News in Brief


Man countersues Trump, says he urged Ky. protesters’ removal

LOUISVILLE (AP) — Another man accused of assaulting protesters at a Donald Trump campaign rally in Louisville last year has countersued the president, saying he was following Trump’s urging to remove them.

Matthew Heimbach is being sued over his alleged actions at the March 1, 2016, rally. In a counter claim filed Monday in federal court, Heimbach says he was relying “on Trump’s authority to order disruptive persons removed,” according to WDRB-TV.

In his court filing, Heimbach said he “relied on Trump’s authority to have disruptive persons removed and that Trump was legally within his rights to have other attendees assist in defending their constitutional rights against ‘protesters.’”

Another defendant at the rally, Alvin Bamberger, filed a counter claim on Friday, saying that he acted on Trump’s “urging and inspiration.”

Three people who claim they were assaulted at the Trump rally filed a lawsuit last year against Trump, his campaign, Heimbach and Bamberger. They say they were shoved and punched by audience members at Trump’s command. Video widely broadcast during the campaign showed Trump pointing at protesters and repeating the words “get them out.”

Trump’s attorneys responded in a court filing Friday that Trump is immune as president from such suits. They also say the protesters waived their right to sue by buying tickets to the event, and they deny that Trump was urging the crowd to take action by repeatedly saying, “get them out of here.”

A federal judge declined Trump’s preliminary request to dismiss the lawsuit, ruling on April 1 that there’s ample evidence that could be seen as supporting allegations that the protesters’ injuries were a “direct and proximate result” of Trump’s actions. The judge also noted that the Supreme Court has ruled out constitutional protections for speech that incites violence.

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State officials update government transparency website

FRANKFORT (AP) — State officials have updated Kentucky’s government transparency website to include spending details of the judicial branch.

Republican state Treasurer Allison Ball and Finance and Administration Cabinet Secretary William Landrum announced the changes during the Kentucky Digital Summit in Frankfort on Tuesday. The website itself is not new. But portions of the website had not been updated for several years.

The updated website will include a searchable list of state contracts and all property owned by the state. It will also include a database of state salary information, updated twice a month.

Ball and Landrum said the website did not cost the state additional money.

The website is transparency.ky.gov . It also includes basic information on how a state budget becomes law and resources for parents and teachers on budgeting.

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Man receives life sentence for selling fatal opioid dose

LEXINGTON (AP) — A man has received a life sentence after a federal jury convicted him of selling a fatal dose of fentanyl to another man.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports 28-year-old Joshua Donald Ewing was sentenced Monday for selling 37-year-old Jeremy Deaton a mixture of heroin and fentanyl in 2016. Deaton thought he was purchasing heroin.

A toxicologist testified that Deaton wouldn’t have died but for the fentanyl, a powerful opioid. His blood contained more than five times the therapeutic range for fentanyl.

Ewing faced a mandatory life sentence under federal guidelines as he was on probation for heroin possession. U.S. District Judge Joseph Hood ordered Ewing to pay Deaton’s funeral costs, which totaled $23,094, as restitution.

Kentucky, like many states, is in the midst of an opioid epidemic.

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Ex-LMPD officers plead not guilty to sex abuse charges

LOUISVILLE (AP) — Two former Louisville Metro Police Department officers have pleaded not guilty to sex abuse charges.

Media outlets report 30-year-old Brandon Wood and 32-year-old Kenneth Betts entered their pleas Monday at an arraignment.

Wood is charged with seven counts of sexual abuse, while Betts faces two counts of sodomy.

The former officers are accused of sexually assaulting a boy in the department’s Youth Explorers program, which is for teens interested in law enforcement. The victim, now 22, filed a civil lawsuit in March claiming he was assaulted by Wood and Betts from the time he was 17 to 19 years old.

Betts resigned from the force in 2014 following an investigation into “improper contact” between him and a teenage girl in the program. Wood was fired from the department last week.

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Yarmuth to seek re-election in 3rd District

LOUISVILLE (AP) — The only Democrat in Kentucky’s congressional delegation has announced that he’ll run for re-election next year.

In a statement critical of President Donald Trump’s administration, U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth’s campaign said on Monday that the congressman has “never been more invigorated” to serve as Louisville’s ally in Washington.

Yarmuth represents Kentucky’s 3rd Congressional District and is the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee. He was first elected in 2006 in a district that had been held by Republicans for a decade.

In the statement, Yarmuth said he remains a strong advocate of the Affordable Care Act and plans to fight Trump’s travel ban. In addition, he said he remains an advocate for equality for women and minorities.

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Woman charged in shooting death of husband

TAYLORSVILLE (AP) — A woman has been charged in the shooting death of her husband.

WAVE-TV reports that 40-year-old Kandy Bennett was charged with murder after Kentucky State Police troopers found 51-year-old Mark Bennett dead Sunday evening.

Police say they have responded to calls at the residence before, but did not provide further details.

Kandy Bennett is being held on $250,000 bail. It’s unclear if she has an attorney.

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Coast Guard: Tow boat sinks in Mississippi River

COLUMBUS (AP) — The Coast Guard says a tow boat has sunk in the Mississippi River.

A statement from the Coast Guard says the vessel Todd Brown sank Monday at mile marker 940 near Columbus, Kentucky.

It was carrying about 17,500 gallons of diesel fuel, 150 gallons of lube oil, and 150 gallons of hydraulic oil. There’s no indication whether any fuel has leaked.

The Coast Guard says crews were at the scene to monitor for pollution.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

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Body of woman found on downtown Glasgow rooftop

GLASGOW (AP) — Police in Glasgow have identified the body of a Kentucky woman found on the roof of the Allstate building in a downtown square.

News outlets report that 30-year-old Krystal Mitchell was found around 10 a.m. Monday morning. She was identified Monday night.

Glasgow Police Chief Guy Howie says Mitchell’s body was found partially clothed and without shoes. He declined to say if the body showed any visible signs of trauma.

Howie estimates Mitchell had been dead for about 72 hours. Police are treating the death as “suspicious,” but a cause of death hasn’t been determined.

The state medical examiner’s office planned to conduct an autopsy Tuesday.

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Chaplaincy turns bilingual to serve Churchill Downs workers

LOUISVILLE (AP) — The Kentucky Race Track Chaplaincy has instated a new bilingual chaplain team to serve Spanish-speaking workers.

WAVE-TV reports that about 85 percent to 95 percent of those working behind the scenes at Churchill Downs speak Spanish. In addition to leading prayer and preaching in the chapel on the grounds, chaplains will operate a clothing closet and food pantry for workers.

Chaplain Joseph del Rosario says his aim is to help the workers who keep operations running smoothly in any way possible. He also says that representation of women among the workers is growing.

The chaplaincy was founded in 1989 to specifically serve the workers in the barn and training areas.

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Louisville police arrest 2 women in Easter shooting

LOUISVILLE (AP) — Police have arrested two women in connection with an Easter shooting at a Louisville apartment complex that left one woman dead and another critically injured.

News outlets report 29-year-old Talibra Cherry and 46-year-old Eltaka Moore were charged with murder and assault after turning themselves following the Sunday shooting.

Louisville Metro Police Department Lt. Emily McKinley says Cherry is accused of beating a woman’s car with a baseball bat before turning the bat on the woman. She says Moore then shot the woman in the head, killing her, and that Moore shot the second woman in the stomach as she ran away. Neither victim has been identified.

Police believe the victims knew their attackers.

Cherry and Moore are each being held on $500,000 bail. It’s unclear if they have lawyers.

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