Regional

Former Hodgenville Mayor, City Clerk Enter Guilty Pleas

Feb 11, 2015

A former mayor and city clerk in central Kentucky have pleaded guilty to multiple charges two weeks before their trial was to begin.

The News Enterprise reports former Hodgenville Mayor Terry L. Cruse pleaded guilty in Nelson Circuit Court to nine counts of abuse of public trust and two counts of complicity to theft. Charges of theft, violating campaign contribution restrictions and forgery were dismissed.

Former City Clerk MaDonna Hornback pleaded guilty to 54 counts of abuse of public trust and two counts of complicity to theft. Two theft charges were dismissed.

A grand jury indictment accused both of using a city-issued fuel credit card to make personal purchases.

The plea agreement also calls for them to pay restitution to the city of more than $16,000.

Army Recruiting and Retention School Opening at Fort Knox

Feb 10, 2015

The move of the Army's Recruiting and Retention School from Fort Jackson, South Carolina, to Fort Knox, Kentucky, is complete, and the Army is celebrating.

A ribbon-cutting and grand opening is set for 4:30 p.m. EST Wednesday at Fort Knox.

The school had been at Fort Jackson since 1995. The transition began in June.

The Army says almost 100 personnel relocated.

About 3,500 students are expected to attend each year. The school trains noncommissioned officers to be recruiters as well as leaders within U.S. Army Recruiting Command, which is also located at Fort Knox. Ten difference courses are taught at the school.

The relocation is part of integrated force structure changes that support recruiting for the Army of 2025. The move is estimated to save $14 million a year.

Global Spectrum

The Owensboro Convention Center is just over a year old now.  The 170,000-square-foot facility opened on January 29th of 2014. 

Manager Dean Dennis said the first full year of operation was a successful one as the convention center welcomed more than 300 events, 27 conventions, and 173,000 guests.

"We tracked over 5,000 hotel room nights for that 12-month period and the estimated direct spending associated with that was a little over a million dollars," Dennis told WKU Public Radio.  "We really try to chase the multi-day event business that generates hotel room nights because we know that's where the greatest economic impact comes from."

Dennis said convention bookings exceeded expectations in the first year.  The one area that fell below projections was the consumer show market.

The Owensboro Convention Center overlooks the Ohio River and is located on the old Executive Inn site.  Dennis said the center already has 15 conventions booked for this year.  He hopes this spring’s opening of the New Holiday Inn will attract larger groups.

A teen who ran away from his Kentucky home with a 13-year-old girl and was later captured in Florida has been indicted on charges related to what police call a two-week crime spree.

A grand jury indicted 18-year-old Dalton Hayes on a dozen charges this week. He faces up to 10 years in prison on a charge of second-degree rape, with no force. In Kentucky, a second-degree rape occurs when an adult has sex with a minor under 14, even if it's consensual.

The grand jury indicted Hayes on two thefts that occurred in early December, before the two went missing. He also faces custodial interference, criminal trespassing and criminal mischief charges.

Police say the teen girl will face charges in juvenile court.

Following a major cyber-attack on the nation’s second-largest insurer, WKU is informing its employees that their personal information could be compromised. 

Hackers broke into an Anthem health insurance database storing information for about 80 million people. 

Human Resources Director Tony Glisson says about 2,300 WKU employees currently have Anthem coverage, though more could be impacted. 

"If it affects us, it could affect people who have been previously employed here and also had Anthem coverage," Glisson told WKU Public Radio.  "We've had Anthem since January 1, 2003 and so  if it should go back that far, that could potentially affect a broader range of employees."

The university’s human resources and information technology divisions are working with Anthem to better understand the impact on its members.  In the meantime, the insurer has created a website, www.anthemfacts.com, for members to get more information on the cyber-attack. 

Update at 4:41 p.m.:

I-65 North has been reopened at the site of a multi-vehicle crash near Munfordville. However, it will take some time for congestion along the interstate and nearby U.S. 31-W to clear.

Update at 3:25 p.m.:

The following update was released by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet:

I65 northbound is closed due to a multi-vehicle crash on Green River Bridge between Horse Cave (58) and Munfordville (65).   The crash is within the widening project work-zone.  The bridge is also under construction.  The bridge wall received impact.  The bridge has been inspected for safety and there is no cause for structural concern at this time.

kcjea.org

Two former Ohio county officials are alleging illegal activity by Judge Executive David Johnston.

Former county magistrates Brandon Thomas and Michael McKenny have filed a complaint with Kentucky’s Attorney General saying Johnston violated county project procurement laws and misused emergency funds on private property.

Thomas ran unsuccessfully against Johnston for county’s top post and then filed the complaint after his loss, but he says the accusations are not just sour grapes.

“Sure, I wish I had won the election but does not mean that I wouldn’t have followed through with this? Absolutely not. I still feel it was wrong. It was wrong then, it was wrong now, and it’s going to continue to be wrong until someone looks into this," Thomas replies.

Thomas says he had appealed to the county attorney and fellow magistrates on multiple occasions, but failed to raise much concern. A spokesman for Attorney General Jack Conway says the complaint is under review. Calls to Johnston and the county attorney were not returned Wednesday.

In its first year of Medicaid expansion, Kentucky health officials were plagued by a series of accounting errors that resulted in overstating state and federal expenses by more than $500 million, according to an audit released Wednesday.

The report by Democratic Auditor Adam Edelen said the Cabinet for Health and Family Services did not adequately review its finances before reporting them to the state's Finance and Administration Cabinet. While many errors were caught before the state issued its final report, several mistakes did get through, including overstating $500 million in state and federal expenses and overstating federal revenue by $424 million.

In response to the audit, health officials pledged to correct the problems. A cabinet spokeswoman did not immediately return a call for comment. Kentucky was one of 29 states to expand Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act.

Louisville Metro police officer will appear in court Friday to face charges that he assaulted two students at a Jefferson County middle school while working as a school resource officer.

Jonathan Hardin, 31, was arrested Tuesday on charges including assault, wanton endangerment and official misconduct, according to police reports.

He was released from Metro Corrections Tuesday evening after posting a $25,000 bond, according to a spokeswoman for the jail.

Hardin is a school resource officer at Olmsted North Middle School. This is his first year as the resource officer for Olmsted; last year he was a resource officer at Moore Traditional High School, according to a Jefferson County Public Schools spokesman.

The leader of a Christian ministry says his group will file a federal discrimination lawsuit against the state over the rescinding of a tax rebate benefit for a Noah’s Ark attraction it’s building in northern Kentucky.

Answers in Genesis says the state committed “viewpoint discrimination” when it withdrew the $18 million benefit in December. Founder Ken Ham announced plans for the suit in an online video posted Tuesday.

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