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News Digest: May 1, 2013

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By The Staff

Mansfield, Collins, Hackworth appointed

Three Shelby Countians were among the persons recently appointed to statewide boards and commissions by Gov. Steve Beshear.

The individuals will serve various terms. Those named were:

  • April Kathleen “Kathy” Mansfield of Simpsonville, an elementary school library media specialist for Shelby County Public Schools, will serve on the Diagnostic and Intervention Grant Steering Committee through May 16, 2016. She represents certified media specialists and replaces Rosana V. Denham, whose term has expired.
  • Stephen L. Collins of Shelbyville, an attorney and funeral director at Hall-Taylor Funeral Home, will serve as vice chairman of the Kentucky Heritage Council. His term will expire Aug. 6, 2016.
  • Sharon K. Hackworth of Shelbyville, a retired teacher, has been appointed to the Kentucky Oral History Commission. Her term will expire Feb. 15, 2017.

Officials sue for redistricting

Northern Kentucky officials and residents who feel underrepresented in the Kentucky General Assembly have taken the governor and most of state government to federal court.

Boone County Clerk Kenny Brown, the judge-executives of Boone and Kenton counties, some members of the Tea Party movement and other residents filed a lawsuit Friday in the federal court in Covington to compel the General Assembly to finish redistricting before Nov. 4. If legislators can’t come up with a solution by then, the lawsuit asks the court to approve a plan drawn up by the plaintiffs, the Kentucky Enquirer reported.

At stake, the plaintiffs say, is an adequate amount of representation in the legislature that Northern Kentucky deserves for its increasing population. But it will require a special session called by the governor to get it done this year since the legislature isn’t scheduled to convene until Jan. 2014.
They’ve named as defendants the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Gov. Steve Beshear, Senate President Robert Stivers, Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, Attorney General Jack Conway, the Kentucky Board of Elections and the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission.

The legislature has failed in the past two sessions to properly redraw its House and Senate district boundaries to reflect the population changes in Northern Kentucky over the past 10 years revealed in the last U.S. Census. The process can get contentious as Republicans and Democrats vie to draw lines favorable to their parties.
The lawsuit contends the state has not performed its duty mandated by the state constitution to redistrict every 10 years.

Beshear’s office didn’t have a comment on the lawsuit filed late Friday afternoon. Beshear, in an interview earlier this month with the Enquirer, said he would consider calling a special session and acknowledged the fairness issue.

 

Line-of-duty death penalty

Acting on the third anniversary of the death of its namesake, Gov. Steve Beshear on Monday ceremonially signed the Bryan Durman Act, setting higher parole eligibility thresholds for crimes that result in the line-of-duty death of a peace officer or firefighter.

Named for a Lexington police officer killed by a hit-and-run driver while investigating a routine complaint, Senate Bill 15 ensures that offenders who kill an on-duty police officer or firefighter serve more of their sentence before becoming eligible for parole.

“Our law enforcement officers routinely place themselves in harm’s way in order to protect others, and while it’s rare, it’s an unfortunate reality that their bravery and commitment to duty occasionally cost them their lives,” Beshear said in a statement released by his staff. “This law recognizes the great sacrifice that our men and women in uniform make, and serves as a deterrent to those individuals who may cause them harm.”
The law adds second-degree manslaughter and reckless homicide of a peace officer or firefighter acting in the line of duty to the violent offender statutes, and stipulates that the offender must serve at least 85 percent of his or her sentence if the officer or firefighter was clearly identifiable.

If the officer or firefighter was not clearly identifiable, the offender must now serve at least 50 percent of his or her sentence before being eligible for a parole.
Previously, offenders committing these crimes were eligible for parole after serving only 20 percent of their sentence.

Foundation grant process announced

The Shelby County Community Foundation Partnership Grants Committee has announced the schedule for grant applications for 2013. All applications must be submitted no later than June 28 2013.

Organizations that qualify for grants are: 501 (3) non-profits, ecumenical religious organizations (two or more different denominations), and governmental organizations.

Application forms can be downloaded from shelbyccf.org.

 

SCHS SBDM meeting

Shelby County High School’s School-Based Decision-Making Council will meet at 4 p.m. Thursday in the main office conference room. This is a regular called meeting.

 

Possible road closings, delays 

  • I-64:Lane closures and delays are possible between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m., Sunday through Friday, between the Welcome Center and a half-mile east of KY 55 because of roadway widening. On Saturdays the hours are 10 p.m.-5 a.m. The eastbound exit to KY 55 South (Exit 32A) is closed due to ramp construction. Motorists can use Exit 32B to access both KY 55 North and South.
  • I-64:Lane closures and delays are possible in the hours from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. in both directions between Mile Markers 38 and 44 because of  sealing of pavement joints and cracks.
  • KY 1848:Shoulder closures and construction delays are possible at the I-64 interchange because of roadway widening. One lane of traffic will be maintained in each direction.  The speed limit is reduced to 35 MPH in the work zone.

 

The Kentucky Press News Service contributed to this report.