POLICE CHIEF CHARGED

Science Hill police chief suspended following indictment

SCIENCE HILL, Ky. (AP) — Science Hill Police Chief Robbie Gossett has been suspended from his position following a state indictment against him.

Local media outlets report city commissioners voted three to two in favor of the suspension Saturday morning.

Gossett turned himself in to authorities Thursday after being indicted on two counts of theft by failure to make required disposition of property and two counts of abuse of public trust.

The indictment says Gossett obtained funds and property belonging to the city and failed to make the required disposition of them. The charges stem from incidents in 2008 and 2009 and involve totals of at least $10,000.

Gossett's attorney, Scott Foster, says the charges against his client don't make sense, calling him an honest man and the "pillar" of the Science Hill community.

TAX PAYMENTS

Return to sender: IRS tax payment addresses have changed

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Income tax season will be here in a few weeks, and the Internal Revenue Service wants taxpayers to mail their payments to the correct address.

The IRS says starting Jan. 1, federal tax payments mailed to a post office box address in Atlanta or St. Louis will be returned to the sender. The boxes have been closed for several years, and the IRS says mail addressed there will no longer be forwarded to the correct address.

Kentucky taxpayers who previously mailed payments to one of those addresses should use the address included in the payment notice or letter. The correct address for payments depends on the taxpayer's home state and can be found online at http://www.irs.gov/uac/Where-to-File-Paper-Tax-Returns-With-or-Without-a-Payment .

Tax payments can also be made directly from a bank account through http://www.irs.gov/Payments/Direct-Pay .

KCTCS-DEGREES

Community college system awards record number of degrees

VERSAILLES, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky's community and technical college system awarded a record number of associate degrees in the past academic year.

KCTCS officials say the system awarded 9,632 associate degrees during the 2014-15 academic year. They say that number is up by 52 over the prior year.

Since 2000, KCTCS says it has experienced a big increase in the awarding of credentials, with the number of associate degrees tripling and the number of certificates increasing ten-fold.

KCTCS Board of Regents Vice-Chair Gail Henson says the increase in associate degrees is significant given that the system is "in the bottom of an enrollment cycle" due to an improving economy.

RED RIVER GORGE

Group seeks to replace climbing bolts, anchors in gorge

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A group is seeking to replace aging hardware that climbers use at the Red River Gorge.

The gorge, which attracts climbers from around the world, has bolts and anchors embedded into the rock face to create more than 2,000 climbing routes. Many of the zinc-plated bolts and anchors have started to corrode and need to be replaced.

A statement from the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet says the Fixed Gear Initiative was created as a collaborative effort between developers, climbers, industry professionals and nonprofit groups as a way to rebolt the gorge and promote sustainable climbing.

Fixed Gear Initiative Director Ian Kirk said the project is expected to take decades.

The group has established a website, www.rrgfgi.com , where people can learn more and find out how to help.

OHIO RIVER BRIDGE

First cars expected to cross new Louisville bridge Monday

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The long-awaited opening of a new bridge across the Ohio River between downtown Louisville and southern Indiana is expected to happen Monday morning.

A news release from the Ohio River Bridges Project said the first vehicles are expected to cross the Abraham Lincoln Bridge by 5 a.m. EST.

The bridge carries northbound Interstate 65 traffic across the Ohio River, while the adjacent Kennedy Bridge will eventually carry only southbound traffic. Two lanes of I-65 South traffic will move to the Lincoln bridge later this month while the Kennedy Bridge undergoes improvements.

The release says substantial completion of the downtown project is scheduled for December 2016. Another bridge between the two states is under construction in eastern Jefferson County.

HIT-AND-RUN FATAL

Man charged with murder in fatal hit-and-run

(Information in the following story is from: The Courier-Journal, http://www.courier-journal.com)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Police say a man has been charged with murder in connection with a fatal hit-and-run crash in a neighborhood near downtown Louisville.

According to The Courier-Journal, the incident happened around 3:44 a.m. on Sunday.

Louisville Police Department spokeswoman Alicia Smiley said 26-year-old Charles Ballard was speeding when he "struck an object, causing it to go airborne." She said a witness realized that it was actually a person Ballard hit.

The victim, who has not been identified but is believed to be in his early to mid-20s, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police say Ballard was located nearby and charged with murder and driving under the influence. He also was charged with leaving the scene of an accident and not having insurance or a driver's license.

 

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.