News Around the State

Published 3:54 pm Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Ky. removes master’s degree requirement for teachers

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A requirement that teachers obtain master’s degrees has been removed by Kentucky officials.

News outlets report the state Education Professional Standards Board voted Monday to waive the condition for teachers to move from Rank III to Rank II. Teachers were required to earn Rank II through a board-approved master’s degree program in their first 10 years of teaching.

State Interim Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis says there isn’t evidence suggesting teachers having master’s degrees leads to increased effectiveness.

He says teachers should be able to choose when it’s appropriate to pursue master’s degrees. Officials believe teachers will still seek to ascend the ranks because incentives remain.

The Kentucky Education Association is against the board’s decision. The teachers union tells WKYT-TV in a statement that education for its own sake should be respected.

Election board affirms policy against posting write-in list

FRAKNFORT, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky State Board of Elections has voted to reaffirm its policy of not posting lists of write-in candidates in polling places.

Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear’s office issued an opinion last week saying posting a list of certified write-in candidates at polling places would not violate the state’s electioneering ban. If implemented, the rule would benefit at least six current or former teachers who are running write-in campaigns for the state legislature.

But Tuesday, the state Board of Elections opted not to change its longstanding policy. The board noted poll workers could distribute lists of certified write-in candidates to voters upon request.

Votes for write-in candidates don’t count unless candidates file a letter of intent with the county clerk or the secretary of state. The deadline is Oct. 26.

Trump nominates Ky. higher ed chief for education job

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — President Donald Trump has nominated the president of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education for a job in his administration.

The White House announced Tuesday that Trump has picked Bob King to be the new assistant secretary for postsecondary education at the Department of Education.

The council coordinates Kentucky’s public college and universities. King has been president since 2009. Before that, he was president and CEO of the Arizona Community Foundation and chancellor of the State University of New York system.

King had previously announced plans to retire in June. But the board asked him to stay on until they could find a replacement. It’s unclear when he would leave his state job. King’s new job requires confirmation by the U.S. Senate.

Board denies parole for man who killed officer

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A panel has denied parole for a man who killed a Kentucky police officer.

News outlets report the decision by Kentucky’s parole board on Monday means 42-year-old John Paul Works must serve at least another 10 years in prison. He’s serving life in prison for the 1998 shooting death of Harrodsburg police officer 45-year-old Regina Nickles, but was given the chance for parole.

Works expressed remorse during an interview last week with two-members of the state Parole Board, saying he panicked and “made a horrible choice” when he shot Nickles.

Nickles was the Harrodsburg department’s first female police officer, and the first female officer in Kentucky killed in the line of duty. She was looking for a prowler in 1998 when Works fatally shot her.

Eastern Ky. music festival honors mountain music

OLIVE HILL, Ky. (AP) — Carter Caves State Resort Park in northeastern Kentucky is hosting a mountain music festival next month.

The annual Fraley Mountain Music Gatherin’ began as a family reunion and now honors old-time music and eastern Kentucky traditions. It is named for the late master fiddler J.P. Fraley.

The musical range includes folk, old-time, western, western swing and early country. The festival runs from Sept. 5 to 8.

Concerts will be held in the Park Amphitheatre on Thursday evening, Friday afternoon and evening, and Saturday afternoon and evening. Concert fees range from $4 to $10 and a $25 weekend pass is available.

For more information visit the event website at http://www.fraleyfestival.com .

Logo: Ky. distiller sues Dylan company over trademark

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Heaven Hill Distillery of Kentucky is taking Bob Dylan’s whiskey company to court, claiming trademark infringement involving its logo.

Heaven’s Door Spirits is co-owned by the musician and debuted this year.

WDRB-TV reports a Heaven Hill lawyer sent a cease-and-desist letter to Chicago-based Heaven’s Door in April, saying its “stacked” logo is similar to Heaven Hill’s. The lawsuit says Heaven’s Door attorneys replied that they didn’t expect confusion over the logos and didn’t plan to change or comply with the demands.

Heaven’s Door is a reference to Dylan’s song “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.”

The lawsuit was filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Louisville. It said Bardstown-based Heaven Hill has used the trademark for more than 80 years.

Heaven’s Door didn’t immediately respond to a request from the station for comment.