State News in Brief


PFM Group wins contract to review Ky. pension systems

FRANKFORT (AP) — A Philadelphia-based consulting company has won a contract to review Kentucky’s struggling public pension systems.

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin announced Monday that the PFM Group will lead the review of the Kentucky Employees Retirement System, the Kentucky Teachers Retirement System and the Kentucky Judicial Form Retirement System. The state will pay $556,300 for the two-year contract, which includes a not-to-exceed amount of $50,600 for travel and expenses.

Bevin said the state has an estimated public pension debt of $35 billion, making it among the worst funded systems in the country. A recent survey by S&P Global Ratings found Kentucky has the lowest ratio of all states of money needed to make payouts to current and future retirees.

The contract calls for PFM to deliver a final report by Dec. 31.

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Couples seek legal costs in Ky. marriage license case

LOUISVILLE (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky says lawyers for the couples who sued to be issued marriage licenses in Rowan County are seeking to recover more than $233,000 in legal fees and costs.

Two gay couples and two straight couples sued in 2015 after Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis refused to issue marriage licenses days after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled same-sex couples could marry.

Davis was jailed for several days after refusing to comply with a court order to stop denying qualified applicants a marriage license. Her deputy clerks issued licenses while she was incarcerated.

The state eventually changed marriage license forms so that clerks’ names did not have to appear, and the case was later dismissed.

Davis’ attorneys, the religious advocacy group Liberty Counsel, didn’t immediately respond to a phone call and email seeking comment Monday night.

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Lexington health department to start giving flu shots

LEXINGTON (AP) — The Lexington Fayette County Health Department says it will begin giving flu shots this week.

The agency says people can start getting the vaccination at 9 a.m. on Wednesday at its Newtown Pike location. No appointment is required. The shots cost $30, though Medicaid, Medicare and some insurance will be accepted.

Health department spokesman Kevin Hall says a shot is the best way to avoid catching the flu in the fall and winter months when it is most prevalent.

The Kentucky Department of Public Health said last week that it had already confirmed that the virus is circulating in the state, which could indicate the flu season is starting early. It typically begins in October or November.

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Ethics commission fines 3 former state workers

FRANKFORT (AP) — The Executive Branch Ethics Commission has issued $7,000 in fines to three former state workers for violating ethics laws.

The commission fined former Probation and Parole officer Patrick Hoover $1,500 for exchanging “sexually explicit text messages and photos” with a woman he was supervising.

Former Department of Corrections officer Dana Terhune was fined $4,000 for using her position as an officer at the Luther Luckett Correctional Complex “to engage in intimate, physical contact” with an inmate. Terhune has already pleaded guilty to criminal charges.

Galenia Joy Bailey, a former juvenile services clinician for the Department of Juvenile Justice, was fined $1,500 for accessing the CourtsNet system to help a friend. The commission said Bailey threatened the boyfriend of her friend’s daughter if he did not return the daughter’s dog.

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‘Lucky’ to be alive: Calf with 2 faces born at Ky. farm

CAMPBELLSVILLE (AP) — Visitors to a central Kentucky farm may do a double-take when they see the newest addition: a two-faced calf.

Stan McCubbin of Campbellsville told WDRB-TV that he thought he had twins when he first saw the calf on Friday, but quickly realized he had something far more unusual.

The female calf has two noses, two mouths and four eyes, though the middle two eyes don’t function. Although she can walk, the McCubbins say she ends up going in circles and falling over.

The family says most calves with such a genetic mutation are stillborn, but so far this one is eating and seems healthy.

McCubbin’s wife, Brandy, said their 5-year-old daughter, Kenley, named the calf Lucky because she’s lucky to be alive.

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Teen arrested in connection with UofL sexual assaults

LOUISVILLE (AP) — Louisville Metro Police have arrested a 16-year-old in connection with two sexual assaults near the University of Louisville campus.

Police spokesman Dwight Mitchell says the teen was arrested Friday. He’s charged with two counts of first-degree sodomy, two counts of first-degree robbery, two counts of kidnapping and one count of second-degree arson.

Louisville Metro Police say the first incident occurred Sept. 12, when a woman driving near campus was carjacked by two people, one of whom was armed. The males sexually assaulted the victim, then fled in her car.

In the second incident Sept. 13, two males, still driving the first woman’s car, abducted a University of Louisville student at gunpoint. After she was sexually assaulted, the suspects freed her and set the car on fire before fleeing.

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High school coach charged with sexual abuse of student

HODGENVILLE (AP) — A Kentucky high school basketball coach has resigned after being accused of sexually assaulting a student.

The News Enterprise reported LaRue County High School girls’ basketball coach Simon Ford resigned Monday, the same day officials say he was indicted by a grand jury for first-degree sexual abuse involving the female student.

The newspaper says Ford was suspended with pay earlier this month after district officials were made aware of the allegations by the parent of a student.

School officials also notified Kentucky State Police.

LaRue County Schools Superintendent Sam Sanders says in a statement that the district continues to cooperate with police in the investigation and is committed to ensuring the safety of all students.

Ford is scheduled for arraignment Oct. 4. It’s unclear if he has an attorney.

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KentuckyOne Health lays off several top executives

LOUISVILLE (AP) — KentuckyOne Health has laid off some top executives in a move officials said in an internal announcement is an effort to improve efficiency and continue focusing on patient care.

The Courier-Journal reports that the health system, a division of Catholic Health Initiatives, made the layoffs Friday. Among the layoffs are Dr. Damian “Pat” Alagia and Michael Spine, two senior vice presidents, and Randy Napier, president of Frazier Rehab Institute.

Spokesman David McArthur called the moves a “series of system-level and facility leader transitions.”

KentuckyOne was formed by the merger of Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare and St. Joseph Health System of Lexington in 2012. In 2014, it announced it was laying off 500 employees in Kentucky. Its Denver-based parent lost $125 million in the last quarter of 2015.

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Paducah public schools look to improve staff diversity

PADUCAH (AP) — Officials say that while the Paducah school district has the highest percentage of minority staff in the state, there’s still more work to be done.

A yearly report detailing the racial makeup of the district’s staff and ways for improving diversity among employees was discussed during Monday night’s Paducah Board of Education meeting.

The Paducah Sun reports Finance Director Julie Huff says the district’s percentage of minority employees has remained steady at 24.59 percent, down just slightly from 24.87 percent last year.

However, with almost 60 percent of the student body belonging to a racial minority, a gap remains between the diversity of Paducah’s students and staff.

Assistant Superintendent Will Black says the district is committed and working hard on closing that gap.

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