Kentucky News Now – July 9th 2014
Auditor sets public hearings on rural hospitals
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky Auditor Adam Edelen has set 10 hearings across the state to discuss the fiscal health of rural hospitals.
Edelen's office says 45 percent of Kentucky residents receive health care at small, community hospitals and that the facilities help drive local economies.
The hearings start next week in Prestonsburg and continue through Aug. 12 in Campbellsville. They kick off a study by Edelen's office to look at challenges facing small hospitals. The auditor's office is seeking financial records of dozens of rural hospitals and plans to issue a report this fall.
Edelen's office says hospital administrators and staff, local elected officials, other health care providers and the public are invited.
Conway raises $751,000 for governor
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Jack Conway says he raised more than $750,000 in his first fundraising quarter as a 2015 Democratic candidate for governor.
The announcement comes almost two weeks after Conway announced endorsements from some of the state's most well-known Democratic politicians.
Conway noted his campaign has only held two fundraising events since announcing his candidacy, reiterating his promise not to interfere with the fundraising efforts of Kentucky Democrats trying to maintain control of the state House of Representatives.
Conway is the only Democrat to announce his candidacy so far. But Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo said Tuesday he has delayed announcing his decision on whether to run for governor because he is focused solely on raising money for Democratic House candidates. He said personal ambition should never outweigh the bigger picture.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM-BOOKER
Booker, Paul teaming up to scrub criminal records
UNDATED (AP) — Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker are teaming up on a bill aimed at helping low-level offenders wipe their criminal records clean.
The Republican from Kentucky and the New Jersey Democrat introduced legislation Tuesday that would encourage states to increase the age of criminal responsibility to 18.
The Record Expungement Designed to Enhance Employment —or "REDEEM Act — would automatically expunge the records of juveniles who commit nonviolent crimes before they turn 15 and automatically seal the records of those who commit them after.
It also would create a broad-based federal path for sealing criminal records for adults, with nonviolent offenders able to petition courts to make their case.
The pair previously teamed up on an amendment aimed at banning action against state medical marijuana laws.
Report finds violations with ACT tests
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A former high school principal and two others have been referred to the Education Professional Standards Board after an investigation by the Kentucky Department of Education found violations with standardized testing.
According to the Courier-Journal, the investigation report released Monday found principal David Mike, counselor Rhonda Branch and teacher Debbie Greenberg violated rules while giving the ACT Compass Test.
Kentucky Department of Education Commissioner Terry Holliday told the newspaper that the three were referred to the educational standards board because the violations could prove to be intentional.
A Jefferson County Public Schools spokesman said Mike, who has been reassigned to non-instructional duties, declined to comment. Greenberg and Branch could not be located.
JCPS spokesman Ben Jackey says the district is reviewing the report as part of its own investigation.
Police questioning 1 in apparent road rage death
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Louisville police are questioning a driver whose car was riddled with bullet holes after an incident in which another driver was killed when his vehicle hit a tree.
The Courier-Journal reports police said the driver of a Dodge Charger died Tuesday afternoon after an apparent road rage incident south of downtown near Churchill Downs.
Police said the men were chasing each other when the Dodge hit a tree, killing the driver. Police said they believe the driver who died shot at the other vehicle, a Chrysler 300. The driver of the Chrysler was being questioned.
Media reported surveillance footage from a nearby liquor store showed the two men encountered each other there just before the chase and crash but there was no noticeable exchange.
MEDAL OF HONOR-DENIED
Widow of decorated soldier appeals denial of honor
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The widow of a highly decorated World War II veteran from southern Kentucky has asked a federal appeals court to require the U.S. Army to review an application to award her husband a Medal of Honor.
Lyda P. Conner of Albany, Kentucky, has waged a 17-year campaign to have the Army take another look at the service record of the late Lt. Garlin Murl Conner. Now, she wants the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati to overturn a judge's conclusion that she waited too long to present new evidence to the Army Board for Correction of Military Records.
Garlin Conner was a member of the 3rd Infantry Division, which fought in France and Europe in 1945. Conner was wounded seven times and was awarded four Silver Stars.
Shooting range temporarily cuts back hours
WILLIAMSTOWN, Ky. (AP) — The shooting range at Curtis Gates Lloyd Wildlife Management Area in Grant County will operate on restricted hours during the week through the end of the month due to ongoing stream restoration work.
Shooting hours for the range will begin at 5:30 p.m. and continue until sunset from Monday through Friday. The shortened weekday hours will remain in effect through July 31.
Weekend hours will remain unchanged: 9 a.m. to sunset on Saturdays and noon until sunset on Sundays.
The reduced hours of operation at the range will take effect because some of the work will be done within the range safety zone. The restoration project includes the cleanup of two historic dumps, rehabilitation work on more than 1,200 feet of stream and stabilization of nearly an acre of wetland.
Three high school seniors working on eyewear app
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) — Three high school students are spending their summer trying to make information about Western Kentucky University appear right before your eyes — in the form of an app for wearable computer technology known as Google Glass.
The product was released initially in 2012 and to the general public this year. The $1,500 eyewear has a small screen above the right eye that offers Internet access, camera, email, maps and voice commands.
The three 17-year-olds at Gatton Academy in Bowling Green are developing a WKU app to help students. In a Western news release, Logan Houchens of Crestwood says the app should make campus life easier.
Houchens is working with Lydia Buzzard of Hopkinsville and Peter Kaminski of Owensboro to develop the app.
Gatton students enroll early as full-time WKU students.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.