Latest Kentucky news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. EDT

Posted at 3:20 AM, Jun 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-24 21:21:40-04


Dispute lingers over how many votes needed for pension bill

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A prominent Kentucky House Democrat is questioning whether Republican Gov. Matt Bevin has enough votes to legally pass his pension-relief proposal in a special legislative session.

Rep. Joni Jenkins said Monday she’s hearing the governor has lined up 51 votes for his proposal in the 100-member House. But she says the measure could require support from at least 60 House members as an appropriation bill in a nonbudget year.

Jenkins says it may be “something the courts will decide.”

Bevin’s deputy chief of staff, Bryan Sunderland, says Bevin’s team has enough support to pass the proposal “in a constitutional manner.”

Jenkins and Sunderland spoke to reporters after a pension oversight board met Monday.

Bevin’s proposal aims to provide relief for regional universities as well quasi-governmental agencies facing surging pension costs.


Judge: Kentucky must pay fees, costs in pension plan case

(Information from: Courier Journal,

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky judge has ordered the state to pay more than $72,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs in a lawsuit over the release of an economic analysis of Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration’s analysis of the 2017 pension reform plan.

Franklin County Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd ruled Monday the Bevin administration intentionally violated the Kentucky Open Records Act in refusing to release a copy of the analysis. The Courier Journal reports Shepherd ordered the analysis be released and directed the state to pay fees and costs to the person requesting it.

A former attorney for state government and a member of the Kentucky Public Pension Coalition, Ellen Suetholz, requested the analysis. Her attorney said Suetholz is pleased with the ruling.

Bevin spokesman Woody Maglinger said the administration disputes the willful violation conclusion and plans to appeal.



Weather service surveying tornado damage in Kentucky

(Information from: Courier Journal,

PADUCAH, Ky. (AP) — The National Weather Service says a low-level tornado caused damage to a Kentucky Lake marina.

Meteorologist Kelly Hooper told the Courier Journal that an EF-1 tornado touched down in Marshall County at Moors Resort & Marina shortly after 5 p.m. CDT Sunday.

The weather service is still surveying the damage, as well as preliminary EF-1 tornado damage in Carlisle, Ballard and McCracken counties. The agency said its work will continue Tuesday.

An EF-1 tornado is considered moderate with winds from 86 mph to 110 mph.



Kentucky man accused of setting fire, shooting at officers

PINEVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky State Police have arrested a man accused of firing shots into a residence, starting a fire and shooting at responding officers.

A state police statement says troopers responded to a complaint that shots were fired late Sunday in Bell County, and then found themselves under fire.

A standoff ensued until a state police special response team approached the residence and made contact with 53-year-old Charles E. Lawson, who was arrested Monday morning and charged with wanton endangerment, attempted murder and assault.

News outlets said no injuries were reported, but state Highway 66 was shut down near the scene during the standoff.


2 injured in small plane crash at airport

VINE GROVE, Ky. (AP) — Two people were injured when a small plane crashed in Kentucky.

News reports cite a statement from the Vine Grove Police Department saying a single-engine aircraft crashed Sunday evening at the Vine Grove Airport.

Police said two people on board were injured and taken to a hospital for treatment. Police did not release their names or any updates on their conditions.

A man who lives near the airport told The News-Enterprise he was the first on the scene and called emergency crews. Jeff Lincoln said the plane clipped a tree and stalled before crashing.


South Carolina looks to weed its way into hemp farming boom

(Information from: The Post and Courier,

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina is projecting a 1,200% increase in hemp farming acreage, as the state looks to join in on the booming market with others in the region.

The Post and Courier reports South Carolina has 113 permitted growers this year planting about 3,300 acres, up from 20 growers and 256 acres last year.

The increase is attributed to the 2018 Farm Bill, which removed limitations on hemp cultivation.

Jason Eargle is the founder of growing and processing center Brackish Solutions. He says the market for hemp is growing exponentially and could expand into the textile and biofuel industries.

Most of the hemp demand stems from the popularity of CBD oil.

With five years in the hemp-farming business, Kentucky has 1,035 approved growers and the region’s largest acreage, at 6,700.