News Around the State

Published 3:22 pm Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Judge: Kentucky must pay fees, costs in pension plan case

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky judge has ordered the state to pay more than $72,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs in a lawsuit over the release of an economic analysis of Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration’s analysis of the 2017 pension reform plan.

Franklin County Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd ruled Monday the Bevin administration intentionally violated the Kentucky Open Records Act in refusing to release a copy of the analysis. The Courier Journal reports Shepherd ordered the analysis be released and directed the state to pay fees and costs to the person requesting it.

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A former attorney for state government and a member of the Kentucky Public Pension Coalition, Ellen Suetholz, requested the analysis. Her attorney said Suetholz is pleased with the ruling.

Bevin spokesman Woody Maglinger said the administration disputes the willful violation conclusion and plans to appeal.

Kentucky businesses awarded grant to fight opioid epidemic

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky Chamber Workforce Center has been awarded about $700,000 in grant money to identify how businesses can prevent opioid addiction in the workplace and help employees recover.

The Lexington Herald Leader reports the Center’s director, Beth Davisson, announced the Opioid Response Program for Businesses on Monday. She says the Office of Drug Control Policy gifted $350,000 and private donors matched it. The program’s goal is to work with businesses to provide free audits of human resources policies and procedures related to addiction and recovery.

Davisson said businesses put funds and policies toward helping employees recover from diseases such as cancer or diabetes, but aren’t equipped to help workers through addiction recovery.

She says the grant will also fund a study on how the opioid epidemic is affecting Kentucky’s workforce.

Weather service surveying tornado damage in Kentucky

PADUCAH, Ky. (AP) — The National Weather Service says a low-level tornado caused damage to a Kentucky Lake marina.

Meteorologist Kelly Hooper told the Courier Journal that an EF-1 tornado touched down in Marshall County at Moors Resort & Marina shortly after 5 p.m. CDT Sunday.

The weather service is still surveying the damage, as well as preliminary EF-1 tornado damage in Carlisle, Ballard and McCracken counties. The agency said its work will continue Tuesday.

An EF-1 tornado is considered moderate with winds from 86 mph to 110 mph.

Kentucky man accused in murder-for-hire fights extradition

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky man in Filipino custody is challenging extradition to the U.S. where he’s being charged with complicity to murder.

The Bowling Green Daily News reports 39-year-old Antonio Marsonel Wilson is under indictment on several charges connected to the February death of Smajo Miropija.

Warren County Commonwealth’s Attorney Chris Cohron said at a pretrial conference Monday that Wilson is apparently challenging extradition.

Wilson fled to the Philippines during the investigation into 49-year-old Miropija’s death. Filipino police arrested Wilson in March; five days after local authorities obtained an arrest warrant.

The Bowling Green Police Department says Miropija’s death was a murder-for-hire and that Wilson paid 46-year-old Jeffery Smith to kill his girlfriend’s father.

Smith is being charged with murder.

Warren Circuit Judge John Grise reset hearings for Wilson and Smith for Aug. 5.