Kentucky News Now – December 3rd 2015
Derrick Ramsey to head Labor Cabinet under Bevin
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Gov.-elect Matt Bevin has appointed Derrick K. Ramsey, a former NFL player and the University of Kentucky's first African-American quarterback, to be secretary of the Labor Cabinet.
The 58-year-old Ramsey previously served in state government in former Republican Gov. Ernie Fletcher's administration as deputy secretary of commerce. Bevin's office said in a news release that Ramsey is returning to the public sector after seven years leading the Coppin State University athletic department.
Bevin, only the second Republican to win the Kentucky governor's office in four decades when he was elected Nov. 3, takes office next Tuesday.
Ramsey was also previously athletic director at Kentucky State and held positions at UK.
Kentucky GOP senators don't plan to block Medicaid spending
MAYSVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The Republican leaders of Kentucky's state Senate says they will not block about $250 million in state spending needed to pay for the health insurance of more than 400,000 people on the state's expanded Medicaid program.
Outgoing Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear used an executive order to expand Kentucky's Medicaid program under the federal Affordable Care Act. Incoming Republican Gov.-elect Matt Bevin has promised to repeal the expansion and replace it with something else.
Kentucky will start paying a portion of the Medicaid expansion in 2017. Next month, state lawmakers will debate a two-year state spending plan that would include that money, giving Republicans an opportunity to block it. Republican Senate President Robert Stivers said the Senate does not plan to do that, instead opting for a gradual transition away from the program.
FORT KNOX-ENERGY PROGRAM
Ex-federal employee pleads guilty in Fort Knox conflict of interest case
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A retired federal employee has pleaded guilty after one day of trial to violating conflict of interest laws.
The U.S. attorney's office says 68-year-old Gary Thomas Meredith of Leitchfield pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Louisville. Prosecutors say Meredith admitted being involved in creation of a contract in which he had financial interest.
Sentencing will be March 9.
A news release from prosecutors says Meredith was energy manager at Fort Knox for more than 20 years. The release says before retiring, Meredith negotiated the pricing of a contractor position with Nolin Rural Electric Cooperative Corp. and arranged with Nolin to work in the position.
Nolin earlier agreed to pay more $7.6 million in civil penalties and forfeitures resulting from its business dealings with Meredith and Fort Knox.
Group approves plans for park's historical racing machines
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission granted approval for Turfway Park to install at least 250 historical racing wagering machines.
Media outlets report the commission approved the plan Tuesday, making the Florence racetrack the fourth track in Kentucky approved and paving the way for expanded gambling options there.
The machines allow gamblers to bet on unidentified recorded horse races that may be years old.
The commission had planned to vote on whether to issue the state's ninth and final racetrack license to Keeneland, but Floyd Circuit Judge Johnny Ray Harris granted a temporary restraining order Tuesday to Floyd County and Appalachian Racing, which owns the harness track in Prestonsburg.
Keeneland had sought to buy the Prestonsburg license and move it to Corbin, but last month Keeneland requested the unassigned license instead.
Sidewalks project in downtown Louisville receives funding
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Louisville is getting $1.5 million in federal funding to improve sidewalks and other conditions in the downtown area.
A news release from Gov. Steve Beshear's office said sidewalks will be rebuilt or repaired to comply with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act and to encourage pedestrian and bicycle traffic.
Mayor Greg Fischer said the funding will help attract people to downtown Louisville.
Beshear presented a ceremonial check representing the funds on Monday.
Also planned are enlarged tree wells, restriping of pavement and parking on both sides of the street.
The funding is through the federal Transportation Alternatives Program, administered by the Office of Local Programs in the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet's Department of Rural and Municipal Aid.
The project area is near several agencies that work with the disabled, veterans, elderly, poor and minorities.
BODY IN TRUCK
Lexington police say Harrodsburg man found dead in truck
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Lexington police are trying to figure out how a man whose body was found inside a truck died.
Fayette County Coroner Gary Ginn says the death of 33-year-old Barry Slaven of Harrodsburg was initially considered a homicide, but what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the head was actually a cyst that ruptured and hemorrhaged.
Media outlets report the body was found Tuesday inside a Penske box truck in eastern Lexington.
Ginn says Slaven's cause of death is still pending. Toxicology results will not be available for four to six weeks.
Slaven's family says he had been missing since Sunday, and that they had filed a missing persons' report with police.
Attorney seeks surveillance video related to girl's death
SCOTTSVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The attorney for a former construction worker charged with kidnapping and killing a girl in a small Kentucky town is seeking surveillance video that he says might show the defendant on the day of the 7-year-old's death.
Timothy Madden is charged with murder, kidnapping, first-degree rape and first-degree sodomy in the death of Gabriella Doolin last month. The child disappeared during a youth football game on Nov. 14. She was found dead less than a half-hour later in a creek.
Madden has pleaded not guilty. He was in court Wednesday for a preliminary hearing that was continued to Dec. 14.
Afterward, defense attorney Travis Lock told reporters he has subpoenaed video records from businesses in Scottsville, Kentucky.
Lock says he's seeking video recordings before and after the girl's death.
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.