News in Brief
Deputies: Couple left child, 4, on floor near drugs, needles
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky deputies say they have arrested a couple after finding a 4-year-old child playing on the floor near needles and drugs.
According to local media outlets, the Laurel County sheriff’s office says deputies arrested 29-year-old Raymond Lewis Elam Jr. and 35-year-old Stephanie Elam of Laurel County on charges Monday of first-degree criminal abuse of a child age 12 or younger, first-degree methamphetamine possession, drug paraphernalia possession and public intoxication from a controlled substance. Stephanie Elam faces an additional marijuana possession charge.
Deputies were called to the Elam household for a domestic dispute.
While the child played nearby, deputies say they found items with meth residue, needles, pills and a spoon covered with a white substance on the floor.
Social workers took the child.
The couple went to Laurel County’s jail.
Church members sue pastor and wife over spending
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Members of a Kentucky congregation are suing their pastor and his wife over church spending that they say is flagrant self-dealing.
According to the Lexington Herald-Leader , the lawsuit by Southern Acres Christian Church members James Keogh and Chad Martin claims lead Pastor Cameron McDonald concentrated power among himself, his wife and other staffer.
The lawsuit says a series of moves dissolved the Lexington church’s larger governing board, changed church operating rules and removed a requirement for church-wide votes on changes.
The lawsuit seeks to drop the bylaw and board changes and block McDonald and his wife Erica from spending church money or making real estate transfers.
It says McDonald, his wife and Pastor Tim Jones are church-paid board members, a first in church history.
McDonald’s attorney declined to comment.
Police investigating shooting death on hunting trip
IRVINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky State Police say they are investigating a shooting death that occurred while two men were hunting on Thanksgiving morning.
A State Police news release says the shooting happened in Breckinridge County on Thursday.
Police say 43-year-old Christopher B. Stone of Irvington shot his rifle into an overgrown field surrounded by woods where his deer hunting counterpart, 39-year-old Nicholas Lee Ford of Brandenburg, was standing.
Police say the shot hit Ford in the back, and he was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead.
Police have not released additional information about the circumstances of the shooting. They say the case remains under investigation.
Officials: Cop agreed not to arrest woman for sex
HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Authorities say a police officer in western Kentucky is facing official misconduct charges after agreeing not to arrest a woman if she would have sex with him.
The Kentucky New Era reports State Police have charged former Hopkinsville Police Officer Daniel Gray with two counts of first-degree official misconduct. Gray has resigned.
A criminal complaint says Gray was supposed to arrest a woman for violating her probation. Instead, he took her to a hotel and had sex with her. The woman told police she had sex with Gray multiple times in exchange for not arresting her.
Hopkinsville Police Chief Clayton Sumner said the allegations give a black-eye to the profession.
Hopkinsville is in western Kentucky, about 72 miles (116 kilometers) northwest of Nashville, Tennessee.
Officials bring reporter to court over open records
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky officials are suing a reporter to try to change the attorney general’s decision that a state panel is subject to open meetings law.
According to The State Journal , one of its reporters, Alfred Miller, is named in the Finance and Administration Cabinet’s lawsuit earlier this month.
The State Journal appealed to the attorney general in September after requests were denied for meeting schedules, minutes and board member identities of the Built-to-Suit Selection Committee, which will pick who demolishes and rebuilds the Capital Plaza Tower.
A decision by Attorney General Andy Beshear said no valid legal reason was provided not to comply with state open meetings law.
The cabinet’s lawsuit says the decision could expose board members to improper contact, lobbying and public opinion pressure.
UofL graduate student named Mitchell scholar
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A University of Louisville graduate student has been named a George J. Mitchell scholar.
The school says in a statement that music student James May is one of 12 students across the nation — and the first at UofL — to be selected for the Ireland postgraduate study that includes tuition, accommodations, travel expenses and a stipend.
May plans to student new music production and performance while studying in Ireland.
School of Music Dean Chris Doane says May’s work as a composer, volunteer, teacher and leader is an inspiration to those around him.
The Pittsburgh native has created and penned more than a dozen compositions and currently teaches contemporary music at Louisville’s Youth Performing Arts School. May graduated from The College of Wooster with degrees in music composition and English.