News in Brief

Published 12:01 pm Thursday, December 21, 2017

Special election to fill vacancy after lawmaker’s suicide

FRANKFOR (AP) — A special election has been scheduled to fill a Kentucky legislative seat that was held by a lawmaker who killed himself following sexual assault allegations.

Gov. Matt Bevin on Thursday set a Feb. 20 special election to find a replacement for Republican Dan Johnson, whose body was found last week with what a coroner said was a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Johnson was in his first term representing a House district south of Louisville.

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One Republican candidate and one Democratic candidate can be on the special election ballot. The nominees are chosen by their respective political parties.

Johnson’s wife, Rebecca, has said she wants to replace him in the Legislature. Dan Johnson died a day after denying a teenage girl’s claims that he sexually assaulted her in 2013.

Ex-banker pleads guilty to taking funds from bank

ASHLAND (AP) — A former Kentucky bank executive has admitted to taking $1.4 million from Town Square Bank by processing loans to fake customers.

The Independent reports that Martin Ross, who was a senior vice president at the bank, pleaded guilty Monday. He admitted in a federal court plea bargain to creating a scheme, in which he crafted detailed identities.

Court records show he invented several fictitious customers and issued loans ranging from more than $45,000 to more than $240,000 between February 2007 and August 2017. Those loans represent accounts where a balance remains.

Ross’ attorney, David Mussetter, says it’s a case that didn’t involve customer funds. Mussetter says Ross’ scheme started as a “bad decision” to take out the initial loan, and spiraled out of control.

Ross is scheduled to be sentenced in April.

University of Louisville hires administrator from Washington

LOUISVILLE (AP) — A university administrator from Washington state has been hired as chief operating officer for the University of Louisville.

U of L announced Wednesday that Joseph K. Han will succeed Harlan Sands, pending board of trustees approval in March. Sands left U of L in January.

Han is vice president of operations at Central Washington University, where he’s responsible for information services and security, institutional effectiveness, facilities management, environmental health and safety, and police and parking services.

Han has 27 years of experience in higher education leadership and operations. He said in a news release from U of L that he looks forward to building a process to achieve goals to support three campuses.

Ky. parks taking registration for photo scavenger hunt

FRANKFORT (AP) — The Kentucky parks department is taking registrations for its 2018 Family Adventure Quest.

A statement from the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet says Kentucky State Parks will begin sending booklets containing 26 challenges for the digital photo scavenger hunt on Jan. 15. The challenges include games and historical photo re-creations.

It will be the 13th year the parks department has offered the adventure quest. Last year, 438 teams snapped photos in parks while finding objects and buildings to fulfill their quests and complete their booklets.

Teams can register online now or pick up mail-in registration at any state park beginning in February. Prizes are awarded depending on the number of challenges completed.

Racing museum launches live video feeds of foaling process

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (AP) — The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in New York has launched a new video project aimed at attracting new fans to thoroughbred racing and offering enthusiasts a rare look behind the scenes.

Foal Patrol is a collection of live web cameras with real-time streams of in-foal mares during their pregnancies. Five live feeds began Tuesday and can be accessed daily from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The cameras are at three locations in Kentucky — Claiborne Farm, Three Chimneys Farm and Shawnee Farm — and two in New York — Edition Farm and Old Tavern Farm.

Three additional mares are scheduled to be added in March — at Double Diamond Farm in Florida and at Gainesway Farm and Chanteclair Farm in Kentucky.

Business dean chosen as University of Kentucky’s new provost

LEXINGTON (AP) — The University of Kentucky’s president has selected one of the school’s deans to become the top academic officer on the Lexington campus.

UK President Eli Capilouto says his choice for the school’s next provost is the dean of the Gatton College of Business and Economics.

Capilouto said Tuesday that David Blackwell will begin his duties as provost on Jan. 8. The Gatton College has undergone a transformation while Blackwell served as its dean since 2012.

Most recently, Blackwell led fundraising toward a $65 million expansion and renovation of the Gatton College facility. UK says the initiative was funded completely with private dollars. During Blackwell’s tenure, Gatton’s enrollment grew by 36 percent to more than 4,200 students.

Blackwell replaces Tim Tracy, who is leaving to head a pharmaceutical company in Cincinnati.

Police investigate deaths of 2 at western Ky. home

HARDINSBURG (AP) — Police say they are investigating the deaths of two people at a residence in western Kentucky.

Breckinridge County Sheriff Todd Pate told WAVE-TV that a shooting was reported early Wednesday at the home.

Kentucky State Police confirmed in a statement that they are conducting a death investigation involving two people. No further information was immediately released.

Man, woman found dead in residence; police investigating

BOONEVILLE (AP) — Kentucky State Police say they are investigating the deaths of two people who detectives think died in some sort of altercation.

A statement from Trooper Robert Purdy says the Owsley County Sheriff called state police Tuesday evening after finding the man and woman dead in a residence in the Lerose community of Owsley County. He said 39-year-old Krista Noble and 50-year-old Michael Little were pronounced dead at the scene by the coroner and taken to the state medical examiner’s office for autopsies. Purdy said their causes of death aren’t being released due to the ongoing investigation.

Police are asking anyone with information about the deaths to call the Richmond state police post.