News in Brief

Judge: Clerk doesn’t have to pay legal fees for gay couples

LEXINGTON (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that a county clerk in Kentucky who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in 2015 doesn’t have to pay legal fees for the couples who sued her.

Attorneys for the couples who sued Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis asked the court to award them about $233,000 in legal fees and costs. Davis’ lawyers asked that the request be denied.

Kentucky lawmakers later addressed the same-sex marriage issue. In April 2016, Gov. Matt Bevin signed into law a bill that removed county clerks’ names and authorizations from state marriage licenses.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Edward B. Atkins signed an order Monday that says because the issue was resolved in the legislature the plaintiffs weren’t prevailing parties and therefore are not entitled to legal fees.


Senate panel OKs bill aimed at horse abuse cases

FRANKFORT (AP) — Horse owners convicted of animal cruelty could face additional financial penalties under a bill advancing in the Kentucky legislature.

The measure would allow horse owners to be ordered to pay restitution for food, shelter and veterinary care costs while their abused horses are in temporary custody.

The Senate Agriculture Committee approved the bill on Tuesday. If it passes the Senate without any changes, it will go to Gov. Matt Bevin. The measure has passed the House.

The bill’s lead sponsor is House Speaker Pro Tem David Osborne.

It also would allow judges to more quickly terminate ownership rights to abused horses.

Recent horse abuse cases in Kentucky have included the discovery of dozens of horses that were abandoned on a Mercer County farm.

The legislation is House Bill 200.


Group wants old school to become home for female veterans

WINCHESTER (AP) — A group of residents outside of Lexington are hoping to transform an old school building into a home for female veterans and their children.

WKYT-TV reports that the Lady Veterans Connect organization and other volunteers in Clark County are holding a yard sale March 18 and 19 to help raise money and collect items that may be useful to the home.

Organizers say the old Trapp Elementary School building in Winchester has sat empty for several years and could accommodate up to 35 female veterans and their children.

Anyone interested in donating clothes or other items can contact Phyllis Abbott at or attend an informational meeting Thursday at the old school building.


Tenn. businessman pleads guilty in Ky. jail case

PADUCAH (AP) — A Tennessee business owner has pleaded guilty to fraud in a conspiracy that allegedly involved a former western Kentucky county jailer and others.

The U.S. attorney’s office said 42-year-old Daniel C. Larcom of Union City pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court in Paducah to three charges of wire fraud for his role in kickbacks and concealment of costs for work on a 2015 Fulton County jail expansion.

Prosecutors said in a news release that Larcom’s company was awarded a $415,000 contract to install HVAC systems.

The release said Larcom conspired with then-Jailer Ricky D. Parnell to give Parnell cash and other items so that Parnell would continue to award Larcom and his company with contracts.

Larcom, Parnell and three others were indicted in November. Two of those three have also pleaded guilty in the case.


Groundbreaking for proposed Bill Monroe museum set for May

ROSINE (AP) — Officials in western Kentucky say a proposed museum dedicated to bluegrass music pioneer Bill Monroe is getting closer to reality.

Ohio County Judge-Executive David Johnston told the Messenger-Inquirer that a groundbreaking for the facility has been scheduled for May 22 in Monroe’s hometown of Rosine.

Johnston said the museum has been a goal for nearly 20 years and he is proud that construction will start soon.

Johnston and Ohio County Tourism Director Jody Flener say they think the museum will boost tourism in the area.

Flener has said the museum will focus on Monroe, his family and his band, the Bluegrass Boys.

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