State News in Brief

Ky. starts online license plate renewal service

FRANKFORT (AP) — Kentucky transportation officials have started an online service for people to renew their license plates.

People can access the renewal application from any device. It can be used for people renewing standard, specialty and personalized Kentucky license plates.

John-Mark Hack, commissioner of the Department of Vehicle Regulation, says it provides more convenience for motorists and enhances the department’s efficiency.

Motorists wanting to renew their license plates online need to enter their vehicle title number and license plate number associated with the plate along with payment information. After online renewal completion, registration credentials are mailed to the motorist.

Most Kentucky counties are participating in the online renewal system, although a small number have yet to adopt it.

Officials say the application was built at no cost for the Transportation Cabinet.


Beshear appoints special prosecutor for Longmeyer case

FRANKFORT (AP) — Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear has appointed a special prosecutor to handle the case against his former deputy.

Tim Longmeyer pleaded guilty to a federal bribery charge last month. Last week, Beshear announced he would file state charges against the former deputy attorney general. At first, Beshear said he would prosecute the case himself despite criticism from Republicans saying it was a conflict of interest. But Thursday Beshear said he would hand the case to Franklin County Commonwealth’s Attorney Larry Cleveland.

“Last week I showed my commitment to pursue public corruption regardless of the source,” Beshear said. “We are confident Mr. Cleveland will hold him accountable.”

Cleveland said the attorney general’s office asked him to take the case on Wednesday, citing a conflict of interest.

“I don’t know that much about the case at this point,” he said. “I don’t know what specifically I would be charging him with or what I would be prosecuting him for. I said, ‘Send me the file and I’ll take a look at what I can do.’ “

Longmeyer was the Personnel Cabinet secretary under former Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear, Andy Beshear’s father. Longmeyer pleaded guilty last month to using his influence to steer lucrative state contracts to a public relations firm in exchange for kickbacks of more than $200,000.

Prosecutors also said he directed some of that money to Beshear’s 2015 campaign for attorney general. An affidavit from an FBI agent said Andy Beshear had no knowledge of the scheme.


Louisville doctor sentenced for overprescribing pain pills

LOUISVILLE (AP) — A former doctor with offices in Louisville and southern Indiana has been sentenced to 100 months in prison for unlawfully distributing prescription drugs.

Jamie Guerrero agreed to pay $827,000 in restitution to victims as part of a January plea agreement. U.S. District Judge Greg Stevens sentenced the former anesthesiologist on Thursday.

Guererro, 48, conspired with others from 2009 to 2014 to distribute controlled substances to patients without a legitimate medical purpose, according to the plea agreement. The U.S. Attorney’s office says one of his patients died from an overdose in 2011.

One three separate days in 2011, Guererro saw 100 patients in a day, spending just a few minutes with each patient and fraudulently billed health care benefit programs on those dates, the U.S. Attorney said.

He also pleaded guilty to health care fraud, conspiracy and money laundering.


Lexington council approves $2.6M for police body cameras

LEXINGTON (AP) — The Lexington Urban County Council has approved a $2.6 million, five-year contract for body cameras for Lexington police.

Police officials tell the Lexington Herald-Leader that the new Taser Axon cameras will likely arrive in late June, when the first 100 officers will be outfitted with the body cameras. In total, 400 officers will get the cameras. Each officer will receive two cameras.

Lexington police say they will have a press conference and an educational campaign when they begin using the cameras.

The $2.6 million contract, approved Thursday, also covers storage costs for the video from the cameras.


Crews recover body of missing teenage fisherman

LUCAS (AP) — Divers have recovered the body of a Warren County teenager who went missing on the Barren River Lake, southeast of Bowling Green.

Glasgow/Barren County Emergency Management Agency Director Tracy Shirley tells news outlets that divers found the body of 19-year-old David Heard, of Alvaton, on Wednesday evening.

Emergency personnel had been searching for him since Monday afternoon, when he was last seen fishing on a boat.

Commerce Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources spokesman Capt. Brett Zalla says the unoccupied boat was found upright with the trolling motor down.

Shirley says Heard’s body was positively identified by family at the scene.


Woman faces charges in 2014 disappearance of Michigan man

IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich. (AP) — An Indiana woman arrested in Kentucky is facing charges in the 2014 disappearance of a 53-year-old man in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

The Daily News of Iron Mountain and WLUC-TV report 33-year-old Kelly Cochran of Merrillville, Indiana, was arrested last month by U.S. Marshals and Kentucky State Police in Wingo, Kentucky, on charges including homicide, concealing a death and conspiracy to mutilate a body.

Iron County Prosecutor Melissa Powell says Cochran is being returned to Michigan. She’s expected to arrive Monday and appear in court.

Christopher Karl Regan last was seen in Iron River in October 2014. His car was found in a park-and-ride lot in Iron County. Iron River Police Chief Laura Frizzo says a 2015 search at park in the Iron County community of Caspian found “items of significance.”


Woman whose body was found in Ohio River is identified

OWENSBORO (AP) — Officials say a woman whose body was found in the Ohio River a day after two other bodies were recovered has been identified.

Kentucky State Police Trooper Corey King said in an email Friday that the woman was 51-year-old Darcy L. Hess of Cannelton, Indiana. He said the case is still being investigated but that detectives don’t suspect foul play and believe the death is unrelated to the other two.

Hess’ body was found Thursday outside the city limits of Owensboro.

Daviess County Sheriff’s Department officials told media outlets earlier that one of the bodies found Wednesday had been shot in the back of the head and had ligature marks around the neck.

The bodies found Wednesday were badly decomposed. Neither has been identified.

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