News Around the State

Prosecutor: Conviction a warning against public corruption

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky says a lobbyist’s conviction on bribery charges this week reinforces that public corruption will not be tolerated.

A federal jury convicted James Sullivan on Monday of bribing the state’s deputy attorney general in 2016. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 6. Sullivan faces a maximum of 10 years in prison or a $250,000 fine.

U.S. Attorney Robert M. Duncan Jr. said ensuring honest public services is a core priority of the Justice Department.

The jury found Sullivan not guilty of three other bribery charges involving a contract with the state’s workers’ compensation program. Prosecutors had video evidence of the 2016 bribe. The other bribes were based on testimony from two Democratic political operatives who are serving prison sentences.

Kentucky State Police cadet class graduating this week

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Several dozen new Kentucky State Police troopers are graduating this week.

State police say a total of 48 troopers will graduate and be commissioned at the cadet class graduation Friday at Buck Run Baptist Church in Frankfort. Expected for the ceremony are Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton, state police Commissioner Richard Sanders, state police command staff and graduates’ family and friends.

State police last year changed its hiring policy to allow cadet applicants who don’t have 60 hours of college credit to earn the credit while attending the training academy. The agency said nine cadets in the current class earned an associate’s degree in general occupational and technical studies from Bluegrass Community and Technical College.

Former teacher accused of theft

UNION, Ky. (AP) — A former Kentucky high school teacher is accused of taking money from a student group.

News outlets report 37-year-old Bryan Bentley faces two counts of grand theft in an indictment and is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.

Bentley worked at Ryle High School in Union. Boone County school officials said in a statement Tuesday that he is no longer with the schools.

The Clermont County Sheriff’s Office in Ohio said investigators believe Bentley took $52,000 from the Kentucky chapter of Future Business Leaders of America. Bentley had been the organization’s treasurer. Deputies said he also cashed more than $50,000 in checks on a closed account linked to Ryle High School.

Bentley’s employment with Ryle was terminated before the Ohio investigation.

No phone listing was available for Bentley.

White nationalist leader released from jail

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A leading white nationalist figure has been released from a Kentucky jail after serving a sentence for violating his probation for harassing a protester at a 2016 Donald Trump campaign rally.

Louisville Metro Department of Corrections spokesman Steve Durham says Matthew Heimbach was released from the city’s jail on Saturday.

In May, a judge sentenced Heimbach to 38 days in jail for a probation violation stemming from a domestic abuse incident.

Court records show Heimbach was arrested in Paoli, Indiana, in March on battery charges. Authorities say he assaulted his wife’s stepfather, David Matthew Parrott, as they argued over Heimbach’s alleged affair with Parrott’s wife.

Heimbach, head of the Traditionalist Worker Party, was one of the scheduled speakers at last summer’s “Unite the Right” white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Boyd Co. approves 2-year $50 fee to fund 911 system

CATLETTSBURG, Ky. (AP) — Officials say a $50 annual fee added to property tax bills to fund a Kentucky county’s 911 system has been approved by a local court.

Boyd County Judge-Executive Steve Towler tells news outlets the county fiscal court approved the fee Tuesday that will replace phone surcharges to fund the county emergency dispatch center.

Officials say the fee will replace the $15 one property owners paid last year and also the 15 percent monthly surcharge landline customers were paying. Towler says landline revenue has been declining because many people are using cellphones only.

County 911 deputy director Matt Saunders says the fee will provide most of the center’s revenue and will be enough to keep operations going for roughly two years.

The landline fee will be eliminated by January.

Fire forces cancellation of ‘Waitress’ musical in Louisville

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A fire at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts has forced the cancellation of a musical scheduled for next week.

PNC Broadway President Leslie Broecker said the production of “Waitress” won’t be rescheduled and tickets will be refunded. No one was injured in the fire on June 13. But state officials say the fire caused extensive damage to the roof, lobbies, dressing rooms, mechanical rooms, restrooms and other areas.

The Finance and Administration Cabinet owns the building. Secretary William Landrum said officials still are assessing the scope of the damage and said it will be a major restoration project. He said state officials plan to have a timeline for the restoration completed by June 29.

Wildlife submissions sought for art exhibit

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The Ohio Valley Art League and the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources are taking submissions from artists for the 13th biennial Kentucky National Wildlife Art Exhibition.

A statement from the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet says nominations for the juried art show will be accepted July 2 through July 30. The public show will be Oct. 8 through Nov. 29 at the Preston Arts Center in Henderson.

Artists interested in participating can get more information online at www.ohiovalleyart.org .

During the exhibition in 2016, artists received cash awards totaling almost $14,000.