News Around the State
Fort Knox soldiers prepare for deployment to Afghanistan
FORT KNOX, Ky. (AP) — A contingent of soldiers from Fort Knox is preparing to deploy to Afghanistan.
News outlets report a deployment ceremony was held Wednesday for 148 soldiers with the 42nd Clearance Company, which is based at the central Kentucky Army post. The soldiers will leave in a few weeks for their mission.
Army officials said the company will be deployed for nine months and will help clear roads of hazards such as bombs and provide safe travel for others.
The company’s commander, Lt. Col. Brad Morgan, told the soldiers during the ceremony to trust their training and their instincts while they are in Afghanistan.
The company has deployed twice before in support of the global war on terror. They are scheduled to return next August.
Appeals court: Bevin administration should release records
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky appeals court has ruled that Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration should hand over records identifying shareholders of a company planning to build a state-subsidized $1.5 billion aluminum rolling mill near Ashland.
The Courier-Journal requested the records last June, but state officials refused, citing privacy concerns and exemptions in the Kentucky Open Records Act.
Franklin Circuit Court Judge Phillip Shepherd ruled in March that the government cannot legally withhold public records that identify shareholders of Braidy Industries, but the administration appealed. The Courier-Journal reports the Kentucky Court of Appeals issued a ruling Thursday that agreed with Shepherd’s order.
Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development spokesman Jack Mazurak says the agency is aware of the ruling and evaluating various options.
Abortion clinic, other groups seeking $1.5M from Ky.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky’s only abortion clinic and two groups are asking for almost $1.5 million in legal costs from the state after winning a federal case over the clinic’s existence.
The Courier Journal reports that lawyers for EMW Women’s Surgical Center of Louisville, Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky and the American Civil Liberties Union filed motions Thursday seeking legal expenses.
Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration didn’t immediately respond to the newspaper’s request for comment.
U.S. District Judge Greg Stivers ruled Sept. 28 that requiring abortion clinics to have a written agreement with an ambulance service and hospital for emergencies was medically unnecessary and an unconstitutional barrier to women seeking abortions.
EMW argued the Bevin administration tried to close its clinic, and Planned Parenthood said the administration used the rules to deny its application to offer abortions.
Gov. Bevin appeals tax value of home
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky’s governor is appealing the tax value of his home in a wealthy Louisville suburb.
The Courier Journal reports Gov. Matt Bevin has asked the Kentucky Claims Commission to lower the tax value of his home. Earlier this year, Jefferson County Property Valuation Administrator Tony Lindauer set the value at $2.9 million. An appeals board later set it to $2 million. Bevin says the home is worth $1.39 million. He purchased the home for $1.6 million in 2017 from a friend and campaign donor.
Lindauer is a Democrat, and Bevin is a Republican. Bevin’s attorney said Lindauer’s value is a political move. Lindauer Chief of Staff Colleen Younger called that allegation “outrageous.” She noted Bevin appoints the Kentucky Claims Commission, so his appeal should be taken directly to circuit court.
Ky. police lieutenant nominated to be federal marshal
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — President Donald Trump is nominating a Kentucky police lieutenant to be U.S. marshal in the state’s Western District.
The White House announced Trump intends to nominate Gary B. Burman to the post.
Burman has been with the Louisville Metro Police Department for 37 years, beginning as a patrol officer in 1980.
He spent one year as a special agent with the FBI, and returned to the police department in 1990, rising through the ranks to eventually become commander of the dignitary protection and threat assessment units, where he now serves.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said Burman has the necessary preparation to excel in the post.
Lawsuit: state trooper harassed man after Facebook complaint
MCKEE, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky man has filed a federal lawsuit against three state police troopers who he says came to his home and harassed him after he complained about a traffic stop on social media.
David Gabbard complained about the 2017 traffic stop on Facebook, saying he was “pulled over for no reason,” and included the hashtag “#policeharassment.” The next day, the lawsuit alleges, the trooper who pulled him over, Scott Townsley, and two other troopers came to Gabbard’s Jackson County home.
When Gabbard went out to see why they were there, a woman who was at the home with Gabbard began recording on her phone. The lawsuit claims another trooper took the woman’s phone and turned it off and “things escalated quickly,” with Townsley slapping and pushing Gabbard, kicking his dog, and trying to incite a fight.
Gabbard said he did not want to fight with police, so “Trooper Townsley then took off his badge, took off his gun, and said, ‘Fight me as a man, as a regular citizen,”’Gabbard’s attorney, James O’Toole, told WDRB.com . “And Gabbard still refused to do that.”
The officers left after seeing a camera on the property, according to the federal suit, filed last month in London, Kentucky. The suit names Townsley and the two other troopers and says Gabbard and the woman’s civil rights were violated. It says the law enforcement officers “acted with the intent to injure, vex, annoy, harass and terrorize” Gabbard and the woman.
An attorney for the three troopers, David Hoskins, declined to comment because he said he is only beginning to study the case.
A Kentucky state police spokesman did not return a call Thursday seeking comment.
In a court response to the lawsuit filed by Hoskins on Oct. 3, the troopers denied the allegations but acknowledged that they went to Gabbard’s home at the time the lawsuit states. The filing says the troopers deny that they appeared at the home “without cause or legal jurisdiction,” but the filing does not state the legal purpose. They also denied trespassing on Gabbard’s property.
The suit is seeking unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.
Mom protests teen son’s 10-year prison sentence for robbery
HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky woman is protesting her 15-year-old son’s 10-year prison sentence for robbery and handgun possession.
The Kentucky New Era reports Amanda Campbell protested outside the county justice center Wednesday on behalf of Isaiah Campbell. Campbell says Isaiah was 14 when he pulled a gun on another teen to steal money and a phone. Defense attorney Rick Boling says Isaiah told police he was planning to steal marijuana.
Boling says any crime committed in Kentucky with a gun by a child aged 14 or older will be tried in adult court. He says Isaiah will likely stay in a juvenile detention center until his he turns 18 or graduates high school. Isaiah is eligible for shock probation now and will be eligible for probation in several years.
New medical school building opens with class of 30
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky’s newest medical school has opened its building in Bowling Green, a joint effort by Western Kentucky University, the University of Kentucky and Med Center Health.
The Daily News in Bowling Green reports the University of Kentucky College of Medicine-Bowling Green launched in August with a white coat ceremony for the incoming class of 30 students. The students began training through facilities at The Medical Center and Western Kentucky while the Medical Education Complex was completed.
A ribbon was cut Thursday on the $28 million building.
The school will add 30 students each year until reaching a total of 120.
The medical school’s associate dean, Todd Cheever, said improving health in Kentucky and the Bowling Green area by educating more doctors is the goal of the new school.