News Around the State

Published 10:50 am Monday, June 17, 2019

1 dead, 3 rescued after vehicle swept away in rains

TAYLORSVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Authorities say a man died after a family’s vehicle was swept away as they tried to cross a flooded bridge in Kentucky after heavy rains moved through the area.

Spencer County Sheriff Scott Herndon told news outlets that emergency crews were called to the water rescue early Monday and found a woman and two children alive, but they weren’t able to immediately locate the man. His body was found hours later.

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Herndon says the woman was found in the water holding onto a tree and the children were found downstream on a bank. He says it’s a miracle they survived.

Heavy rains moved over the area Sunday and the forecast called for more rain Monday.

Herndon warned that people shouldn’t try to cross a bridge or a road with water running over it.

PSC: Electric car chargers in Kentucky don’t need regulation

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky Public Service Commission has ruled that electric car charging stations are not utilities and do not need to be subject to regulation.

The ruling is intended to remove any ambiguity over the legal status of charging stations. The commission says it should also pave the way for more stations to be installed in Kentucky. The commission says Kentucky has lagged behind neighboring states in the availability of public charging stations. The state has 94.

The ruling hinged on whether charging stations are providing electric service to the public, which would make them fall under the commission’s jurisdiction. Commissioners determined that the stations are consumers and end users of electricity.

The Public Service Commission regulates more than 1,100 gas, water, sewer, electric and telecommunication utilities operating in the state.

Former auto plant worker indicted in federal mail fraud case

GEORGETOWN, Ky. (AP) — A federal grand jury has indicted a former Kentucky auto plant worker accused of stealing parts from the facility and selling them online, profiting more than $250,000.

News outlets report the 14 count indictment came down Thursday for Randall Perry.

Court documents state Perry took laser scanners and electronic components from his former job at the Toyota Motor Manufacturing plant in Georgetown. The indictment says Perry sold the parts on eBay between Nov. 2015 and Nov. 2017.

If convicted, Perry would have to forfeit the more than $250,000 he’s accused of obtaining in the scheme, and could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison.

Perry is scheduled to appear in federal court in July. It is unclear if he had a lawyer who could comment.

Text 911 service launches in 4 central Kentucky counties

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Officials say people in four central Kentucky counties can now use texting to communicate with emergency dispatchers.

Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton said in a statement on Thursday that people can now send text messages to 9-1-1 call centers in Fayette, Jessamine, Garrard and Lincoln counties. She said operators can also send text messages to a 9-1-1 caller if needed.

Gorton called it “a huge step forward in public safety.”

Lexington Division of Enhanced 9-1-1 Director Robert Stack says text messages should include the location of the emergency and an explanation of the help needed. He says messages should be brief and shouldn’t include photos or videos, which can’t be sent.

Bevin’s chief of staff authorized firing of Hampton’s aide

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s chief of staff says he authorized the firing of a key aide to Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton.

Blake Brickman said in a statement on Saturday to The Courier Journal that he authorized the firing of Adrienne Southworth, saying she repeatedly demonstrated poor judgment.

The firing last month prompted Hampton to send out a tweet praising Southworth’s work as “stellar” and asking for prayers in her fight against “dark forces.”

“The Governor’s Office typically does not comment on personnel matters,” Brickman said in the statement. “However, in light of repeated misleading insinuations and blatant lies about Adrienne Southworth’s termination, it is important to set the record straight.”

Brickman said Southworth was terminated for multiple reasons including repeated and unauthorized efforts to lobby state legislators in “an effort to pass legislation that provides more leniency for convicted sex offenders who violate their parole” in addition to misusing state property.

Southworth disputed Brickman’s reasons, saying she has never advocated for leniency for sex offenders who violated parole and hasn’t misused state property.

“We were expecting character assassination …” Southworth said. “As the bureaucrats descend into irrelevance, they try to claim my scalp for their political rescue.”

Brickman said Southworth wasn’t meeting the “high standard” of the administration.

“The bottom line is, (Southworth) was an at-will employee, and I lost all confidence in her ability to faithfully serve the people of the Commonwealth,” he said.

Kentucky’s high court rules in trampoline park injury case

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky’s Supreme Court has ruled that a damage waiver signed by a parent at a trampoline park does not protect the park from liability in the case of an injured child.

The Courier Journal reports that the court said Thursday it reached a unanimous decision in a lawsuit against House of Boom, a Louisville trampoline park where an 11-year-old girl broke her ankle in August 2015.

The girl’s mother had signed a waiver warning of the risk of serious injury, paralysis or death, when she bought tickets for her daughter.

The mother alleged House of Boom failed to adequately supervise customers or follow safety policies. House of Boom cited the waiver in seeking the lawsuit’s dismissal.

The court ruled that the public’s interest in protecting children renders liability waivers at for-profit operations unenforceable.

Ex-NBA player Anthony Grundy charged in fatal hit and run

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A former NBA player, Anthony Grundy, has pleaded not guilty in connection with a fatal hit-and-run crash in Kentucky.

News outlets report the 40-year-old Grundy turned himself in Friday and appeared in court Saturday. He is charged with leaving the scene of an accident and failure to render aid.

A police report says Grundy told police he knew he hit something on Dixie Highway in Louisville the night of June 7, but did not stop. Police say a woman trying to cross the road died after being struck.

News outlets report that Grundy attended high school in Kentucky and played basketball at North Carolina State University from 1998 to 2002. He then played professionally in several countries and played briefly with the Atlanta Hawks in the 2005-06 season.

Kentucky Supreme Court upholds man’s murder conviction

ADAIRVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky Supreme Court has upheld a murder conviction and 55-year sentence for a man who killed his sister-in-law.

The Bowling Green Daily News reports George Walker’s sentence was upheld last week. The 24-year-old man was convicted last year of strangling 23-year-old Alice Walker in 2015 and tampering with physical evidence in her death. Alice Walker’s body was found bound with rope, wrapped in a tarp and dumped in a river near her Adairville home.

George Walker’s appeal argued jurors saw a suppressed portion of his confession, which he argued shouldn’t have been used as evidence because his rights were violated during it. The court dismissed these arguments, saying Walker’s defense wasn’t harmed by the video and his rights weren’t violated.