News Around the State

Published 9:58 am Monday, July 23, 2018

2 tornadoes confirmed in Ky.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The National Weather Service has confirmed two tornadoes during severe storms in Kentucky that toppled trees and power lines.

The weather service in Louisville says storms on Friday produced an EF-1 tornado in Hart County and an EF-0 tornado in Metcalfe County. In addition to strong winds, there were multiple reports of hail, ranging from the size of quarters in Louisville to the size of softballs in Tompkinsville.

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News outlets reported that power companies were still working Sunday to restore service to more than 20,000 customers who lost power in the storms. Kentucky Utilities spokesman Daniel Lowry told news outlets crews hoped to have service restored by Tuesday.

Homeless shelter to require, provide Hepatitis A vaccine

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky homeless shelter is going to start requiring that patrons be immunized against Hepatitis A before staying.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reported that Catholic Action Center co-founder Ginny Ramsey says the shelter will offer free Hepatitis A vaccines for those who don’t have health insurance. The Lexington shelter will start enforcing the requirement Aug. 6.

Ramsey says the requirement was approved this month after organizers learned a local homeless person had tested positive for Hepatitis A. Ramsey says the illness spread rapidly throughout another city’s homeless population, and she didn’t want that happen again.

Polly Ruddick is the director of Lexington’s Office of Homeless Intervention and Prevention. Ruddick says the shelter receives no city or state money and will be the only Lexington shelter to require the immunization.

Basketball ‘escort queen’ indicted on forged checks charges

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A woman who declared herself the “escort queen” of a sex scandal involving the University of Louisville’s basketball team has been indicted on theft charges.

The Courier Journal reports Katina Powell was indicted by a grand jury Thursday of criminal possession of a forged instrument and theft by deception.

An arrest citation says Powell is accused of stealing blank checks in April totaling $2,900 and attempting to cash them at a liquor store. The citation says the checks were stolen from Thomas Tyre, who has said he wanted the case dropped.

Powell called herself the “escort queen” in a book. Powell allegedly provided women to have sex with Louisville basketball players and recruits between 2010 and 2014. The scandal led the NCAA to revoke the Cardinals’ 2013 men’s basketball championship.

Event to offer details about Ky. scholarship program

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky education officials say high schools students, parents and school employees are among those invited to join a Facebook Live event this week to learn about the Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship.

The state Department of Education says the event will be at 1 p.m. EDT on Tuesday.

Department officials say a panel will discuss the scholarship, including eligibility, how to apply and what it covers.

People interested can visit to watch the live stream and submit questions.

Gov. Matt Bevin recently signed an executive order expanding the scholarship to eligible students enrolled in certificate, diploma and associate of applied science degrees in one of the state’s top five high-demand workforce sectors. Those sectors are advanced manufacturing, business and IT, construction trades, health care and transportation and logistics.

Probe: Ex-officer called black teen ‘wild animal’ in post

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Records released by a Kentucky police department show a former officer had been suspended for calling a black teen a “wild animal that needs to be put down.”

WDRB-TV obtained documents from the Louisville Metro Police Department’s internal investigation into Brian Smith. According to the documents, Chief Steven Conrad in January planned to fire Smith for three Facebook posts that “advocate violence against others” and “fostered mistrust of the police.” But 10 days later, he said a 30-day suspension without pay would be sufficient. Police say Smith ultimately resigned in April.

Smith was investigated after a complaint that his Facebook page demonstrated “deep-seated bias against minority communities.” Another post said someone should beat Madonna “half to death” with a microphone for studying the Quran.

The complaint was brought by an attorney representing the children of Darnell Wicker in a wrongful death lawsuit against the city and police. Smith and the other involved officers were exonerated in the shooting, and Smith was dropped as a defendant.

Smith was also suspended without pay for 25 days in 2009 for sending inappropriate text messages to his ex-girlfriend’s minor daughter.

Grimes appoints new assistant secretary of state in Ky.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes says she has selected attorney Erica Galyon to serve as assistant secretary of state and chief of staff for the office.

Galyon’s appointment takes effect Aug. 1.

She has served as associate general counsel at Farm Credit Mid-America, an agricultural lending cooperative based in Louisville. She was formerly senior vice president and general counsel at Farmers Capital Bank Corp. and associate attorney at Stites & Harbison.

Meanwhile, Grimes’ office says Lindsay Hughes Thurston will assume the role of senior adviser to the secretary and general counsel. She is the current assistant secretary of state. Thurston, a former federal prosecutor, has served in the office since the beginning of Grimes’ tenure.

With conviction set aside, man seeks dismissal of case

RUSSELLVILLE, Ky. (AP) — An attorney is asking a judge to dismiss a case against a man whose conviction in a fire that killed his young son was set aside.

The Daily News reports a hearing has been set in Logan Circuit Court on Sept. 4 in the case of Robert Yell.

A judge ruled in 2016 to set aside Yell’s conviction on charges of manslaughter, arson and other counts in connection to the 2004 fire in Russellville. His 2-year-old son, Cameron Yell, died of smoke inhalation.

Logan Circuit Judge Tyler Gill ruled the jury’s verdict was based on faulty testimony. He said prosecution witnesses used investigative methods that are now considered outdated and unreliable.

Attorney Amy Robinson Staples argued in a motion filed last month that no new evidence connecting Yell to the fire has emerged.