August 30, 2016

A Murray man charged with assault last week is now facing a murder charge. Commonwealth Attorney Mark Blankenship announced that 35-year-old Christopher Smith is now charged with 1st degree murder for his alleged role in the death of 39-year-old Rhonda Runyon of Murray. He pleaded Not Guilty in Calloway County District Court on Monday and his bond was also increased to one million dollars. Smith was arrested Thursday evening at a Marigold Drive home in the Kirksey area after he reportedly told them he and Runyon had been in an altercation. Runyon had to be airlifted from the scene and later died at a Nashville hospital. Smith’s preliminary hearing has been set for September 7.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has matched the gifts of Dr. Robert and Patricia Long to the Murray State University Foundation for the Giving Back Endowment in the College of Education and Human Services. The Longs recently completed their $50,000 pledge to the fund, which was maximized by a $100,000 match from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation based on Dr. Long’s service with the organization as a staff and board member. Created by the Longs in 2008, the Giving Back Endowment funds philanthropic outreach that advances the understanding and application of the principles of altruism and service for both Murray State students and faculty, while serving local nonprofit organizations. The Longs said their goals for the program include growing study programs in community and nonprofit leadership at Murray State, increasing the use of service learning as a teaching methodology, finding new outreach strategies to support community-based service organizations and continuing the strong history of community leadership development and experiential service learning at the University.

Murray-Calloway County Hospital recently partnered with InDemand Interpreting to provide video remote interpreting technology to bridge the communication gap with limited English proficient, Deaf and hard of hearing patients. This system will enable MCCH to improve its language access program and comply with new stricter regulations of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. InDemand provides immediate translation services with interpreters 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in 21 languages via video in addition to American Sign Language and more than 200 spoken languages telephonically. Video remote interpreting will be available through a small touchscreen device, secured on a rolling cart. The Murray-Calloway Endowment for Healthcare is working with community donors towards funding the InDemand technology.

A Graves woman is facing multiple charges following a one-vehicle crash Saturday morning on Fairbanks Road in rural Graves County. 43-year-old Lisa Young’s vehicle left the road and overturned onto its right side, trapping her inside. Mayfield EMS/Fire personnel had to extricate Young from the vehicle. Police report that Young was disorderly and combative during the extrication process. She was arrested after she was removed from the vehicle and transported to Jackson Purchase Medical Center for treatment. After release, she was lodged at the Graves County Jail on charges of disorderly conduct, terroristic threatening, DUI, possession of an open alcoholic beverage container in a motor vehicle, assault, tampering with physical evidence, and resisting arrest.

The drug case against a former Channel 6 meteorologist and her husband was dismissed Monday in Graves Circuit Court after a judge ordered the suppression of evidence obtained during a search of their home. Commonwealth Attorney David Hargrove dropped the charges against Tori Shaw Smoyer and her husband, Tyler Smoyer, citing a lack of admissible evidence in the case. Judge Tim Stark gave the order Friday to suppress evidence obtained during Feburary search of the couple’s Mayfield home that resulted in charges of firearm enhanced cultivation of marijuana and possession. Hargrove said the evidence was thrown out because the court determined that the original search was illegal.

McDonald’s says it can’t find any evidence of bugs in food in western Kentucky. Neither can local health managers. The fast-food restaurant chain looked at burgers at stores in Mayfield and Draffenville after online reports of worms. But the company, as well as health departments in Mayfield and Marshall County say they can’t find any evidence of bugs in the food.

FRANKFORT—Republicans in Frankfort say they’re boycotting today’s session to talk about pensions and Medicaid because they don’t think Democrats care about the issues. Instead, Republican Leader Jeff Hoover says Democrats are using the meeting as an excuse to get paid to come to town for a political fundraiser. Democratic leaders are calling members back to Frankfort today. There’s also a Democratic fundraiser in the state capital tonight.

FRANKFORT—Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo isn’t calling for impeachment hearings into Governor Matt Bevin. But the top Democrat in Frankfort is raising the possibility. Stumbo over the weekend wondered out loud if Bevin committed an impeachable offense when the governor’s staff reportedly pressured a lawmaker to change parties. Stumbo says if Russ Meyer’s accusations are true, he thinks the governor committed a crime. Bevin calls the accusations a lie.

FRANKFORT—Kentucky’s pension managers are sending more taxpayer money to the firm that just lost money for two of the state’s retirement systems. Kentucky Retirement System managers are sending over 700-million-dollars to Prisma Capital Partners’ Daniel Boone Fund. Prisma lost eight-percent on pension investments last year. KRS managers say the losses don’t necessarily mean the fund is a bad investment.

LOUISVILLE—Mitch McConnell says Obamacare can’t, and won’t, continue as it is. The top Republican in the U.S. Senate yesterday said the health care program will change regardless of who wins the White House in November. McConnell says prices are too high and there aren’t enough doctors. He says Obamacare is crashing and will have to change.

HAZARD—Federal investigators are now handling the probe into a computer virus that’s infected all of the computers at Appalachian Regional Healthcare system in Kentucky and West Virginia. A hospital spokeswoman over the weekend simply said the hospital is dealing with a “technical issue.” ARH is now using paper forms and manually tracking patients. There’s no word when the hospital will be able to use its computers again.

FRANKFORT—Kentucky Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton is hoping to encourage a new generation of entrepreneurs with a competition for students. Hampton announced the start of the Lieutenant Governor’s Entrepreneurship Challenge on Monday. The contest will consist of a business plan proposal and a live pitch competition. It will include two components next year — a regional competition and a state competition. Hampton says all high school students from public, private and home-school settings are eligible.

RUSSELLVILLE—Authorities are continuing to search for two suspects who killed a woman and shot at children in southern Kentucky. WBKO-TV is reporting that police in Russellville say two male suspects shot and killed 21-year-old Lexus Bell at an apartment off of Highland Lick Road on August 21st. It was her one-year-old son’s birthday and there were eight other children in the home at the time of the break-in and shooting.

TENNESSEE—An assistant police chief in western Tennessee is facing charges. WBBJ-TV is reporting that the assistant chief of police in Alamo, Steve Hooks, was arrested on Sunday. Hooks is charged with domestic assault. He has been suspended without pay pending an investigation.

TENNESSEE—Authorities are investigating the shooting death of a Fort Campbell soldier in eastern Tennessee. A 15-year-old boy allegedly killed 23-year-old MarStratton Gordon on Sunday. The shooting happened during some sort of domestic confrontation at a home on Byrd Avenue in Harriman. Gordon was between deployments.

TENNESSEE—Authorities are investigating the cause of two house fires in Weakley County. WBBJ-TV is reporting that the fires happened within 24 hours of each other. The first happened at a home on Highway 190 on Sunday night and the second happened at a home on Union Church Road yesterday afternoon. Both homes were destroyed. No word on their causes or if they may be connected.

MADISON COUNTY—Police are conducting a death investigation after a woman died at a church in Berea. WKYT-TV is reporting that police responded to a call of an unresponsive person at the Oklevueha Native American Church of the Peaceful Mountain Way on Saturday night. When they arrived, they found the body of 33-year-old Lindsay Poole of Anderson, South Carolina. The cause of her death has not been determined at this time.

CAMPBELL COUNTY—A high school student in northern Kentucky is facing charges after being found in possession of a loaded gun on school grounds. The incident happened at Highlands High School in Fort Thomas yesterday afternoon. Some students alerted school officials after the gun was shown to them. A male juvenile is charged with unlawful possession of a weapon on school property.

LAUREL COUNTY—A teenager was killed and another is recovering after an ATV crash in Laurel County. The Laurel County Sheriff’s office says that the accident happened on Maple Grove School Road outside of London last night. A male teenager was killed and a female teenager was airlifted to UK Hospital for treatment.

FORT KNOX—Residents in the Fort Knox area may hear some explosions and increased noise this morning. Soldiers will be working with material that could cause a loud explosion or vibrations. The work is expected to take place through this morning.

TENNESSEE—The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is searching for a Chattanooga man who has been added to their top ten most wanted list. They’re looking for 40-year-old Jereme Little who’s considered armed and dangerous. He’s wanted on especially aggravated kidnapping charges. Little is described as African-American, six-foot-one, 278 pounds with black hair and brown eyes.

TENNESSEE—Authorities are searching for two escaped inmates out of Hawkins County. WBIR-TV is reporting that the inmates escaped yesterday after they climbed a fence in a recreation area of the Hawkins County Jail. Three inmates blocked a guard during their escape. Police are looking for 33-year-old Timothy Rose of Kingsport and 30-year-old Derek Short of Rogersville.

TENNESSEE—Police in Gallatin are searching for a missing man. They’re looking for 38-year-old Justin Street. Street is believed to suffer from PTSD and schizophrenia. He’s described as a white male, six-foot-four, 160 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. Street has no teeth and several tattoos on his arms and neck.

TENNESSEE—Authorities are investigating a deadly crash that’s believed to have been caused by a driver experiencing a medical emergency. The accident happened yesterday morning on Highway 70 South. The female driver’s vehicle went across two lanes before hitting a guardrail.

TENNESSEE—Police in Franklin are searching for a man who appears to have scammed a local coin collector. Police have released surveillance photos of the suspect who met the victim through an ad on Craigslist. A coin collector had an ad to buy gold coins but thinks the suspect switched out the real coins that he tested for fake ones at the last second. The victim gave the man 26-thousand dollars for the fake coins.