Kentucky News Now – November 17th 2015
Bevin opposes Syrian refugee resettlement in Kentucky
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky's incoming Republican governor has joined governors of several states in opposing the resettlement of Syrian refugees in light of the recent terror attacks in Paris.
Republican Gov.-elect Matt Bevin's stance is at odds with Kentucky's current governor. Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear said Monday Kentucky should do "the Christian thing" and welcome all refugees who have passed extensive background checks.
But it appears Kentucky's governor does not have much authority in resettling international refugees. Kentucky Office of Refugees director Becky Jordan said Kentucky privatized its resettlement program about 20 years ago. All federal dollars associated with the program now flow through the Catholic Charities of Louisville.
Jordan said it takes up to two years for refugees to complete an extensive vetting process, making it highly unlikely for any terrorists to slip through.
Federal officials approve I-69 addition in western Kentucky
MADISONVILLE, Ky. (AP) — State and federal officials have dedicated 40 miles of newly designated Interstate 69 in western Kentucky.
A statement from the U.S. Department of Transportation says the ceremony on Monday comes on the heels of the Federal Highway Administration approving the re-designation of the Edward T. Breathitt Pennyrile Parkway as I-69.
Gov. Steve Beshear attended the event and unveiled a new red, white and blue highway sign marking the roadway as part of the interstate system.
Beshear said in a statement that attaining interstate status on the roadway comes after years of hard work and upgrades, and it will mean that thousands of people will have a safer, more efficient way to travel.
Rep. Jim Gooch of Providence said in the statement the project will boost the economy and tourism.
Ex-Morgan Co. judge appeals guilty plea, prosecutors oppose
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — A federal prosecutor has argued that former Morgan County Judge-Executive Tim Conely's appeal of his guilty plea should be dismissed.
The Lexington Herald-Leader reports Conely pleaded guilty in August 2014 to mail fraud in a scheme in which he took $130,000 in kickbacks from a contractor in the wake of a March 2012 tornado that killed six people in the county. Conley waived his right to appeal his plea as part of a plea deal.
In January, Conley was sentenced to seven years and three months in prison. Conley says he would have received a shorter sentence if prosecutors hadn't asked for even more prison time.
Prosecutors say a guilty plea can be reversed only if the court violates a substantial right of a defendant, something they say didn't happen in Conley's case.
FATAL SHOOTING-PARKING LOT
Man charged in fatal shooting in restaurant parking lot
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A man has been charged in connection with a fatal shooting in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant in Louisville.
Local media outlets report 47-year-old Dennis Ray Stinnett is charged with murder in the death of 48-year-old Alton David Crockett.
Police say Crockett was found shot to death in a Taco Bell parking lot on Oct. 10. Authorities say Crockett was shot around 7:30 p.m. Chief Deputy Coroner Jo-Ann Farmer said Crockett was pronounced dead at the scene.
Stinnett faces several other charges including tampering with physical evidence, possession of a handgun by a convicted felon and use of a weapon of mass destruction.
Stinnett was being held on bond. It isn't immediately clear if he has an attorney.
Ky. Toyota plant using landfill methane for electric power
GEORGETOWN, Ky. (AP) — Toyota's Kentucky manufacturing plant will soon be turning trash into electricity by burning methane from a nearby dump.
Officials at the Georgetown manufacturing plant announced Monday that the new system will be able to produce one megawatt of electricity per hour.
The methane is captured at the Central Kentucky Landfill in Georgetown, which is owned by Waste Services of the Bluegrass. Toyota installed a generator at the site that burns the methane and sends electric power to the manufacturing plant. The generator goes online next week.
Toyota general manager for environment strategies Kevin Butt says the landfill generator is in line with the company's goal of reducing carbon emissions. Toyota wants to reduce average emissions from its cars by 90 percent by 2050, compared with 2010 levels.
Police warn Kentucky drivers about deer hazards
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — It's mating and hunting season for deer, and Kentucky State Police are warning motorists to be aware of the increased risk that brings.
The agency says about 1.6 million collisions involving deer and vehicles occur every year. The crashes cause about 150 deaths and $3.6 billion in damage.
Kentucky recorded 3,092 vehicle-deer crashes last year. That was up by 128 from the year before. Three people were killed and 115 injured.
Police say to be especially careful in the early-morning and evening hours, drive at moderate speeds, wear a safety belt, and use high-beam headlights unless there is oncoming traffic.
If you see one deer, expect there will be more because they often travel in herds. Police advise drivers who see deer to slow down and don't swerve.
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.