Regional

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.

ALIVE Center for Community Partnerships

The Western Kentucky University-based ALIVE Center for Community Partnerships is hoping to tap into the volunteer spirit of the school and surrounding communities.

The ALIVE Center connects individuals with organizations seeking to address local, regional, and global needs.

The center is holding an event Thursday, March 31, that will introduce volunteers from WKU and the southern Kentucky region with various non-profit groups from the area.

ALIVE Center Director Leah Ashwill says a major goal of her group is to nurture young people who want to have a positive impact on their community. She says many young people don’t know where to start.

“A lot of times they just don’t know how. They’re not sure exactly how to get connected, and they also get overwhelmed by the realm of possibilities, and the amount of need that exists.”

The Campus Community and Network meeting takes place Thursday from 3:00 to 4:30 pm at the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce.

Flickr/Creative Commons/J. Stephen Conn

Kentucky’s Civil War battlefields are in need of some spring cleaning. 

The Civil War Trust, a national non-profit, is looking for volunteers to help clean and restore ten landmarks in Kentucky on Saturday. 

"People do everything from picking up trash, lawn work, and minor repairs," said Meg Martin, communications manager for The Civil War Trust.  "They might clean signs, clear trails, things that will allow the sites to be better interpreted and provide better educational and recreational opportunities for the parks."

Walter Horne

A Daviess County man is getting an up close view of how Brussels is coping following this week’s terrorist attacks on the city’s airport and subway. 

Owensboro resident Walter Horne is in Brussels for job training.  He says he was in a meeting about 15 miles away when the explosions occurred.

"The people there with us were speaking Flemish or Dutch.  We didn't really understand what was being said," Horne told WKU Public Radio by phone.  "We could hear 'explosion.'  We understood that word, and then they told us what had happened."

Even though it was 2:00 a.m. in Kentucky, Horne said he immediately called family members to let them know he was safe. 

He describes the mood in Brussels as somber.  Police are out in greater numbers and there’s less night life on the streets.

Abbey Oldham, WKU Public Radio

Senator Mitch McConnell is planning to block the nomination of a Kentucky judge to a seat on a U.S. Appeals Court.

McConnell’s office issued a statement Friday saying he had no plans to move forward on President Obama’s nomination of Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Lisabeth Tabor Hughes to the Sixth U.S Circuit Court of Appeals.

Watch: President Obama's Interview with NPR's Nina Totenberg

The statement said President Obama hadn’t consulted with McConnell before announcing the nomination Thursday night.

"Leader McConnell tried to work with the White House to fill this vacancy, including submitting a qualified Kentuckian for consideration. Rather than work with him to fill this vacancy, they submitted Justice Hughes without even notifying Leader McConnell. He will not support action on this nomination," spokesman Robert Steurer said in the statement.

McConnell is also refusing to hold hearings on the President’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland.

Joe Corcoran / WKU Public Radio

The Screaming Eagles of Fort Campbell’s 101st Airborne Division Air Assault are once again in harm’s way on foreign soil. Five hundred soldiers are in Iraq and Kuwait on an advisory mission, called Operation Inherent Resolve, aimed at helping the Iraqis in their fight against the terrorist group ISIS.

The troops’ official departure ceremony was hard on their family members. It was also hard on the feelings of those off base who've seen it all before.

At a recent Casing the Colors ceremony, service members from Fort Campbell packed up the unit’s flags and pennants and prepared them for their journey to the Middle East. The symbols of unit pride and identity are then unfurled in foreign war zones to signify a new base of operations.

Speaking to soldiers and family members in attendance at the base, Staff Sergeant Cara Duda read from the ceremony's official history. "The very soul of a military unit is symbolized by the colors under which it fights," she said. "They record the glories of the past, stand guard over its present destiny and insure inspiration for its future. Today the colors serve as a binding symbol of continuity and a point of inspiration for the future. Commanders and soldiers come and go but the colors will remain steadfast."

Flickr/Creative Commons/Floyd Wilde

Bowling Green could be the latest area of the state to build a veterans nursing home. 

Funding for the project was included in the budget approved this week by the Kentucky House. 

Some 40,000 veterans in the region would be served by a Bowling Green nursing home.  The closest one to them now is more than 100 miles away. 

Roger Miller, commander of the American Legion Post in Bowling Green, told WKU Public Radio that the 90-bed nursing home would fulfill a real need.

"It would mean a whole lot.  I'm 77 years old," said Miller.  "It would be a blessing to me and a lot of other people who are really needing one right now."

About 20 acres of land has already been donated for the facility at the Kentucky Transpark in Warren County.

Kentucky Senate Addresses Untested Rape Kits

Mar 17, 2016
Kentucky LRC

The Kentucky Senate has approved legislation intended to avoid future backlogs of untested sexual assault kits.

The unanimous approval comes as more than three thousand untested rape kits remain in the state police crime lab. A state audit uncovered the backlog.

Louisville Senator Denise Harper Angel told her colleagues the bill calls for taking sexual assault kits into custody from collecting facilities within five days. “All kits shall be submitted to the KSP crime lab within 30 days. All kits submitted to law enforcement agencies shall be tested, cannot be destroyed, and all victims shall be notified of the progress and results of the testing,” said Harper Angel.

Hopkinsville Senator Whitney Westerfield says officials at the lab and within the State Justice Cabinet have put much effort into tackling this problem. “To make sure we’ve got a compromise bill that we can pass, that people can meet the standards in, and that will prevent a backlog like this from happening again,” Westerfield explained.

Westerfield says the State Police Crime Lab is underfunded. He says more staff and equipment are needed. The bill does not establish funding levels.

Kentucky State Police are on the scene of a shooting at the McDonalds in Russellville on North Main Street. According to a news release, a man shot a female and left the scene on foot.

The female pulled across the street where she was treated and then transported to a local hospital.

The alleged shoot, who has not been identified, encountered officers from the Russellville Police Department Officers who shot and killed the suspect near the intersection of Armory Drive.

A man who was inside the Russellville Donut Shop was struck by gunfire and was flown to a Nashville hospital for treatment.

No Russellville police officers were injured during the incident. 

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