State News in Brief


Jury finds Hazard doctor, wife guilty on numerous charges

LONDON (AP) — A federal jury has convicted a Hazard physician on more than 150 charges, including illegal distribution of drugs and health care fraud.

News outlets report that the jury on Monday convicted 51-year-old Dr. James “Ace” Chaney, his 50-year-old wife Lesa Chaney and their business, Ace Clinique of Medicine, after a seven-week trial in London on Monday.

U.S. Attorney Kerry Harvey’s office says evidence at the trial showed Chaney knowingly provided drug prescriptions to drug abusers and people who sold the pills.

The most serious charges against the physician carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

Ace Chaney’s attorney, Elizabeth S. Hughes, says the couple will appeal their convictions.

The FBI indicted the couple in 2014, accusing them of running a pill mill for more than eight years.

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Kentucky Lottery expanding to internet sales

LOUISVILLE (AP) — The Kentucky Lottery is expanding to Internet sales in hopes of luring younger players.

Lottery officials say eligible players within the state’s boundaries can register for an account at kylottery.com to purchase Powerball, Mega Millions and Kentucky Cash Ball draw games.

The officials said Tuesday that at the outset, there will be five Instant Play games ranging in price from 50 cents to $3 available online, with more being introduced later.

Kentucky Lottery President and CEO Arch Gleason says the goal of Internet sales is to attract younger players accustomed to making retail purchases online.

Gleason says the move to Internet sales doesn’t diminish the importance of “brick and mortar” retailers. He says those 3,200 lottery retailers will continue to be the most important part of the lottery’s business.

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Coroner: Boy’s death in car appears to be from overheating

LOUISVILLE (AP) — The Jefferson County coroner’s office says the death of a boy found inside a parked car outside an elementary school on a day when the temperature hit 83 degrees was consistent with a high body temperature.

Deputy Coroner Larry Carroll said in an email Tuesday that 2-year-old Lavontae Swain’s death was “consistent with hyperthermia.”

Louisville police are investigating the child’s death.

Police spokesman Dwight Mitchell said earlier that the toddler was in cardiac arrest when he was spotted inside the vehicle Monday afternoon. He died at the scene.

The incident happened at Gutermuth Elementary School, a few miles southwest of downtown Louisville.

Mitchell said the vehicle was parked and the boy was alone inside. The National Weather Service listed the temperature at that hour at 83 degrees.

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State to pay $250K to newspapers over child abuse records

FRANKFORT (AP) — The state will pay a $250,000 penalty to Kentucky’s two largest newspapers to settle a lawsuit over obtaining records of child abuse deaths and serious injuries.

Monday’s agreement with the state ends seven years of litigation that resulted in public access to state social service records in cases where children die or are seriously injured by abuse or neglect.

The Courier-Journal and the Lexington Herald-Leader report they’ll each receive $125,000 in fines after a judge ruled Kentucky violated the state open records act by refusing to release the records.

In addition to the fines, the state will also pay legal costs of $339,000 to the Courier-Journal and $110,000 to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Herald-Leader President Rufus Friday says gaining access to the records promotes greater openness in child welfare.

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Ill. sheriff’s deputies on leave after shooting fugitive

ANTIOCH, Ill. (AP) — Authorities say four sheriff’s deputies have been placed on administrative leave after they fatally shot a Florida fugitive in northern Illinois.

Fifty-three-year-old Gerald Robert Boyes was wanted in Florida for a parole violation, as well as in Kentucky in the double homicide of his father and his father’s girlfriend.

The four sheriff’s deputies from McHenry and Lake counties confronted and attempted to arrest Boyes early Saturday in the parking lot of a pizzeria in Antioch.

The Lake County Major Crime Task Force says Boyes brandished a handgun and the deputies opened fire. The task force says a gun was found in his possession after the shooting.

All four deputies are on leave while the shooting is investigated.

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University of Kentucky to reorganize administrative units

LEXINGTON (AP) — The University of Kentucky provost will reorganize administrative units in an effort to help students.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that University of Kentucky Provost Tim Tracy will reorganize administrative units including undergraduate education, student affairs, enrollment management, the Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching, and the UK International Center.

Tracy says that one of the changes will include merging different departments to eliminate bureaucracy and increase the number of people working directly with students.

The move will result in some job losses. The provost says some employees may move into different roles and some new jobs may be added.

The changes are part of the university’s five-year strategy plan aimed at increasing graduation and retention rates by 2020. Tracy says the changes will help students with academic issues, financial aid and wellness.

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Ex-Ky. personnel secretary pleads guilty to kickbacks

LEXINGTON (AP) — A former high-ranking state official whose criminal charges were an embarrassment for Kentucky’s former governor and current attorney general has pleaded guilty to a federal bribery charge.

Tim Longmeyer abruptly resigned as a deputy in the attorney general’s office two days before a criminal complaint charging him was announced in March. Longmeyer pleaded guilty Tuesday to using his influence as the head of the state’s Personnel Cabinet under former Gov. Steve Beshear to steer contracts to a public relations firm in 2014 and 2015.

Beshear’s son, current Attorney General Andy Beshear, hired Longmeyer as his top deputy earlier this year.

The 48-year-old Longmeyer appeared before U.S. District Judge Karen Caldwell and admitted to receiving more than $200,000 in kickbacks from the public relations firm.

Federal prosecutors have not named the consulting firm, but said more people could be charged in the case.

Court documents indicated the kickbacks were given in exchange for Longmeyer’s help in securing contracts with two insurers, Humana and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield. An FBI affidavit and federal prosecutors have said Humana and Anthem were unaware of the scheme.

As personnel secretary, Longmeyer oversaw the $1.8 billion Kentucky Employees Health Plan, and the firm was hired by the insurers to provide group testing and telephone surveys. Humana paid a total of $2 million to the consulting firm between 2011 and 2014, according to documents in the case.

Prosecutors also said the firm recruited employees and others to write campaign contribution checks to some state office candidates.

Andy Beshear, the attorney general, said he wouldn’t be surprised if some of those donations were to his campaign. Beshear said in a statement Tuesday that over the last three weeks, he has “stood before the public and answered any and every question regarding Mr. Longmeyer.” His office is not suspected of any wrongdoing by federal authorities.

Longmeyer was allowed to remain free on bond until his sentencing date on Aug. 18. He faces up to 10 years in prison on the single bribery charge.

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