Regional

A growing social media campaign is aimed at reopening an investigation into a car crash that killed a Hopkins County teenager earlier this year.

The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing arguments Tuesday about whether states have the power to ban same-sex marriage. A dozen couples are challenging the bans in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee.

Judge Rules in Favor of Printer that Refused Gay Pride Job

Apr 28, 2015

A judge in Lexington has ruled in favor of a shop that refused to print T-shirts for a gay pride festival.

The ruling Monday by Fayette County Circuit Judge James Ishmael overturns a decision by the city's Human Rights Commission. The commission had ruled in 2014 that the print shop, Hands On Originals, violated a city law that bans discrimination against gays. The shop says it has refused several jobs due to its Christian beliefs.

Ishmael said the Human Rights Commission went beyond its statutory authority in siding with the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization. The judge said that the print shop's refusal in 2012 was based on the message of the gay group and pride festival and "not on the sexual orientation of its representatives or members."

Gregory Bourke

A same-sex couple from Louisville will be in Washington Tuesday Kentucky’s gay marriage appeal is heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Gregory Bourke and Michael De Leon married in Canada in 2004. 

The couple, along with their teenage daughter and son, will be in the courtroom as the nation’s highest court considers whether Kentucky’s gay marriage ban violates the Constitution. 

State law prevents both Bourke and De Leon from adopting the children.  Only De Leon is listed on their birth certificates.

"This is a potential problem for them because if the adoptive parent were to pass away, then they would not have a legal parent," Bourke tells WKU Public Radio.  "Their life would go into chaos and the stability of the whole family would be at risk."

After raising his children for the past 15 years, Bourke says he wants to legally be recognized as one of their parents.

Bourke and De Leon were the first Kentucky couple to file a federal lawsuit requesting their marriage be recognized in the commonwealth.  It was a family decision, so Bourke says that’s why it’s important for the family to have a seat at the historic hearing.

The Family Foundation of Kentucky says a lot is at stake, including the validity of the Supreme Court should it overturn the majority vote of the people who support traditional marriage. 

"Thirty-nine states have voted to keep marriage between one man and one woman.  That's 51 million people," says Family Foundation founder Kent Ostrander.  "Only 33 million wanted to redefine it."

Ostrander fears that should the court "misjudge" the issue, it could become another Dred Scott or Roe versus Wade decision and further divide the country. 

The Supreme Court hearing comes after a federal appeals court ruled last year to uphold marriage restrictions in Kentucky and three other states.

Six Kentucky same-sex couples and their attorneys are heading to Washington and the U.S. Supreme Court. Oral arguments for their challenge to the state’s gay marriage ban will be heard by the high court Tuesday.

The twelve Kentuckians—most from Louisville—are asking the nation’s highest court to overturn a circuit court ruling that kept the state’s gay marriage ban intact.

Shannon Fauver and Dawn Elliott from the Fauver law firm in Louisville were the first to file lawsuits challenging the ban. Fauver says she’s still surprised their case got this far, "Dawn and I sit around sometimes and say, ‘look what we started.’ We had no idea this would be the case that goes to the Supreme Court when we started. " she said.

Kentucky’s case is bundled with gay marriage cases from Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee.
A ruling from the high court is expected this summer.

Nine people have been indicted on charges of stealing what Kentucky authorities say was more bourbon whiskey than one person could drink in a lifetime.

The indictments were handed up Tuesday. Prosecutors allege the scheme led by rogue distillery workers lasted for years and involved tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of whiskey.

Authorities say two distilleries were targeted — the Buffalo Trace and Wild Turkey distilleries.

They allege the criminal syndicate operated since 2008 or 2009, and that the recovered whiskey alone is worth at least $100,000.

The indictments tie together two highly publicized heists in the world’s bourbon-producing hub — the theft of barrels of Wild Turkey bourbon earlier this year and the disappearance of Pappy Van Winkle bourbon.

Fort Campbell

Dozens of Fort Campbell soldiers are returning to the post along the Kentucky-Tennessee border this week from deployment to Afghanistan.

The military says about 160 soldiers from 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division are expected to arrive Friday morning.

The soldiers have been in Afghanistan advising and assisting the Afghan National Army.

The 1st Brigade is known as "Bastogne", a name commemorating the brigade's defense of the town of Bastogne, Belgium, during the Battle of the Bulge in World War II.

A federal appeals court has upheld the conviction of former Barren County Sheriff Chris Eaton on two counts of witness tampering. 

Eaton was convicted in 2013 sentenced to 18 months in prison following his trial on civil rights violations. 

A federal jury acquitted two co-defendants on all charges.  The law enforcement officers were tried for allegedly beating suspect Billy Stinnnett in February 2010 and engaging in a cover-up.  Jurors found Eaton guilty of directing two deputies to write false incident reports for the FBI. 

The U. S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals heard Eaton’s appeal in June 2014 and issued a ruling Monday upholding the conviction. 

An Iraqi man convicted of terrorism charges in Kentucky is asking a federal judge to change his conviction and prison sentence because he says he was misrepresented by his court-appointed attorney.

Mohanad Shareef Hammadi pleaded guilty in 2012 to being involved in a plot to send material support to al-Qaida in Iraq.

Hammadi says in a motion filed last month that he was pressured into pleading guilty to a dozen charges and was told by his attorney, James Earhart, he would not get a life sentence. He is asking a judge to throw out or correct the sentence.  A phone message left for Earhart was not immediately returned. 

A co-defendant in the case, Waad Ramadan Alwan, is serving 40 years. The pair was working with an FBI informant. 

Hammadi and Alwan pleaded guilty to conspiring to ship machine guns and shoulder-fired missiles to al-Qaida in Iraq. Both were arrested in 2011 in Bowling Green.

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