Cincinnati lawyer Stan Chesley, who already faces the potential loss of his law license, took another hit Thursday when Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine barred him from representing the state in a major case. A DeWine spokeswoman said Chesley would no longer be permitted to oversee the state's class action lawsuit against mortgage giant Fannie Mae. The decision comes two days after the Kentucky Bar Association's board of governors recommended that Chesley should be permanently disbarred in the state for his role in the settlement of the fen-phen diet drug case.
The Goin’ Back to Harlan Bluegrass Committee will host their sixth annual Goin’ Back to Harlan Bluegrass Music Festival June 23-25, at the Harlan campus of Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College. “We have an outstanding lineup of bands this year,” said committee member Jerry Haynes. “There’s fiddles, banjos, guitars, mandolins, basses and dobros and then there’s singing — everybody’s doing it and most are really good.”
Emily Greenwell leapt around the colorful carpet as if she was riding a ferocious tiger. Although there was nothing except air beneath her legs, the 10-year-old's imagination revealed another story to all those who were watching. "I like to sing, do plays, dance and all the theatrical stuff," Greenwell said. "My mom says I'm a drama queen."
For the first time in more than two years, Kentucky's unemployment rate fell below 10 percent. The measure dropped to 9.8 percent in May from 10 percent in April. However, a different measure of the state's employment continued to show weakness: The state lost 6,000 non-farm jobs during the month. The state's unemployment rate of 9.8 percent matched the rate in February 2009, the most recent time Kentucky's rate was below 10 percent. The state continued to lag behind the national rate, which was 9.1 percent in May, up from 9 percent in April.
A day after his Republican opponent charged he lacked the courage to do so, Democratic Governor Steve Beshear has issued a statement calling for the two Iraqi nationals facing terrorism charges to be sent out of Kentucky. On Wednesday, state Senate President David Williams challenged Beshear and House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, to join him and U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky,, who initially demanded Waad Ramadan Alwan and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi be sent to the controversial military base to be tried as enemy combatants.
Advocates for protection for gay Kentuckians say a recent incident in Hazard further underscores the need for updated civil rights laws. Two gay men, who are also developmentally challenged, were with the group Mending Hearts at the public pool in the Hazard Pavilion. One man reportedly sat on the other’s knee and put his arm around his partner. They were then told to leave. Mending Hearts representatives say workers told them gay people weren’t allowed to swim in the pool. Others say the two were kicked out for violating the policy against public displays of affection.
Attendees of this morning’s premiere of the short movie Building Bridges with Benny Breeze were asked to sign an oath saying they would listen to all sides of the debate over the Ohio River Bridges Project and be respectful of anyone with differing opinions. At the end of the movie, the star—Chris Saunders playing Benny Breeze—faced the camera and told the dozen people who signed the oath and stayed for the show that they were either for progress (meaning they were in favor of the bridges project) or against it. And if they were against it, they should “get the f*** out of this region.”
The Red Cross says a restructuring of its blood services division won’t have much of a local impact. The agency announced this week that 400 to 500 jobs will be cut nationwide under the plan. It says a drop in monetary donations and rising costs forced the restructuring. “Locally the impact of the restructuring has been minimal. Three positions in the River Valley Region were affected by restructuring,” said Katy Maloy,spokeswoman for the Red Cross River Valley Blood Services Region, which includes the Louisville area and parts of Indiana and Illinois.
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear is selling surplus state property again. This time it's a vacant lot in Frankfort. Since taking office in 2007, Gov. Beshear says his administration has generated nearly $7.5 million through surplus real estate sales. Included in that figure is nearly $79,000 Beshear says the state got for a vacant, two-acre industrial lot in Frankfort.
The head of Louisville's Sewer District says the fish kill on the Ohio River last night may have resulted from an algae bloom, rather than a chemical spill as was previously reported. The sheen on the Ohio River was noticed south of Rubbertown by cameras at Dow Chemical’s plant, and about 20 Asian Carp were found dead. It was initially thought to be a chemical release from somewhere upriver, but water sampling by three separate entities was negative.
Several colleagues of Officer Bryan Durman, the Lexington police officer killed in the line of duty last year, took the witness stand Thursday. It marked day two of testimony in the Glenn Doneghy murder trial. When Durman requested backup to assist with his call on a noise complaint the night of April 29, 2010, Officer Teri Gover (GOH'-ver) responded. By the time she arrived on the scene, she discovered Durman had been struck in a hit and run crash.
An unknown chemical leaked into the Ohio River last night, killing several fish. But water samples taken since then show no sign of any contamination. A sheen was noticed on the river’s surface by cameras at Dow Chemical’s plant, south of Rubbertown. The Lake Dreamland Fire Department first responded to the call and alerted the Coast Guard and Health Department.
Two Finchville residents are up on federal charges of embezzling nearly half a million dollars in employee benefits from a company they owned in Shelbyville. Officials from the Office of the United States Attorney say that William Kiser, 73, and Mary Sue Kiser, 70, owners of the now-closed Irotas Manufacturing Company in Shelbyville, were indicted Thursday in federal court for conspiring to defraud the United States and embezzling from an employee benefit fund.
Surrounded by urine specimens, chemicals and lab equipment, Martha Martinez works out of a small room in a Cave City doctor’s office to help health care providers sort through the people who truly need narcotic pain and other medications and the people who are simply looking for the next high. Martinez, who works for Russell Springs-based Nexus Labs, rents space from Dr. Todd Williams, a Nexus devotee since September.
The U.S. Department of Justice released a statement this morning challenging a call by U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to send the two Bowling Green men arrested on terrorism charges to the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, instead of trying the men in federal court. “We are prosecuting these two alleged terrorists in federal court because it is the most proven method for keeping our country safe,” the Department of Justice statement said.
Most people have at least a notion of the things they want to see, do and experience before they die, aka their "bucket list": Climb a mountain, fall in love, see the Grand Canyon. But how should that list be tailored to Kentuckians? The Weekender/LexGo Central, has come up with "Kentucky's Bucket List," inspired by Parade magazine's recent cover story on "America's Bucket List." What are the things every Kentuckian should do, see or experience while living in our beautiful, often misunderstood state? What are the cultural touchstones that make Kentucky what it is and that would be a shame not to experience? What things go deep into the Kentucky experience? And how many of them can you accomplish this summer, which officially starts Tuesday? Here's our list of 50 experiences, in no particular order, compiled from suggestions offered by readers and staff members.
LexTran unveiled seven energy-efficient new buses Wednesday. Two operate on hybrid electric technology, and the five others run on diesel-powered engines that adhere to the 2010 Clean Air Act, featuring an additional air scrubber that produces cleaner exhaust emissons. Jill Barnett, spokeswoman for Lexington's public transportation agency, said the new buses were part of LexTran's efforts to "go green," coupled with the agency's need for new buses. There are more than 70 buses in the fleet. A bus lasts about 12 years, Barnett said. The money for the buses came from a $2.94 million 2009 earmark from U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell.
The beach at Lake Barkley State Resort Park continues to be closed because of the presence of too much e. coli bacteria in the water, said Park Manager John Jordan. As required by health codes, the Health Department checks the water for bacteria every Wednesday, with the results published every Friday, and last week they found at least 240 percent of the threshold to close the beaches, Jordan said.
The former executive director of the Kentucky Pharmacists Association has been indicted by the Franklin County Grand Jury on charges of embezzling $78,000 from the agency. Gary Hall, 39 of Lexington, was indicted Wednesday on three counts of theft by deception over $500 and three counts of theft by deception over $10,000.
Many Americans Thursday left their car keys, and their cars, at home and took advantage of public transportation. It’s national “Dump the Pump Day.” Its purpose is to show commuters there are alternatives to driving and high gas prices. Melissa Gross with Richmond Transit says ridership on the four year-old bus system continues to pick up.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky questions a proposed hospital merger announced this week. The partnership involves University of Louisville Hospital, Jewish Hospital and Lexington’s Saint Joseph Health System. Catholic Health Initiatives is giving $320 million to support the new network. A Health Initiative spokesman says the system will not provide reproductive health services that are inconsistent with the church’s ethical and religious directives.
Wednesday, the Northern Kentucky Health Department sent out the following release about the number shigella cases reported in Northern Kentucky. So far there have been confirmed closures of Taylor Mill Swim Club and the Florence Aquatic Center. For more information on the outbreak of shigella contact the health department at www.nkyhealth.org
The Kentucky Supreme Court will have the final say on whether former Boone Circuit Judge Joseph "Jay" Bamberger will be permanently disbarred. Bamberger presided over the scandalous fen-phen settlement that has already destroyed the legal careers of at least three lawyers, and chased him from the bench.
A federal judge has announced that he will sanction lawyer and radio personality Eric Deters for filing a lawsuit in January against Kentucky Supreme Court Chief Justice John Minton Jr. and the state bar association. U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves will hold a hearing July 13 in Frankfort to determine the appropriate sanction for filing the suit, which was later withdrawn. The order said the sanction may take the form of something other than a monetary fine but didn’t specify what that might be.
The Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency faced the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works today to discuss the EPA’s proposed air rules. Lisa Jackson also talked about the new air standards’ impact on public health. In March, after a 20-year political and legal battle, the EPA proposed its first-ever national standards for regulating mercury and other air pollution from power plants. Jackson told the committee that when power plants have to comply with the new standards, it’ll have an incredible effect on Americans’ health.
Tuesday night, the Berea City Council held the second and final public hearing on an ordinance that would protect gay and transgender individuals from discrimination. After hearing public opinion, the council will decide on Monday whether or not it will take a vote on the ordinance. The Louisville-based Fairness Campaign has been working for months to see the measure passed. Chris Hartman is the group’s director.
Time Warner Cable has agreed to buy New Wave Communication operations in western Kentucky and northwestern Tennessee. The 260 million dollar deal will transfer more than 70,000 customers to Time Warner. Company spokesman Alex Dudley says the only difference customers will notice at first will be sign changes. Dudley says service upgrades could come later, though he says Time Warner is happy with the current quality of the network. Dudley couldn’t comment on future employment shifts. He says none are planned for the short term. Dudley says the deal will close later this year.
A murder trial is underway in the death of a Lexington police officer. Glenn Doneghy,34, is accused of deliberately hitting police officer Bryan Durman in April of Last year. Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Lori Boling delivered an opening statement Tuesday for the prosecution. "After we present all of the evidence to you in this case, you will see that we have proven to you beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was driving his car the night Officer Durman was struck and killed."
BOWLING GREEN – During the May 2011 summer term, Dr. Josh Durkee, Dr. Grady Dixon and eight meteorology students from Western Kentucky University traveled more than 7,200 miles across 12 states for another season of forecasting and verifying severe weather across the Great Plains. As with the previous year, the group was quite successful in its mission.