News Around the State

Published 12:30 pm Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Ky. man sentenced for W.Va. bank robbery

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — A Kentucky man has been sentenced to five years and three months in federal prison for robbing a West Virginia bank.

Prosecutors say in a news release 62-year-old Steve Ray Meeks of Louisa, Kentucky, was sentenced in federal court in Huntington. Meeks previously admitted the theft of $32,000 last January from the Community Trust Bank in Fort Gay.

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The statement says that during a police pursuit into Kentucky, Meeks threw large sums of cash out of his vehicle’s window.

A BB gun he brandished during in the robbery was later found along a path where he initially fled on foot.

Prosecutors seek new sentencing hearing for Paul attacker

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Federal prosecutors seeking a new sentencing hearing for Sen. Rand Paul’s attacker say the Republican lawmaker suffered chronic pain months after being tackled while doing yard work at his Kentucky home.

Prosecutors said in a recent court filing that Rene Boucher’s 30-day sentence was unreasonable for such an “inexplicable and violent assault,” noting sentencing guidelines outlined 21 to 27 months in prison.

They’re appealing the sentence to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Prosecutors say Paul suffered broken ribs, resulting in repeated hospital trips. They say the attack damaged Paul’s lung, causing him breathing problems. They also say he developed pneumonia and suffered chronic back pain months afterward.

Boucher’s attorney, Matt Baker, says if the victim were anyone other than a senator, the sentence would be the same as what Boucher received.

Diocese to conduct independent review of abuse claims

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — A Catholic bishop in Kentucky says two attorneys will conduct an independent review of how appropriately the Lexington Diocese has handled sex abuse claims since it was formed in 1988.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports Bishop John Stowe says he hopes having an independent review will help with credibility. He says due to the history of abuse in the church, there’s not much trust in the bishop’s self-report. Stowe says if the attorneys find any deficiencies in the reporting or handling of abuse cases, “I want to be able to correct that.”

An announcement in the diocese newsletter says the review will begin in January and the results will be published.

The Lexington Diocese serves 50 counties in central and eastern Kentucky.

U of Louisville dance team coach, reality TV star terminated

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The coach who led the University of Louisville’s women’s dance team to more than a dozen national titles and starred in a reality television show has been terminated from his position.

University of Louisville spokesman John Karman told news outlets Monday night that Todd Sharp had been relieved of his duties, calling the termination a personnel matter. Further details weren’t provided.

Sharp also coached the award-winning Floyd Central Dazzlers high school team in Indiana. Bill Briscoe with the New Albany Floyd County District says Sharp has also resigned from that position.

The University of Louisville Ladybirds’ 2016-2017 season was chronicled in the Lifetime reality television show, “So Sharp.” Sharp’s biography on the Lifetime website described him as “the winningest coach in the dance world” and a “gentle tyrant.”

Murray State launches initiative to attract more students

MURRAY, Ky. (AP) — Murray State University is launching an initiative to boost student enrollment.

The Murray Ledger & Times reports the Yield Communication Plan is among the first of its kind implemented at a Kentucky university.

Vice President of Student Affairs Don Robertson says it gives the school an advantage in attracting students. The program calls school officials to make a concentrated effort to be more personal in mailings, texts messages and video messages. Another part of the program tracks statistical information on items including which potential students apply for scholarships and housing.

Robertson said the goal is to predict which students are most likely to enroll after being admitted “so we can maximize our efforts.”

Enrollment at the western Kentucky school has declined over the last five years.

Police: Woman says she dropped sword on man during argument

LOUSIVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Police in Kentucky say a woman hit a man with a sword and then told the man to tell officers he fell on it.

The Courier Journal reports 47-year-old Angela Hill of Louisville was arrested Saturday and charged with second-degree assault. Louisville Metro police say a witness told officers that Hill and the man argued over money and Hill hit him with the sword twice in the legs.

Hill told police that the man had pulled the sword on her, so she snatched it and dropped it on him. An arrest citation says she tried to hide the attack, telling the man to tell police he fell on the sword.

The man refused treatment, and the extent of his injuries is unclear. The relationship between the two is unclear.