State News in Brief

Former Gov. Beshear releases 2015 income tax returns

FRANKFORT (AP) — Former Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear has released tax returns from his final year in office.

Beshear and his wife earned more than $351,000 in 2015. About $135,500 came from salary. The rest came from investments, rental income and Social Security and retirement benefits.

The Beshears paid more than $65,000 in taxes and received a refund of more than $8,800. They gave more than $8,000 to charity.

Beshear noted he has released 10 years of his individual tax returns dating back to his first campaign for governor. He criticized Republican Gov. Matt Bevin for not releasing his tax returns.

Bevin says he discloses what he must under state law. He has said his taxes are private and not anyone’s business.


Tenn. man leads Ky. police on high speed chase

BOWLING GREEN (AP) — A Portland, Tennessee, man faces multiple charges after leading police on a high speed chase in Kentucky.

According to Kentucky State Police, Bret Chadwick was seen on Wednesday covered in blood and leaving the scene of a domestic disturbance in Tennessee.

Kentucky troopers spotted Chadwick’s white BMW later that night at about 10:45 p.m. Police say Chadwick lead them on a chase through Simpson and Warren counties, striking several cruisers. He was finally forced to stop on the outskirts of Bowling Green after police deflated his tires and boxed him in with a cruiser.

Chadwick is being held at the Warren County Regional Jail. Charges include six counts of wanton endangerment of a police officer, evading arrest and DUI. Jail records do not indicate whether he has an attorney.


TVA looks to remove floating houses from state reservoirs

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (AP) — Several local and state officials and houseboat owners are opposed to the Tennessee Valley Authority’s move to remove floating houses from its reservoirs in Tennessee and other states after a study showed a large number of the homes have been built and docked over the past 10 years.

Washington County commissioners voted on Monday to support a state Senate resolution urging the TVA to reject a provision that would require all houseboats to be removed within the next 20 years, the Johnson City Press reported.

According to the TVA study, the recent growth of unpermitted floating houses has raised concerns about potential environmental and safety impacts.

TVA amended its regulations in 1977 to prohibit non-navigable houseboats except for those existing before 1978.

“The Senate wants all boat houses to be grandfathered in,” Karen Jenkins, who owns a floating house docked on Boone Lake, told county commissioners Monday.

Since 2000, it appears the agency’s policy has been to temporarily allow floating houses in its reservoirs, the Tennessee River and its tributaries that meet the minimum safety and environmental standards.

“Because our lake house is pre-1978, I thought they would grandfather us in,” Jenkins said. “That’s why I’m confused about what they’re doing now.”

TVA’s board of directors will hold a “listening session” for the public at a May 5 meeting in Buchanan.

There are an estimated 1,800 structures, used mainly for habitation, along TVA reservoirs and rivers.


University of Kentucky suspends fraternity for hazing

LEXINGTON (AP) — The University of Kentucky has suspended a fraternity for five years for alcohol and hazing violations.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports a letter from Denise Simpson of the university Office of Student Affairs said Phi Kappa Psi engaged in behavior including forcing pledges to drink until they vomited, watch gay pornography and do calisthenics in pools of vomit.

Current members are required to remove all Phi Kappa Psi paraphernalia and move out of the fraternity’s housing by May 8. They may not meet as an organized student group.

University spokesman Jay Blanton said the punishment came after an extensive investigation of multiple reports of hazing.

The newspaper said fraternity member R.J. Ariel accepted responsibility on the fraternity’s behalf. The paper said neither he nor the national Phi Kappa Psi returned calls for comment.


Chelsea Clinton heads to Ky. to open campaign office

LEXINGTON (AP) — The daughter of former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has plans to visit Kentucky this week.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports Chelsea Clinton will visit Lexington to help open the Hillary for Kentucky Lexington office in her mother’s Democratic presidential campaign.

The event is to start at 10:15 a.m. Friday at 1301 Winchester Road.

She is attending a private fundraiser later Friday at the Frankfort home of former Lt. Gov. Crit Luallen and her husband, Lynn Luallen.

Kentucky’s primary election is May 17.


Kentucky Supreme Court hears arguments in Magoffin election

FRANKFORT (AP) — Lawyers for Magoffin County’s judge-executive have made their arguments to the Kentucky Supreme Court, with one of the attorneys saying there was no proof his client took part in election fraud.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports attorney Eldred E. “Bud” Adams Jr. argued Wednesday that a ruling that would cost Democratic Judge-Executive Charles “Doc” Hardin his office wasn’t correct and should be overturned. Attorney Jason Nemes, who represents the local election board, acknowledged the board didn’t strictly follow state law on every point. But Adams and Nemes said the board substantially complied with the law.

The arguments came in a case in which Republican challenger John Montgomery sued alleging Hardin took part in vote fraud and the board violated election rules. Montgomery’s attorney, Gordon Long, said fraud and violations in the November 2014 election justified tossing out the results.

It could be several months before the Supreme Court rules.


3 schools get grants to help combat urban heat island

LOUISVILLE (AP) — Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer says three schools have been awarded grants for projects to help combat urban heat island.

Fischer said in a statement that the Knollenberg Foundation awarded a total of $10,000 to student groups at Ballard High School, Assumption High School and Farnsley Middle School after they participated in the Urban Heat Island Youth Summit, which was hosted by Brightside and the Partnership for a Green City in December.

The statement says Ballard received $5000 to paint part of the school’s roof white and monitor temperature in classrooms to determine how much of an effect it has. Assumption received $3,000 to add a green wall demonstration project and plant trees. Farnsley received $2,000 to plant trees and compare temperatures in the shaded areas and the non-shaded areas.

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