At the Courthouse Square

Same-sex marriage plaintiffs confident ahead of Supreme Court hearing this month

04/13/2015 12:02 AM

Plaintiffs in what will be a landmark decision on same-sex marriage by the U.S. Supreme Court are optimistic that the high court will overturn laws barring the unions throughout the country later this year. Six couples are fighting Kentucky’s constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage, joining similar legal battles in Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee before the Supreme Court April 28. The high court took up the case after the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a federal judge’s ruling against same-sex... Read more 

Former Rep. Ben Waide pleads guilty to campaign finance violations

04/10/2015 06:37 PM

Former Republican state Rep. Ben Waide pleaded guilty on Friday for attempting to accept illegal campaign contributions and attempted unlawful campaign expenditures in Franklin Circuit Court. Waide, of Madisonville, received a 12-month jail sentence, though he won’t see the inside of a correctional facility thanks to a probated sentence with two years of supervision, the Attorney General’s Office said in a news release. As part of his sentence Waide has agreed to pay restitution to Liberty Rehabilitation, Waide’s former employer,... Read more 

Judge orders temporary seal in Legislative Research Commission lawsuit depositions

04/08/2015 01:17 PM

FRANKFORT — A Franklin County judge issued a temporary protective order on all depositions taken in lawsuits against the Legislative Research Commission on Wednesday. Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate sealed the records as attorneys on both sides brief their arguments over the next 10 days. House Majority Caucus Chairwoman Sannie Overly, through attorney Anita Britton of Lexington, sought the protective order ahead of her scheduled deposition Monday, citing past leaks from Louisville attorney Thomas Clay. Clay, who’s representing former LRC staffer... Read more 

Six-alarm fire at General Electric's Appliance Park contained but storage building lost to flames

04/03/2015 05:06 PM

A massive, six-alarm fire at General Electric’s Appliance Park has been contained, but not before causing “extensive damage” to the warehouse and office building Friday, according to company and emergency officials. The blaze erupted around 7 a.m. Friday, and Kevin Tyler, president of the Jefferson County Fire Chiefs Association, said crews will continue to battle the fire into Saturday. Some employees were inside the facility that largely warehoused plastic material when the fire started, but Tyler said no one was injured. About... Read more 

Obama commutes sentences of 22 drug offenders including Kentucky member of the 'Cornbread Mafia'

04/01/2015 12:01 PM

Francis Darrell Hayden of Loretto joined a small group of Americans Tuesday when President Barack Obama commuted his and 22 other individuals’ prison sentences. Hayden had been sentenced to life behind bars in 2002 following a third arrest for marijuana offenses in Michigan. With two prior marijuana convictions in 1980 and 1990, Hayden received a life sentence in 2002 after being caught growing nearly 19,000 marijuana plants in Michigan. With a stroke from Obama’s pen, Hayden’s days behind bars are... Read more 

Boone County becomes largest county in the state to adopt right-to-work

03/28/2015 09:14 AM

BURLINGTON – On March 17, Boone County became the 11th county in the commonwealth to adopt a local right-to-work ordinance in a unanimous vote by the Boone County Fiscal Court. Boone County is the largest county in the state to pass such an ordinance, and the first in Northern Kentucky. The ordinance allows individuals to choose not to join a union and pay dues without being penalized or losing their jobs. The new ordinance would apply to labor contracts and re-negotiations effective... Read more 

Northern Kentucky chamber members hear both sides of right-to-work argument

03/17/2015 04:19 PM

ERLANGER — The pros and cons of right-to-work took center stage at the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Eggs and Issues breakfast on Tuesday morning. With more counties in Kentucky voting by local ordinance to end closed-shops and allow workers the right to not be part of the union the issue is primed to take off or be stopped short by the courts. Bill Londrigan, president of the Kentucky State AFL-CIO, says that right-to-work proponents fail to come up with... Read more 

The Chatter: Opposition to gay marriage, support for local-option sales tax grow, according to Bluegrass Poll

03/13/2015 12:10 PM

As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to consider the state’s constitutional ban against same-sex marriage this summer, Kentuckians remain staunchly against allowing gay and lesbian wedlock, according to the results of the latest Bluegrass Poll released Thursday. The poll, conducted by SurveyUSA for The Courier-Journal, WHAS-TV, Lexington Herald-Leader and WKYT-TV, contacted 1,917 registered voters and found 57 percent oppose allowing same-sex couples to wed compared to 33 percent who back the issue. Ten percent were unsure, and the polls has a... Read more 

Judge rules House Majority Whip Johnny Bell can be added to LRC lawsuit after firing plaintiff

02/04/2015 05:24 PM

FRANKFORT — A judge has ruled a former Legislative Research Commission staffer can add House Majority Whip Johnny Bell to her harassment lawsuit against the agency after Bell terminated her upon joining House leadership. Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate also determined the LRC should provide additional discovery in the case, although potentially sensitive material that may be protected by attorney-client privilege will be reviewed by Wingate. Leslie Vose, an attorney for the LRC, had argued in a court hearing Monday that... Read more 

Fired LRC staffer looks to add House majority whip to lawsuit, seeks more info on past complaints

02/02/2015 07:27 PM

FRANKFORT —A judge will decide soon whether state House Majority Whip Johnny Bell can be added to a lawsuit filed by a woman he fired after restaffing his leadership office. Yolanda Costner — a former adviser to Rep. Tommy Thompson, D-Owensboro, whom Bell ousted as whip in last month’s leadership elections — is accusing the Glasgow Democrat of retaliating against her because she’s suing the Legislative Research Commission for allegedly mishandling her sexual harassment complaints against former Rep. John Arnold. In a... Read more 

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