News Around the State

Published 12:09 pm Thursday, February 22, 2018

Man charged in the shooting deaths of 3 people, unborn child

CORBIN, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky man is charged with four counts of murder in the shooting deaths of three people and an unborn child.

News outlets report 37-year-old Paul Brock was arrested Sunday and arraigned Tuesday in the deaths of 74-year-old Mary Jackson, her pregnant granddaughter, 33-year-old Tiffany Myers, and Myers’ husband, 45-year-old Aaron Byers.

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Corbin police found Jackson and Myers shot to death at a home Saturday. Lt. Coy Wilson says Myers’ brother escaped the home and called police.

Wilson says police didn’t believe Brock’s assertion that Byers had shot the women.

Police found Byers’ body in a shallow grave Monday in a wooded area owned by Brock. Wilson says Byers was likely shot Saturday, but not at the home.

No possible motives have been released. Brock was appointed a public defender.

State could require labeling drug-dependent babies abused

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Drug-dependent babies born in Kentucky could automatically be labeled an “abused or neglected child,” a change that would require state officials to investigate and begin the process of terminating parental rights.

The change is part of House Bill 1 , a sweeping, bipartisan overhaul of the state’s foster care and adoption system. Any child born dependent on drugs would be considered abused or neglected, unless the mother is enrolled and complying with a drug treatment program.

A legislative committee unanimously approved the bill Thursday, sending it to the House floor for debate. The bill is a priority for Republican Gov. Matt Bevin who, along with his wife, adopted four children from Ethiopia after they said they tried and failed to adopt from Kentucky’s system.

Chancellor of Ky.’s community college system leaving

VERSAILLES, Ky. (AP) — The chancellor of Kentucky’s community and technical college system is stepping down.

A release from KCTCS says Chancellor Rhonda Tracy announced Wednesday she was leaving due to family obligations. She joined the community college system three years ago.

The chancellor is the system’s chief academic officer. The college system’s vice president, Larry Ferguson, will assume the role of acting chancellor while maintaining his other duties.

KCTCS says in a release it will begin the search for a new chancellor in the next fiscal year.

Ssoftball team forges ahead with AR-15 rifle raffle

LAWRENCEBURG, Ky. (AP) — An under-10 girls’ softball team is the latest entity to attract attention for a fundraiser raffling off an AR-15 assault rifle.

Fully Loaded Inc. owner Kenny Barnett tells the Lexington Herald-Leader the winners of the Central Kentucky BatCats’ raffle will have to pass background checks to claim the AR-15 or the semi-automatic pistol that’s also being offered. Barnett says his store has facilitated multiple such fundraisers, which usually pull in at least $5,000 for youth softball teams.

While some organizations across the county have cancelled or apologized for similar fundraisers in the wake of the Parkland, Florida, shooting that left 17 dead, a Missouri youth baseball team is also forging ahead with its raffle.

BatCats Coach Kevin Beasley says he’s heard some complaints, but the majority of feedback is supportive.

Kentucky National Guard unit deploying with 101st Airborne

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky National Guard unit is deploying with the 101st Airborne to Afghanistan for a yearlong tour.

A statement from the National Guard says 35 soldiers with the Louisville-based unit will integrate with the Fort Campbell-based 101st Airborne Division to provide assistance in intelligence, operations and logistics while deployed. A departure ceremony was held Monday in Louisville for the unit.

It will be the first deployment the new guard unit, which is one of 13 that have formed across the country and are associated with active-duty Army commands.

The guard soldiers have trained with the 101st over the last several months to prepare for the deployment.

2 corrections officers attacked at prison

EDDYVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Officials say two corrections officers have been attacked by inmates at a maximum-security prison in Kentucky.

Kentucky State Police said they were called to the Kentucky State Penitentiary in western Kentucky around 7:45 a.m. Wednesday after a corrections officer was assaulted.

Police said the incident occurred when an inmate was being removed from a room and that other inmates joined in before being restrained by other corrections officers. Two corrections officers were treated at a local hospital for non-life-threatening injuries and released.

The Eddyville prison, which houses about 850 inmates, was placed on lockdown.

The names of the corrections officers were not released.

KSP commissioner to meet with Trump

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rick Sanders is meeting with President Donald Trump to discuss school safety.

A White House spokesperson says Sanders is one of 11 people scheduled to meet with the president on Thursday.

The Kentucky State Police is leading the investigation of a school shooting at Marshall County High School last month that left two students dead and more than a dozen others injured. The suspect, Gabriel Ross Parker, is charged with murder and will be tried as an adult.

It’s one of several recent school shootings that have placed an increased emphasis on school safety across the country.

Others scheduled to attend the meeting include Florida Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi and Democratic Parkland, Florida, Mayor Christine Hunschofsky.

Police: Boy brought knife to school, planned to stab others

HARDINSBURG, Ky. (AP) — Police say a Kentucky middle school student who brought a large knife to school has been charged with attempted murder.

A statement from Kentucky State Police says administrators at Breckinridge County Middle School found the knife while searching the 14-year-old boy Tuesday morning as he entered the building. Police said the boy told detectives that he planned to stab other students.

Authorities say school officials were “acting on information and familiarity” with the juvenile when they searched him.

After finding the weapon, school officials called police, who took the boy into custody and charged him. His identity wasn’t released due to his age.

Police say he was ordered to remain in juvenile detention until a hearing date can be set.

Ky. jailer indicted on charge

CATLETTSBURG, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky jailer has been indicted on a charge of malfeasance or neglect of county officer.

The Independent of Ashland reports Boyd County Jailer Joe Burchett was indicted by a grand jury Tuesday.

Boyd Commonwealth’s Attorney Rhonda Copley announced the launch of an investigation last year after several incidents at the county detention center that included inmate escapes.

Burchett isn’t running for re-election after he withdrew his name from the ballot before the candidate filing deadline.

If convicted on the malfeasance charge before the end of his term in January, Burchett could be removed from office. The charge isn’t punishable with jail time but carries a maximum penalty of a fine ranging from $100 to $1,000.

Burchett’s attorney, Scott White, says he and his client are confident they can prove Burchett’s innocence.

Health officials urging drug users to get tested for HIV

EDGEWOOD, Ky. (AP) — Health officials say an investigation into a cluster of HIV infections in northern Kentucky has turned up more cases and they are encouraging intravenous drug users to get tested.

The Northern Kentucky Health Department said in a statement on Thursday that 43 cases of HIV have been reported as of Feb. 21, and 20 of those reported injection drug use as a risk factor.

The health department said in a statement last month that it began an investigation after the number of intravenous drug users who tested positive for HIV last year more than tripled from the previous year, jumping from five to 18. The total number of HIV cases increased to 37 from 25.

Health officials say they have expanded opportunities for testing. Seven clinics around northern Kentucky now offer testing to walk-ins.

Judge officially dismisses case against ex-univ board chair

OWENSBORO, Ky. (AP) — A special judge has officially dismissed the case against a former University of Kentucky board chairman.

The Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer reports Special Circuit Judge Kelly Mark Easton filed an order Friday to dismiss the rape, sodomy and bribery charges against 78-year-old Billy Joe Miles.

Easton dismissed the charges without prejudice, meaning prosecutors could refile the charges again at a later time.

Miles was charged with allegedly sexually assaulting a home health worker in 2016.

Court documents say the alleged victim chose not to go forward when Easton ruled she could be questioned at trial about law enforcement investigations into her claims of being harassed by Miles’ family and employees.

Defense attorney Scott Cox wrote that Miles and his family want this case expunged

Dean accused of misconduct gets new NKU job after resigning

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. (AP) — The dean of Northern Kentucky University’s law school resigned in December in the wake of women’s complaints about his behavior, but will return this fall as the university’s highest-paid professor.

The Kentucky Enquirer obtained complaints by an employee and two work-study students accusing Jeffrey Standen of sexual harassment and subjecting them to demeaning tasks. The university found “sufficient evidence to support a finding of an unhealthy culture of fear, intimidation and bullying,” but determined there wasn’t enough evidence for sexual misconduct.

The 57-year-old told the newspaper some allegations were “defamatory and false,” saying he was merely a tough boss.

Standen is on a leave of absence at his current salary of $260,100. He’s accepted NKU Provost Sue Ott Rowlands’s offer of a full-time job at a 15 percent pay cut.

New managers appointed at 4 Ky. parks

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky’s parks commissioner says new managers have been appointed at four parks.

Parks Commissioner Donnie Holland says new managers are at Cumberland Falls State Resort Park, Jefferson Davis State Historic Site, Taylorsville Lake State Park and Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site.

Joe Mounce joins the Cumberland Falls resort park near Corbin as manager. Mounce has worked at Kenlake and Dale Hollow Lake state resort parks.

David K. Smith has joined Jefferson Davis State Historic Site in Fairview as manager; she has worked with Kentucky State Parks since 2010.

Jeremy Riggs is the new manager at Taylorsville Lake State Park. Riggs has worked in the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet.

The new manager at Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site is Joan House. House was acting park manager for the last year.