State News in Brief


Bevin asks judge to dissolve order on retirement board

FRANKFORT (AP) — Republican Gov. Matt Bevin has asked a judge to dissolve his order that allows Thomas Elliott to remain on the Kentucky Retirement Systems board.

Bevin removed Elliott from the board earlier this year. Elliott sued, and last month Franklin County Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd temporarily blocked Bevin’s order. But Elliott did not attend the board’s next meeting. Bevin’s attorney, Stephen Pitt, says skipping the meeting demonstrates Elliott’s “lack of commitment.”

Elliott’s attorney said he did not attend the meeting because the judge issued his order two days before the board’s meeting and Elliott had already scheduled some work meetings. Last week, Shepherd called Elliott’s reason for missing the meeting “wholly inadequate.”

Bevin has asked for a hearing at 4 p.m. Wednesday. The retirement board is scheduled to meet again on Thursday.

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Benghazi security officers to speak at GOP dinner Saturday

FRANKFORT (AP) — Two former security officers at the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya, will be the featured speakers during the Kentucky Republican Party’s annual Lincoln Day Dinner.

Mark “Oz” Geist and John “Tig” Tiegan were among the security staff at the U.S. Embassy on Sept. 11, 2011, when U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stephens and three other Americans were killed.

Republicans have used the attack to criticize Hillary Clinton, who was secretary of state at the time. A Republican-led investigation found no proof of wrongdoing by Clinton.

The dinner is scheduled for the Lexington Convention Center at 7 p.m. Saturday. Other scheduled speakers include U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, U.S. Rep. Andy Barr and Gov. Matt Bevin.

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Fort Campbell soldiers to deploy to Afghanistan this fall

FORT CAMPBELL (AP) — Fort Campbell says about 1,400 soldiers with the 101st Airborne Division will deploy to Afghanistan this fall.

The post on the Kentucky-Tennessee border said in a statement that the soldiers from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team will deploy in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

Brig. Gen. Scott E. Brower, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) acting senior commander, says the soldiers are “trained, well-led, and prepared to accomplish any mission given to them” during their deployment.

Fort Campbell said last month that about 400 soldiers from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team would deploy to Iraq as part of an increase in authorized troop levels there. They joined some 1,300 previously deployed soldiers from the same unit.

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Republicans nominate James Comer for special election

FRANKFORT (AP) — Republicans in Kentucky’s 1st Congressional District have nominated James Comer for a special election to replace U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield.

Whitfield announced his resignation last week, about one year after announcing he would not seek re-election this year.

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin on Tuesday called a special election for Nov. 8 to elect someone to fulfill the remainder of Whitfield’s term, which expires in January. Richard Grana, the state Republican Party’s 1st District chairman, said Comer was nominated Tuesday evening.

Comer is already on the Nov. 8 ballot as he seeks a full, two-year term in Congress. He faces Democrat Sam Gaskins, who is likely to be the Democrats’ nominee for the special election.

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Police: Masked man was sleeping in vehicle he’d broken into

HARRODSBURG (AP) — Police in Kentucky say a man who broke into several vehicles at a Harrodsburg business was found sleeping inside one of the cars with a mask still over his face.

Multiple news outlets report that police say 35-year-old Matthew Stewart of Louisville faces theft, criminal mischief and criminal trespassing charges in connection with the incident.

Police were called to CC Auto Parts & Service on Monday after employees found a lock box containing keys that had been pried open and several vehicles broken into.

Responding officers discovered Stewart asleep in the driver’s seat of a vehicle. Police say he was wearing black gloves and a mask.

It’s unclear if Stewart has an attorney.

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Preliminary report: 12 drug deaths during holiday period

FRANKFORT (AP) — Public health officials say at least 12 drug overdose deaths occurred in Kentucky during the Labor Day weekend amid reports of more potent shipments of heroin circulating in the state.

The Kentucky Department for Public Health says preliminary reports show 15 overdoses — 12 of them fatal — during the three-day holiday weekend were reported to the agency.

Health officials say the preliminary number is based on reports from hospitals and emergency medical personnel, but it doesn’t represent a final total.

Officials don’t yet know how many overdose deaths were linked to heroin use.

The holiday death toll comes amid reports of increased overdoses linked to heroin mixed with fentanyl and other dangerous substances. Department for Public Health Commissioner Dr. Hiram Polk calls drug overdoses a public health crisis.

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Former UK board chairman Miles charged with rape, sodomy

FRANKFORT (AP) — Former University of Kentucky board chairman Billy Joe Miles was charged Tuesday with rape, sodomy and bribing a witness.

A grand jury indicted Miles, 76, on Tuesday in Daviess County Circuit Court on one count each of first-degree rape, first-degree sodomy and bribing a witness, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.

The Daviess County sheriff’s office said in a news release that the office responded to a call on the morning of July 2 regarding a report of sexual abuse that allegedly occurred at Miles’ home address. The sheriff’s office said investigators interviewed a 29-year-old woman who alleged that Miles sexually assaulted her early that morning at that address.

The newspaper wasn’t able to reach Miles or his lawyer, Nick Goetz of Owensboro, for comment.

Miles was jailed at the Daviess County Detention Center after the indictment Tuesday. He was released after posting $150,000 cash bond and surrendering his passport, the sheriff’s office said.

Arraignment is set for Sept. 26.

The sheriff’s office said it has been investigating the case with the special prosecutions division of Attorney General Andy Beshear’s office. Beshear spokesman Terry Sebastian said Daviess County Commonwealth’s Attorney Bruce Kuegel requested a special prosecutor. Sebastian declined to say why the request was made.

“Because our office is handling the case for the commonwealth, we cannot comment any further,” Sebastian said.

Miles served three terms on the board between 1995 and 2013 and was chairman from September 1999 to September 2002 and chairman pro tem from July 2010 to September 2010.

He is president of Miles Farm Supply Inc. and owner of Miles LP Gas Inc.

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