2:07 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Kentucky Court Rejects Rehearing in Sex Offender Case

The Kentucky Supreme Court has turned away a request from a convicted sex offender to reconsider his bid to take the bar exam and become a practicing lawyer.

The seven justices on Thursday unanimously rejected a rehearing in the case of Guy Padraic Hamilton-Smith.

The case is the first of its kind in Kentucky. The court in December declined Hamilton-Smith's bid and a move by the state Office of Bar Admissions to create and endorse a blanket rule that would have kept all registered sex offenders from gaining access to the bar.

Hamilton-Smith was convicted of a charge related to child pornography in 2007. He graduated in the top third of his class from the University of Kentucky law school but has not been allowed to take the bar exam.

12:39 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

NASA Jet Headed to Bowling Green's Aviation Park

The T-38 Talon was dismantled in Tucson, Arizona for shipment to Bowling Green.
Dan Cherry

The next addition to the Aviation Heritage Park in Bowling Green will hold special significance to Logan County native and astronaut Terry Wilcutt.

"Not only did Terry Wilcutt himself fly this airplane, but just about every astronaut that any of us have ever heard of has actually flown this very airplane," explains Dan Cherry, Executive Vice President of the Aviation Heritage Park.

The supersonic jet, called a T-38 Talon, was used by NASA for training exercises.  The plane is en route from Arizona to Bowling Green.  Cherry returned this week from Tucson where he oversaw the plane’s disassembly.

"It's been sitting in the desert in an Air Force storage area for about three years.  It's a bit dusty and needs a new paint job, but other than that, it's in excellent condition," adds Cherry.

The dismantled plane will arrive on a flatbed trailer at the Bowling Green-Warren County Regional Airport Saturday afternoon.  It will stay in a hangar there while being restored. 

The aircraft was made in 1966 and retired by NASA in 2011.

4:13 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Lady Toppers Appear Undaunted as Preparations Continue For Matchup with No. 2 Baylor

Head Coach Michelle Clark-Heard with the Sun Belt Conference trophy Wednesday
Credit Emil Moffatt

The WKU women’s basketball team has made a habit of coming back in games this season.

A big rally last week against Arkansas State in the Sun Belt Conference championship propelled them to an NCAA tournament appearance on Saturday.  The Lady Toppers will travel to Waco, Texas to face No. 2 seed Baylor.  WKU head coach Michelle Clark-Heard says her team can’t afford to fall behind against the Lady Bears.

“They can put up numbers fast,” said Clark-Heard.  “If you can’t withstand that first four minutes, it’s going to be crucial for us.  It becomes very crucial that we continue to have the confidence that we had. It’s going to be a different atmosphere, but the floor is going to be the same length and the rim is going to be the same height.”

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4:10 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Judge Gives Kentucky Additional Time to Recognize Same-Sex Marriages Performed Elsewhere

A federal judge is giving Kentucky more time to officially recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states and countries.

The ruling Wednesday comes just two days before gay couples would have been allowed to change their names on official identifications and documents and obtain the benefits of any married couple in Kentucky.

U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn in a four-page order said it is best that momentous changes in the law happen after full review, rather than running the risk of premature implementation or confusing the issues.

Heyburn's order is similar to orders granting same-sex marriage recognition rights but putting implementation on hold in Texas, Utah, Virginia and other states.

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Arts & Culture
3:47 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Bluegrass Musician Buried in Unmarked Somerset Grave to Get Proper Marker, Ceremony

Leonard Rutherford (left) and Dick Burnett. It was recently discovered that Rutherford was buried in an unmarked cemetery in Somerset.
Credit Kentucky Explorer

A bluegrass musician buried in an unmarked grave in Somerset is going to receive a proper grave marker this weekend.

Leonard Rutherford was a popular bluegrass artist in the 1920s, 30s, and 40s, and performed as part of the Burnett-Rutherford Duo.

But Rutherford fell on hard times and was found dead along a Somerset road in 1951 at the age of 53.

Somerset Cemetery manager Tricia Neal says Rutherford's grave site was only recently identified when a local historian began asking about the long-forgotten musician.

"I started looking and I couldn't find him anywhere,” Neal told WKU Public Radio. “And I ended up just finding a penciled-in name on the back of an old index card. It had a note where he had been buried in this grave, and I went out to the cemetery and found it."

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9:13 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Head of Bankrupt Kentucky Oil Company Enters Guilty Plea

The CEO of a bankrupt southern Kentucky oil company is scheduled for sentencing in July after pleading guilty to scamming investors into giving him money for three oil partnerships in Kentucky and Tennessee.

Young Oil executive Anthony L. Young of Knob Lick entered the plea Tuesday in federal court in Bowling Green.

Young told a judge that from November 2007 through December 2008, he fraudulently solicited investments through his company, Young Oil Corp., and took the majority of the money for personal and other uses.

Young also pleaded guilty to failing to file income taxes in 2005 and 2006 and having someone make a false statement on a federal form to purchase a pistol for him in 2010.

The sentencing hearing is set for July 17 in Louisville.

4:44 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Bill To Give Incentives To Coal Industry Advances From House Committee

Rep. Rocky Adkins (left) and House Speaker Greg Stumbo earlier pictured earlier in the 2014 General Assembly
Credit Kentucky LRC

A state House panel has unanimously approved a bill to provide tax incentives to the ailing coal industry.

House Majority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins says his bill will permit tax breaks on machinery and manufacturing for coal-related companies. The Democrat says the breaks are similar to incentives enjoyed by car manufacturing plants in the state and reduce economic strain on the industry.

“Those are everything from sales tax credits on the materials, pieces and parts it takes to build an assembly line, or put the pieces and parts in whatever operation or manufacturer or industrial complex that it may be, whether it be at AK Steel in the Ashland area, whether it be at Toyota or Ford.  That’s going on at Toyota and Ford as we speak,” said Adkins.

According to the New York Times, Kentucky gave nearly $570 million in incentives to the coal industry in 2012 alone.

Last year, coal jobs in Kentucky reached their lowest point since 1927, with over 2,300 jobs lost in 2013.

The bill now heads to the House floor.

4:42 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Tennessee Governor Appeals Same-Sex Marriage Order

Tennessee's governor is asking a federal judge to put her ruling requiring the state to recognize the marriages of three same-sex couples on hold while a higher court weighs in on the case.

Gov. Bill Haslam and state Attorney General Robert Cooper on Tuesday filed a motion saying overturning the law without an appeals court reviewing the case "frustrates the will of the people of Tennessee." Haslam and Cooper say leaving the status quo in place pending an appeals court decision would not harm the three couples who sued for recognition.

U.S. District Judge Aleta Trauger on Friday ordered the state to recognize the unions of the couples, who were married in other states.

Trauger made clear that her order is temporary and applies only to the three couples.

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1:30 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Former Central Kentucky Pain Clinic Owner Sentenced

The former owner of two Kentucky pain clinics that illegally dispensed prescription drugs to thousands of patients was sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Lexington.

U.S. District Judge Karen Caldwell ordered Ernest William Singleton to serve 20 years in prison, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorneys Office for the Eastern District of Kentucky.

Singleton and his corporations, which owned Central Kentucky Bariatric and Pain Management, Central Kentucky Family Pharmacy of Georgetown, and the Grant County Wellness Center in Dry Ridge, were convicted by a federal jury last summer. 

According to evidence presented at trial, doctors at the clinics prescribed large quantities of Oxycodone and Diazepam. 

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11:24 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Grand Jury Indicts Former KSP Trooper, Brandenburg Police Officer

Two former police officers have been indicted on charges related to an alleged relationship with a teenage girl.

The News-Enterprise reports the panel in Meade County handed down indictments on Monday against former Kentucky State Police Trooper Stratford Young and former Brandenburg police officer Todd Matti.

Young is charged with third-degree rape and third-degree sodomy. Matti is charged with third-degree sodomy.

Attorneys for the men entered not guilty pleas on their behalf.

Robert Schaefer, the attorney for Matti, said he was "very disappointed" in the indictment and his client "looks forward to the opportunity to present his side and restore his good name."

Young's attorney, Kenton Smith, declined to comment on the charges.