State News in Brief


Federal officials warn of tax preparation schemes

LOUISVILLE (AP) — An Internal Revenue Service investigator and federal prosecutor are warning the public against fraud that occurs around income tax time.

U.S. Attorney John E. Kuhn Jr. of the Western District of Kentucky and IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Tracey D. Montano of Nashville, Tennessee, are meeting with reporters Monday in Louisville. They will talk about recent fraudulent practices by tax return preparers and about tax scams to avoid.

Kuhn says his office has recently come across several tax preparers who falsified returns. And he says with the filing deadline a week away, taxpayers should be careful to avoid the schemes of some tax preparers and make sure their returns are accurate.

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Bevin asks lawmakers to extend budget deadline

FRANKFORT (AP) — Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin is pleading with lawmakers to extend their deadline for approving a two-year state spending plan.

House and Senate lawmakers ended budget negotiations late Sunday night without reaching an agreement. The legislature is scheduled to meet for the final time this year on Tuesday. But the latest they could meet under state law is Friday.

Bevin said state taxpayers expect lawmakers to pass a budget so the government can operate. He said he should not have to call lawmakers back to Frankfort for an expensive special session while they still have time to work out their differences.

House Democrats say they are willing to extend the deadline while Republican Senate leaders say they are not.

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Senate panel discusses health exchange, Medicaid expansion

FRANKFORT (AP) — A Kentucky Senate committee hearing had an anticlimactic ending after a review of the state’s health insurance exchange and Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act.

The Republican-led panel on Monday took up Democratic-backed bills to preserve the state exchange, kynect, and Medicaid expansion. The bills stalled in the Health and Welfare Committee after motions to send them to the full Senate failed to muster enough support.

The exchange drew criticism from some GOP senators and members of Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration. The motions were to advance the bills “with no expression,” meaning the panel took no position on them. That allowed Republicans to advance the bills without supporting them.

The bills came up for discussion with just one day left in this year’s regular General Assembly session.

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Lawyer in massive disability fraud case could be released

LEXINGTON (AP) — Eric C. Conn, the Kentucky lawyer accused of conspiring to defraud the government of $600 million in questionable federal disability payments, could be released from jail pending trial.

A federal judge has called a hearing for Tuesday afternoon, when he will lay out the conditions for Conn’s release. U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Weir filed an order Monday that listed one of the conditions as a bond secured by Conn’s home in Pikeville. Property records show Conn bought the house in 2011 for $1.5 million.

He has been in jail since last week and prosecutors argued he might try to flee the country if released. Conn, former judge David Daugherty and doctor Bradley Adkins are charged in an 18-count indictment with scheming to secure dubious disability benefits for Conn’s clients.

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Woman fatally shoots estranged husband

PIKEVILLE (AP) — Kentucky State Police say a woman has fatally shot her estranged husband after he allegedly threatened her.

Pamela Smith called dispatchers in Pike County early Monday to report the shooting.

Police said in a statement that the preliminary investigation indicates 37-year-old Terry Briggs went to Smith’s home, made entry into it and threatened her. Police say Smith, who was armed with a handgun, had an active domestic violence order against Briggs and shot him.

Pike County Deputy Coroner Ernie Casebolt pronounced Briggs dead at the scene.

Police say no charges have been filed, but the case will be presented to a grand jury for consideration.

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New Yorker cartoonist Hamilton killed in Ky. accident

LEXINGTON (AP) — Cartoonist William Hamilton, whose work for The New Yorker magazine satirized the wealthy, has died in a car accident in Kentucky. He was 76.

Kerr Brothers Funeral Home manager Virginia Kerr in Lexington confirmed Hamilton’s death Monday.

The car Hamilton was driving went through a stop sign and collided with a pickup truck Friday in Lexington, police Lt. Matthew Greathouse said. He said Hamilton was pronounced dead at a local hospital. The cause of death wasn’t immediately released.

In his 51-year career, Hamilton’s cartoons often focused on money and depicted corporate executives or characters in suits and gowns in lavish dining settings or parties.

In a 1988 interview with The New York Times, Hamilton said his interest with people in high society came from “being near money, but far enough away that I couldn’t quite get my fingers around it.”

New Yorker cartoon editor Bob Mankoff said Monday that Hamilton was “witty in a cutting way. He was cutting into the people he knew so well. And he was making fun of their pretentions and pompousness.”

The magazine paid tribute to Hamilton on Sunday with a display of his cartoons on its website.

Born in Palo Alto, California in 1939, Hamilton graduated from Yale University. After a stint in the Army, he had his work published in The New Yorker from 1965 until the time of his death. He also wrote four plays and three novels.

Hamilton is survived by his third wife, Lucy Young Hamilton; a daughter, Alexandra H. Kimball; a son, Gilliam Collinsworth Hamilton; a sister and brother and two grandchildren.

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Ex-assistant Xavier coach found not guilty of sex abuse

COVINGTON (AP) — A former college women’s basketball coach accused of groping a player has been found not guilty of misdemeanor charges of sexual abuse and unlawful transaction with a minor.

A Kenton County District Court judge found 29-year-old Bryce McKey not guilty in a bench trial Monday in Covington, Kentucky. The former Xavier University assistant coach pleaded not guilty last year. A Xavier player he coached said McKey asked her to come to his Covington home and repeatedly touched her inappropriately.

A message was left for her attorney.

Xavier said McKey wasn’t employed there at the time of the alleged events.

McKey had accepted an assistant coach position at the University of Maryland, but resigned after he was charged.

The Associated Press doesn’t typically identify people who may have been sexually abused.

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Radcliff to discuss urban farming within city limits

RADCLIFF (AP) — The Radcliff City Council is expected to discuss if farm animals should be allowed in residential zones within city limits.

The News-Enterprise reports that the issue was brought up after council members were notified that several residents have started raising chickens on properties inside city limits. The practice is known as urban farming.

The city council will discuss the issue during its work session Monday afternoon. Officials will determine if local laws allow people to raise farm animals such as chickens and goats in the city.

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Officials: 3 killed in fatal crash on Interstate 64

LOUISVILLE (AP) — Three people have died following a crash on Interstate 64 in Louisville.

Local news outlets report that two sisters and an infant boy died as a result of Saturday night’s crash.

The Clarksville Police Department said in a news release that Samantha Owens, her sister Lauren Owens and her infant son Liam were killed in the crash.

Louisville Metro Police Department spokeswoman Alicia Smiley says that the victims’ car was traveling westbound on Interstate 64 when it was struck by a van. The victims’ car became disabled in the left lane and was hit by another car. The victims died at the scene.

Two others were taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

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