Regional

A Henderson County man is headed to prison for human trafficking. 

According to the plea agreement, then-31-year-old Jathar Williams made contact with a then-15 year girl through a social networking site in March of 2014.

Williams arranged to meet the girl and her 17-year-old female friend.  Williams picked them up in Evansville, Indiana, and drove them to his residence in Henderson, where he said the girls could earn between $700 and $800 a day performing commercial sex acts. 

Williams admitted to driving the two underage females to the Sugar Creek Inn in Henderson. There, he arranged for men to come to the hotel to engage in sex acts with the two females in exchange for money.

"Prosecution of those who exploit the young and vulnerable in our community is a top priority of this Office,” stated John Kuhn, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky. “We know that every instance of human trafficking forces the victims into a crucible of suffering.  We also know this crime is occurring far more than it’s being reported."

Williams was sentenced this week  in federal court to ten years in prison.

Fort Campbell Sending 500 to Iraq, Kuwait Next Year

Nov 9, 2015

The military says about 500 soldiers from the 101st Airborne headquarters at Fort Campbell are deploying to the Middle East to support military actions against the Islamic State group.

The post says the soldiers will leave early next year for a nine-month rotation in Iraq and Kuwait, where they will replace troops from the 82nd Airborne Division headquarters.

The military says the soldiers will provide command and control of coalition troops and training, advising and assisting Iraqi Security Forces.

Kentuckians who heat their homes with natural gas will see lower prices this heating season than they did last winter. 

The Public Service Commission reports natural gas prices are down more than a third from this time a year ago.  PSC Spokesman Andrew Melnykovych says supply has kept pace demand.

"There's been a lot of development of new domestic natural gas sources in the United States, so we're in a situation now where there's actually an over-supply of gas in many parts of the country," Melnykovych told WKU Public Radio.

On average, consumers can expect their gas bill to be about 20 percent smaller this month compared to last November. 

Kentuckians may also get a financial break from the weather.  The long-term outlook for this winter is for temperatures to be normal or a bit warmer than usual.

Authorities say a central Kentucky police officer who was shot in the head while searching for a robbery suspect has died.

In a statement, Kentucky State Police Trooper Robert Purdy says 33-year-old Richmond Police Officer Daniel Ellis died early Friday at the University of Kentucky Medical Center.

Ellis had remained in the hospital after suffering life-threatening injuries following the shooting Wednesday morning.

Ellis and another officer went to a Richmond apartment, where police say the suspect, 34-year-old Raleigh Sizemore Jr., opened fire on Ellis. The second officer returned fire and struck Sizemore. He was treated at the hospital and released to police custody.

Sizemore was charged with attempted murder of a police officer and unlawful imprisonment first degree.

Two others in the apartment during the shootout were also arrested.

Kentucky State Police are investigating an incident of road rage that resulted in a shooting this morning on I-65. 

The Bowling Green KSP post received a call from someone who claimed he was shot at on northbound I-65 near mile marker 27 in Warren County. 

"The caller stated that he accidentally cut this other vehicle off in traffic," said Trooper BJ Eaton.  "A road rage incident occurred thereafter for a short distance."

The caller’s vehicle was struck by a bullet in the passenger side rear door, though none of the five occupants were injured. 

The shooter then got off the interstate at the next exit and has not been found.  He was described as a black male with a scar on his cheek and was driving a newer model silver or gray Ford SUV.

A Bowling Green man wanted on drug and escape charges, and for dragging a Bowling Green city officer in his vehicle during an attempted arrest, was captured with two other men Sunday afternoon.

A.C. Barnes and two other men were found in an apartment on McIntosh Street just off Campbell Lane in the city.

Police received a tip Barnes was in the apartment building.

They began negotiating with him to surrender just after 3:00 p.m. using a public address system. After a little more than an hour, the BGPD’s Critical Response Team ignited a so-called “flash-bang” explosive to disorient the men and they stormed the building.  

There were no injuries reported during the capture.

Police had been looking for Barnes since his October 13th attempted arrest on outstanding drug charges. That’s when Barnes fled in his vehicle dragging the city police officer with his for a short distance. Police fired at least two shots at him then.

Barnes had a large bandage on his back at the time of Sunday’s arrest but it’s not known if that was due to the gunshots.

The week-long manhunt along the Kentucky-Tennessee border for an escaped felon ended violently Friday morning in a police shoot-out.

62 year old Floyd Ray Cook was killed by Kentucky State Police in a wooded area about seven miles south of Burkesville just before 12:30 a.m. No police officers were wounded.

He'd been on the run since shooting an Algood, TN police officer last Saturday and then firing at a Kentucky State trooper who tried to stop him.

The beginning of the end was Thursday afternoon when Cook was spotted in Cumberland County. As many as 50 local and state police responded to the area and were able to close in on him, even using heat seeking technology from police helicopters overnight.

KSP trooper Billy Gregory told WKU Public Radio that they're sorry the manhunt had to end the way it did, since they always try to find a peaceful resolution, but at least a "dangerous criminal is off the streets."

Gregory said they may never know how or where Cook survived the past week while eluding police.

Cumberland County schools were closed down for student safety all week while the manhunt was underway.

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.

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