Kentucky News Now – November 23rd 2015
Lexington senior among Rhodes Scholars for Class of 2016
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — A Northeastern University senior from Lexington, Kentucky, is among 32 American men and women chosen as Rhodes Scholars and will pursue post-graduate studies at Oxford University.
Logan C. Jackson is the university's first Rhodes Scholar. She is president of the Northeastern chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers, and a violist in her university's symphony orchestra.
Jackson has also been a leader in community services relating to local refugees in Kentucky, low-income housing and employment, tutoring and mentoring.
While at the prestigious university in England, she will do the M.Sc. in Evidence-based Social Intervention and Policy, and the M.Sc. in Education.
The winners were chosen from 869 applicants who were endorsed by 316 colleges and universities. The scholarships cover all expenses for two or three years of study at Oxford University starting next October.
MUHAMMAD ALI CENTER
Muhammad Ali Center celebrates 10-year anniversary
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Hundreds of people recently gathered at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, Kentucky, to celebrate its 10-year anniversary and participate in a re-dedication ceremony.
The Courier-Journal reports more than 1,700 people showed up Saturday for the daylong celebration.
Unlike the formal, star-studded bash that christened the place a decade ago, the celebration Saturday was for the people.
A band played in the main lobby. Kids received balloons, made crafts and got their faces painted with American flags, yellow stars and animals. Everyone received free admission.
A short film playing continuously recounted the construction of the $80 million center. It showed Ali mugging for the camera, throwing a few punches, then printing the word LOVE in black marker on a large beam that was hoisted to the top of the emerging structure.
UofL ALUMNI DIRECTOR
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The University of Louisville's director of alumni relations has resigned amid questions about whether she used the same position at another school to take taxpayer-funded trips to run marathons.
UofL said Friday that if Deborah Dietzler had remained in the $185,000-a-year job, it would have been a distraction and that she needed to focus on issues that surfaced at the University of Georgia.
The Courier-Journal reports that an internal audit at UGA found that after Dietzler signed up to run races in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Monterey, California, she asked her staff to set up events in the area so she could get the university to reimburse her airfare and in some cases other expenses.
Dietzler's attorney says she denies any suggestion she intentionally violated any policy at Georgia.
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Valley Authority is rewarding employees for helping boost the utility's income above $1 billion last year.
The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports that TVA directors voted Friday to allow the agency's 10,900 employees to share in some of those record earnings. The directors approved payments of $113 million, or an average year-end bonus of $10,367 per employee.
The board was even more generous to its top five executives.
TVA CEO Bill Johnson was paid a compensation package in fiscal 2015 worth more than $6.4 million.
Four other top TVA executives were each paid more than $2 million in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30.
TVA Chairman Joe Ritch and other TVA directors praised Johnson and other top executives for helping to turn around TVA's financial standing.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — A judge has turned down a request to block hearings on whether hundreds of eastern Kentucky residents will keep federal disability benefits.
U.S. District Judge Amul R. Thapar ruled that the people pursuing an injunction against the hearings must complete their cases through the Social Security Administration before challenging the agency in federal court.
The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that Thapar dismissed the request for an injunction.
An attorney representing disability beneficiaries filed a motion Friday asking Thapar to change his decision and halt the hearings during a continued challenge in his court, or to stop the hearings while a higher court hears an appeal of the ruling.
Thapr says his court has no jurisdiction at this point to intervene in Social Security's decision to re-determine if nearly 1,800 people are eligible for disability checks.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — An eastern Kentucky official and three others have been indicted on charges stemming from an alleged vote-buying scheme.
The Lexington Herald-Leader reports a federal grand jury charged a Magoffin County candidate for magistrate with buying votes in 2014.
Gary "Rooster" Risner won the election and is a member of the county fiscal court. He was indicted along with his wife, Tami Jo Risner; Mason Daniels; and Scott Lynn McCarty. All four are charged with conspiracy.
In addition, Gary Risner was indicted on eight charges of paying people for their vote in either the May or November 2014 elections.
The grand jury charged Tami Jo Risner with six counts of paying voters before the November election. McCarty was charged with four counts of paying voters and Daniels with two counts.
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.