Associated Press


5:47 am
Mon July 22, 2013

Body Found on Fort Campbell Army Post

A Fort Campbell spokesman says authorities are investigating the discovery of a body at the Army post on the Kentucky-Tennessee line. 

According to WKRN-TV in Nashville, the body found near a training area on Friday has been identified as that of 23-year-old Spc. Brandon David Bertolo, who went missing the previous weekend. 

Fort Campbell spokesman Bob Jenkins told The Associated Press on Sunday that he couldn't confirm the identity because the case is still being investigated. 

According to the TV station, Bertolo's mother created a Facebook page with pictures of her son when he went missing.  His family discovered he was under investigation by the military and was considered AWOL.

2:13 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

Kentucky High Court to Hear Case over Instant Racing

The Kentucky Supreme Court will hear arguments in August over whether a slot machine-like device, known as Instant Racing, is legal in the state.

The high court on Wednesday set a hearing in the case for Aug. 21 in Frankfort. The state and The Family Foundation, which is challenging the game, were given 30 minutes each to make their case.

The game allows patrons to bet on historic races without knowing the names of the trainers, jockeys or horses involved. Kentucky Downs in Franklin and Ellis Park in Henderson each offer the game.

The Family Foundation challenged its legality.

Kentuckians are allowed to bet on horse racing, bingo, pull-tabs and lotteries, but lawmakers have resisted opening the state to other forms of gambling.

9:17 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Same-Sex Divorce Request to Test Indiana Law

Indiana Statehouse in Indianapolis
Credit Wikipedia

An Indiana man who married his same-sex partner in Massachusetts has filed a divorce petition in Indianapolis in a move likely to test legal boundaries in a state that doesn't recognize such unions.

Donald Schultz Lee doesn't meet the residency requirement for a divorce in Massachusetts, so his attorney filed his petition to divorce Justin Schultz Lee with the Marion County clerk's office.

Clerk Beth White tells WISH-TV that last week's U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act is likely to create situations like this that Indiana isn't used to handling.

Attorney Kathy Harmon says she expects Judge David Shaheed to reject the divorce petition but plans to appeal if that occurs.

A 2009 court ruling found that same-sex divorce is prohibited in Indiana.

9:19 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Kentucky House Speaker Loses Bid for Stay in Redistricting Case

A three-judge panel has denied a request for a stay in two lawsuits asking that judges redraw legislative boundaries in Kentucky.

The motion for a stay was sought by Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo, who says it's the General Assembly's job to set the boundaries.

Gov. Steve Beshear has called a special legislative session starting Aug. 19 to deal with the issue.

In writing for the three-judge panel, U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove acknowledges the Legislature has the primary responsibility to redraw the boundaries and says the court won't interfere. But he says the court has the secondary responsibility to redraw the maps should the legislature fail.

He says a stay would interfere with the court's duties.

The panel also set a trial in the case for Sept. 23.

1:31 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

U.S. Attorney Recused from McConnell Taping Case

David Hale
Credit U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Kentucky

The top federal prosecutor in Louisville has been recused from an ongoing investigation into the secret taping of a private campaign recording between Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and his aides earlier this year.

U.S. Attorney David Hale says was recused from the case by the Justice Department after his name had been mentioned publicly as a possible contender for a federal judgeship.  McConnell has a vote on judicial nominations. 

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12:43 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Kentucky Judge to Decide Same-Sex Privilege Issue

A Kentucky judge is weighing whether a same-sex couple qualifies for the privilege of not testifying against a spouse in a slaying case in Louisville.

The question arose in the case of Bobbie Joe Clary. Clary is charged in the Oct. 29, 2011, murder and robbery of 64-year-old George Murphy, accused of fatally wounding Murphy with a blunt object in his Portland home.

Clary is claiming self-defense, saying that Murphy was raping her and she fought back by hitting him in the head with a hammer.

The Courier-Journal reports Clary and partner Geneva Case were legally married in Vermont in 2004. Kentucky doesn't recognize same-sex marriages.

4:22 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Investigators Turn to Arrest Records of Slain Bardstown Officer

Officer Jason Ellis
Credit Bardstown Police Department

A newspaper's review of Nelson County court records shows that a slain officer arrested more than 350 people in his seven years on the force, but few involved violent crimes.

The Courier-Journal reported Bardstown Police Officer Jason Ellis had made 52 arrests that ended up as felony indictments in Nelson Circuit Court. There were some convictions for manufacturing methamphetamine that had long prison sentences, but only a few cases involved violent crimes and there were no homicides.

Investigators are pouring over those arrest records looking for clues into Ellis' murder.  Kentucky State Police detectives have interviewed friends and family of a local gang, in part because of comments some members made on social media sites following Ellis' death.   KSP Spokesman Norman Chaffins says the investigation is in no way limited to the gang. 

"It doesn't matter if they're a member of a gang or a member of the AARP.  We're going to follow up on every lead.  If we receive a tip on somebody, we're going to come knocking on their door," says Chaffins.

This has become the largest investigation ever for the KSP Elizabethtown post.  Chaffins says all eight detectives and 40 troopers at the post are working the case. 

Ellis was gunned down in the early morning hours of May 25th as he removed debris deliberately placed on a Bluegrass Parkway exit ramp.  Since KSP announced this week the debris was tree limbs, the public has offered more than 100 tips, but no information solid enough to name a suspect. 

10:01 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Two More Kentucky Churches Drop Boy Scouts

Two more churches in central Kentucky say they are cutting ties with the Boy Scouts of America over the organization's decision to allow gay youth.

Pastors at Severns Valley Baptist Church in Elizabethtown and Rineyville Baptist Church told The News-Enterprise that they will not renew their charters with the Boy Scouts when the agreements expire later this year.

Jeff Wilson, an associate pastor at Severns Valley, said a vote Sunday by senior pastors and deacons was unanimous because the new Boy Scout policy doesn't adhere to Biblical and church standards. He says the church has more than 4,000 members.

At least one other church in Kentucky - Southeast Christian Church in Louisville - has said it will cut ties with the Boy Scouts.

4:20 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Kentucky Senators McConnell, Paul Meet with Energy Secretary on Future of Paducah Site

Pictured from left to right are Congressman Ed Whitfield, Senator Rand Paul, Senator Mitch McConnell, Secretary Ernest Moniz and Assistant Secretary Poneman.
Credit Office of U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell

Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul and Congressman Ed Whitfield on Tuesday met with Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and Assistant Secretary Daniel Poneman to discuss the long term future of the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant.

Still reeling from the DOE’s recent announcement not to extend the United States Enrichment Corporation’s (USEC) operation, the delegation, stressed the importance of DOE's commitment to cleanup and utilizing the tails and other assets located in Paducah to secure a long term future for the site.

“The Department of Energy must act quickly to maximize long term job retention and job growth in Paducah, and we will continue to do all we can to ensure that happens,” stated McConnell, Paul and Whitfield.  “There is significant private sector interest for utilizing the site’s assets in Paducah, so any plan by the DOE to ship the tails out of the area is unacceptable to us.”

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3:56 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

OSU President Retiring After Slamming Universities of Kentucky and Louisville

Gordon Gee will retire July 1 from his second term as president at Ohio State University.

Ohio State University President Gordon Gee is retiring following the revelation of recorded remarks in which he criticized Notre Dame, Roman Catholics, and the Southeastern Conference.

The university announced Tuesday that Gee is retiring as of July 1.

Gee made the joking remarks to the university's Athletic Council in December, during an update on Big Ten expansion. The recorded comments were obtained by The Associated Press, which published a story about them last week.

Gee also questioned the academic integrity of schools in the Southeastern Conference and the University of Louisville. He said Big Ten presidents would never agree to admit Louisville or Kentucky.

Trustees had called Gee's remarks unacceptable and placed him on a remediation plan after learning of the comments earlier this year.

Gee has been a successful college president but also prone to verbal gaffes, once calling Ohio's governor a "dummy" and likening the job of running a university to the Polish Army.