News Around the State

Published 8:25 am Tuesday, August 28, 2018

State pension funds earn $1.4B in fiscal 2018

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Investments in Kentucky’s state worker pensions earned more than $1.4 billion during the 2018 fiscal year, good news for one of the country’s worst-funded pension systems.

Kentucky Retirement Systems says in a release that its total assets increased to $17.4 billion as of the end of the fiscal year, June 30.

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According to the most recent figures provided by the pension office, the state was about $27 billion short of what it needs to pay retirement benefits over the next 30 years. A spokeswoman said Monday that figure doesn’t include the fiscal year-end results.

Public school teachers came out in droves earlier this year to protest cuts proposed by Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin. A reform law passed by the legislature and signed into law by Bevin is being challenged in court.

Bevin brief filed in appeal of pension lawsuit

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Attorneys for Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin have filed a brief in the appeal of a lawsuit brought by Attorney General Andy Beshear to strike down changes to the state’s struggling retirement systems.

The Courier Journal reports the 100-page brief filed Monday argues the urgency of the provisions of the bill passed by the General Assembly in April, calling pension debt “a lead weight pulling the Commonwealth down into the depths of insolvency.”

Franklin County Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd struck down the law in June on procedural grounds, and it was directly appealed to the state Supreme Court. Oral arguments are scheduled for Sept. 20. Beshear’s reply brief is due Sept. 10.

Bevin argues that the bill was passed in a common and constitutional manner and Shepherd’s ruling must be overturned.

Police involved in fatal shooting during attempted arrest

RICHMOND, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky State Police say troopers were involved in a fatal shooting while attempted to arrest a man wanted on multiple warrants.

A statement from the agency says the Kentucky State Police Special Response Team went to a hotel in Richmond on Monday to arrest the suspect on charges of bail jumping, escape and absconding parole. The statement says the man was believed to be armed.

Police say troopers approached the suspect as he pulled into a parking lot behind the hotel and shots were fired. Authorities say the wounded suspect then drove out of the parking lot and into some bushes. Police found him in the vehicle and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police did not release any further information about the shooting.

No troopers were injured. The name of the person killed hasn’t been released.

Judge orders neighbor to stay away from Sen. Rand Paul

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) — A judge has ordered U.S. Sen. Rand Paul’s neighbor to stay away from Paul and his family while a lawsuit is pending.

The Daily News in Bowling Green reports Special Judge Tyler Gill issued a temporary injunction Monday against Rene Boucher (boo-SHAY’). Boucher served 30 days on a federal charge of assaulting a congressman after Paul was tackled outside his house last fall. Paul sued Boucher in state court.

Gill also held Boucher liable for Paul’s injuries in a partial motion for summary judgment.

Boucher is under federal order to have no contact with Paul. Now he must stay at least 200 feet (60 meters) away from the Pauls while Boucher is on his property and at least 50 feet (15 meters) away everywhere else.

Boucher’s lawyer says his client has complied with the federal order.

Murray State lifts suspension of Greek life, updates policy

MURRAY, Ky. (AP) — A public university in Kentucky has lifted a suspension on fraternity and sorority social activities on campus.

The Murray Ledger & Times reports that Murray State University’s decision came Friday after a committee charged with evaluating the Greek social events policy at Murray State University presented an updated policy. Some changes include raising grade point average requirements and keeping better records of visitors.

The school suspended activities last spring following several incidents that raised concerns, including a death at an off-campus fraternity house and a report of a rape at an off-campus fraternity house.

Murray State Vice President of Student Affairs Don Robertson said the changes are based on best practices of other campuses and aim to improve Greek life.

Everly Brothers festival is this week in Ky. hometown

CENTRAL CITY, Ky. (AP) — The annual music festival honoring the Everly Brothers in their hometown is being held this week in Kentucky.

The Everly Brothers Rock-n-Roll Cruise-in marks its 17th year, running in Central City Wednesday through Saturday. Concerts are held Wednesday and Thursday nights, with muscle cars, hot rods and trucks on display on Friday night.

Central City tourism director Freddie Mayes told the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer he expects 70 to 100 cars.

On Saturday, a new event is being introduced with only Corvettes.

Mayes said the event is always free.

Man sentenced to 20 years in crash that killed 5

COVINGTON, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky man who prosecutors say was legally drunk when he hit and killed a family of five has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.

The Kentucky Enquirer reports that 58-year-old Daniel Greis was sentenced Monday, following his conviction on five counts of wanton murder last month.

Prosecutors said Greis has a blood alcohol level above the legal limit and THC in his system when he tried to pass in a no-passing zone while fatigued in October. He slammed head-on into a car driven by Rodney Pollit Jr.

Pollit, his wife Samantha Malohn and 9-year-old Hailieann, 8-year-old Brenden and 6-year-old Cailie died at the scene.

Prosecutor Rob Sanders says the jury didn’t expect Greis would live to see parole eligibility in 17 years, so they recommended the minimum.