. Louis, the CEO and chairman of a private company that acquires businesses.

Reports filed with the Federal Elections Commission show Kentuckians for Strong Leadership has raised more than $3.7 million dollars since it was formed last year, with less than 5 percent of that coming from donors with Kentucky addresses.

A Super PAC supporting Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes called We Are Kentucky raised $50,000 during the second quarter, while spending nearly $65,000 in that same time period. Since forming last year, the group has raised $343,000, a fraction of what Kentuckians for Strong Leadership has taken in to support Senator McConnell.

Regional
8:55 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Alleged Shooter Identified in Rest Stop Murder-Suicide in Franklin, Ky

Updated Wednesday at 8:52 a.m.:  According to Kentucky State Police, the shooter has been identified as 39-year-old James Roames of Hendersonville, TN.

Original post:

Kentucky State Police say two people are dead after a murder-suicide at a rest stop on I-65 at the Kentucky-Tennessee line in Franklin.

Trooper Jonathan Biven says a man walked up to a parked car at about 9:30 Tuesday night and shot the driver at point blank range before turning the gun on himself.

The man in the car, 40 year old Jamie Plymel of Spring Hill, Tennessee, was pronounced dead at Franklin Medical Center in Simpson County. Biven says the gunman died at Skyline Medical center in Nashville. His name has not been released.

Biven says the shooting at the welcome center along I-65 appears to have been random and there's no apparent connection between Plymel and the shooter.

An investigation is continuing.

Regional
8:20 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Man Returned to Barren County to Face Murder Charge

John Amis

A southern Kentucky man charged with killing his wife has been returned to Glasgow after being arrested in an Ohio park.

The Glasgow Daily Times reported that 35-year-old John William Amis was taken in to the Barren County Detention Center on Tuesday night. Jail records list his bond at $1 million cash and do not list an attorney for him.

Amis is charged with one count of murder and two counts of felony tampering with evidence after Lorine Dawn LaBombard was pronounced dead on June 16 at the T.J. Samson Community Hospital in Glasgow.

Police arrested Amis on Friday inside a tent in East Fort State Park near Batavia, Ohio.

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