News Around the State

House votes to impose fees for some handicap placards

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky would begin charging people for multiple handicap parking placards under a bill that has cleared the state House of Representatives.

Kentucky had issued just over 32,000 disabled parking placards in 2008. In 2009, one year after the state stopped charging a fee, the state issued 209,000 placards. The explosion in placards has made it difficult for people like David Allgood to find a parking spot. Allgood is a quadriplegic who needs 96 inches of space next to his van to deploy a ramp for his wheelchair.

House Bill 81 would still let disabled people get one handicap parking placard for free. But it would cost $10 to get another one.

The bill cleared the House Tuesday by a vote of 85-10 and now heads to the state Senate.

Governor auctions chance to implode building

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky’s Republican governor is auctioning off the chance to push the plunger to implode a 28-story government building, with all proceeds benefiting a charity for foster children started by his wife.

The 330-foot-tall Capital Plaza Tower will be imploded at 1:30 p.m. EDT Sunday. Tuesday, Bevin announced he was auctioning off the chance to push the plunger on eBay . The proceeds will benefit the #WeAreKy! Foundation, which was founded by first lady Glenna Bevin.

The auction closes Saturday at 5 p.m. EST, and Bevin’s office says the final bid will be tax deductible. The highest bid as of 3:30 p.m. Tuesday was $2,125.

The Capital Plaza Tower opened in 1972 and closed in 2016. It is the tallest building in Frankfort, the state’s capital city.

Officials: Man dead after standoff with police

PAINTSVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Authorities say a Kentucky man has died in a standoff with law enforcement officers.

Multiple media outlets report that Johnson County Sheriff Dwayne Price says deputies responded to reports Monday night of a man acting suspiciously in a front yard. Price says they found a man with a Bible walking around and looking up at the sky.

The sheriff says the man tried to fight a deputy and ran into a house after being shocked with a stun gun. Kentucky State Police were then called in and a shootout ensued. A special response team sent a robot into the home when the barricaded man stopped responding to officers and found him dead.

It was unclear whether the man shot himself or if he was shot in the standoff.

Lexington has lowest homeless count in more than decade

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Officials in Kentucky’s second-largest city say the number of homeless has declined to its lowest level in more than a decade.

A statement from the city of Lexington says a one-night count on Jan. 24 found 685 people on the street, in an emergency shelter or in transitional housing. The city said the number is the lowest since at least 2005, when 882 people were counted.

Mayor Jim Gray said Lexington began focusing in 2014 on finding permanent housing for the homeless. He said the city still has work to do, but the latest numbers show it is making progress.

Polly Ruddick, director of the Office of Homelessness Prevention and Intervention, says work will continue until everyone in the city has access to safe, decent, affordable housing.

Sister, father of slain 6-year-old testify against suspect

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Family members of a slain Kentucky 6-year-old have testified in the murder trial of the Indiana dialysis nurse accused of stabbing him to death.

Thirteen-year-old Koral Tipton testified Monday that she awoke on Dec. 7, 2015, and saw Ronald Exantus standing above her little brother, Logan Tipton, with a butcher knife in one hand and a butter knife in the other. Logan’s father, Dean Tipton, testified he didn’t know Exantus before the attack, quelling theories the attack was a disagreement gone wrong.

Defense attorneys Josh Miller and Bridget Hofler say a mental illness caused Exantus’ attack. But prosecutors say Exantus voluntarily took synthetic drugs that triggered his psychosis. Holfer says a blood sample from Exantus only showed a non-active ingredient of marijuana. A psychiatrist and toxicologist are set to testify Friday.

Exantus could get death if convicted.

Federal investigators search Ky. police department

HORSE CAVE, Ky. (AP) — State and federal authorities have searched a Kentucky police department that is under investigation.

FBI Louisville Office Chief Counsel David Habich says search warrants were executed Monday at the Horse Cave Police Department as part of an ongoing federal investigation.

Horse Cave Mayor Randall Curry tells the Bowling Green Daily News the investigators removed electronics and files from the department.

The mayor says none of the department’s six officers have been placed on leave.

Horse Cave Officer Larry Dale Martin was indicted in July on federal charges of wire fraud for selling and giving away military property obtained from the state.

Hart County Sheriff Boston Hensley tells the Glasgow Daily Times that his department and state police will provide Horse Cave with police coverage as-needed.