Regional

Confederate Statue At U of L To Be Removed

22 hours ago
Jacob Ryan, WFPL

Mayor Greg Fischer and University of Louisville President James Ramsey announced Friday the Confederate statue on U of L’s Belknap campus will be removed.

Ramsey, via Twitter, said the monument would be removed immediately. “It is time for U of L to step forward in partnership with the city of Louisville to remove the monument…in respect of all people.”

Ramsey said a campus diversity committee recommended the university remove the statue.

The removal of the Confederate monument will also be the first tangible action for reworking the Third Street corridor near the entrance to the recently opened Speed Art Museum, Ramsey said.

It's been almost a year since the badly decomposed remains of a woman were found in Hart County. The body was beyond recognition, but now Kentucky State Police are teaming up with the National Missing & Unidentified Persons System to put a face, and hopefully a name, to the woman.

Last June 25, a truck driver jogging near Waterloo Road in Hart County noticed what appeared to be a dead body. Troopers called to the scene confirmed they were human remains but an identification was impossible.

All they had to go on was it was a female between 24 and 47 years old, wearing a necklace with the letter "S" emblem on it, a gray stud earring with a pink stone, a medium sized "Southern Comfort" t-shirt, red underwear and white Wilson sneakers with green laces. She was entered into NamUs just four days later as UP 13979.

The Hart County Coroner and Kentucky State Police reached out to Project EDAN (Everyone Deserves A Name) and Certified Forensic Artist Jeanne Cybulski of the Mesa, AZ police department took up the case.

Creative Commons

A Pulaski County school crossing guard has died after being hit by a truck. 

According to Kentucky State Police, 69 year old Doyle Patterson of Somerset died Wednesday night at University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville.

Patterson was struck Wednesday afternoon at Southwestern High School. 

The pickup driver was 62 year old Windell Phelps, also of Somerset.

No drug or alcohol use was suspected, and police don’t expect any charges to be filed. Police say Phelps is also a school employee.

Alltech staff

A craft brewery with ties to Western Kentucky University is now producing beer in Bowling Green. 

Lexington-based brewing and distilling company Alltech has opened a production line in the WKU Center for Research and Development. 

College Heights Brewing gives students hands-on experience while earning a certificate in brewing operations.  Dr. Andrew McMichael, assistant dean of the Potter College of Arts and Letters at WKU, says the school tailored a certification program based on conversations with existing Kentucky brewers and distillers.

Funtown Mountain Facebook

A south-central Kentucky country music radio station owner has bought a closed recreational park in Cave City.

The Courier-Journal said David Froggett Jr. purchased the two tracts of land and buildings for $295,000 at auction Wednesday.

Froggett, of Edmonton, owns WHSX-FM. He told the Daily News of Bowling Green last week that he plans to turn the attraction into a "resort park-nature park combination."

The park started as the Western-themed Guntown Mountain in 1969. It was purchased in May by a Louisville businessman who planned to turn it into a Kentucky-themed park, but he was unable to follow through due to health issues.

Flickr/Creative Commons/World Bank Photo Collection

Bowling Green is preparing to welcome Syrian refugees later this year who are fleeing their country’s civil war.  

In a meeting Tuesday, the Bowling Green International Center and its community partners agreed to begin accepting 40 Syrian refugees in October.  The resettlement has drawn the ire of some locals who are worried about the threat of terrorism. 

"Many of our leaders and citizens of Bowling Green are not comfortable with the Obama administration's assertion that the federal government can confidently vet refugees from this part of the world," said Bowling Green City Commissioner Melinda Hill.

Immigrants relocating to the United States must complete a 14-step vetting process, according to Albert MBanfu, executive director of the Kentucky International Center.

"The fear is real," MBanfu told WKU Public Radio.  "At the same time, we cannot allow fear to overcome the best we have in us as Americans."

Mbanfu added that any Syrian wanting to harm the U.S. would likely not come through the refugee program.  Instead, they would likely arrive with a visitor’s visa that doesn’t require background checks. 

Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts

The just-concluded legislative session contains a major victory for Daviess County.  

The final budget agreement includes funding to create a Family Court. District and circuit judges currently handle family issues.  

John Minton, Jr. has been advocating for the judgeship since becoming Chief Justice of the Kentucky Supreme Court in 2008.  He says the goal is to keep family cases before the same judge.

"It's possible under the system without Family Court for a family to have issues in different places before different judges with different outcomes, so Family Court allows us to process all the issues around families in one place.

Family judges preside over cases such as divorce, child custody, adoptions, and domestic violence.  Daviess County is the largest county in the state without a Family Court judge.

Once the law becomes effective in mid-July, Governor Bevin will appoint someone to serve as Daviess County Family Court Judge until the position is up for election in November.

401kcalculator.org

The federal government is encouraging Kentuckians to sign up for an online service that lets you check your Social Security benefits.

To be eligible for an online account, you must be at least 18 years old, and have a U.S. mailing address, Social Security number, and valid e-mail address.

Social Security Administration spokesman B.J. Jarrett says those who don’t currently get benefits can also sign up to see what they’re eligible to receive in the future.

"Folks can review and verify their lifetime earnings history for accuracy. They can also see estimates of their future Social Security benefits--not only retirement, but if they were to become disabled, what their family could receive."

Nearly 1 million Kentucky residents receive Social Security benefits.

‘My Social Security’ accounts can be set up here.

Lisa Autry, WKU Public Radio

A Warren County lawmaker is asking the state to put a traffic signal at a location where a younggirl was killed last month.

Bowling Green Representative Jody Richards has written a letter to Kentucky’s acting Transportation Cabinet secretary, requesting a signal be installed at the intersection of Gordon Avenue and Scott Way.

That’s where 10-year-old Giselle Arias died after being struck by a car March 30.

Richards says a traffic signal with a pedestrian crossing button is needed to avoid future tragedies.

"While I understand that other options are being considered to remedy the danger at this intersection, they are either inadequate or impractical," Richards wrote in the letter. "A traffic signal like the one I have described is practical and will be effective in allowing people of all ages, particularly children, to safely cross at the intersection. I am confident it will reduce injuries and perhaps prevent other fatalities."

The Kentucky Supreme Court has thrown out evidence gathered during a traffic stop, ruling that a man who was sentenced to 20 years in prison on drug trafficking and other charges had been improperly detained.

The Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer  reports 50-year-old Thomas J. Davis was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2014 after having been pulled over by McLean County Sheriff's Deputy Tim McCoy, who stopped him in 2010 on suspicion of driving under the influence. McCoy says after Davis failed field sobriety tests, a K-9 sniffed the vehicle, detecting drugs. McCoy found methamphetamine inside the vehicle.

The Supreme Court justices ruled Davis had been lawfully stopped but there had been no valid reasons to conduct the drug searches. The justices ordered a new case hearing to be conducted.

Henderson police and Kentucky State Police are doing some "spring cleaning" in that town and in Evansville, IN., but they're not using brooms and rakes.

A joint drug sweep dubbed "Operation Clean Sweep" began early Thursday morning targeting as many as 38 suspects. As of Thursday night, 21 were in custody and police say they should have the rest within the month.

Henderson Police Chief Chip Stauffer told The Gleaner newspaper the investigation began as long as six months ago after he and some of his officers met with Audubon Kid Zone, Engage Henderson and other groups looking to improve the city's East End neighborhood. "A focused investigation into illegal drug trafficking is a way the Henderson Police Department can show we hear the concerns of residents," the chief said, " We understand their frustrations and are trying to help."

Kentucky's only local soft drink is now available in a larger part of the state.

Ale-8-One, produced in Winchester since 1926, is doubling its service area, to include Elizabethtown, Bowling Green and Owensboro.

President and COO Ellen McGeeney says the expansion goes along with the homemade, handcrafted explosion in the beverage industry.

McGeeney says people should start seeing Ale-8-One in the new areas within two weeks.

Jacob Ryan, WFPL

The Louisville residents who were allegedly assaulted at a Donald Trump rally earlier this year are suing the presidential frontrunner.

They filed a lawsuit Thursday in Jefferson Circuit Court.

In the suit, plaintiffs Kashiya Nwanguma, Molly Shah and Henry Brousseau allege Trump incited, endorsed and encouraged violent incidents at a rally for his campaign earlier this year.

All three say they attended the rally with the intent to peacefully protest.

“Just to protest the xenophobic and racist and sexist comments that Donald Trump has been making throughout the course of his campaign,” Shah said Friday. “That’s what Americans do.”

WKU

A memorial service is being held at Western Kentucky University Friday in honor of a former Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations.

The service for Kathryn Costello is tomorrow at 3 pm in the ballroom of the Augenstein AlumniCenter.

Members of the campus community are invited to attend.

Costello came to WKU in January of 2011 to serve as both Vice President for Development  and President-CEO of the WKU Foundation.

She retired  in December.

Costello passed away on March 20 following complications from lung cancer.

Kentucky News Network

A case of vandalism in southeastern Kentucky is being investigated as a hate crime. 

Someone vandalized a sign outside the Laurel County African American Heritage Center in London by spray-painting K-K-K and 1488, which is a code sometimes used by white supremacists.

Detective Sergeant Gary Proffitt with the London Police Department says the community is shocked and disturbed by the crime.

"I've been a police officer for 16 years, and something at this level is something that I have not seen," Proffitt told WKU Public Radio.

The center's CEO, Wayne Riley, opened the building in 2004 in an abandoned church he attended as a youth and said he will not be intimidated by the crime.

City police say they're investigating the vandalism as a hate crime, with help from the FBI.

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