News Around the State

Published 11:20 am Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Some Kentucky teachers close schools as legislature returns

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky’s largest school district is closed again as about one third of its teachers called in sick so they could protest at the state Capitol.

Tuesday was the fourth time in two weeks Jefferson County Public Schools had to close because it did not have enough substitutes to cover for absent teachers.

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School officials had hoped to avoid another closure by agreeing to send a delegation of teachers to Frankfort to represent the district. But shortly after 7 p.m. on Monday, Republican Gov. Matt Bevin posted a video on his Twitter page with the caption: “SICK OF ‘SICKOUTS’?” Three hours later, the school district announced it would close.

Teachers are worried about many things at the state legislature, including a proposal to create scholarship tax credits for private schools.

Lawmakers advance bill to fine-tune foster care overhaul

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky lawmakers are one step away from finishing work on a bill to fine-tune last year’s overhaul of the state’s child welfare system.

The measure was advanced Monday by the Senate Health and Welfare Committee.

The House-passed bill goes to the Senate. If it passes intact there, it would go to Gov. Matt Bevin. The lead sponsor is Republican House Speaker Pro Tem David Meade.

The bill would extend recertification periods for foster parents. Meade says foster parents now have to recertify every year. His bill would require recertification every three years.

House Bill 446 says the state can petition a court for termination of parental rights if a child has been removed from a home three or more times within 24 months.

It seeks to speed adoptions by having lists of relatives available at the start of the process.

Bill seeking to bypass Frankfort judges stalls in committee

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky House committee has skipped over a bill to allow big legal cases to be redirected away from a circuit judge in Frankfort.

Senate President Robert Stivers told reporters Tuesday that his proposal is on “life support” with a handful of days left in the legislative session.

The House Judiciary Committee didn’t take up the bill Tuesday.

The bill reflects concerns from some lawmakers that circuit judges in Franklin Circuit Court wield too much power in deciding cases of statewide consequence.

Several rulings from that circuit have gone against Gov. Matt Bevin and the GOP-led legislature, including last year’s decision by Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd that struck down a public pension law. The state Supreme Court upheld his ruling.

The bill’s critics include Chief Justice John D. Minton Jr.

Fort Campbell survey to assess military community strengths

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (AP) — Fort Campbell is surveying soldiers, family members, Army civilians and military retirees about the health and readiness of their military community.

Officials with the U.S. Army post straddling the Kentucky-Tennessee line say the Community Strengths and Themes Assessment can be accessed online .

The survey is meant to create a snapshot of the quality of life, health, safety and satisfaction within the Army installation environment.

Responses are confidential.

The survey is open through May 30 and takes 10 to 15 minutes to finish. Findings will be available by the end of the summer.

Woman’s body found at Kentucky park prompts investigation

PARK CITY, Ky. (AP) — A woman’s body has been found in at Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave National Park in what officials are calling a suspicious death.

News outlets report that the body found in Zion Hill Cemetery on Monday morning has been identified as that of 23-year-old Mariah Amber Decru, who was from the area.

The Park City Volunteer Fire Department notified park rangers of the discovery after realizing that the body was located within park grounds. The site is near Interstate 65 in the park’s southernmost tip.

The National Park Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation were at the site Monday afternoon.

No cause of death was immediately identified. Further details haven’t been released.

The park is in central Kentucky, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) south of Louisville.

Old Friends retirement farm welcomes stakes winner Einstein

GEORGETOWN, Ky. (AP) — A thoroughbred retirement farm in Kentucky has welcomed the son of a Kentucky Derby winner as its newest resident.

Old Friends farm near Georgetown says five-time Grade 1 winner Einstein arrived Monday.

The Brazilian-bred horse is the son of 1986 Horse of the Year and Kentucky Derby winner Spend a Buck. Einstein was pensioned to Old Friends by The Stonach Group’s Adena Springs.

Einstein captured the Anita Handicap and four Grade I stakes on turf, including back-to-back triumphs in the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs.

In all, Einstein made 30 starts, winning 11 races. He won or placed in 13 stakes, and his career earnings totaled $2.7 million.

In 2015, Adena Springs also donated Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Alphabet Soup and Belmont Stakes winner Touch Gold to Old Friends.