News Around the State

Published 10:43 am Monday, January 14, 2019

Police: Woman drove drunk to ‘teach her son a lesson’

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky woman charged with drunken driving told police she did it “to teach her son a lesson.”

News outlets report 48-year-old Sunita Jairam was arrested early Sunday on charges including endangering the welfare of a minor.

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Her arrest citation says she told police she “drank a bunch of beer” and drove at 150 mph (241 kph). It’s unclear what lesson she was trying to impart.

The son told police he tried to get out of the BMW subcompact several times, but the door was locked. News outlets didn’t list his age.

Booking records show Jairam’s blood alcohol content was 0.161, twice the legal limit. Records show she was previously charged with public intoxication and speeding.

It’s unclear whether she has a lawyer.

Kentucky Department of Tourism releases new visitor’s guide

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky Department of Tourism has released a new visitor’s guide that features stories by Kentuckians telling of their own experiences.

The agency says the 2019 Official Kentucky Visitor’s Guide focuses on some of the highlights of the state’s tourism industry, including bourbon, food, horses, outdoors, history, music, arts and events, as well as regional features.

Tourism Commissioner Kristen Branscum said in a news release that the guide gives visitors insider information to help them plan their trip.

The guide features each of the nine tourism regions with information on attractions, lodging and cities in each.

The guide is available at the state’s seven staffed welcome centers and the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea. It can also be requested online.

Ky.’s governor will highlight GOP dinner in Ohio

CINCINNATI (AP) — A southwest Ohio Republican party is featuring neighboring Kentucky’s governor at an annual dinner.

The Hamilton County GOP has announced that Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin will speak March 14 at its Lincoln-Reagan dinner at Cincinnati’s Music Hall. Details will be made public later.

The conservative Republican governor announced last August he would seek a second term this year. His approval ratings have fallen amid an unsuccessful attempt to overhaul Kentucky’s struggling public pension system over strong opposition from teachers.

Democrats vying for their party’s nomination in a primary this May include Attorney General Andy Beshear, former state Auditor Adam Edelen, and state House Democratic leader Rocky Adkins. State Rep. Robert Goforth says he will challenge Bevin for the Republican nomination.

Vigil held for Michigan family of 5 killed in Ky. crash

NORTHVILLE, Mich. (AP) — Relatives of a Michigan family of five killed in a highway crash in Kentucky remembered their lives during an emotional candlelight vigil.

Friday’s memorial was held at Ford Field Park in Northville, Michigan, and ended with an Islamic prayer with text from the Quran.

The Abbas family was returning home from Florida last Sunday when a suspected drunken driver traveling the wrong way struck their vehicle head-on on Interstate 75 in Lexington, Kentucky.

The crash killed 42-year-old Issam Abbas, 38-year-old Rima Abbas, 14-year-old Ali Abbas, 13-year-old Isabella Abbas, and 7-year-old Giselle Abbas.

The other driver also died.

The Detroit News reports that Rimi Abbas’ sister, Rana Abbas Taylor, told mourners through tears that, “I can’t even begin to share with you how painful this has been on our entire family.”

Family of fallen Louisville officer sues over fatal crash

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The family of a fallen Louisville Metro police officer is suing the city’s sewer district and the ex-employee charged with crashing his semitruck into the officer’s cruiser during a traffic stop, killing her.

The Courier Journal reports that the lawsuit by Detective Deidre “Dee Dee” Mengedoht’s family accuses driver Roger Burdette of negligence in the crash, and accuses the Metropolitan Sewer District of not properly employing, supervising and training him.

Burdette has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and driving under the influence in the crash last month. An arrest report says he admitted to taking multiple prescription drugs and “made no attempt to avoid collision with (the) police vehicle.”

Sewer district spokeswoman Sheryl Lauder says Burdette has been fired. She said the district won’t comment on the lawsuit.