At the Courthouse Square

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 

U.S. Supreme Court to decide same-sex marriage nationwide

01/17/2015 11:46 AM

On Friday the United States Supreme Court agreed to definitively answer whether or not states can ban same-sex marriage, after several courts overturned bans in multiple states — including in Kentucky. In February of last year a federal judge struck down Kentucky’s ban on same-sex marriage which was enacted by ratification of Kentucky voters in 2004. At the time the federal judge said Kentucky’s Constitutional view of same-sex marriage violated the United States Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the... Read more 

Labor groups suing Hardin County Fiscal Court over right-to-work ordinance

01/15/2015 10:09 PM

The day after Hardin County Fiscal Court became the fifth county government to pass a right-to-work ordinance, a number of labor groups filed a federal lawsuit against the county alleging it violated the National Labor Relations Act. Local governments have taken up the politically divisive issue with prospects for a right-to-work law grim in the Kentucky General Assembly. Warren, Simpson, Fulton and Todd counties are others that have passed right-to-work measures since Dec. 19, meaning unions in those counties can’t... Read more 

State Sen. Brandon Smith arrested for DUI Tuesday

01/07/2015 03:00 PM

FRANKFORT — State Sen. Brandon Smith, R-Hazard, is spending his first week back in the state Capitol becoming reacquainted with the Kentucky State Police — the 47-year old lawmaker was arrested Tuesday evening for driving under the influence. WYMT-TV was first to report the arrest which occurred around 9 p.m. on Tuesday evening. Initial reports say the Kentucky State Police pulled Smith over for speeding and suspected Smith had been drinking. Smith refused a breathalyzer and was booked by... Read more 

Warren County goes 'right to work'; Louisville passes minimum wage increase

12/19/2014 06:38 PM

Local governments in Kentucky took major steps by enacting legislation at the county and metro level which has divided state lawmakers for years. In Bowling Green Friday the Warren County Fiscal Court became the first county in the nation to enact a right to work law with a 6-1 vote, and on Thursday night Louisville Metro government became the first city in the south to increase the minimum wage. Both actions from local government officials will likely land the governments in court... Read more 

Federal appeals court overturns gay marriage ruling, setting up showdown in U.S. Supreme Court

11/06/2014 05:55 PM

UPDATED WITH GOV. STEVE BESHEAR REACTION: Kentucky’s ban on gay marriage appears to be heading to the U.S. Supreme Court after a federal appeals court reversed a lower court opinion overturning the state’s constitutional amendment on the issue Thursday. In a 2-1 opinion, the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals determined bans in Kentucky and three other states – Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee – do not violate state constitutions. The Cincinnati-based panel’s decision is an outlier among federal courts after the... Read more 

Alvarado files civil suit against Palmer for defamation

10/27/2014 10:18 AM

UPDATED: Republican state Senate candidate Dr. Ralph Alvarado filed a civil defamation suit against his Democratic opponent Senate Minority Floor Leader R.J. Palmer over an ad running in the district. The ad which began airing last week essentially calls Alvarado a drug dealer using edited 2010 courtroom footage. On Monday morning Alvarado’s attorney, Christopher Hunt, filed a complaint in Clark County Court against Palmer, his reelection campaign, and Democratic consultant Dale Emmons. The complaint cites falsehoods in the ad including “deliberately editing... Read more 

Rep. Keith Hall, former state mine inspector indicted on federal bribery charges

10/23/2014 06:08 PM

A federal grand jury has indicted outgoing state Rep. Keith Hall and a former mine reclamation inspector on charges of bribery, alleging the Phelps Democrat paid more than $46,000 to have violations at his mining operations ignored. A grand jury in London, Ky., returned the indictment against Hall, 55, and Kelly Shortridge, who was also charged with attempting to extort additional payments from Hall and lying to Federal Bureau of Investigation officials during a July interview, Thursday. Both are scheduled to... Read more 

Northern Kentucky judge-executives open to local sales tax option

09/30/2014 03:03 PM

The Northern Kentucky judge-executives of Boone, Kenton and Campbell counties say that they would be open to the possibility of a local sales tax option to fund certain capital projects. Proponents of the local sales tax option say the initiative would give voters a chance to vote on raising taxes over a specified amount of time to help fund needed local projects. The idea was floated in the January 60-day legislative session, but never made it to the House floor... Read more 


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