News Around the State

Published 10:39 am Thursday, June 7, 2018

Ky. pension battle heads to court

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky’s governor and attorney general are preparing to battle in court over the legality of a new pension law.

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin signed the law earlier this year. It moves all new teacher hires into a hybrid pension system. And it changes how teachers can use their sick days to calculate their retirement benefits.

Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear sued to block the bill. Thursday, lawyers for the two sides are scheduled to argue the case before Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd.

Bevin has tried to have Shepherd removed from the case. He says Shepherd has a conflict because he is a member of one of the state’s retirement systems. But Kentucky Chief Justice John Minton denied Bevin’s request on Wednesday.

District where 2 died adds officers, bans backpacks

BENTON, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky district where two students were killed and 21 others were hurt in a school shooting will add police officers, install metal detectors and ban backpacks at middle and high schools.

News outlets report a district safety committee approved the measures Monday in response to the Jan. 23 shooting at Marshall County High School, where 14 students were wounded by gunfire and seven others were injured trying to flee a crowded common area. Authorities have charged a 15-year-old boy with murder and assault.

The new security measures will include walk-through metal detectors at all entrances of the high school and both middle schools, and increasing the number of school resource officers from one to five. Under the new procedures, elementary students will still be allowed to use backpacks, but only if they are made of see-through material.

In a message to parents, Marshall County Superintendent Trent Lovett said he hopes the measures being implemented at the beginning of the 2018-19 school year will enable students to feel more secure.

“We just want to make the schools as safe as we possibly can,” Lovett said. “I wish we could guarantee something like that will never happen again but I can’t do it. We want these students to feel safe and we are doing everything we can to ensure that.”

Some adults in the community weren’t impressed.

“Any semi-smart person, especially a mentally disturbed one, can bypass these measures,” said Dave Watson, an advocate of arming teachers who sells military and law enforcement equipment in the county, in a Facebook post. “Also, lines waiting for security checks are a ‘target rich environment’ that falls outside the security cordon. All they are doing is moving the shooting location to outside the front door.”

Coroner: 6-year-old dies of self-inflicted gunshot

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. (AP) — A coroner says a 6-year-old Kentucky boy died of an accidental, self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Hardin County Coroner William Lee told The News-Enterprise said Malachi Fryer was hit with a single shot to the head inside his home Tuesday. An autopsy was performed Wednesday in Louisville.

Hardin County Sheriff John Ward said the child and his mother were at home when 30-year-old Jacory Williams of Radcliff arrived around 4 a.m. with a bag containing a video game system and a handgun. Ward said the child woke, grabbed the handgun, went into his bedroom and pulled the trigger.

Williams was arrested Tuesday and charged with possession of a handgun by a convicted felon. He was in jail Wednesday, and online records didn’t list an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

Kentucky State Police charge man in death of jail inmate

PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky State Police have charged a 23-year-old man with murder in the death of a jail inmate.

Police said in a news release that Scottie L. Gibson of Prestonsburg was charged Wednesday.

The release said 29-year-old Adam Potter died Tuesday after being transferred from the Floyd County Detention Center to a nearby hospital. Police said they were told the inmate had been injured in a possible altercation.

Cause of death was pending results of an autopsy.

Hemp events planned at 2 Kentucky State Park historic sites

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Hemp plots are growing at two Kentucky State Park historic sites where the plant was once the leading crop.

State officials say the 10-foot-by-10-foot (3-meter) plots are at White Hall State Historic Site near Richmond and Waveland State Historic Site in Lexington.

They’re part of a pilot program being featured for Hemp History Week. The two estates grew hemp before the Civil War when it was used to make rope, fabrics and other products.

The two parks are planning kick-off events related to the hemp plots.

White Hall State Historic Site will host “Hemp History Day” on Saturday. It will include talks on early hemp, demonstrations showing how hemp was processed and spun to make cloth and samples of modern hemp products.

Waveland State Historic Site will host its “Hemp Returns to Waveland” on Sunday.

Fees waived at Natural Arch on National Get Outdoors Day

WINCHESTER, Ky. (AP) — The Daniel Boone National Forest says it is waiving recreation fees at Natural Arch Scenic Area for one day.

The Forest Service says those who visit the arch on National Get Outdoors Day, which is Saturday, won’t have to pay a fee to use the area in McCreary County, Kentucky.

The main attraction is Natural Arch, a sandstone span that stretches nearly 100 feet (30 meters). The area also has an overlook where visitors have a panoramic view of the arch and surrounding forest. There are also picnic shelters, play areas and more than 6 miles (10 kilometers) of hiking trails.

National Get Outdoors Day was launched in 2008 and encourages adults and children to participate in healthy outdoor activities.

Widower sentenced to 12 years in killing of wife’s caregiver

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky man has been sentenced to 12 years in prison in the death of his late wife’s naturopathic caregiver, against whom he had filed a lawsuit.

The Bowling Green Daily News reports 36-year-old Omer Ahmetovic was sentenced Tuesday after a guilty plea to second-degree manslaughter and tampering with physical evidence charges in March. Ahmetovic shot 59-year-old Juan Sanchez Gonzalez in March 2017, soon after his wife, Fikreta Ibrisevic, died of cancer.

Gonzalez had treated Ibrisevic for several months in 2016, leading to a lawsuit in which the couple said Gonzalez dissuaded her from seeking chemotherapy.

Ahmetovic’s attorney, Alan Simpson, requested probation in a May 29 motion that asserted Gonzalez had molested Ibrisevic.

Prosecutor Chris Cohron said he had “a great deal of sympathy” but circumstances didn’t justify the killing.