News Around the State

Changes coming to renew personalized plates in Ky.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky officials say a change is coming for people looking to renew personalized license plates.

The Transportation Cabinet says personalized plates will transition to a birth month expiration next year to comply with action by state lawmakers. Officials say the change brings personalized plates in line with standard-issue plates.

Currently, personalized plates expire annually on Dec. 31 and applicants must renew their registration at their county clerk’s office between Nov. 15 and Dec. 31.

Beginning in January, people with January, February or March birthdays will renew personalized plates in person or online anytime between their birth month and April 30, 2019. All others will renew by the last day of their birth month.

By 2020, all applicants will renew by the last day of their birth month.

Defense attorney: Campaign finance charges should be dropped

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — A defense attorney says federal campaign finance charges against the father of Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes should be dismissed because they violate constitutional protections.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports the attorney for Jerry Lundergan recently filed six challenges to the indictment on free-speech and other grounds.

Lundergan has pleaded not guilty in federal court to making illegal contributions to his daughter’s 2014 U.S. Senate campaign against Republican Mitch McConnell.

The indictment alleges Lundergan paid at least $218,000 for services that benefited Grimes’ campaign, but he paid for them out of his business account and did not ask for reimbursement from Grimes’ campaign. Federal authorities say that amounts to a campaign contribution. Federal law prohibits companies from donating to U.S. Senate candidates.

Police: Armored truck driver, cash missing

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Police say an armored truck driver and an undetermined amount of cash are missing in Kentucky.

Louisville police Lt. Steve Kaufling tells news outlets 29-year-old Mark Espinosa is missing and the possibility that he took the money is being considered.

Kaufling said at a news conference Thursday that security services company GardaWorld contacted police Wednesday afternoon about Espinosa and the cash missing from the truck parked at a mall.

Kaufling says a Garda employee went inside the mall to make deliveries and pickups and returned to discover that Espinosa and the cash were gone. He says a truck usually has two employees.

Kaufling says there was no surveillance video. He says police have searched a vehicle and Espinosa’s home.

Bevin kicks off construction of I-65 interchange

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky’s Republican governor has kicked off construction of a new interchange along I-65.

The interchange will be south of Shepherdsville near mile marker 114 between exits 112 and 116. The project also includes a 1.4 mile connector route between Ohm Drive and Alpha Way in the Cedar Grove Business Park. More than 11,000 people work in the business park, and the new road will reduce the distance to I-65 to 0.7 miles from 1.75 miles

Highway 61 will be closed for several months beginning this summer when Bullitt County Public Schools are closed. Louisville Paving & Construction will do the work, which is scheduled to be finished in November 2020.

Bevin appeared with Republican U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie and other local officials on Thursday to kick off construction.

Video: Officer punches handcuffed inmate in face

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Body camera video shows a Louisville Metro Department of Corrections officer punching a handcuffed inmate in the face.

The Courier Journal reported Wednesday that officers are seen asking then-19-year-old inmate Terry Whitehead why toilet paper was covering his cell window. Forty-seven-year-old Officer David Schwartz is then seen punching Whitehead and leaving the cell. Whitehead is suing Schwartz and former officer 21-year-old Devan Edwards for excessive force, assault and battery.

Both officers were fired in April when Corrections Director Mark Bolton found Edwards and Schwartz, a former marine, violated policy. He said Edwards failed to report the incident.

The lawsuit says Edwards told Whitehead he could use toilet paper to cover cell door openings to create privacy when using the bathroom. The video was provided by Whitehead’s attorney Sam Aguiar.

Ex-officer pleads guilty to sexually abusing minors

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A former Kentucky police officer has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing teenagers and asking them for sexual photos.

The Courier Journal reports 34-year-old Kenneth Betts pleaded guilty Thursday. Prosecutors say the ex-Louisville Metro Police officer met three of four victims through the department’s program for teens interested in law enforcement.

Betts was a program adviser, along with former officer Brandon Wood, who’s been indicted on similar charges. Wood goes to trial in January.

The department investigated Betts in 2014 over “improper contact” involving a girl. He resigned that year and was hired at another law enforcement agency.

Betts’ sentencing is set for March. He also is accused of abusing two different people in another case in which he’s pleaded not guilty to first- and third-degree sodomy. That case is ongoing.

‘The Reverend’ sentenced to 33 years in slaying

SCOTTSVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky man who legally changed his name to “The Reverend” has been sentenced to 33 years in prison after pleading guilty to killing his roommate at an assisted living center.

The Daily News reports Special Judge Steve Wilson imposed the sentence Wednesday during a hearing in Bowling Green.

The 38-year-old, formerly known as Robert Allen Reynolds, pleaded guilty but mentally ill to murder in May in the death of 71-year-old Gary Glueck.

Glueck was stabbed with a pen and coat hanger and strangled with an electrical cord at a Scottsville assisted living center in February 2016. Court records show The Reverend told police he killed Glueck because murderous cult leader Charles Manson told him to.

The Reverend was found competent to stand trial last December.

Factory worker gets 5 years for putting glass shards in cups

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky man caught placing glass shards into shipments of plastic foam cups to fast-food restaurants has been sentenced to five years in prison.

A statement from U.S. Attorney Russell M. Coleman on Thursday said 44-year-old Waylon J. Horton of Munfordville pleaded guilty in July to tampering with consumer products.

Horton was charged in 2016 after Michigan-based Dart Container Corp. contacted authorities about possible product tampering involving Horton while he was employed by the company at a plant in Horse Cave.

The prosecutor’s office said Horton put glass in cups on two separate occasions in 2016 that were then shipped to fast food restaurants. The statement says glass pieces were found in cups at three different restaurants in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana.