News Around the State

Kentucky Attorney General files pension brief with top court

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear has filed a brief with the state Supreme Court about why he thinks a law changing the public pension system is unconstitutional.

The state legislature passed SB 151 in April. It would require all new teacher hires to be moved into a hybrid pension system. It would also restrict how teachers use sick days to calculate their retirement benefits.

The bill was unpopular with public workers. Beshear, who is running for governor in 2019, sued to block the bill. He says lawmakers did not follow the state Constitution when they passed the bill too quickly.

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin says the law does not violate the state Constitution. The court is scheduled to hear the case on Sept. 20.

Dealership replaces car flipped by celebrating Kentucky fans

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — A man’s car fell victim to celebrating University of Kentucky fans, and has been replaced by a local dealership.

News outlets report Big M Superstore donated the 2005 Mazda 3 to 19-year-old Matt O’Hara, whose car was flipped Saturday. The Northern Kentucky University student was visiting friends in Lexington the night of the Wildcats’ 27-16 victory over the Florida Gators.

That win was the first against Florida in more than three decades, and hundreds of fans poured into State Street to celebrate. No injuries were reported, but when O’Hara made his way back to his State Street parking spot, he found some possessions strewn nearby. His car had been impounded.

Dealership owner Stephen Montgomery says he learned of O’Hara’s plight the Barstool Sports website.

Lexington police are investigating.

Authorities: Teen slashes grandmother’s throat, calls 911

LEITCHFIELD, Ky. (AP) — Authorities in Kentucky say a teen slashed his grandmother’s throat and repeatedly stabbed her before calling 911 to report her injuries.

News outlets report 18-year-old Douglas R. Barton is charged with attempted murder and tampering with physical evidence. The Grayson County Sheriff’s Office says Barton called 911 early Friday morning and said his bleeding grandmother appeared to have been stabbed.

Authorities responded to the teen’s Leitchfield home and found the woman lying face down in the driveway. Leitchfield police say the teen repeatedly stabbed the woman in the back before slashing her throat. The woman suffered a damaged trachea and collapsed lung, among other injures, and was taken to a hospital in critical condition.

Authorities haven’t released a motive. It’s unclear if Barton has a lawyer to contact for comment.

University of Kentucky opens student philanthropy center

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — The University of Kentucky has opened a center for student philanthropy.

A statement from the school says the center will focus on education and engagement as it aims to teach students the value of philanthropy. The Center for Student Philanthropy officially opened last week in the Gatton Student Center, and officials say it is among the first of its kind in the nation.

UK President Eli Capilouto says the new center aims to “instill the spirit of philanthropy within our students” and show them how it can transform lives for the better.

The center hopes to find community partners who can serve as student mentors and help direct programming.

Principals: Watermelon at football game racially insensitive

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Officials say the act of Kentucky high schoolers passing a watermelon around at a football game was racially insensitive and is being investigated.

News outlets report the watermelon was lifted by Ballard High School students at an away game for Louisville Central High School. Both schools’ principals wrote letters to parents since the game Friday night and say they’ll work together to handle the situation.

Ballard Principal Jason Neuss says he takes responsibility for his student’s actions and recognizes they were inappropriate.

Central Principal Raymond Green says he’s confident Neuss will respond as needed to address the uncomfortable racial implications of the students’ actions.

County schools data shows Central’s student body was 77 percent black and 8 percent white last school year. Ballard’s was 33 percent black and 55 percent white.

Event to highlight archaeological history at Red River Gorge

WINCHESTER, Ky. (AP) — The Red River Gorge in eastern Kentucky is hosting a 30th annual Living Archaeology Weekend in September.

A release from the Daniel Boone National Forest says the event brings artisans to the location where ancient Native Americans and early settlers once lived.

For more than 50 years, archaeological studies have been conducted in the gorge area. The event’s exhibits and materials are based on research and archaeological discoveries found there.

Visitors will see flint knapping, hide tanning and spear throwing with tools modeled after those found by archaeologists. Other activities include turning wool into string with spinning wheels and drop spindles, pioneer cooking, grinding and shelling corn using antique machines.

The public is welcome beginning Sept. 22 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free.