News Around the State

Published 12:18 pm Thursday, October 11, 2018

Judge dismisses lawsuit over fatal firefighter shooing

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit alleging excessive force was used by a Kentucky firefighter who fatally shot a man who had grabbed a police officer’s gun.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reported Tuesday that U.S. District Judge Joseph M. Hood says the lawsuit filed by the father of Mark Sawaf fell short on several points. It’s unclear if Ali Sawaf will appeal.

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Sawaf’s 39-year-old son was an outdoorsman accused of putting explosive material in trail cameras to prevent theft. Three people were injured, and Sawaf was awaiting trial on the explosive charges when he offered to help police find the devices.

State police say Sawaf attempted to flee during the search and grabbed an officer’s gun, prompting Lexington firefighter Capt. Brad Dobrzynski to shoot him in the head.

Alerts offered for when inmates escape halfway houses

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky Department of Corrections says an automated system that alerts the public when inmates escape from prison is being expanded to include alerts when inmates escape halfway houses.

Department of Corrections Commissioner Jim Erwin announced the move Wednesday in a statement. He said the Keeton Corrections halfway house in Paducah has already been added to the system and all others in the state will be added by year’s end.

To receive notifications, residents must call 1-866-445-2867 and register by the zip code of the facility. The service will automatically call with a pre-recorded message if an inmate escapes and when the inmate is recaptured.

Officials say the service applies only to inmates at halfway houses, not parolees who are sometimes housed at the facilities.

Woman files suit accusing Ky. coroner of harassment

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — A former deputy coroner says a coroner in Kentucky grabbed her butt as she climbed down a ladder and made vulgar and degrading comments about women.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports Melissa Neale said in a lawsuit filed in September that Fayette County Coroner Gary Ginn subjected her to inappropriate behavior and comments. It says Neale worked in the office for two years until June 2017.

Neale alleges Ginn groped himself while talking to her in meetings, among other things. Neale reported her allegations to the city’s human resources department. The city substantiated some allegations against Ginn but said it lacked authority to take action against him because he’s an elected, countywide official.

Ginn has denied the allegations in a response filed in Fayette Circuit Court. He faces challenger Larry Owens in a Nov. 6 general election.

Police: Ky. officer shot was mistaken for prowler

OWENSBORO, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky State Police say a police officer was shot by a homeowner who may have mistaken the officer for a prowler.

The Owensboro officer, 23-year-old Zachary Morris, was in good condition after surgery on Wednesday.

Trooper Corey King with state police says the officer was going to the area on a report of a suspicious person in the alley. King says the bullet hit the edge of the officer’s protective vest, and fragments struck his abdomen.

It was still dark Wednesday morning when the officer arrived and pursued a suspect. King says the officer backtracked to see if the suspect was hiding and was near the homeowner’s property when he was shot. The suspect fled the area.

State police have questioned and released the homeowner. No charges have been filed.

Fort Knox hosting unique graduation ceremony

FORT KNOX, Ky. (AP) — Fort Knox is hosting a unique graduation ceremony that will honor graduates from several different schools.

It’s tailored for service members who didn’t get a chance to go through a graduation ceremony or had to move to another military post. The Army post says 115 service members, family members and civilians who are graduating from 25 colleges will walk the stage at Waybur Theater on Friday.

A release from Fort Knox says soldiers typically move every two to three years, meaning they might not get to participate in a graduation ceremony. The ceremony also allows those to walk the stage if they are moving to another duty station or if they graduated within the last two years.

The annual ceremony was established by the Fort Knox Army Community Education System.