Documents: State recorded lead up to 2 executions
LOUISVILLE (AP) — Public records obtained by The Associated Press show that state prison officials videotaped two condemned inmates heading for the death chamber in two of the state’s executions.
The videotapes have never been made public. The AP uncovered references to the videos in a notation in a personnel file of a former prison employee and when the Department of Corrections rejected a records request from the AP for the videos.
The reason for the videos made before an electrocution in 1997 and a lethal injection in 1999 are unclear. They apparently do not show the execution, but include procedures with the inmates in preparation. The AP has not been granted permission to view the tapes.
Experts who track capital punishment procedures believe such video recordings to be highly unusual.
James River Coal plans asset auction Aug. 18
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — James River Coal Co. plans to hold an asset auction next week following several postponements.
Online court documents show the auction is scheduled for Aug. 18. If the successful bid contemplates a sale, a sale-approval hearing would be held Aug. 20 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Richmond.
Richmond-based James River filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the asset auction has been delayed five times since it originally was scheduled for July 8.
The company operates six mining complexes in Kentucky, West Virginia and Indiana.
Tobacco company to pay $750,000 after plea
BOWLING GREEN (AP) — Kentucky-based tobacco company that makes Golden Harvest, Millennium and Red Buck cigars will pay $750,000 in restitution and forfeitures after pleading guilty to conspiracy to engage in contraband cigarette trafficking.
U.S. District Judge Joseph McKinley sentenced Tantus Tobacco, of Russell Springs, on Monday. The company will pay $200,000 to the Kentucky Revenue Cabinet in lost taxes and $60,000 to the Kentucky attorney general’s office for its assistance in the investigation. Tantus Tobacco forfeited $490,000 to the United States.
The company admitted to helping cigarette brokers Jerry Burke and Charles Wells in avoiding taxes. Burke and Wells pleaded guilty to making false statements in reports to the U.S. government and the state of Mississippi. Both were sentenced in 2011 to two years in prison.
TVA: Watts Bar more than 90 percent complete
SPRING CITY, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Valley Authority says work on the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant is more than 90 percent complete.
The federal agency announced a target completion date for the plant’s Unit 2 reactor of December 2015.
It said this week that the reactor continues to meet safety and quality targets and remains on schedule and within budget.
The facility is on course to become the nation’s first new nuclear generating plant of the 21st century.
About 3,200 workers are on the Watts Bar 2 project, which will be TVA’s seventh nuclear unit. Watts Bar 2 will add 1,100 megawatts of electricity, providing enough energy for approximately 650,000 homes.
TVA is the nation’s largest public utility, supplying power to about 9 million people in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.
Prison company pays $260K in lawsuit settlement
LOUISVILLE (AP) — The largest private prison company in America paid $260,000 to a group of shift supervisors in Kentucky to settle claims that they were denied overtime.
Corrections Corporation of America, based in Nashville, Tennessee, paid the money last year to end a lawsuit. The former employees took $129,000 of the settlement. Plaintiff’s attorneys received $131,000.
The case involved workers at the now-shuttered Marion Adjustment Center in St. Mary’s, Kentucky. The group claimed in a 2012 lawsuit that CCA denied them overtime after forcing them to work extra hours. CCA has denied the allegations.
The settlement was originally sealed, but the nonprofit Prison Legal News sought to have it unsealed. U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn in Louisville granted that request Wednesday.
Man sentenced in gun shipping case
BOWLING GREEN (AP) — A southern Kentucky man has been sentenced to 24 months in federal prison on charges of shipping weapons inside hollowed-out video game systems overseas.
The Daily News reports U.S. District Judge Joseph H. McKinley handed down the sentence on Monday to 34-year-old Adam Bunger of Bowling Green.
Bunger pleaded guilty in March to illegally exporting firearms, illegally shipping and transporting firearms in foreign commerce, shipping firearms in foreign commerce with obliterated serial numbers and illegal delivery of firearms for transportation and shipment in foreign commerce.
Federal authorities investigated Bunger after a package arrived in Australia and was found in a forensic examination to contain disassembled components of a 9mm pistol and gun parts that were in a hollowed out Xbox video game system.
Police traced that weapon and others to Bunger.
Amazon to hire 300 in northern Ky.
HEBRON (AP) — Amazon says it plans to hire hundreds of workers in northern Kentucky.
The company says it plans to hire 300 full-time employees at its fulfillment center in Hebron to pack and mail customer orders.
Boone County Judge-Executive Gary Moore said in a statement to The Kentucky Enquirer that the new jobs will help stimulate the economy and provide finance support to families.
Amazon says growing customer demand led to the added jobs.
Nuclear regulator calls for comment on Sequoyah
SODDY-DAISY, Tenn. (AP) — The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is calling for public comment on a study of the environmental impact of renewing the license of the Sequoyah Nuclear Plant in Soddy-Daisy for another 20 years.
The NRC plans two public meetings in Soddy-Daisy’s city hall on Sept. 17 to present the findings of the draft study, which includes the preliminary conclusion that the environmental impact should not prevent the license from being renewed.
The Sequoyah plant is located about 20 miles north of Chattanooga and has been in service since 1981. The Tennessee Valley Authority’s current operating licenses for the plant’s two pressurized water reactors are set to expire in 2020 and 2021.
The NRC is accepting public comments on the environmental impact study through Sept. 29.