Kentucy Governor Steve Beshear has announced he is vetoing a controversial religious freedom bill. Civil rights groups had urged a veto, saying the measure would essentially legalize certain forms of discrimination against gays and lesbians by groups and individuals who could claim they were doing so because of their religious beliefs.
Some church groups from across the state have been urging Beshear to sign the bill, saying it would give stronger legal standing to people who claim their religious rights have been violated.
“Religious freedom is a cornerstone of this great nation, and a right enshrined in both the United States Constitution and the Kentucky Constitution,” Gov. Beshear said in a statement released by his office. “I value and cherish our rights to religious freedom and I appreciate the good intentions of House Bill 279 and the members of the General Assembly who supported this bill to protect our constitutional rights to practice our religion."
It’s been nearly three-and-a-half weeks since a Bowling Green man was shot by an off-duty Warren County court security officer. Many people in the Bowling Green-Warren County area are waiting with intense interest to hear the findings of a Kentucky State Police investigation into the death of 27-year-old Brandon Bradshaw, who died Feb. 26, four days after being shot by Tommy Brown in a parking lot along the U.S. 31-W Bypass in Bowling Green.
The KSP investigation has been handed over to Warren County Commonwealth’s Attorney Chris Cohron, who says he’s still waiting to receive a few more documents before announcing how his office will proceed.
No charges have been filed against Brown. His attorney, Alan Simpson, says Brown acted in self-defense when he shot Bradshaw.
Earlier this week, about forty family members and friends of Bradshaw protested in front of the Warren County Justice Center, demanding answers in the case. Members of the group say they plan a similar protest next Wednesday, the day grand juries meet in Warren County.
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is scheduled to headline the Iowa Republican party’s Lincoln Day Dinner in May. While members of Congress often take part in speaking engagements in other states, Sen. Paul’s appearance in Iowa is making news because the event always creates buzz about the upcoming presidential race.
The Hawkeye State has been a traditional launching pad for presidential candidates from both parties, given that the Iowa caucuses serve as the country’s first major electoral event in the presidential nominating process.
Paul, a Bowling Green Republican, has admitted he is considering a run for the White House in 2016, and attracted a lot of popular press in conservative circles when he launched a 13-hour filibuster earlier this month against the nomination of John Brennan to be C.I.A. chief.
Earlier this week, Paul told the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce that the country needs to find a way to give legal status to undocumented immigrants working in the U.S. While stopping short of saying there should be a pathway to citizenship for such workers, Paul’s latest statements were much more moderate than his previous positions on immigration.
Former Kentucky Senate President David Williams and a political action committee have been cleared of any wrongdoing related to Williams' failed gubernatorial bid in 2011.
The Kentucky Registry of Election Finance cleared Williams and the Restoring America PAC of illegal coordination. The Courier-Journal reports the state Democratic Party filed a complaint after Restoring America was forced by a judge to reveal that Williams' then-father-in-law, Terry Stephens, was the only source of the group's $1.3 million in startup funds.
The registry did find that the PAC violated reporting rules when it did not reveal upfront who the primary funding source was and that it had spent large sums of money on polling and other services.
No life-threatening injuries are reported following a bus crash in Tennessee involving students from an Owensboro college. Members of the Kentucky Wesleyan Singers and Chamber Singers were aboard the charter bus that went over a small hill beside a road in Signal Mountain, Tennessee, late Sunday night.
A Chattanooga TV station reports 22 people were taken to hospitals.
A Kentucky Wesleyan College spokeswoman told WKU Public Radio the rest of the group’s week-long tour has been cancelled following the accident. The singers began their tour with stops in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, Nashville and Signal Mountain, Tennessee. They were on their way to sing in Atlanta when the bus accident occurred.
Kentucky State Police were investigating whether distracted driving caused a tractor-trailer to plow into an SUV carrying eight people on Saturday, killing six and possibly triggering a serious crash on the opposite side of the highway.
The truck driver is "telling us that he saw the vehicle that was in front of him and he hit the brakes and he didn't hit them in time," Master Trooper Norman Chaffins said. " ... There was a reason for that and we're trying to figure out what the reason was."
The late-morning crash was followed 15 minutes later by a multi-vehicle crash on the opposite side of Interstate 65 that injured three people. The site was just 15 miles from where 11 people died in 2010 when a tractor-trailer crossed the median and hit a van carrying a Mennonite family. Ten people in the van were killed along with the truck driver and the National Transportation Safety Board determined the truck driver was distracted by his cell phone.
A wintry mix of precipitation is expected to extend overnight into Friday morning for those in the northwestern Kentucky portion of our listening area.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has released the following information:
Crews in Union, Henderson, and Daviess Counties are reporting sleet that is creating scattered slick spots on area highways. Henderson County had 10 trucks out Friday evening spreading salt.
Motorists should use caution. Pavement temperatures have been dropping over the last couple of hours and are now hovering just above the freezing mark. The ambient air temperature is holding at 31 degrees in Union County and Henderson County.
Motorists should be especially cautious around bridges and overpasses which cool down quicker than regular pavement.