Regional

Lisa Autry

The trial of a Scottsville man charged in the brutal murder of a young girl is still more than a year away. 

Timothy Madden returned to court Friday afternoon for a pre-trial hearing.  Allen Circuit Judge Janet Crocker set a March 31 deadline for attorneys to request a change of venue.  After the hearing, Madden attorney Travis Lock said he would ask for the trial to be moved to another county.

"Can Tim Madden get a fair trial in Allen County, Kentucky?  I think that's very questionable," Madden stated.  "I think it's going to be tough to impanel a jury in any contiguous county.  I'm not sure where this case should be tried.  I'm sure that's something the court will address in due time."

Madden is facing the death penalty for allegedly kidnapping, raping, sodomizing, and murdering seven-year-old Gabbi Doolin last November. 

The case will not be ready for trial until late next year.  Judge Crocker said she would not set the trial date near the anniversary of Doolin’s death or the holidays.  Therefore, the death penalty case is expected to be tried in January 2018.

A former Franklin doctor whose prescribing practices resulted in patient deaths will have to wait a while longer to learn his punishment. 

Roy Reynolds returned to federal court in Bowling Green Wednesday for sentencing after pleading guilty earlier this year to illegally prescribing pain and anti-anxiety medicine. 

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Kentucky, two patients under Reynolds’ care died from drug overdoses.  One was a 46-year-old man with a history of illegal drug use and psychiatric issues.  Two days prior to his death, Dr. Reynolds prescribed him 180 Oxycodone pills and 90 Xanax tablets. 

Dr. Reynolds is also accused in the death of a 41-year-old man with a history of doctor shopping and drug and alcohol abuse.  An autopsy of his body showed Hydrocodone at 30 times the therapeutic concentration.

Vickie Carson, Mammoth Cave National Park

The ongoing deterioration of a dam on the Green River in south central Kentucky is creating potential safety hazards.  A hole in the foundation of the dam has lowered water levels and resulted in swift currents.  The Corps of Engineers is advising boaters to avoid the upstream side of the dam. 

The river runs 26 miles through Mammoth Cave National Park.

"The river is really dynamic on a good day, a normal day, so after this, we're waiting to see how it reacts to this new level, said Vickie Carson, public information officer at Mammoth Cave National Park.

Access to the Green River at Houchin Ferry is closed due to the sudden drop in water levels following the breach.  Levels have dropped by as much as nine feet in some areas.  The park will re-assess river access at Houchin Ferry in the coming months.  The campground and picnic area will remain open.

Officials says while the collapse of the dam is possible, it would not be severe enough to cause any damage.

Kevin Willis

The director of the Bowling Green International Center says some in the community continue to express concern about President-elect Donald Trump’s policies towards immigrants.

Trump said during the presidential campaign that he’d round up and deport those who are in the country illegally. He’s since backed off that position and said he will focus on deporting those who have been charged with crimes.

International Center director Albert Mbanfu says that’s little comfort to many of the refugees he encounters. He says he’s telling local refugees that they can’t be rounded up and deported.

“There are so many of our refugee kids wondering if they are going to be sent back to the refugee camps. So we try as much as possible to alleviate their fears and to let them understand that they are legal, and there’s no way they will send them back to the refugee camps.”

Flickr/Creative Commons/plantronics

A new 2-1-1 phone line will launch on Dec. 6 to give central Kentucky residents a one-stop place to get information about hundreds of services.

Megan Stith is president and CEO of the United Way of Central Kentucky, the organization that’s sponsoring the phone line.  She says people who answer the 2-1-1 line 24 hours a day, seven days a week, will be able to refer callers to resources in their own community.

“It will include information for state programs, for local nonprofits, schools districts, services for children after school, prescription and medical care, mental health, job assistance and senior services.”

Stith says the 2-1-1 line is not intended for 9-1-1 calls, but if a caller is in a critical situation, they can be connected directly to the emergency line. She says the people who  answer the calls are trained to have a “conversation” that may be able identify other needs related to what prompted the person to reach out and make the call.

"For example, if someone is looking for utility assistance, perhaps they have children in the home who might need mentoring or an after school program, or maybe there's a senior, an aging parent in the house.”

The new service is for residents in Hardin, Breckinridge, Grayson, LaRue and Meade counties.

KSP photo

A Louisville man wanted in Jefferson County on murder, robbery and other charges was arrested with another man in Hardin County Tuesday after a high speed, multi-county chase up I-65.

State police say 24 year old Lamontrez Jackson was a passenger in a possibly stolen Chevy Tahoe that was seen on the Natcher Parkway. Bowling Green police lost contact with the vehicle once it got onto I-65 northbound.

State police and Warren County sheriff deputies located it and tried to stop it at the 39 mile marker. That's when they say the driver of the Tahoe, 19 year old David Williamson, Jr. also of Louisville, took off at a high rate of speed and headed up the interstate weaving in and out of traffic.

Police were able to lay down some tire deflation devices at the 91 mile marker, causing the Tahoe to slow down, and they stopped it two miles later by running it off the road.

Bruce Garner/AP

Updated Tuesday morning at 7:20 a.m. ET

At least five children died after a school bus carrying them home from elementary school crashed Monday afternoon in Chattanooga, Tenn. About two dozen other children were injured, several critically.

Six children remain in intensive care, the school announced at a press conference Tuesday morning.

The driver, identified by police as 24-year-old Johnthony Walker, was arrested and charged with vehicular homicide, reckless endangerment and reckless driving.

Reporter Emily Siner of member station WPLN tells our Newscast unit:

It's a terrible sight. The school bus was going around a curve on a winding, hilly road and ended up crashing into a tree and flipping on its side. Late into the evening, there was still debris everywhere as investigators examined the crash site.

About 35 students, from kindergarten to fifth grade, were on the bus.

WKU Public Radio

A court of appeals ruling last week that cleared the way for  right-to-work legislation in Kentucky may not be the final word.

The News-Enterprise in Elizabethtown reports the Louisville law firm representing nine unions against Hardin County plans to petition to re-hear the case.

Right to work laws lift mandatory union contributions for new hires. Unions say the law weakens them, allowing workers to get union benefits without having to pay for them.

Hardin County was one of 12 Kentucky counties that passed the legislation last year.

The unions say only states, not counties, have the authority to pass right to work laws. Their lawyer says the three-judge court of appeals misapplied two Supreme Court decisions and took them out of context.

They plan to file a petition within the required 21 days for the full 15 member appeals court to re-hear the case.

U.S. Postal Service

The building that houses the post office in downtown Bowling Green is for sale, which puts future operations at the facility in question. 

Postal Service Spokeswoman Susan Wright tells WKU Public Radio that no decisions have been made about how the move will affect service in the city.

"The postal service has a track record of transparency in any of our retail operations, and it would be premature to provide information about any real estate transaction before it's final," says Wright.

Wright adds that any changes to retail operations would be decided following public input. 

The postal service has operated out of the downtown location since 1972.  Bowling Green has one other mail-processing facility on Scottsville Road.

Dozens of 101st Airborne Soldiers Back at Fort Campbell

Nov 21, 2016
Ft. Campbell

Dozens of 101st Airborne Division soldiers are back at Fort Campbell after a nine-month deployment to Iraq.

The post says about 170 soldiers from Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 101st Airborne, and 101st Airborne Division Artillery was in Iraq as part of the effort to advise and assist Iraqi forces in defeating the Islamic State group.

The soldiers were welcomed back to the post during a ceremony Friday with family, friends and fellow soldiers. The Army post is located on the Kentucky-Tennessee state line.

The commanding general of the 101st, Maj. Gen. Gary J. Volesky, thanked the soldiers for their work and said he was proud of the unit's dedication.

Approximately 1,300 soldiers from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team "Strike" remain in Iraq.

Third Suspect Arrested for Butler County Murders

Nov 21, 2016
KSP photo

A third suspect is in custody for the murders of two people who were found dead in a burned car in Butler County earlier this month.

Thirty-three year old Charles "Cotton" Lindsey was arrested Sunday in Bowling Green. Kentucky State Police transferred Lindsey to the Butler County jail where he's being held under a murder warrant.

Two other suspects in the double murder were arrested Friday afternoon by state police detectives in Bowling Green. Twenty-two year old Arlexis Kawai of Bowling Green and 21 year old Helen Rowe of Roundhill were booked into the Warren County Regional Jail on a charge of complicity to murder.

On November 9th. two charred bodies were found in a burned vehicle on Region-Reedyville Road in Butler County. The deaths were ruled homicides. Police have not released the victims' names or cause of death.

Jacob Ryan

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer's office says a controversial Confederate monument near the University of Louisville is being relocated to Brandenburg.

Fischer and former U of L President James Ramsey announced seven months ago that the monument would be dismantled and moved.

The Courier-Journal reports that Fischer said the 121-year-old monument's new location will offer people the chance "to remember and respect our history in a more proper context." He also said the approximately 45-mile trip will make it possible for people in Louisville to visit the monument.

About two dozen people, some as far away as Virginia, told Louisville's arts commission they would welcome the monument as a piece of history.

Brandenburg Mayor Ronnie Joyner told the commission in July that the city has a re-enactment every two years and would provide a good home for the monument.

Fayette School officials will be instituting random metal detection at district high schools later this month. The decision comes following the investigation of students bringing guns to Tates Creek High School three times over the last 12 days.

Another student brought a BB gun to Bryan Station Middle School earlier this week.

Schools Superintendent Manny Caulk says family members are also urged to monitor what students are carrying with them when they leave for school. “Continue to encourage our families to check their student’s backpack to jackets, etc. to make sure they’re only bringing school appropriate materials to school.”

Caulk says the mobile metal detectors will be moved from one high school to another with some regularity. He says the multi-faceted approach involves students, families, staff, law enforcement, and the community. In each of the recent gun incidents, students indicated they brought weapons due to situations outside school.

Caulk says these incidents don’t appear to be related at all to attention given to the recent election. “In talking to the students, they had nothing to do with the election. The students, again their intention, at least in the majority of these cases, were not intending on going to school that day. They had more to do with what they were experiencing in the community.”

Creative Commons

Kentucky’s Attorney General is warning residents to avoid falling victim to a “jury duty” phone scam.

Kentuckians have reported getting calls from someone claiming to be a U.S. Marshall, court worker, or law enforcement agent. The scammers accuse whoever answers the phone of failing to appear for jury duty, and says they must pay a fine immediately over the phone or risk arrest.

Attorney General Andy Beshear says law enforcement officers and other state and federal authorities do not take payments over the phone related to missing jury duty.

Other similar scams have been reported in Kentucky this year, including one where someone claiming to be a deputy sheriff says he can help solve a federal warrant for a fee.

Anyone receiving such calls can report the scam to the Attorney General’s office at 888-432-9257 or online.

Joe Corcoran

Nearly 100 refugee children from countries in Africa and Asia will be a lot more comfortable this winter thanks to the efforts of Bowling Green's Islamic Center and the International center.

Those two groups teamed up to provide a cold weather shopping trip at Wal Mart for the kids, most of whom have only been in this country less than three months and have never seen winter before. None speak English.

Families quickly filled shopping carts with shoes, boots, socks, gloves, scarves and pajamas Tuesday morning.

International Center of Kentucky Executive Director and CEO Albert Mbanfu laughed when he pictured the families seeing their first freeze or snowfall. "Many of them don't know what they're getting into, to be welcomed by winter," he said, "But they may not have to learn it too much the hard way since they're getting the warm clothing right now."

The kids came to Bowling Green with their families from Congo, Somalia, Bhutan, Burundi, Rwanda, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq. Some fled their war torn countries with little more than what they could carry.

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