News in Brief

August 21, 2014

Coroner: 3 dead before blaze began

INEZ (AP) — Officials say two women and a young girl found in the ruins of an eastern Kentucky house fire were killed before the blaze was set.

Media reported that officials with the Martin County coroner’s office say preliminary autopsy results show all three were shot and stabbed.

Firefighters were called to the blaze near Inez early Saturday, and they found the bodies of 46-year-old Cainie Johnson Jr., 42-year-old Tina Yvonne Goble, and her granddaughter, 8-year-old Trinity Janae Maynard.

Two people have been arrested and charged with murder and robbery in the deaths: 26-year-old Amanda Bowen and 41-year-old Jack D. Smith, both of Inez. It wasn’t clear whether they have attorneys.

Police said in an arrest warrant that the two took items from the home including medication and jewelry.


State joining effort to reduce drunken driving

LOUISVILLE (AP) — Law enforcement agencies around Kentucky are participating in a national effort to reduce impaired-driving fatalities.

The campaign started last week and runs through Labor Day. It’s called “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”

Kentucky State Police say the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports an average of one alcohol-related fatality every 51 minutes across the U.S. Police say campaigns like the one going on now can reduce such fatalities by up to 20 percent.

Kentucky recorded more than 5,500 alcohol-related crashes last year, resulting in 138 deaths and more than 3,000 injuries.

The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety and Mobile Life Solutions last year came up with a free app to help fight drinking and driving. The app is called “Driver Sober Kentucky” and is available at http://www.DriveSoberKY.com.


TVA board to vote on replacing coal plant

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Valley Authority’s board is scheduled to vote on a proposal to retire the coal-fired Allen Fossil Plant in Memphis and replace it with a natural gas facility.

TVA’s board is scheduled to meet Thursday in Knoxville.

The utility said in July that it completed a draft environmental assessment looking at replacing the Allen plant.

TVA committed to install emission controls or retire Allen’s coal units by December 2018 under a 2011 agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency to reduce emissions across its coal-fired generating fleet.

Environmental groups say the Allen plant causes a pollution hazard and it should be shut down and replaced with a facility that generates cleaner energy.

TVA is the nation’s largest public utility, supplying power to about 9 million people in several states.


Ham sells for $2 million at charity auction

LOUISVILLE (AP) — A nearly 16-pound ham has sold for $2 million at the Kentucky State Fair.

Republic Bank paid $1 million and Hermitage Farm Charities joined with Bridgeman Foods to pay $1 million to buy the ham Thursday as part of a charity auction at the 51st annual Kentucky Country Ham Breakfast sponsored by the Kentucky Farm Bureau. The price broke a 2010 record of $1.6 million.

A spokeswoman for Hermitage Farm Charities and Bridgeman Foods said the group plans to donate part of their $1 million to Louisville’s West End School, a private school for at-risk boys. Republic Bank CEO Steve Trager said they will donate to a charity in the health care and education area.

The ham provided by Broadbents B&B Foods in Kuttawa weighed 15.89 pounds, selling for $125,865 per pound.


Lexington lawyer disbarred after fraud plea

LOUISVILLE (AP) — A Lexington attorney facing federal prison time for fraud has been permanently disbarred by the Kentucky Supreme Court.

The high court on Thursday revoked the law license of 34-year-old Seth Jarard Johnston, who is scheduled for sentencing for two guilty pleas on Sept. 22. Johnston requested the disbarment.

Johnston was hired to help collect the multi-million dollar judgment from attorneys Shirley Cunningham Jr., William Gallion and Melbourne Mills Jr. The three were ordered to pay former clients who had sued over injuries from the diet drug fen-phen. He admitted to stealing money from the settlement and another attorney.

In his disbarment request, Johnston also admitted to hiding assets from an estate and diverting the funds to himself, as well as conspiring to destroy evidence related to a law enforcement investigation.


Free courses aimed at helping workers, employers

FRANKFORT (AP) — Kentucky’s Labor Cabinet is planning to offer a series of free training courses later this month that it says will benefit workers and employers.

The sessions will be held for four days beginning Monday at the Clarion Hotel in Lexington.

The cabinet says participants can choose from a variety of courses that include an overview of the Kentucky Occupational Safety and Health Program.

Other courses include respiratory protection, chemical hazard classification and labeling, recent changes in requirements for crane operators, injury and illness record-keeping and fire protection and prevention.

State Labor Secretary Larry Roberts says safety is good for business. He says companies should never underestimate the value of keeping their employees up to date on the latest safety training.


EKU participating in e-mentoring program

RICHMOND (AP) — Eastern Kentucky University has received a grant for an innovative mentoring program for students preparing to become classroom teachers.

The program will enable EKU students who are presenting lessons in some area schools to be technologically linked to a professor on the Richmond campus. Watching in their offices, the university’s faculty member can relay helpful tips to the EKU students.

EKU’s College of Education recently received the $10,000 grant from The Fund for Transforming Education in Kentucky.

As part of the program, about 20 students completing clinical teaching experiences will be paired with faculty this fall.

Schools that agree to participate will be outfitted with audio and video technology.