News Around the State

Published 11:51 am Monday, August 6, 2018

Records: Ky. malpractice review panel backlogged

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky panel established to review medical malpractice claims before lawsuits can be filed is severely backlogged.

The Courier Journal obtained records through the Kentucky Open Records act that show only 11 percent of 531 claims had been assigned in the Medical Review Panel Act’s first year on the books. Findings have been issued in just 3 percent of cases, with another 5 percent withdrawn, settled or dismissed.

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The Republican-backed law was aimed at cutting frivolous litigation and the cost of liability insurance for providers.

Kentucky Hospital Association General Counsel Brian Brezosky says a ruling that struck down the act as unconstitutional might be affecting the panel’s effectiveness. The Court of Appeals has allowed the law to go into effect while the state Supreme Court decides whether it is legal.

State GOP fundraiser featuring NRA leader draws protest

MURRAY, Ky. (AP) — Protesters shouted “shame” as people entered a Republican fundraiser featuring a National Rifle Association leader months after a shooting at a nearby Kentucky high school left two students dead and several others injured.

News media outlets report that inside the Friday event, incoming NRA President Oliver North received a standing ovation from about 300 people. North largely avoided the gun debate, focusing on topics like patriotism and freedom.

North was midway through his speech before he mentioned Marshall County High School, where the shooting occurred. He said the best way to avoid the “murder, the mayhem, the madness” students experienced was better school safety.

About 100 people gathered outside to protest gun violence.

A student is charged with murder and aggravated assault in the Jan. 23 school shooting.

Police putting up signs to discourage giving to panhandlers

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. (AP) — A police department in central Kentucky is advising motorists to stop giving money to panhandlers.

Elizabethtown Police Department spokesman John Thomas told news outlets that the agency has partnered with the United Way of Central Kentucky to put up signs dissuading people from giving to panhandlers. These signs include a website, , where people can get information on better ways to give to charity.

Thomas said the initiative stems from complaints about panhandlers. He said the city has seen an increase in panhandling since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that ordinances prohibiting the activity are unconstitutional.

The department plans to put up six signs around the city over the next few weeks.

National Corvette Museum looks to diversify collection

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) — The curator of the National Corvette Museum wants to expand its collection beyond the titular car in order to better tell its story.

Derek Moore tells the Bowling Green Daily News the museum has done “a good job telling the Corvette-centric story” since opening in 1994, but it’s time to delve into the impact America’s sports car has had.

Moore has put out a call for donations of classic automobiles like 1950s-era Ford Thunderbirds and early American sports cars like the Stutz Bearcat and the Nash-Healey. He says these non-Corvettes have played a role in the evolution of the Corvette by providing competition.

He’s also looking for other models manufactured at the Corvette plant in Bowling Green, like the Cadillac XLR.

The museum typically has around 80 cars on display.

New distillery to launch public tours this week

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A new distillery in Kentucky’s largest city is opening its doors for public tours starting this week.

Rabbit Hole Distillery in downtown Louisville says tours will begin Wednesday. The distillery had its grand opening in May.

Distillery officials say guests will be greeted with a taste of Rabbit Hole’s signature bourbon at the start of each tour.

Visitors then will get a close look at the distillation process. Tours will end in Rabbit Hole’s tasting and cocktail bar, where the tasting includes all of Rabbit Hole’s spirits offerings. The tours also offer views of Louisville’s skyline.

Tours are offered Wednesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The tour price is $23.

Former Louisville basketball player faces drug, gun charges

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Chane Behanan, a member of Louisville’s 2013 men’s basketball national championship team, has been arrested on charges of possessing marijuana and receiving a stolen gun.

The 25-year-old Behanan was arrested Saturday night with three other men following a traffic stop.

Louisville police spokesman Dwight Mitchell says officers smelled marijuana in the vehicle and noticed drug residue on Behanan’s lap in the back seat. Mitchell says a stolen AK-47-style rifle was found next to him.

Behanan is jailed pending an arraignment scheduled for Monday.

The 6-foot-6, 220-pound forward was a key player in Louisville’s title run. Then-Cardinals coach Rick Pitino dismissed Behanan from the team the next season for a violation of team rules.

The NCAA vacated the championship in February as part of sanctions resulting from a sex scandal.

Man shot by police trying to serve warrant takes plea deal

PADUCAH, Ky. (AP) — A man has accepted a plea deal after Kentucky authorities who were trying to serve a warrant shot him numerous times while he was holding a pellet gun.

The Paducah Sun reports 32-year-old Thomas Myers entered an Alford plea Thursday, as he maintained his innocence but recognized the evidence against him for wanton endangerment. The deal offered him a one-year sentence with recommended probation.

Kentucky State Police say authorities trying to serve a mail-theft warrant found Myers in the basement of his girlfriend’s house in November. Police say he was holding a pellet gun, prompting authorities to shoot him about a dozen times. Authorities say the pellet gun didn’t have an orange tip used to denote a toy weapon.

Myers’ defense attorney, Dennie Leach, says Myers was shot while attempting to drop the pellet gun.