News in Brief
Ky. to launch help line for opioid addiction
FRANKFORT (AP) — Kentucky is spending $500,000 to create a phone number people can call to get help with opioid addiction.
Republican Gov. Matt Bevin said beginning Dec. 1 anyone needing help battling opioid addiction in Kentucky can call 833-8KY-HELP, or 833-859-4357. People who call will be connected to social workers and other programs to help with addiction.
The call center will be staffed by six people, plus a supervisor. A person will answer the phone from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Any other time, people can leave a message. Bevin said he is in talks with a large corporation to donate another $500,000 to keep the help line staffed all the time.
More than 1,400 people died from drug overdoses in Kentucky last year. Most of those were from opioids.
Police: Postal worker assaults boy who tried to stop theft
LEXINGTON (AP) — Authorities say a postal worker in Kentucky assaulted a boy who was trying to stop a package theft.
Lt. Paul Boyles with Lexington police told the Lexington Herald-Leader that a child picked up a package a postal worker had dropped off Sunday afternoon and a second child told him to stop.
Boyles said the postal worker saw the confrontation, and chased down and attempted to detain the child who was trying to stop the theft. Boyles said the worker said the boy was guilty by association.
It’s unclear how the child was assaulted, but he received minor injuries. A report for fourth-degree assault was taken, but no arrests were made. The boy’s mother can decide to press charges.
The postal worker wasn’t named. It’s unclear how old the boy was.
Bevin still plans for special legislative session
FRANKFORT (AP) — Kentucky’s Republican governor said he still plans to call a special session of the state legislature to make changes to the state’s troubled public pension system.
Gov. Matt Bevin and Republican legislative leaders unveiled the plan last month. But since then, the GOP House Speaker resigned his leadership post following a sexual harassment scandal. Republican leaders in the House have said they do not have the votes to pass the bill unless it is changed.
Asked if the pension bill was dead, Bevin told reporters Friday “not at all.” He said the pension bill will pass and it will happen soon. He did not say when he plans to call a special session.
The state legislature is scheduled to convene its regular session on Jan. 2.
Former Kentucky player loses state job after 2 months
FRANKFORT (AP) — A former University of Kentucky basketball player was fired from his job in the Labor Cabinet after working there for 2 1/2 months.
Winston Bennett, who played at Kentucky in the 1980s, was fired Oct. 12 from his $73,500-a-year job.
The Lexington Herald-Leader reports Bennett, 52, started working in the Labor Cabinet as a director in the apprenticeship division on Aug. 1.
Gov. Matt Bevin approved Labor Secretary Derrick Ramsey’s request to hire Bennett. The governor must approve non-merit hires in managerial positions.
References on Bennett’s application included former Kentucky coach Joe B. Hall and former University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino.
Bennett could not be reached for comment. J. Brooken Smith, chief of staff for Labor Secretary Ramsey, said the cabinet could not comment on Bennett’s dismissal.
Homeowners living along lake face fees after survey
LOUISVILLE (AP) — Homeowners who live along a Kentucky lake will have to pay thousands of dollars in fees following a survey by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers.
WDRB-TV reports that hundreds of homeowners who live near Rough River Lake will have to pay between $2,200 and $3,800 in administrative fees and file for a release so that their buildings can legally exist on their property.
An Army Corps survey determined a flowage easement was not where it was believed to be located for decades on parts of the 5,100-acre reservoir, located southwest of Louisville. The easement is designed to allow flood waters to fill onto private property and protect people during a catastrophic flood.
Some property owners believe they should not have to cover the cost of the fees.
University receiving grant to expand cybersecurity training
LOUISVILLE (AP) — Training for cybersecurity specialists will get a boost at a Kentucky university with a $580,000 federal grant to expand programs.
The University of Louisville says one program will teach cybersecurity measures to public safety employees, while another will use common hardware and software to come up with new teaching methods.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency designated U of L as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education in 2014, and the designation was extended recently through 2019.
The grant was awarded by the U.S. National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. It will support two interdisciplinary programs across three schools — the J.B. Speed School of Engineering, the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Business.
City moving 2 Confederate statues to its cemetery
LEXINGTON (AP) — Kentucky’s second-largest city is moving two Confederate statues to the Lexington Cemetery.
Media reports say the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council voted Thursday to approve the relocation of statues of Confederate Gen. John Hunt Morgan and John C. Breckinridge, a Confederate secretary of war. Both men are buried at the cemetery.
The cemetery will have access to a fund started at the Blue Grass Community Foundation for moving costs and maintenance.
The statues were fixtures in downtown Lexington for more than 130 years before the city removed them last month.
Kentucky Corrections Department names hostage team commander
FRANKFORT (AP) — The Kentucky Department of Corrections has a new state commander for its Hostage Negotiation Team.
Interim Corrections Commissioner Jim Erwin says Stefany Hughes assumed her new role Nov. 9.
Hughes joined the department as a classification and treatment officer at Northpoint Training Center in 2006. She worked in Internal Affairs there, interviewing staff and writing and tracking disciplinary reports stemming from a disturbance at the facility in 2009.
The agency said in a news release that Hughes was asked to join the Hostage Negotiation Team the same year and graduated from the first FBI basic academy in 2010.
She later became unit administrator and moved to Blackburn Correctional Complex. After another promotion, she returned to Northpoint and acted as Hostage Negotiation Team regional commander for the central region.
Man shot by police after chase dies of injuries
BOWLING GREEN (AP) — A man shot by police in south central Kentucky after a chase has died of his wounds in a hospital.
Kentucky State Police say 18-year-old Brian Calvert of Scottsville was shot by officers at the end of the pursuit early Saturday morning in Warren County. State Police say Calvert died of his injuries at Skyline Medical Center in Nashville on Saturday afternoon.
Two Warren County sheriff’s deputies were involved in the early morning pursuit. WBKO-TV reports Calvert had fled the scene after he was stopped by police. The station reports that one officer was nearly run over and the suspect in the vehicle pointed what appeared to be a gun at officers at the conclusion of the chase.
State police are investigating the shooting.