State News in Brief

Stumbo calls meeting of House to discuss pension system

FRANKFORT (AP) — Kentucky’s Speaker of the House has called a meeting of all state representatives to discuss the beleaguered public pension system.

An email to legislative assistants obtained by The Associated Press shows Speaker Greg Stumbo said all House members “are invited and encouraged to attend” a meeting at 2 p.m. on Tuesday in the House chambers. The email says members will “discuss several complex issues” and is signed by Stumbo.

Stumbo spokesman Brian Wilkerson confirmed the meeting and said the main focus will be to discuss the state retirement system in light of recent low investment returns. Public pension systems for teachers and state workers have an estimated combined debt of more than $30 billion, making it one of the worst funded pension systems in the country.


1 dead following 12 heroin overdoses in 5 hours

MOUNT STERLING (AP) — One person has died following a series of heroin overdoses that occurred within five hours of each other in Mount Sterling.

Montgomery County Coroner Jimmy Adams tells local news outlets that a 37-year-old man died following the 12 overdoses that occurred Wednesday night.

Battalion chief for the Montgomery County fire department Jeff Jackson says most of the victims were in their 30s and 40s. All reported cases happened in the city limits of Mount Sterling.

The Mount Sterling Police Department said in a statement that officers are investigating the cases.

The series of overdoses came after more than 50 other heroin overdoses were reported in Cincinnati from Tuesday morning to Wednesday night. One person died in those cases.


Fort Campbell: Soldier in custody after firing shots

FORT CAMPBELL (AP) — Army officials say a 101st Airborne Division soldier fired two shots at Fort Campbell and then fled in his vehicle before being apprehended by military police.

Fort Campbell spokesman Robert Jenkins said in a news release that the soldier entered a hangar at Campbell Army Airfield about 11:30 a.m. Thursday and fired the shots. No injuries were reported.

Jenkins said the soldier fled in his vehicle and was followed by post law enforcement. He did not identify him.

The spokesman said during the pursuit, the soldier hit another vehicle but continued to his home on the post. He tried to get out of the vehicle but was apprehended. He said no motive was known.

The soldier remained in custody at the post, which sits on the Kentucky-Tennessee state line.


SACS says UofL has ‘significant’ accreditation issues

FRANKFORT (AP) — The president of the accrediting body for the University of Louisville says Gov. Matt Bevin’s move to abolish and replace the board of trustees interfered with the school’s authority to make decisions and has raised significant issues with the institution’s accreditation.

Belle S. Wheelan, president of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, sent a letter to acting University of Louisville President Neville Pinto earlier this month. The letter surfaced in court Friday as part of a lawsuit challenging Bevin’s authority to abolish and replace the board of trustees.

In the letter, Wheelan says “the potential for undue political influence in institutional governance appears to be present.”

Bevin’s attorney, Steve Pitt, said the letter did not raise any issues with the university’s compliance with the association’s core accreditation standards.

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