Kentucky Chief Justice John D. Minton says lawmakers need to provide more pay equity for court system employees across the state.
Speaking to lawmakers Friday in Hopkinsville and to reporters on a conference call, Minton says the pay scale for the state judicial system is lagging behind other areas of the government. Minton says the push for better employee pay will be his primary focus when the court's budget request is submitted to lawmakers in November.
Minton says the first pay increases should go to the lower paid employees, some of whom make less than the federal poverty line -- about $23,500 for a family of four.
As chief justice, Minton has administrative oversight of the entire state court system and is responsible for delivering the budget request to lawmakers.
Organizers of an Abraham Lincoln celebration near his central Kentucky birthplace say the government shutdown won't deter the weekend festivities.
The festival in Hodgenville begins Saturday. Coordinator Philip Setters told The News-Enterprise the two-day event would go on despite the closure of the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park.
A post on the event's website Thursday said the shutdown "does not affect Lincoln Days."
The annual event includes food, crafts and a children's scavenger hunt.
Setters said the possible rainy weather would be a more important factor for the event than a continuing shutdown in Washington.
The park, along with all other national parks, closed on Tuesday.
Two legislative workers have filed a lawsuit accusing former state Rep. John Arnold of sexual harassment.
In a lawsuit filed Tuesday by attorney Thomas Clay, Yolanda Costner and Cassaundra Cooper say Arnold touched them inappropriately and made vulgar comments. Clay had said previously that he intended to file the suit on behalf of the women.
Arnold, who resigned as a lawmaker last month, has denied the allegations. He said in the resignation letter that he had been "destroyed politically" and could no longer be an effective voice for his constituents.
The U.S. Defense Department says a Fort Campbell soldier has died after being struck by enemy fire in Afghanistan.
The military says 31-year-old Staff Sgt. Thomas A. Baysore Jr. of Milton, Pa., died Thursday in Paktya Province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell.
House Speaker Greg Stumbo has turned memos regarding documents shredded by the former head of the Legislative Research Commission over to the Kentucky State Police for a possible investigation.
Stumbo provided the documents to legislative security specialist Rick Devers along with a request for state police to take whatever action is deemed appropriate.
House Republican Floor Leader Jeff Hoover asked for an investigation after former LRC Director Bobby Sherman returned to his office with other LRC staffers on Sunday, two days after he resigned, and shredded documents.
One of the staffers, Deputy Director Robert Jenkins, said the documents that were destroyed were either duplicates or were of a personal nature, including junk mail, mortgage papers and salary comparisons for LRC staff.
A Louisville attorney on Tuesday called for a criminal investigation into the former head of the Legislative Research Commission who told the Louisville Courier-Journal that he returned to the Capitol on Sunday, two days after he resigned, and shredded documents.
Thomas Clay wants state police or the attorney general's office to open a probe into what kind of documents former LRC Director Bobby Sherman destroyed.
"I'm very suspicious of what was shredded and why," said Clay, representing two legislative staffers who filed sexual harassment complaints that led to the resignation of Democratic state Rep. John Arnold of Sturgis earlier this month. "The circumstances suggest some outside agency should inquire about it."
The state unemployment rate declined slightly in August despite significant job losses in some key labor market sectors.
The Kentucky Office of Employment and Training reported Thursday that the rate fell to 8.4 percent, down from 8.5 percent in July.
State economist Manoj Shanker said the trade, transportation and utilities sector shed 2,100 jobs in August. The financial services sector lost 700 jobs. The government sector fell by 500 positions. The information sector, which includes newspapers, lost another 500 workers. And the mining and logging sector declined by another 100.
The FBI has announced it is offering a reward of up to $50,000 in the death of a Bardstown police officer three months ago.
Officer Jason Ellis was ambushed and shot to death when he stopped to pick up tree limbs as he was driving home May 25.
Kentucky State Police Trooper Jeff Gregory said rewards in the case now total $218,000.
The FBI was holding a news conference Monday to announce the reward information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of whomever is responsible for Ellis’ death and to release a revised poster seeking information in the case.
The nation's largest miners' union says a proposed settlement with Patriot Coal would restore most wage cuts the company had sought as part of its bankruptcy reorganization.
Members of the United Mine Workers of America on Wednesday heard details of the settlement reached last week with St. Louis-based Patriot.
Some 1,800 current or laid-off Patriot workers in West Virginia and Kentucky will be eligible to cast a ballot on Friday.
The union says the proposed settlement includes restoration of all but $1 per hour in wage cuts.
Wages would increase annually by 50 cents an hour starting in January 2015, monthly premiums for health care benefits would be eliminated, pension benefits for thousands of current retirees would be maintained and current active UMW members would continue earning pension credit.
Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes is reaching out to senior voters with an initiative she has dubbed "Grannies for Grimes."
Grimes' 83-year-old maternal grandmother, Elsie Case, will lead the effort. Case, who is especially popular with Grimes supporters, has appeared in campaign ads on behalf of her granddaughter and has been a regular on the campaign trail.
As head of Grannies for Grimes, Case will use Twitter and Facebook to provide updates from the campaign trial and to encourage other seniors to get behind Grimes who has promised to protect and strengthen Social Security and Medicaid.
Grimes, the Democratic front-runner, is seeking to replace Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell in next year's election. McConnell also has a Republican primary opponent, Louisville businessman Matt Bevin.