News in Brief


Committee approves $148M for pension system

FRANKFORT (AP) — A Senate committee has approved a proposal to spend more than $148 million on the State Police Retirement System over the next two years.

If approved by the state legislature, it would be the first money spent from the Kentucky Permanent Pension Fund, which lawmakers created last year at the urging of Republican Gov. Matt Bevin. Lawmakers put $125 million into the fund, plus half of any excess revenues in future years.

While Kentucky retirement systems have larger debts, bill sponsor Republican Sen. Chris McDaniel said 90 cents of every dollar spent on state police has to go to the retirement system — the most of any system.

Additionally, the state road fund pays $25.7 million each year into the police retirement system. McDaniel said this bill would reduce that by $4.6 million.

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Women plead guilty to 2015 killing of Livingston woman

SOMERSET (AP) — A southern Kentucky woman has pleaded guilty to murder in connection to the beating death of an 86-year-old woman.

Media outlets report 36-year-old Kimberly Slusher admitted to killing Mary Hinton in June 2015 at Hinton’s Livingston home. Slusher also pleaded guilty to burglary, robbery and tampering with physical evidence during a hearing Monday in Pulaski County.

Kentucky State Police said Slusher and 32-year-old Tabitha Howard cut the phone lines at Hinton’s home and ransacked the inside. They said the women used a flat-screen television and a gun to beat Hinton to death.

Slusher’s attorney declined to comment Monday. Slusher will be sentenced March 24.

Howard pleaded guilty to complicity to commit murder, complicity to commit robbery and tampering with physical evidence. She will be sentenced Feb. 24.

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Warning issued about counterfeit bills in western Kentucky

OWENSBORO (AP) — State police have issued a warning about counterfeit bills being circulated in western Kentucky.

According to Trooper Corey King, Independence Bank says several $100 and $20 counterfeit bills have been accepted by businesses in Daviess, Webster, and McCracken counties.

Police said in a statement that the fake bills are very realistic, but they are all marked on the back “for motion picture use only.”

Similar complaints were made in Lexington late last year. Police there issued a warning in December that several counterfeit bills had been passed in recent weeks that looked real but were marked “for motion picture use only.”

Anyone with information about counterfeit money is asked to contact police.

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Mine maintenance chief charged with falsifying record

BOWLING GREEN (AP) — Authorities say the maintenance chief at a western Kentucky coal mine has been indicted on charges of falsifying a safety record and lying to federal inspectors.

U.S. Attorney John E. Kuhn Jr. said in a statement on Monday that the charges against Daniel L. Couch Jr. stem from safety inspections last year at Paradise No. 9 Mine in Muhlenberg County.

The indictment says a federal Mine Safety and Health Administration inspector visited the mine on May 17, 2016, and found no record of required fire suppression checks for the week of May 1-7. Two days later, the inspector returned to find the record book changed to show that inspections had taken place on May 7.

Couch was also charged with making false statements to investigators.

Federal court records don’t indicate whether Couch has an attorney.

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Southern Ind. county’s needle exchange sees slow start

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (AP) — A southern Indiana county has seen a slow start to its needle exchange aimed at curbing the spread of hepatitis C and HIV among intravenous drug users.

Clark County Health Officer Kevin Burke says the program has had a “slow but steady flow” of participants since it began Jan. 26.

But Burke tells the News and Tribune the program’s slow start was expected because it takes time to overcome “mistrust and suspicion” among IV drug users.

Needle exchanges provide those users with clean syringes to prevent needle sharing that spreads hepatitis C, HIV and other diseases.

The Ohio River county’s exchange was approved by Indiana in August, but funding issues delayed its start for several months.

Clark County’s exchange is open every Thursday at a Jeffersonville clinic.

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UofL interim president comments on accreditation issues

LOUISVILLE (AP) — The University of Louisville’s new interim president says there’s been no indication from an accrediting agency that the legislature’s actions have worsened the school’s situation as it tries to pull itself out of probation.

Greg Postel told reporters Tuesday that his roles include making sure the school responds “in every way possible” to concerns raised by UofL’s accrediting body, which placed the school on probation for one year.

Postel pledged the university will make accreditation-related documents available to the campus and media.

He was asked about a new law allowing Gov. Matt Bevin to replace UofL’s board of trustees, and pending legislation allowing Bevin to replace any public university board for failing to meet certain requirements.

Postel says there’s been no feedback to suggest those measures worsened UofL’s accreditation position.

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Angel’s Envy Distillery joins Kentucky Bourbon Trail

LOUISVILLE (AP) — Louisville’s newest distillery has been added as a stop along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

The Angel’s Envy Distillery becomes the 10th stop on the tourist trail showcasing Kentucky’s signature spirit. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said Monday that the designation will strengthen the city’s place as the gateway to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

The Angel’s Envy distillery is housed in a restored warehouse that takes up an entire city block. The distillery is across the street from the city’s minor-league baseball stadium. The brand adds a different twist to its whiskeys. Its bourbon is finished in port barrels.

Tourism in the heart of bourbon country reached a milestone in 2016, when visitors made more than 1 million stops at distilleries along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour.

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List of finalists for KSU president stirs controversy

FRANKFORT (AP) — Kentucky State University faculty and alumni are expressing concern with the list of finalists for university president, and that interim university President Aaron Thompson is not among them.

Media outlets report that Thursday, the KSU Board of Regents voted to approve three finalists for the job: M. Christopher Brown of Southern University in Louisiana, Said Sewell of Lincoln University in Missouri and Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice Thomas Colbert.

Left off the list was Thompson, who Rep. Derrick Graham says applied for the job with significant support after financial problems almost closed the school down. Thompson has been interim president since May.

In an emergency meeting Monday, the KSU faculty senate’s executive committee voted to ask the board of regents to add Thompson as a candidate for an on-campus interview.

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Sister of man killed by police: He was homeless, had issues

LOUISVILLE (AP) — A relative of a man fatally shot by police responding to a report of a burglary over the weekend said he was homeless, had mental health and substance abuse issues and “just wanted a warm place to stay.”

Police identified the man killed Saturday as 32-year-old William A. Young Jr.

Police Chief Steve Conrad said Monday that Young advanced toward an officer with a skewer-like item and that police shot him. Conrad said officers announced their presence multiple times as they entered the house while responding to reports of a burglary.

News outlets quoted Young’s sister, Shawna Coates, as saying he was homeless.

Officers Russell Braun, Paige Young and Randall Richardson have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.

Louisville police spokesman Lamont Washington says Young was white, as are the officers.

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Police: Man who stormed court ‘threatened to kill everyone’

LOUISVILLE (AP) — The man arrested for running on the court and briefly entering Miami’s huddle during Saturday’s game at No. 4 Louisville must stay away from the KFC Yum! Center and a dancer he allegedly kicked during the incident in which police say he “threatened to kill everyone” there.

Randall Bolton, 31, was released Monday on those conditions and faces a hearing Tuesday on several misdemeanor charges, including third-degree terroristic threatening. Louisville Metro Police had warned Bolton not to go on the floor before he ran from between sections 101 and 102 and onto the court during a first-half timeout, making contact with the Ladybirds dancer and joining the Hurricanes’ huddle.

The arrest report includes Bolton’s threat but does not specify when he made it. Bolton’s lawyer, Alex Fleming, had no comment when contacted Monday by The Associated Press.

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1 dead in shooting at doctor’s office

BEDFORD (AP) — Kentucky State Police say a person is dead following a shooting at a doctor’s office.

Trooper Josh Lawson told media that the shooting was reported shortly before noon Tuesday at First You Medical in Bedford, which is about 40 miles northeast of Louisville.

Lawson said one person died as a result of the shooting. The identity of the victim wasn’t immediately released.

Police say they are searching for a suspect in the shooting, but have not made an arrest.

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