News Around the State

Published 3:46 pm Friday, August 3, 2018

Bevin taps parents of 10 to reform child welfare

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Half a year after terminating Kentucky’s “adoption czar,” Gov. Matt Bevin has selected a couple with 10 children to help improve the state’s overwhelmed child welfare system.

The Lexington Herald-Leader cites a Wednesday release from the governor’s office that says Chris and Alicia Johnson will become special advisers in the Governor’s Office of Faith and Community Based Initiatives.

Bevin spokeswoman Elizabeth Kuhn says the office was created in 2005, and has no budget. She declined to say how much the Johnsons would be paid, but said their expenses will be covered by an agreement with the Cabinet for Health and Family Service.

The details of the Johnsons’ contract and their duties have not been released.

The couple has adopted seven children and fostered more than 40.

Lexington launching program to help homeless get IDs

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — A new program to help homeless people in Kentucky get official identification cards is launching next week.

Lexington officials said in a statement that they are partnering with the Fayette Circuit Court Clerk’s office to start the Homeless ID Assistance Program on Monday. The statement says the program is the first of its kind in Kentucky.

Lexington Office of Homelessness Prevention and Intervention Director Polly Ruddick says that without an ID, it’s nearly impossible for people to open banks accounts or find jobs and housing. To get an official ID, participants must take their Social Security card, a birth certificate and a letter certifying they are homeless to the clerk’s office, which will supply an ID. The city is picking up the cost.

WWE wrestler known as Kane wins mayor’s race in Tenn.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A former WWE wrestler known as Kane has won a “no-holds-barred, last-man-standing” round, this time in the political ring.

Glenn Jacobs went by Kane in the WWE. Now the 6-foot-8, 300-pound Republican has the title of Knox County Mayor.

Jacobs runs an insurance and real estate company and was leading Democrat Linda Haney by a large margin with most of the votes counted on Thursday. The Knoxville News Sentinel reports Jacobs claimed victory at his watch party. He said some politicians responded with “pretty resounding laughter” when he announced his decision to seek the top job in Tennessee’s third-largest county.

Jacobs said he doesn’t normally use wrestling analogies for campaigning.

“But this professional wrestler got into a no-holds-barred, last-man-standing match, and when the bell rung, he was victorious,” he said. “We were victorious.”

Jacobs won a close primary in May. Those results were delayed when the county’s election-reporting website crashed after a concerted cyberattack that experts deemed “malicious.”

Haney ran small businesses with her husband before she retired, and was considered an underdog in the solidly Republican county.

Ball State keeping name of Papa John’s founder on program

MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) — The Indiana alma mater of the founder of Papa John’s says it will keep his name on a school business program despite controversy over his use of a racial slur last month.

Ball State University’s trustees chairman said Friday it accepted John Schnatter’s apology and will continue its support of the John H. Schnatter Institute for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise.

Schnatter is a 1983 Ball State graduate. The center was created in 2016 after he and the Charles Koch Foundation gave Ball State $3.25 million.

Ball State trustees chairman Rick Hall says Schnatter’s actions wasn’t derogatory, but was improper.

The University of Louisville is removing Schnatter’s name from a similar program, while Purdue University officials have been considering what to do with an economic research center named for him.

State AG hosting sexual assault kit training

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear is co-hosting a national workshop on helping law enforcement handle of sexual assault forensic kits that have not been submitted for testing.

The two-day training session in Louisville on Monday and Tuesday will include the participation of 20 states. A release from the Attorney General’s office says the focus will be on ensuring sexual assault evidence is tested and the cases are investigated and prosecuted.

Beshear’s office established its sexual assault cold case unit with a $3 million grant from the U.S Department of Justice.

The AG’s sexual assault cold case unit is hosting the event alongside the SAKI Training and Technical Assistance Team.

Several states are participating in the training sessions, including Virginia and West Virginia.