State News in Brief


Officials warn of schemes targeting college loan recipients

LEXINGTON (AP) — Officials are warning Kentucky college students about schemes seeking a large fee and personal information to provide student loan debt relief services.

Attorney General Andy Beshear and Bluegrass Community and Technical College President Augusta Julian spoke last week on the school’s Newtown Campus in Lexington and issued a news release about the problem.

Beshear says students’ loan companies already offer all loan services free. He said students should contact their current company for changes to a repayment plan.

Julian said it’s frustrating that the scheme targets vulnerable students.

Anyone who has been a victim of such a scheme can contact Beshear’s office at (888) 432-9257 or complete a complaint form at https://secure.kentucky.gov/formservices/AttorneyGeneral/ConsumerComplaintForm.

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Former police chief admits to pocketing water bill payments

SOMERSET (AP) — A former city police chief in south central Kentucky has pleaded guilty to two counts of tampering with public records.

The Kentucky Attorney General’s office says former Science Hill Chief Robbie Gossett had pocketed cash payments from city water customers.

As part of a plea agreement, Gossett will have to pay $30,000 in restitution to the city, which is in Pulaski County. He also has to surrender certification as a police officer and serve 21 days of home incarceration.

In court on Friday, Gossett admitted to taking cash from citizens intended to be deposited as payment for their water bills, according to Attorney General Andy Beshear’s office.

Gossett’s illegal actions took place between 2008 and 2009. He was indicted in December.

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Magistrates accuse judge-executive of unauthorized pay raise

WINCHESTER (AP) — Four Clark County Fiscal Court magistrates have accused a judge-executive of unilaterally implementing pay increases to county employees without fiscal court authorization.

Local news outlets report that magistrates Pamela Blackburn, Daniel Konstantopolous, Robert Blanton and Joe Graham filed a petition for declaratory judgment Thursday, saying that Judge-Executive Henry Branham has no unilateral authority to give pay increases.

County Attorney Brian Thomas says the pay increases were part of a budget approved by the fiscal court.

The magistrates argue that there was no mention of employee pay increases in the minutes of the county’s budget workshops last year. They say that the court approved the budget, but did not approve raises.

A hearing on the petition has not been scheduled yet before Clark Circuit Judge Jean Chenault Logue.

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Motorcyclist in Ky. charity ride killed in accident

UNION (AP) — Authorities say a motorcyclist who had been participating in a fundraiser has died in an accident.

Media outlets report 46-year-old Chester Morling of Guilford, Indiana, was involved in a three-vehicle accident Saturday on Kentucky Route 338 in Union.

The Boone County Sheriff’s Office says in a news release that Morling’s motorcycle crossed the center line and collided with a pickup truck and another motorcycle.

Morling was riding in a motorcycle event to raise money for the Rabbit Hash General Store, which was heavily damaged in a fire in February. Hundreds of motorcyclists participated in the event.

Morling, who was not wearing a helmet, was pronounced dead at the scene. The release stated he was not wearing a helmet. The driver of the other motorcycle was taken to a Cincinnati hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

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Jackson man’s body pulled from North Fork of Kentucky River

JACKSON (AP) — Authorities say the body of a Jackson man has been pulled from the North Fork of the Kentucky River.

The Herald-Leader reports Breathitt County coroner George Griffith identified the body as 39-year-old Maxwell McGee.

Griffith says two canoeists found the body in the middle of the river on Saturday.

Griffith says an autopsy was planned Sunday to determine the cause of death.

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2 dead, 1 injured in Floyd Co. shooting; suspect arrested

HUEYSVILLE (AP) — Kentucky State Police say a man has been charged in a shooting in Floyd County that left two men dead and one injured.

Multiple media outlets report 49-year-old Ronnie Lee Hall is facing two counts of murder in connection with the incident Friday night.

Trooper Steven Mounts says authorities were called to a home in Hueysville for a report of shots fired. When they arrived, Mounts says troopers found that three people had been shot.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports Floyd County Coroner Greg Nelson identified the deceased as 30-year-old Daniel Ronnie Harvill and 33-year-old Rodney Keith Whitaker, both of Hueysville.

Mounts say a third victim, 51-year-old Ricky Goble of Hueysville was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The incident remains under investigation.

It’s unclear whether Hall has an attorney.

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Woman found dead in Floyd Co. house fire

LANGLEY (AP) — Authorities say a woman has died in a house fire in Floyd County.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports a coroner identified the body Sunday as 50-year-old Cathy Rena Marshall Kirkland.

Kentucky State Police say in a news release that the fire occurred Saturday night in Langley.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation and autopsy results on the victim are pending.

One other person was able to get out of the house safely.

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Man convicted of killing toddler to serve life in prison

DANVILLE (AP) — A man charged in the murder and sexual molestation of a 13-month-old Boyle County boy has pleaded guilty to murder and sodomy.

The Advocate Messenger in Danville reports 27-year-old Joseph Andrew Adams was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.

The family of Chris, the victim, said they were glad to have some closure in this situation. His grandmother, Nancy Johnson, called the sentence “a measure of justice.”

Adams was dating the mother of the child, and was babysitting Chris and his 2-year-old sister on Oct. 10 while their mother was at work. Adams called 911 to report the boy was hurt and the child was transported to the Danville hospital, where he later died. He was arrested that day by Kentucky State Police.

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