February 7, 2020 at 2:23 AM CST – Updated February 7 at 4:23 PM
Sports betting bill stumbles from starting gate in Kentucky
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — In a state where betting on the Kentucky Derby is seen as a rite of passage, efforts to legalize wagering on other sports have barely gotten out of the starting gate. A sports wagering bill has exposed tensions among Republicans who control the legislature. It has spotlighted a divide between Christian conservatives opposed to sports wagering for religious reasons and lawmakers who see the potential for a new revenue source. The bill sailed through a legislative committee nearly a month ago but has languished in the full House since then.
Kentucky House passes bill to ban schoolhouse paddlings
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky House has passed a bill to ban the paddling of students. The measure cleared the House on a 65-17 vote Friday. It now goes to the Senate. The bill would prohibit schools from using corporal punishment. Kentucky is among 19 states that currently allow it. Rep. Steve Riley says corporal punishment is ineffective because it fails to change behavior in a positive way. Rep. Kevin Bratcher recalled being paddled while in high school after being caught sneaking out of school to chew tobacco. He says it didn’t curb the behavior. Instead, he says he and his classmates made sure someone kept watch the next time.
Bill requiring armed school officers clears legislature
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky lawmakers have given final approval to a bill requiring police officers to carry weapons when assigned to schools. The House passed the measure on a 78-8 vote Friday. The bill now goes to Gov. Andy Beshear. The bill previously passed the Senate. It’s a follow-up to last year’s sweeping school safety law, which did not specify whether school police officers needed to carry a weapon. The new bill’s efforts to bolster school counseling had widespread support. But the requirement that school-based officers — known as school resource officers — be armed caused disagreements.
Former jail deputy sentenced to 4 years in prison
HICKMAN, Ky. (AP) — Authorities say a former deputy jailer in western Kentucky has been sentenced to 4 years in prison for using a stun gun to punish a suicidal inmate for cursing. The FBI said in a statement that 54-year-old James Eakes received the sentence Thursday for willfully depriving the inmate of his constitutional right to be free from cruel and usual punishment. The former deputy jailer with the Fulton County Detention Center in Hickman was convicted last year. According to evidence and testimony, Eakes used a Taser on the inmate three times because the inmate cursed at him.
3 ex-officers avoid prison in sentence for overtime scheme
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Three former police officers in Kentucky have avoided prison time for falsifying overtime records to collect pay for hours they didn’t work. News outlets report former Louisville Metro police officers Brian Stanfield, Todd Roadhouse and Mark Final were sentenced Thursday to three years probation. Each will have to spend eight months of the sentence on a curfew. Authorities said the three submitted overtime requests for hours they did not work between 2014 and 2017. They covered up the overtime pay by altering arrest records. They were ordered to pay back about $170,000 total in restitution.
TEACHER RESIDENCY PROGRAM
Officials announce initiative to attract more teachers
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky’s largest school system has teamed up with the University of Louisville to start a teacher residency program. The program is aimed at combating teacher shortages. The Courier Journal reports it would allow people who received a degree in a field other than education to get a master’s degree from U of L while shadowing an experienced teacher at Jefferson County Public Schools. In exchange, participants would commit to teaching in one of the district’s lowest-performing schools for five years. An initial 30-person cohort is expected to begin courses in June. Requirements to apply include a bachelor’s degree with at least a 2.75 GPA.