Neighbor convicted of assaulting Rand Paul sells his home
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) — The neighbor convicted of attacking U.S. Sen. Rand Paul has sold his home next door to the senator.
Rene Boucher pleaded guilty last year to assaulting Paul. Paul also won a civil verdict against Boucher for more than $582,000 in January.
Court records in the civil case show Boucher sold his Bowling Green home in May and delivered the proceeds of the sale, about $482,000, to the court. The records say the money will be held in an account until the civil proceedings are resolved.
Paul testified during a three-day trial this year that he feared for his life after Boucher, an anesthesiologist, slammed into him in their upscale neighborhood in late 2017.
The jury awarded $375,000 in punitive damages and $200,000 for pain and suffering, plus more than $7,800 for medical expenses.
Tennessee probes park monitoring system after child death
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee regulators say they are investigating why a planned monitoring system has not been implemented at Cummins Falls State Park, where fast-moving water swept away and killed a toddler this weekend.
Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation spokeswoman Kim Schofinski said Wednesday that the falls and gorge area and trails leading there will stay closed pending the investigation. Other trails will stay open.
Authorities said the body of 2-year-old Steven Pierce of Eddyville, Kentucky, was recovered Monday after heavy rains on Sunday made conditions dangerous and led to more than 60 people being rescued at the popular swimming spot.
Gov. Bill Lee told reporters Wednesday that his administration is trying to figure out what has been done, what needs to be done and how quickly they want to move forward.
First chemical weapon destroyed at Kentucky Army facility
RICHMOND, Ky. (AP) — Officials have begun destroying Cold-War era chemical weapons that have been stored at a Kentucky Army depot for decades.
The facility at the Blue Grass Army Depot successfully destroyed a mustard-agent munition on Friday in Richmond.
It marked the beginning of the facility’s static detonation chamber operations, which will handle munitions that are unsuitable for automated destruction at the depot’s pilot plant.
Last month, officials including U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell and Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin gathered at the depot to ceremonially mark the beginning of the destruction of the weapons.
The depot has a stockpile of about 523 tons of mustard, GB and VX nerve agent. The pilot plant was finished in 2015, but operators and staff trained for years to prepare for the destruction operations.
Southern Baptist leader bemoans abuse crisis, vows action
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (AP) — The president of the Southern Baptist Convention has apologized for the abuse crisis besetting his church and outlined an array of steps to address it.
The impassioned speech came from J.D. Greear as he shared the stage with abuse survivors near the close of the Southern Baptists’ national meeting Wednesday in Birmingham, Alabama.
Said Greear: “We are broken-hearted and angry.”
He said the church must improve in areas including accountability, screening of potential pastors and training of staff.
Some activists and abuse survivors remain skeptical of the denomination’s commitment to a tough anti-abuse approach. They are urging swifter action to create a database listing credibly accused abusers that could be shared among the SBC’s 47,000 member churches.
TRUCK DRIVER-WOMAN KIDNAPPED
Truck driver accused of kidnapping woman stranded on highway
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Authorities say a woman who ran out of gas on an interstate was kidnapped by a truck driver who handcuffed her and threatened to rape her.
News outlets report the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation searched Wednesday at the home 62-year-old Roy Nellsch, who authorities charged with kidnapping.
An arrest warrant says the woman became stranded May 22 on Interstate 24 near the Tennessee-Kentucky line. She says Nellsch offered to take her to a gas station, but handcuffed her once she was inside his truck and told her he was going to rape her.
Authorities say the woman escaped, and officers arrested Nellsch the same day. Authorities say investigators are checking whether he may’ve been responsible for other crimes.
It’s unclear whether Nellsch has an attorney who could comment.
Report: Kentucky counties have inconsistent bail policies
(Information from: Courier Journal, http://www.courier-journal.com)
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A new report says Kentucky counties have “wildly inconsistent” bail practices.
The Courier Journal reports the study was released Tuesday by the Berea-based Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, a nonprofit research group and says where people live determines whether they will stay in jail due to high bail.
The study found that the number of defendants released before trial last year without having to post cash bail ranged from 5% in McCracken County to 68% in Martin County. It also found that only 17% of defendants in Wolfe County could afford to pay cash bail when it was required compared to 99% in Hopkins County.
Study author Ashley Spalding said defendants “should not have their freedom contingent upon their income or where they are arrested.”