News in Brief
Ky. educators announce pension reform plan
VERSAILLES (AP) — Leaders from several Kentucky education groups have announced a pension reform plan that they say is a sustainable approach.
The Courier Journal reports the plan announced Monday would leave most retirement benefits in place for current and retired teachers, while a hybrid plan would be created for new teachers hired beginning next summer. Those teachers would participate in a defined benefit system and be able to supplement retirement savings with voluntary contributions to an investment account.
Current teachers’ sick leave pay would be frozen for calculating retirement benefits starting next summer.
Leaders of the state superintendents association and other education groups unveiled the plan at a news conference at Woodford County High School.
Gov. Matt Bevin announced his plan last month. Spokeswoman Amanda Stamper said Bevin’s plan meets the legal and moral obligations owed to state workers.
Humana cuts jobs, adds jobs elsewhere
(AP) — The health insurer Humana is cutting about 1,300 positions a couple months after starting an early retirement program.
A spokesman said Tuesday that the positions amount to less than 3 percent of the insurer’s workforce. Those who lose jobs can apply for another position with Humana, which also has 1,450 openings. The final number of cuts has not been determined.
The insurer said more than 1,150 people volunteered for early retirement, and will leave next year.
Humana Inc., based in Louisville, Kentucky, is one of the nation’s biggest providers of Medicare Advantage coverage, which involves privately run versions of the federal Medicare program for people who are over 65 or disabled.
Humana says the personnel moves were among several measures it is taking to position itself “for long-term sustainable success.”
The company did not release details on where the job cuts, or additions, would take place.
State Rep. Jim Wayne will not seek re-election
FRANKFORT (AP) — A veteran Democratic state representative from Louisville says he will not seek re-election next year.
Rep. Jim Wayne announced Tuesday he will not seek another term after 27 years in the legislature.
Wayne is an influential member of the Democratic caucus that ruled the House of Representatives for decades. But his influence faded when Republicans took control of the chamber in January for the first time in nearly 100 years.
In a news release, Wayne said he was proud of a career promoting affordable housing, protecting children from sexual predators and helping families whose neighborhoods were impacted by the expansion of the Louisville International Airport.
Wayne is the founder and president of the Wayne Corporation, a mental health services provider. He published his first novel, “The Unfinished Man,” last year.
Mother of missing woman wins police records appeal
MADISONVILLE (AP) — A judge has ordered Kentucky State Police to disclose 911 call records from the day a 23-year-old woman went missing more than 20 years ago.
The Evansville Courier & Press reports that the Franklin Circuit Court opinion entered Nov. 1 grants Sarah Teague’s appeal, filed after she was denied access to chain of custody records for the 911 call reporting the apparent abduction of her daughter, Heather Teague, in 1995.
Sarah Teague sought the open records request after she and attorney Chip Adams said the call that was played for them in 2016 was different than the one they heard in 2008.
Court records say State Police had denied her 2016 request, arguing the disclosure might hinder “a prospective law enforcement action.” Judge Phillip Shepherd ruled those concerns were vague.
Kroger employees in W.Va. approve contract
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Kroger employees have ratified a new union contract covering 4,200 workers at 34 grocery stores in West Virginia and five in Ohio and Kentucky.
WVVA-TV reports that about 1,000 members of United Food & Commercial Workers Local 400 voted Monday in Charleston and Clarksburg.
The contract with the grocery chain was effective immediately and extends through Aug. 29, 2020.
According to Local 400, the contract maintains health care and retirement benefits and increases pay.
Employees held demonstrations at some stores the past few weeks urging a contract settlement.
The national chain says it has almost 2,800 grocery retail stores in 35 states.
Officer in suspect shooting is identified
PADUCAH (AP) — Kentucky State Police have identified a sheriff’s deputy who fired shots, hitting a suspect as detectives were attempting to serve a warrant.
State police identified the McCracken County deputy as Detective Ryan Norman, a 10-year veteran law enforcement officer. Norman is on paid administrative leave, which is common procedure following a shooting involving an officer.
State police said in a news release that the suspect, Thomas Myers, remains in critical but stable condition at a local hospital. He was served Monday by state police with the warrant charging him with theft of mail matter.
A preliminary investigation of the shooting Friday indicates deputies spoke with a woman at the residence who led them to Myers inside the home. Police said Myers was armed with a weapon and one of the officers fired, hitting Myers.
Daniel Boone Forest waiving some usage fees for vets’ day
WINCHESTER (AP) — The Daniel Boone National Forest is waiving some fees at several recreational locations this weekend in honor of Veteran’s Day.
The fee waivers on Saturday, Nov. 11, are for all visitors.
Some of the fee waivers include boat ramps outside of developed campgrounds on Cave Run Lake, and camping will be free in some areas. Usage fees are also being waived at the White Sulphur ATV Trail and Clear Creek Shooting Range.
In the Red River Gorge area, no fee permit will be required for camping on national forest lands or at the Koomer Ridge Campground.
There are also fee waivers at the Natural Arch Scenic Area and the Appletree and Keno shooting ranges.
Ring of Fire exhibit coming to Newport Aquarium
NEWPORT (AP) — A new exhibit is coming to the Newport Aquarium next spring.
Aquarium Director Eric Rose told The Kentucky Enquirer that the Ring of Fire exhibit will open in March 2018. It will feature a giant Pacific octopus, Japanese spider crabs, and moon jellyfish. The Ring of Fire is a reference to the turbulent area of the Pacific Ocean rim that is lined with volcanoes and known for earthquakes.
Rose says the ecology and biology of the area is among the most intriguing elements of the oceans, with creatures that can adapt to surroundings by changing color and shape.
The aquarium exhibit will include light and sound effects that simulate volcanoes and earthquakes.