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  1. Murray Woman Charged in Shooting
    A Calloway County woman has been charged in connection to a Monday shooting. At approximately 10am, Murray police officers responded to a possible gunshot victim at Murray-Calloway County Hospital. Investigators then responded to 1106 Pogue Avenue.

    Following a preliminary investigation, 33-year-old Charissa King of Murray was charged with assault first degree and receiving stolen property (firearm). King was lodged at the Calloway County Jail.

  2. Whitfield: No Basis for Ethics Complaint
    A Republican congressman from Kentucky says his wife did not improperly spur him to introduce a bill concerning the possible abuse of Tennessee Walking Horses and there's no basis for an ethics complaint against him.

    U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield spoke to reporters Monday on a conference call. Whitfield says he planned to file the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act regardless of his wife's role with the Humane Society.

    The U.S. House Ethics Committee notified Whitfield on June 10 that it received a referral from the independent Office of Congressional Ethics.

    Tennessee Walking Horses are shown throughout the United States. Soring, using an irritant to cause burning or blistering of the horses' legs in order to accentuate their gaits, occurs only in a few areas like Tennessee and Kentucky.
  3. Whitfield: No Basis for Ethics Complaint
    A Republican congressman from Kentucky says his wife did not improperly spur him to introduce a bill concerning the possible abuse of Tennessee Walking Horses and there's no basis for an ethics complaint against him.

    U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield spoke to reporters Monday on a conference call. Whitfield says he planned to file the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act regardless of his wife's role with the Humane Society.

    The U.S. House Ethics Committee notified Whitfield on June 10 that it received a referral from the independent Office of Congressional Ethics.

    Tennessee Walking Horses are shown throughout the United States. Soring, using an irritant to cause burning or blistering of the horses' legs in order to accentuate their gaits, occurs only in a few areas like Tennessee and Kentucky.
  4. Paducah Crash Sends Bardwell Woman to Hospital
    A Bardwell woman was taken to the hospital after a Monday crash on Olivet Church Road.

    At around 11:50 Monday morning, McCracken County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to a single-vehicle rollover crash on Olivet Church road near the intersection of Mathew Drive.

    Police said 50-year-old Lisa Clifton, of Bardwell was southbound on Olivet church road when her SUV dropped off the right shoulder of the road and hit a mailbox and driveway culvert. Clifton then reportedly lost control and her vehicle rolled over as it left the roadway.

    The vehicle came to rest upright beside the road. Police said excessive speed was not a factor in the crash, and Clifton was wearing a seatbelt.

    Clifton was taken to Baptist Health Paducah to be checked out. Traffic on Olivet Church road was restricted to one lane for about half an hour to for investigation and cleanup.  
  5. Gas Leak Prompts 90-Minute Evacuation at UK
    A construction accident disrupted life at UK Monday afternoon.

    Students, staff, and other workers were evacuated in a 500-foot area surrounding a natural gas line break for about 90 minutes.  

    UK spokesperson Carl Nathe said, "This was an orderly evacuation, an inconvenience, but a necessary precaution. Whenever you're dealing with natural gas, of course the potential is there for something to ignite. The fumes were readily apparent. There was about a 90-minute period where buildings in the area were evacuated."

    The break occurred when a back-hoe broke open the line on a construction site for a new dorm.  
     
    The evacuations included several dorms, academic buildings, and the campus library.  

    The break was sealed by Columbia Gas crews without incident.  
  6. Benton Man Charged with Sexual Abuse
    A Benton man has been arrested and charged with sexually abusing a child.

    On Friday, Marshall County Sheriff's Deputies arrested 60-year-old Stephen A. Gray, of Benton. Gray is charged with two counts of 1st degree sexual abuse.

    The charges stem from an investigation that began in June. Police said Gray is accused of having inappropriate sexual contact with a minor under the age of 12.

  7. US 60 Closed in Livingston Co for Weekend Work
    A contractor for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet plans to close a section of US Hwy 60 in Livingston County on Saturday and Sunday.

    KYTC Spokesman Keith Todd said US 60 will be closed at mile point 18.5 in Livingston County to allow a new section of highway in the Dyer Hill Curve project to be tied to the existing roadway.

    US 60 is expected to close at 6:00 am Saturday. It is expected to reopen to traffic at around 6:00 pm Sunday. A marked detour will be provided. 

    Todd said closing US 60 at the site is the most efficient and least disruptive way to complete the work.  He said if the contractor had tried to transition to the new roadway while maintaining traffic flow through the work zone, it would have disrupted traffic off and on for two weeks.
     
  8. Police Seek Paducah Man Wanted on Drug Charges
    UPDATE:

    Police said they apprehended Clark at around 12:30 pm Monday as he was leaving a Paducah home. They are still looking for Floyd.


    EARLIER STORY:

    Police are looking for two Paducah men who face drug charges.

    On Wednesday, detectives with the McCracken County Sheriff’s Department stopped a vehicle leaving a home. While searching the vehicle, police said they found meth and marijuana. Deputies arrested the driver, 22-year-old Joseph Clark, and charged him with driving under the influence. A passenger, 20-year-old Jordan Lynn, was arrested or possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

    Detectives later executed a search warrant at Clark’s Paducah home. During the search, detectives reportedly found more meth, paraphernalia and marijuana.

    Detectives said they are looking for Clark and another man that lives at the home, 20-year-old Paul Floyd. Arrest warrants have been issued for the pair, charging them with possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
  9. Mid-Continent Comments on Hawkins, Financial Aid
    In response to questions from the public over the last couple of months, and recent statements made by a former trustee, Mid-Continent University has issued a statement regarding the school's closure.

    The school asserts that they are not trying to withhold information from the public, but are trying to make sure that only the correct information is being passed along to avoid confusion.

    Since the school's financial circumstances became public knowledge in February, public comments by some members of the board of trustees, including Gale Hawkins, differed from statements issued by the school's President, and created situations where trustees had to divert attention from time-sensitive projects to clarify, correct or explain. Based on what the school calls "inaccurate and slanderous" statements made to the media and a regulatory agency by Hawkins about MCU Vice President of Administration and Finance Tim Walker, the board voted July 14 to remove Hawkins as a trustee.

    The press release said the problems with release of student financial aid funds were an institutional problem, not just with the financial aid department. Every school department submitted information, and what was submitted to the U.S. Department of Education was only as accurate as what was received in the financial aid office. The DOE determined that MCU should have been meeting regulations on a different schedule than the school was using, and that required re-calculation of records for a 3-year-period. It also required new school policies be put in place. Since 2011, the expense of trying to meet those regulations and correcting 19 deficiencies in financial aid submissions has exceeded $2 million.

    Relating to comments made by Hawkins to media outlets, the school's statement said MCU was not a "student mill," and their accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools assured that all student programs and requirements were met. They say enrollment swelled because the Advantage Program was a convenient and affordable way for adults to get a degree without having to commute to the school. More than 4,000 adults got degrees through this program.

    Regarding rumors and claims that admission standards were too low, MCU said none of the school's problems with the Department of Education were related to admission standards, and no trustee brought information to back those claims during board discussions of those rumors.

    As for Hawkins' claims that MCU enrolled students who would not succeed so they could collect more government grant money, the school said each student's situation was different, but since the school must return part of the unused tuition to the government, they had no incentive for this type of policy.

    The statement said a skeleton crew of employees is still working to meet the requests of regulators, and to respond to student requests for transcripts and other information. The board is also committed to finding a use for the campus, and has appointed a committee to study and pursue those opportunities and options.

    Here is the complete Statement from Mid-Continent University:

    "PUBLIC COMMENT
    The trustees, acting president and senior staff at Mid-Continent University recognize the interest and concerns of the public and in no way are we intentionally withholding information. The difficultly is that the issues are complex and that we’re dealing with regulatory agencies and legal issues.

    Some discussions and information are sensitive and premature comments, misinterpretation of comments or misrepresentation of comments could cause misunderstandings that would unintentionally derail progress that is being made. We remain committed to getting information directly to students as soon as possible.

    We are releasing this statement in an effort to answer some frequently asked questions and to clarify misinformation and misconceptions. We know it doesn’t answer every question and concern, and we’ll make additional comments when appropriate.

    We have every intention that in the near future, the story of MCU’s end to Title IV federal student aid instruction will be told in detailed, but understandable format. We ask again for patience and understanding.

    BOARD, ADMINSTRATON PRIORITIES

    The top priorities of the trustees and administrators at Mid-Continent University are to continue providing crucial services to benefit former students, provide requested information to regulatory agencies and manage assets to pay vendors, faculty, staff and creditors.

    We are committed to finding a use for the campus in Mayfield to continue the mission of using it to win the lost to Christ and to restore jobs. To meet that goal, the board of trustees appointed a committee that is studying options. The senior staff also is working daily to study and pursue opportunities.

    A skeleton crew has been working extremely hard to carry out the priorities. Each remaining employee is multitasking and working diligently on time-sensitive matters to meet the requests of regulators and respond to student requests for information such as transcripts.

    TRUSTEE DISMISSAL

    One issue that trustee Chairman Tom Butler would like to clarify is the July 14 action by the trustees to remove Mr. Gale Hawkins from the board for violating a unanimously approved board policy that limited comments to the acting president or his designee. Mr. Hawkins did not oppose the policy, which was approved at two different meetings.

    Mr. Butler emphasized that the board action was not an attempt to place a “gag order” on board members, but was done out of concern voiced by two acting presidents that miscommunication and inaccurate information was being released to the news media and regulatory agencies. The acting president was picked as the official spokesman because he has access to complete, up-to-minute information and details of crucial and complex issues.

    On the occasions when others misspoke, Butler said the acting president and staff members working on crucial time-sensitive projects had to take time to clarify inaccurate statements, not only to the public but to regulators and stakeholders who are crucial to the future. It took time away from critical work that needed to be done.

    Mr. Butler also said Mr. Hawkins should have raised concerns and sought answers to questions in board meetings, and not in comments to the media and outside agencies. He said most of the issues could have been clarified by asking questions in board meeting and talking to administrators.

    Mr. Butler noted that it also served as a distraction for the board as it was trying to deal with critical issues. He said the board felt it necessary to respond after Mr. Hawkins, while still on the board, made inaccurate and slanderous statements alleging that Tim Walker, vice president of administration and finance, was not being truthful. Comments not only were made to the news media, but to at least one regulatory agency that Mr. Walker was dealing with almost daily. Mr. Butler said Mr. Walker has not misled the board in any way.

    Trustees responded with the unanimous approval of a resolution supporting administrators and giving them a vote of confidence.  The resolution said members of the administration “have been personally and professionally attacked in a way not at all adhering to the mission of the university.” It said the attacks came in the form of “accusations and innuendoes” made in leaks to the news media.

    REJECTION OF REQUESTS FOR FUNDS

    It also is necessary to clear up any misunderstanding about the role and work of the former Financial Aid Executive Director Paula Clendenen and her staff as it relates to the rejection of requests filed with the U.S. Department of Education to release student financial aid funds.

    With only a few exceptions, every department of the institution funneled records and reports to the financial aid department containing information required for each student’s record. A problem with a financial aid submission could therefore be found in records provided by almost any department of the school.

    Information compiled by the financial aid staff was only as accurate at the information being provided by others. The submission problems were institutional problems. The financial aid department worked diligently and with integrity in providing information to all agencies.

    Responding to the U.S. Department of Education’s 19 findings of deficiencies in the financial aid program has been difficult and complex. In addition to hiring a new staff member with expertise in financial aid, the administration used the advice of the country’s top federal financial aid consults and attorneys, and advice from local attorneys. The cost of that advice since 2011 has exceeded $2 million.

    The issues were complex because the U.S. Department of Education concluded the university should have been meeting regulations as a “non-term” school since adult Advantage cohorts began on staggered schedules, rather than “term” regulations pertaining to students attending the traditional fall and spring semesters. It required major recalculating of records for a three-year period involving hundreds of students. It also required major new policies and procedures to comply with non-term federal regulations.

    CLARIFICATION OF JULY 23 COMMENTS

    We also want to clear up some of the issues raised by Mr. Hawkins in a July 23 news story published in the Paducah Sun:

    •  Enrollment grew because of the unique adult program that allowed students to attend classes one night a week and -- for some of those with previously earned  college credits  -- could earn degrees in less than two years. Affordability and accessibility were the primary reasons for the increase in enrollment because classes were offered in dozens of communities throughout Kentucky and southern Illinois. Students who had earned previous college credits could continue to work full time and earn degrees in their communities. More than 4,000 adults received degrees since the program was started.

    •  MCU was not a “student mill.” The academic program and requirements were approved and accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Committee on Colleges.

    •  The university’s problems with submissions to the U.S. Department of Education were not the result of weakened admission standards. None of the 19 findings in a DOE program review were related to weak admission standards.

    •  Rumors about lower admission standards were addressed in board of trustee meetings. No trustee provided facts or documents to back the claims, which one board member said came from an unidentified former financial aid counselor.

    •  Approximately 90 percent of the students were eligible for some form of state and federal financial aid that included grants that didn’t have to be repaid, subsidized loans, and unsubsidized loans. The financial aid package for each student was based on federal guidelines that took into account financial need based on income, family obligations, cost of tuition and fees, and estimated living expenses.

    •  It is possible some students may have enrolled with the main motivation of collecting the cash residuals rather than earning degrees. That unfortunately is common at any institution of higher education. If that was their motivation, they still had the responsible of repaying their loans, part of which funded the residual payments. Federal regulations require that if a student drops out, the university in many cases has to refund at least a portion of the unused tuition to the federal government.  MCU had no financial incentive to recruit students it knew would not succeed.

    •  It is true that a few adult students may have been admitted with grade point averages of less than 2.0, which is permitted.  Often, students who didn’t do well in high school are highly motivated as adults and deserve a chance to succeed in college. Once admitted, they are required to maintain minimum standards to continue receiving financial aid.

    •  The story was incorrect in stating that former President Robert Imhoff and his wife, Jackie Imhoff who was vice president of adult services, resigned. Both were fired by the board of trustees.

    •  The independent auditors for MCU work for the Board of Trustees. Trustees have access to financial audits and other financial records. Documents were provided to members of the finance committee and others could down load the copies from a special website. If requested, they also would be given hard copies. The independent auditors also presented FY 2013 to the Board Finance Committee in person and answered all questions concerning their findings and recommendations."

  10. Murray Man Arrested, Leaving Accident Scene
    A Murray man was arrested after apparently leaving the scene of an accident, while also under the influence.  

    The Calloway County Sheriff's Office says 27-year-old Ryan Stanger was arrested late Saturday night after they were notified of a vehicle that had collided with a tree along the intersection of Gibbs Store Road and Wiswell Road, in the western part of the county.

    When deputies got there, they found the empty truck.  Deputies say they then called Stanger's family and the Murray Calloway County Emergency Room to see if he had either contacted family or made his way to the hospital.  When that turned up with no additional information, deputies say they "pinged" Stanger's cell phone to get his location.  The "ping" narrowed down the search to a small area.  

    Deputies say Stanger was located within about 30 minutes in a corn field near Wiswell Rd.  He was charged with Operating a Motor Vehicle While Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol, Leaving the Scene of an Accident, and Fleeing or Evading Police on Foot.  Stanger was booked into the Calloway County Detention Center.


  11. Shots Fired Into Car and Apartment
    Paducah Police are searching for a man who fired gunshots that struck a car and came through a wall in an apartment in the 2900 block of Trimble Street.

    Police are saying they responded at 8:19 pm to a report of shots fired in the 2900 block of Trimble Street. A woman told officers that she was in her bedroom when she heard gunshots. Police say two projectiles came through her bedroom window, through her bathroom and into a closet and laundry room wall. Another person in the home told Morgan they saw a black male wearing a red shirt and black sweatpants holding what appeared to be a black handgun.

    Police say a short time after the shots were fired, a man came to the police department in reference to the same incident. The man told police he was pulling out of the Holiday House Apartments and saw several people behind a home on Trimble Street. He said one person had a gun, and that he heard several shots fired. The man said one of the projectiles hit the hood of his car, and he drove to the police department to report the incident.

    Anyone with information is asked to call the Paducah Police Department at 270/444-8550 or Crime Stoppers at 443-TELL. Tipsters also may access the online tip form through the City of Paducah website listed below. Information leading to an arrest or indictment may result in a reward of up to $1,000.


  12. Gas Prices Drop 35 Cents in Past Month
    Average retail gasoline prices in Kentucky have fallen 9.4 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.41 a gallon Sunday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 2,623 gas outlets in Kentucky. This compares with the national average that has fallen 4.9 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.51 a gallon, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com.

    Including the change in gas prices in Kentucky during the past week, prices yesterday were 11.6 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago, and are 35.2 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 16.5 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 11.7 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago.

    "The national average as of today has been on decline for a month straight," said GasBuddy.com Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan. "The drop in gas prices during the middle of the summer certainly has been welcome relief to families and individuals alike who are hitting the road during the peak of the summer driving season. The national average now stands at its lowest point since March of this year, and will likely drop under $3.50/gallon by mid-week. No states in the lower 48 feature average prices over $4/gal, and just 4.1% of all stations GasBuddy tracks stand over that level, which is a drop from 8.7% a month ago. In addition, a month ago, nearly 75% of gas stations were charging over $3.50/gal, while today we see just 38.2% of all stations over that level- an impressive decline in price that GasBuddy alerted motorists to weeks ago," DeHaan said.

    Currently in Paducah, prices are as low as $3.32 a gallon and as high as $3.49 a gallon.


  13. Treasurer Says Suspicious Mail Making Rounds
    Kentucky Treasurer Todd Hollenbach says some people may be receiving mail or other contacts regarding unclaimed property that aren't coming from his office.

    Hollenbach says most of the mailings are postcards with a Denver postmark. His office was notified of the mailings recently by the National Unclaimed Property Association.

    Hollenbach's office says the cards are usually green, blue, yellow or orange.

    Hollenbach says the postcards aren't related to the state treasury or his office's unclaimed property program called Treasure Finders and advises not giving out any information or responding.

    For questions or issues involving anyone claiming to be with the treasurer's office or unclaimed property, contact NAUPA at (859) 244-8150 or the treasurer's office at (800) 465-4722.

  14. Vienna Prison Guard Suffers Concussion in Attack
    State and union officials say a prisoner assaulted a guard at the Shawnee Correctional Center in Vienna.

    A local union representative for the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees says a prisoner headbutted a guard on Friday, causing the correctional officer to suffer a concussion and require treatment for the injury.

    Illinois Department of Corrections spokesman Tom Shaer says three other officers were present when the incident happened. Shaer says the department is investigating and the inmate has been transferred to a maximum security facility.

    Authorities say the officer should return to work in four to five days.

  15. Missing Teen Back at Home
    UPDATE:

    According to Paducah Police, Pierceall returned home Monday morning unharmed.



    EARLIER STORY:

    Paducah police seek the public's assistance in locating a missing teen.

    According to police, Holly Walker reported her son, 15-year-old James Alexander Pierceall of Paducah, missing around 9 P.M. Sunday. Walker said he was angry when he left their home around 6:30 p.m.

    Pierceall is described as a white male, 6-feet tall and 120 pounds, brown hair blue eyes and a thin build. He was last seen wearing a black shirt and vest, black pants, black shoes, black square glasses and a silver necklace with a star on it.

    Anyone with information is asked to call the Paducah Police Department as 270/444-8550 or Crime Stoppers at 443-TELL. Tipsters also may text their tips to "CRIMES" (274637) by entering "KyTips" followed by their information, or by visiting the Crime Stoppers website at westkycrimestoppers.info. Information leading to an arrest or indictment may result in a reward of up to $1,000. 

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