News Around the State

Eastern Ky. doctor convicted of federal health care fraud

LONDON, Ky. (AP) — A federal jury has convicted an eastern Kentucky doctor of health care fraud.

The jury in federal court in London returned a guilty verdict against Dr. Anis Chalhoub on Wednesday after a 12-day trial.

The Department of Justice said in a news release that Chalhoub implanted medically unnecessary pacemakers in his patients and billed it to Medicare and Medicaid.

Prosecutors say that between 2007 and 2011, Chalhoub implanted dozens of unnecessary pacemakers in patients at St. Joseph London hospital. Some patients recalled the doctor telling them that they might die without a pacemaker.

Chalhoub is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 14. He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison.

Ky. education board mulls future of commissioner

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky Board of Education is meeting privately to decide whether to keep the state’s commissioner of education.

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin appointed seven new board members on Monday. The board is now entirely composed of people he appointed. The board then called a special meeting for Tuesday to discuss the possible dismissal of an employee. The only employee the board has authority over is Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt.

Bevin told reporters Tuesday he was not happy with Kentucky’s recent test scores. He said the decision on whether to keep Pruitt was entirely up to the board.

Pruitt has been commissioner since September 2015. Bevin took office in December 2015.

Less than week left to register to vote in state primary

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentuckians have less than a week left to register to vote in next month’s primary election.

The deadline to register is April 23. Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes says county clerks’ offices statewide will accept online and paper applications until 4 p.m. local time on the deadline. She says mail-in voter registration applications must be postmarked by April 23.

To be eligible to vote, Kentuckians must be a U.S. citizen, be a Kentucky resident for at least 28 days before Election Day, be at least 18 years old on or before the general election, not be a felon and not claim the right to vote anywhere outside Kentucky.

Grimes says voters who have recently moved need to update their voter registration information no later than April 23.

Bevin taps Parkinson to lead Education and Workforce Cabinet

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Don Parkinson is the new secretary of Kentucky’s Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin made the announcement Tuesday morning. Parkinson will replace Hal Heiner, who resigned Monday so Bevin could appoint him to the state Board of Education.

Parkinson is the secretary of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet. Tuesday, Bevin announced Regina Stivers would take over that cabinet on an interim basis. Stivers is the wife of Republican state Senate President Robert Stivers.

Parkinson is the former senior vice president of KFC and Yum Brands. He has been secretary of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet since Bevin took office in December 2015.

Stivers has been at the tourism cabinet since 2016.

Distracted driver sentenced to 7 ½ years in fatal crash

FLORENCE, Ky. (AP) — A driver who admitted using her cellphone when she struck and killed two toddlers and their grandfather in Kentucky has been sentenced to 7 ½ years in prison.

Media report Boone County Circuit Court Judge James R. Schrand sentenced Jessica Hood on Monday. Hood was accused of killing 49-year-old Charles Napier and his twin 13-month-old grandchildren as he pulled them in a wagon in Florence.

Hood pleaded guilty last month to manslaughter and assault in the 2015 crash that also injured the toddlers’ mother and another child. She told the court she was looking at her cellphone while trying to plug in an auxiliary cord and change the music player from a CD to her cellphone.

Hood apologized in court, saying she wished she could take back her actions.