News Around the State

Published 10:53 am Thursday, September 27, 2018

Forestry officials prepare for fall wildfire season

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Despite a wet start to autumn, the Kentucky Division of Forestry is preparing for the fall wildfire season.

Forestry officials say most of Kentucky’s wildfires are preventable — the result of arson and careless burning of trash, debris and brush. The state’s fall forest fire hazard season starts Monday.

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Division of Forestry Director James Wright says moderate amounts of rainfall will help lower the wildfire risk. But he says if the weather turns dry, the division will be ready to respond to any wildfires.

State law restricts open burning within 150 feet of any woodland or brushland between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. during the fall and spring wildfire hazard seasons. Those seasons run from Oct. 1 to Dec. 15 and from Feb. 15 to April 30, respectively.

Nurses return home from hurricane relief work

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A group of Kentucky public health nurses has returned home after spending about nine days in North Carolina, where they worked in emergency shelters housing people displaced by Hurricane Florence.

Kentucky public health officials say the team consisted of nine registered nurses and two administrative staff members.

They say members were from the Bracken County and Lexington-Fayette County health departments, the Department of Insurance, the Department for Public Health and Louisville Metro Public Health and Wellness.

Sherita Hall, a nurse at Louisville Metro Public Health and Wellness, says the Kentucky group “definitely made a mark” while working in North Carolina. The group provided medical support to people who were displaced from their homes and were staying in general and medical needs shelters.

SEC fines Kentucky $100,000 for violating access policy

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — The Southeastern Conference has fined Kentucky $100,000 for violating its policy on access to the competition area following the Wildcats football upset victory over Mississippi State.

The school was fined for a second offense, its first since a 2014 football game against South Carolina. Fans gathered in the south end zone of Kroger Field after Saturday’s 28-7 win over the then-No. 14 Bulldogs and celebrated with players. Kentucky improved to 4-0 overall and 2-0 in the SEC with the win and is ranked No. 17 in the Associated Press Top 25.

Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart said Tuesday the school is committed to following the rules and avoiding future penalties. He says, “We ask our fans to remain in the stands to celebrate the victories our team is working to earn.”

Police detail shooting into moving car in chase

SCIENCE HILL, Ky. (AP) — More details have been released surrounding a Kentucky trooper’s shooting of a man in a fleeing car that hit a deputy.

News outlets report court records say authorities chased a stolen vehicle Tuesday that crashed into a deputy deploying a tire deflation device.

Records say the trooper then fired into the moving car, and 29-year-old Roy “Hoopie” Glover and Michael Wilson soon fled on foot and were caught.

Wilson was shot in the neck and flown to a hospital. It’s unclear if he’s charged. Glover was uninjured and arrested on charges including attempted murder of a police officer.

Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Jon Williams was treated and released.

The trooper’s identity hasn’t been released.

Woman gets 2 years in $5 million medical billing scheme

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Colorado woman has been sentenced to about two years in federal prison for fraudulently billing insurance companies for $5 million by using unsuspecting chiropractors in the Louisville area.

A federal judge sentenced 40-year-old Claudia Lopez, of Fountain, Colorado, this week in Louisville. Lopez will also serve 3 years of supervised release.

The U.S. Attorney’s office in Louisville says around 2012, Lopez and five others recruited the chiropractors in order to obtain and use the chiropractors’ names to fraudulently bill insurance providers.

After that, they recruited employees from a nearby business to seek chiropractic services from the clinics. Federal prosecutors say the clinics billed more than $5 million for muscle relaxant injections that never occurred using the employees’ personal identification.

The court also ordered Lopez to pay more than $232,000 in restitution.

Officer says black pastor not immune to traffic violations

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky police officer says a white officer who pulled over a black pastor this month followed orders of what to do in “these neighborhoods.”

The Courier Journal reports police say the Rev. Kevin Cosby was stopped this month after making an improper turn. Cosby is president of Simmons College and senior pastor of St. Stephen Church.

Cosby’s daughter called for a review of what she says was a racially motivated traffic stop. Louisville police First Division Maj. Eric Johnson says in an email obtained by the paper that there’s “absolutely nothing” to support that claim.

Johnson, who’s white, says a decrease in crime is due to aggressive patrolling in “these neighborhoods” and “Cosby isn’t immune from traffic violations.” Councilwoman and attorney Jessica Green says that tactic won’t be tolerated.

Police are reviewing the stop.