News Around the State

Relatives say state isn’t making payments for foster kids

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — A group of relatives raising children removed from homes have accused Kentucky of not providing foster care payments.

The Courier Journal reports Lexington lawyer Richard Dawahare filed a lawsuit Thursday on behalf of the 14 adults and 21 children. The lawsuit comes months after a federal court ruled Kentucky must pay relatives providing free foster care just as it pays licensed foster care families.

The state said earlier this year that it would begin making payments of about $750 a month per child. But Dawahare says the process has been slow and officials routinely deny people he believes are entitled to payments.

Doug Hogan is a spokesman for the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services. He says the agency is confident in its interpretation of the ruling.

Lawsuit: Student was expelled for ‘commentary’ on shootings

DANVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A lawsuit charges that a Kentucky student was expelled over commentary on “the recent national trend of school shootings.”

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports a parent of the 17-year-old sued Boyle County Public Schools officials last month. It says the boy, identified in court records only as W.H.R., was expelled without due process in February after fatal school shootings in Florida and Kentucky.

The lawsuit says other students alerted school staff to the boy’s writing. It says the boy wrote the commentary in the third person, using techniques taught in his English class. The student’s attorney, Bill Noelker, says the writing contained no direct or implicit threats.

Court records say school district officials deny the allegations. School attorney Dana Collins says the school stands behind its decision.

Police department to pass out freezer pops to kids

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Police in one Kentucky city are hoping to collect 100,000 frosty treats to pass out to children this summer.

Lexington Officer Ryan Holland is leading the effort to collect donations of freezer pops to connect police and kids. Police said in a news release that the freezer pops are taken to summer camps, city pools and other youth events.

Last year, residents, businesses and organizations donated more than 72,000 pops.

The fundraiser starts Friday and runs for one week. Donations can be dropped off at any Lexington police roll call or headquarters during regular business hours. Unfrozen pops in boxes are preferred. Monetary donations can be made online , with “freeze pop fundraiser” in the comment section.

UK says moves to fire professor over book sales

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — The University of Kentucky is trying to fire a journalism professor they say required students to buy his book without permission.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reported Thursday that a statement by Provost David Blackwell says tenured professor Buck Ryan “stole from students. And he used university resources to do it.”

The school also says Ryan didn’t disclose book sale proceeds. An internal audit says Ryan has required students use his book since 2009. Ryan says the school knew he used the book, and that he gave the profits to charities.

Ryan refused an offer to resign last week. Ryan was disciplined in 2016 for what school officials called “inappropriate touching and language of a sexual nature.” He denied those allegations.

Ex-Ballard, Knicks star Houston to honor ‘Little Brothers’

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Former Ballard High School basketball star and NBA New York Knicks assistant general manager Allan Houston will honor a second class of boys graduating from his mentoring program.

Houston will join Big Brothers/Big Sisters on Saturday to recognize the “Little Brothers” at the organization’s Louisville office. His Mentoring Initiative pairs adult mentors and youngsters facing adversity in structured activities and basketball workshops.

Since the initiative’s 2016 launch, 36 Big and Little Brothers have participated. Houston said in a release that his program “has far exceeded our expectations — building lifelong friendships and a positive legacy.”

Houston, 47, played collegiately at Tennessee before being selected 11th overall in the first round of the 1993 NBA draft by the Detroit Pistons. He played nine of his 13 seasons with the Knicks and was a two-time All-Star.