Regional

A lawsuit to determine whether Kentucky counties are allowed to pass local right-to-work laws is due for a ruling from a federal judge in the coming weeks.

Supporters of such laws expect a swell of counties to pass local right-to-work policies if the ruling comes in their favor.  Jim Waters, president of conservative think tank the Bluegrass Institute, says 50 counties have requested a copy of a model right-to-work law.

“There’s just too many opportunities for counties, especially along the borders with right-to-work states like Tennessee and Indiana," adds Waters.  "There’s too many opportunities that are being lost."

In December, Warren County passed a right-to-work law, which prohibits unions from forcing workers to pay union dues as a condition of employment in a unionized company. Another 11 counties passed similar laws.

Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway issued an opinion against Warren County’s policy, saying that local governments lacked the authority to pass right-to-work legislation. Supporters argue that the policies are valid because Kentucky’s “home rule” law allows counties to pass their own economic policies.

The national park system is turning 100 next year and the national parks in Kentucky are making plans to celebrate. 

Park leaders discussed some of their plans for 2016 in Bowling Green Tuesday during the Kentucky Travel Industry Association conference. 

Mammoth Cave National Park Superintendent Sarah Craighead says one of the goals of the centennial celebration is to connect with the next generation of park visitors.

"The national park service over the last 100 years has grown and changed, but what we have realized is that the visitors tend to be of a pretty limited demographic," Craighead told WKU Public Radio.

The parks have a number of ways they’re planning to celebrate, including special exhibits and reduced price admissions. 

Kentucky is home to five national parks, including Mammoth Cave, the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace, Cumberland Gap, Fort Donelson, and Big South Fork.

Federal auditors say Kentucky officials had trouble making sure everyone purchasing discounted health insurance plans on Kynect met all of the federal requirements.

An audit from the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General said Kentucky's health insurance exchange was generally effective in determining a person's eligibility. But officials did not always properly verify some applicants' identity or their eligibility for minimum essential coverage.

The findings do not mean state officials allowed ineligible people to purchase qualified health plans because the state had other methods of catching the problems.

Kentucky officials agreed with the auditor's findings and said they had fixed the problems. The system could have an influx of new shoppers as Kynect's largest insurer, the Kentucky Health Cooperative, announced last week it was going out of business.

Authorities have arrested one of three people wanted in connection with the shooting death of a man found in a Pulaski County cabin.

The Pulaski County Sheriff's Office tells local media that 25-year-old Jesse W. Brown, of Monticello, was charged with murder Tuesday after he voluntarily met with detectives.

Deputies were acting on a tip Sunday when they found 34-year-old Danny J. Poore dead inside a cabin in the Nancy community, about 10 miles west of Somerset.

Police say no one was injured by gunshots that were fired near the campus of Murray State University.

Multiple media outlets report that the university issued a safety advisory Tuesday night after someone fired a gun multiple times into a residence northwest of the Murray State campus.

Police did not release the address of the shooting and were continuing to investigate.

The university later issued an advisory urging its community to be cautious, while noting that the campus remained open.

Bowling Green police and state police troopers are looking for a Bowling Green man they say dragged a city police officer in his car during an attempted arrest overnight.

Both city and state police fired shots at 30 year old Adrian Barnes and a woman who was with him, it’s not known if they were hit.

Detectives with the Warren County Drug Task Force and State police drug enforcement located Barnes in a Dollar General parking lot on KY 185 last night and were in the process of arresting him on previous charges when they say he took off in his Ford Explorer dragging a police officer with him for a short distance. That’s when two officers fired shots at Barnes.

His vehicle was found abandoned near the scene a short time later on Double Springs Road.

Police have added assault charges to Barnes on top of the drug related charges they were originally trying to arrest him for.

Police say Barnes is considered dangerous and anyone with any information is asked to call police.

Kentucky's nursing home industry is seeking relief from what it calls heavy-handed state oversight even though a recent review found multiple instances where its residents have been mistreated.

The review by The Courier-Journal of more than 100 reports of state inspections of the state's nursing homes over the past three years found multiple instances where residents had been threatened, ridiculed, slapped, injured, or sexually abused.

However, Kentucky nursing home representatives are protesting what they say is excessive regulation, arguing that statistics show Kentucky inspectors are more likely to cite "immediate jeopardy" violations than regulators in other states.

An immediate jeopardy violation is one that causes harm, serious injury or death, or is likely to do so, and carries fines of up to $10,000 a day.

Fort Campbell

More than 7,000 combat boots are being displayed at the 101st Airborne Division headquarters at Fort Campbell, honoring active duty service members who have died since the 9/11 attacks.

The display is being held during Military Survivor Appreciation Week, and the 101st and Fort Campbell Survivor Outreach Services also plan a "Run for the Fallen" on Friday.

The boots will be on display Thursday through Sunday. The post said each boot is adorned with a photo of a service member who has died since the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

The boots have been collected from military service members across Fort Campbell and abroad.

Morale, Welfare and Recreation engineer Thomas Kirkham says the boots are being arranged to be reminiscent of Arlington National Cemetery.

A former Georgia physician has pleaded guilty in federal court to illegally providing pain medication to thousands of Kentuckians.

Fifty-eight-year-old Michael Johnston appeared in U.S. District Court in Kentucky Thursday and admitted he conspired with the owner of a Georgia pain clinic to distribute Oxycodone and Xanax to residents of several Kentucky counties, including Laurel, Rockcastle, Pulaski, and Whitley. 

The former doctor acknowledged he ignored the fact the patients were addicts and likely selling the drugs for profit upon their return to Kentucky.  Many of the patients at the clinic were seen by non-physicians and received little or no medical examination before being prescribed pain pills.  The clinic operated on a cash-only basis and Johnston said he was encouraged to see as many patients per day, as possible. 

Johnston will serve ten years in prison after his sentencing in January.

National Corvette Museum

The head of the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green is being recognized for growing the Museum’s membership and guiding it through the aftermath of last year’s sink-hole collapse.

Wendell Strode is one of three Kentucky Nonprofit Network award winners…he’ll receive the Distinguished Nonprofit Leadership Award at a ceremony in Lexington October 28th.

The awards committee noted Strode’s efforts to grow the museum’s membership and visitors resulted in a 35-million dollar economic impact to the local and state economy.

He’s also being recognized for using the collapse of the floor in the Museum’s Skydome  as an opportunity to attract world-wide media attention and setting record museum attendance during repairs.

An outside audit says Big Rivers Electric Corp. should consider selling power plants that it doesn't need after losing its two largest customers.

Local media outlets report the audit was released Tuesday by the Kentucky Public Service Commission.

The independent review suggests that the company should explore the sale of both the D.B. Wilson power plant in Centertown and the Kenneth C. Coleman plant in Hawesville.

The audit says that Big Rivers will need to "move more aggressively in coming years" to mitigate the loss of the Century Aluminum smelters in Hawesville and Sebree.

In an email, company spokesman Marty Littrel told the Messenger-Inquirer newspaper that Big Rivers couldn't comment on the audit report.

Big Rivers is owned by three distribution cooperatives, which serve about 112,000 customers in western Kentucky.

One of the best vegetable gardens in Owensboro is growing in one of the most unlikely places. The two and a half acre garden has been turning out bushels full of tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, corn and cucumbers inside the walls of the Daviess County Detention Center.

Joe Corcoran visited the jail and reports the tons of vegetables are helping the inmates in more ways than one.

Versailles might be the next central Kentucky city to consider an ordinance prohibiting discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations based on sexual orientation or gender identity

The Versailles City Council on Tuesday will hear from a member of the Versailles-Midway-Woodford County Human Rights Commission who will encourage the city to adopt the ordinance.

Versailles Mayor Brian Traugott says he will ask the city's administrative and legal committee, chaired by council member Carl Ellis, to draft the ordinance.

On June 1, Midway became the eighth city in the state to adopt an anti-bias ordinance. Other cities that have passed similar laws are Lexington, Louisville, Covington, Danville, Frankfort, Morehead and Vicco in Perry County.

A semi crash occurred Friday morning near Mile Point 70 in the southbound lanes of I-65 in Hart County.  The vehicle came to rest behind guardrail and is over an embankment of the construction zone.

According to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, emergency crews are attempting to keep one interstate lane open as much as possible but intermittent full closures will be necessary.

The Exit 71 Southbound on-ramp is restricted to emergency vehicles only.      

It is expected to take several hours to clear the scene.

Motorists traveling through should consider using Exit 91 to the Western Kentucky Parkway and Natcher Parkway as a route to re-join I-65 in Bowling Green.

Motorists needing local access should consider US 31W.

The Vatican says Pope Francis' meeting with Kim Davis "should not be considered a form of support of her position."

After days of confusion, the Vatican issued a statement Friday clarifying Francis' Sept. 24 meeting with Davis, a county clerk in Kentucky who has become a focal point in the gay marriage debate in the U.S. because of her refusal to sign marriage licenses for gay couples.

The Vatican said Francis met with many people during his U.S. stay, due to his "kindness and availability."

The statement said: "The pope did not enter into the details of the situation of Mrs. Davis and his meeting with her should not be considered a form of support of her position in all of its particular and complex aspects."

UPDATE: 7:35 a.m.

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