Wednesday January 17, 2018
News Topics

Tickets are now on sale for the 50th annual Championship Tractor Pull sponsored by Syngenta. The scream of monster engines, the smell of burning rubber and the ground-pounding vibrations of the country’s largest, loudest and most powerful pulling machines returns to Freedom Hall. More than 70,000 fans will watch as the nation’s top drivers compete for the title of Grand Champion and a share of over $200,000 in prize money.

The four day event starts February 14 and continues until the February 17. Tickets range in price from $20 to $45. All events start at 7:00 PM, except for Saturday where there are two events (the first is at 12:00 PM and the second is at 7:00 PM). Parking will be $8 per vehicle.

Tickets are available at the Kentucky Exposition Center Ticket Office, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 or online at Ticketmaster.

The portrait of Honorable Mary C. Noble will be presented to the Supreme Court of Kentucky at a dedication ceremony at 2:00 P.M. on Thursday, December 7, 2017.  Honorable Elizabeth Lee Thompson, chair of the resolution committee, will make the presentation to the Court.  The portrait will hang in the corridors of the second floor of the Capitol Building.

After serving fifteen years as a Fayette Circuit Court Judge, Mary C. Noble was elected to the Supreme Court from the Fifth Supreme Court District, which comprises, Fayette, Franklin, Scott, Woodford, Bourbon, Clark, Madison, Jessamine, Boyle, Mercer and Anderson Counties in 2006.  She was re-elected to the Supreme Court unopposed in 2008.  In 2010, Chief Justice John Minton appointed her Deputy Chief Justice.  In 2011, she became the first woman to preside at the Supreme Court of Kentucky in a case in which the Chief Justice was recused.

Deputy Chief Justice Noble obtained her undergraduate degree, majoring in English, and her Master’s degree, majoring in Psychology, from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN.  A native of Breathitt County, Kentucky, she graduated from Breathitt County High School, and attended Lees Junior College before transferring to Austin Peay after her marriage to Larry Noble in 1968.

In 1971, she began her professional career by teaching English at Montgomery Central High School in Montgomery County, TN.  After obtaining her Master’s degree, she served as a guidance counselor at Columbia Military Academy and later as a Psychology instructor at Columbia State Community College in Columbia, TN.  She returned to Kentucky to attend the University of Kentucky College of Law in 1979, and graduated in December, 1981.

Deputy Chief Justice Noble began her legal practice at the law firm of Bryan and Fogle in Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, in 1982, where she primarily practiced school law and insurance defense.  In 1983, she began a general litigation practice in Lexington, Kentucky, continuing to represent school boards and doing civil plaintiff’s cases and criminal defense.  She also served as Domestic Relations Commissioner for Fayette Circuit Court, Third Division, for two years until her election to the circuit bench in 1991.  She served as Chief Judge of the Fayette Circuit Court and the region, the first woman to serve in such a capacity in the over 200 year history of Fayette Circuit Court.

In 1996, Deputy Chief Justice Noble, Chief Justice Minton and District Judge Henry Webber established the Court of Justice Drug program.  She presided as a Drug Court judge for ten years.  She has also served on the Board of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, is a member of the organization’s Hall of Fame, and has been invited to speak about Drug Court-related topics throughout the country.

Deputy Chief Justice Noble chaired the Civil Rules Committee, the family Court Rules Committee, and the Juvenile Court Rules Committee.  She led efforts to draft the first statewide Family Court Rules of Practice and Procedure and the Juvenile Rules of Practice and Procedure.

Justice Noble retired the Supreme Court of Kentucky in December 2016 and is currently engaged in a mediation and arbitration practice in Lexington.

DFI Stops Investor Fraud

Photo: DFI Logo

The Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) announced that it has entered a Final Order to stop fraudulent activity by an investment adviser representative and his firm. The respondents have been ordered to pay more than $830,000 in restitution and $575,000 in fines.

DFI stated that Louisville investment adviser representative Derek Burcham and his firm, Cornerstone Benefit Advisors LLC, operating under the name Cornerstone Wealth Advisors, took fees from investors that had not been earned.

In some instances, the fees greatly exceeded what was contractually allowed.  While investor contracts stated that fees were to be no more than 1 percent of assets under management, investors paid much more – in one case more than 32 percent. Burcham manipulated and fabricated some statements so that investors did not realize what they were being charged.

“These investors were misled by their adviser and weren’t receiving accurate statements,” said DFI Commissioner Charles Vice. “DFI’s Division of Securities works diligently to stop fraud against investors, and I recommend that consumers contact the division if fraud is suspected.  It is also important for investors to regularly review statements and verify them for accuracy.”

The Final Order, entered by DFI, revokes the registrations of both Burcham and Cornerstone and also orders both to cease and desist from engaging in the securities business in Kentucky.

A separate Final Order, entered in Franklin Circuit Court, enjoined both Burcham and Cornerstone from: acting as an investment adviser or investment adviser representative, violating the Securities Act of Kentucky, and dissipating any investor money or assets acquired with investor money. The circuit court ordered restitution and disgorgement in equal amounts, noting that the investor money, in the form of unearned fees, flowed through Burcham’s business bank accounts and represents ill-gotten gains. Burcham used the unearned fees for personal expenses.

Thoughts of snow and ice may be far from the minds of Kentuckians with warm temperatures hovering over the state, but the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) is sounding the battle cry “Winter is Coming” to alert motorists to prepare for the impending wintery conditions. The KYTC stands ready to tackle the elements with sharpened plow blades, stocked salt supplies and trained maintenance crews.

“Snow and ice season is upon us,” said KYTC Secretary Greg Thomas. “Transportation crews are prepared to serve the public over the next few months by responding to winter weather events that may affect travel. We encourage Kentucky motorists to be equally prepared.”

With a strategy reminiscent of combat, nearly 2,000 professional “snowfighters” and support staff have been briefed and trained on best practices for snow and ice removal in an effort to keep motorists moving on Kentucky roadways. A statewide brigade of trucks and plows stands ready, and a strike force of eight plows is positioned for district deployment from the state capital during major winter weather events.

“Our mission for snow and ice removal is to keep traffic moving safely with an emphasis on maintaining mobility along critical corridors and priority routes,” said Patty Dunaway, state highway engineer. “Our teams will strive to provide a uniform response statewide to achieve safe driving conditions on roadways while considering environmental and economic factors to steward taxpayer money responsibly.”

During routine snow and ice occurrences, KYTC will operate using snow and ice priority route maps. In 2016, the Cabinet updated snow and ice removal policies for operational efficiency and cost effectiveness. While many aspects of the policy remain the same, treatment turnaround time adjustments were made to allow crews to focus on removing snow and ice from interstates and other priority routes. These adjustments improve statewide mobility, help alleviate potential safety challenges and curb increased costs caused by weather conditions that lead to inoperable equipment or ineffective treatment.

Launched last winter, the Cabinet’s snow and ice information website, snowky.ky.gov, provides details about priority routes, helpful winter weather tips, fact sheets and videos on salt application and snow removal.

For severe winter storm events, the Cabinet has established a snow emergency plan similar to state emergency plans for other major weather events (e.g., floods, hurricanes and earthquakes). The snow emergency plan will allow available resources within each county to be diverted as needed to ensure optimal mobility for the highest priority routes that lead to critical locations, such as medical facilities. Emergency priority route maps for severe snow and ice events are accessible at goky.ky.gov.

Featured this season

Goky.ky.gov communicates additional information to Kentucky travelers, detailing KYTC’s snow and ice removal response, including treatment and plowing of roadways. Visitors to GoKY can access the latest information about what’s happening in their local counties.

Thousands of men and women serve on the frontlines and behind the scenes of the Cabinet’s snow and ice removal efforts. Throughout the season, the KYTC will be highlighting select district snowfighters on Facebook and Twitter and sharing their sage advice on how to stay safe on the roads.

A new strike force of retrofit snow plows housed in Frankfort was available last year for statewide deployment as needed during winter weather emergencies. Reserved for high priority routes to ensure interstates remain open, the strike force is again in place this winter.

Inventory of materials and equipment

Winter-ready, the Cabinet is stocked to capacity with a supply of 481,000 tons of salt, 1 million gallons of salt brine for anti-icing and 1 million gallons of calcium chloride, an additive to salt for deicing.

The Cabinet is equipped with approximately 980 deployable trucks and plows among the 125 snow and ice maintenance locations. Another 431 contracted trucks are available to assist in snow and ice operations.

Maintenance crews have prepared rosters and schedules, calibrated salting equipment, prepped plows, reviewed plowing strategies and completed safety training.

The Cabinet will continue to manage equipment, salt supplies and other snow-fighting materials efficiently. Using reverse auction procurement on new salt contracts for this winter, KYTC has reduced the cost of salt purchases by as much as $20 per ton in districts throughout the state. Districts will continue to look for opportunities to shift resources for sharing with other districts as needed, focusing on the statewide team goal of serving all Kentucky citizens.

Public preparation

KYTC encourages motorists to prepare for winter and remain safe by following these tips:

  • Pay attention to weather advisories. Weather will impact your commute on some level.
  • Travel only as necessary during major snow events. It’s better to be stuck at home than to be stuck on the road.
  • Maintain a safe distance from snowplows and other heavy highway equipment.
  • Do not pass snowplows on the shoulder.
  • Allow time for a slower commute.
  • Winterize vehicles.
  • Stock vehicles with blankets, flash light and an emergency supply kit.
  • Know before you go. Visit goky.ky.gov and download the free Waze app to check traffic conditions before you travel.
  • Eliminate distractions (e.g. using phone and eating) while driving.
  • Cooperate with the expectations of the Quick Clearance law, which requires drivers to move vehicles to the shoulder in the event of a non-injury crash.

Retired Brig. Gen. Nolen Bivens will present the plenary session at the Kentucky Arts Council’s fourth annual Kentucky Creative Industry Summit, Dec. 5 in Morehead.

Bivens presentation, titled “Building an Arts and Military Community, Health & Wellness Ecosystem,” will focus on national efforts to promote opportunities for artists, arts organizations and communities interested in supporting the well-being of military service members, veterans and their families.

Bivens, a 32-year United States Army veteran and former chief of staff for the U.S. Southern Command, is the founder and president of Leader Six, a company that provides management and operational support for business, government and nonprofit organizations. In the past decade, Leader Six has been a key proponent in promoting arts in health and military healing for ill, injured and wounded military service members and their families. In addition to his role at Leader Six, Bivens is the Senior Policy Fellow for Arts and Military for Americans for the Arts.

“The arts promote communication between military service members, veterans, their families and caregivers, allowing each one of them to accept and share the unique story of their military service with each other and with the community at large through the visual and literary arts, performance, dance and music,” Bivens said. “The arts also build resiliency across the military continuum, teaching skills to process grief and loss, to work through moral conflict, and to reduce stress.”

An ardent advocate for strong arts and military community engagements from grassroots to the national level, Bivens has testified before Congress and led congressional briefings on arts and military health on behalf of the National Initiative for Arts & Health in the Military, a collaborative effort led by Americans for the Arts. Bivens regularly consults with the arts community, utilizing his unique understanding of operational perspectives of commanders, enlisted noncommissioned officers and family members, along with the cultural sensitivities of the veteran population, to promote connections and help develop new arts programming for military and veteran communities.

Among the successful examples of collaboration between arts communities and the military are the Oklahoma Arts Council’s Oklahoma Arts and Military Initiative, a partnership involving Oklahoma’s Department of Veterans Affairs and the Firehouse Art Center in Norman, Okla. This collaboration piloted a series of eight- to 12-week hands-on learning courses, including photography, creative writing and visual arts.

Another successful collaboration Bivens points to is the Tennessee Shakespeare Company’s initiative bringing together service veterans with theater professionals using William Shakespeare’s plays to address combat-related traumatic and reintegration issues.

Bivens is just one of several arts leaders on the Summit agenda. Morehead State University art instructor and gallery director Jennifer Reis will give presentations on branding and marketing and using social media. The Summit will also include panel discussions on the arts council’s “Homegrown Handmade” initiative that has integrated artists into farmers markets in two Kentucky counties, as well as a conversation with educators, artists and workforce development specialists on preparing youth to be a part of the creative industry workforce using arts and technology.

The Kentucky Creative Industry Summit is 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Dec. 5 at the Morehead Conference Center, 111 E. First St. in Morehead. For more information or to register, visit the arts council website.

WWE’s Smackdown Live is back in the Commonwealth for another round on Tuesday night.  For the first time in nearly six years, a live televised WWE event will be held at Rupp Arena in Lexington.

“It’s great to have WWE back in Kentucky for another live televised show,” said Kentucky Boxing and Wrestling Commission (KBWC) Chairman Chad Miller.  “More shows translate to more dollars for local economies, and the Commission is thrilled that our efforts are paying off for our wrestling fans, athletes, local businesses, and the combat sports industry in Kentucky.”

Since 2016, the Commission has repealed nearly 40 percent of the state’s combat sports regulations as part of Gov. Bevin’s Red Tape Reduction Initiative. The “cut rule,” repealed as part of the initiative, required an athlete to leave a match if he or she bled.  The regulation prevented live televised matches from being held in Kentucky. Since the repeal, WWE has hosted several shows in Kentucky, including a Smackdown Live show earlier this year at the KFC Yum! Center.

“There is no doubt that the growth we are seeing in combat sports is directly tied to a transparent and fair regulatory environment,” added Miller.  “The Commission continues to look for ways to promote efficiency while also ensuring athlete safety.  Athletes can now apply for licenses online, and the Commission has streamlined and repealed approximately 55 percent of the forms an athlete could be required to complete for licensure.  We believe that all of these measures will further a strong combat sports industry in Kentucky.”

As of Oct. 26, Governor Bevin’s Red Tape Reduction Initiative is responsible for repealing 188 regulations and targeting an additional 341 regulations for repeal. Over 2,208 of Kentucky’s 4,700 regulations have been reviewed as part of the initiative. Visit http://redtapereduction.com/ to learn more.

The KBWC oversees all professional boxing, wrestling, and full contact competitive bouts and exhibitions in Kentucky. Learn more about the commission at http://kbwa.ky.gov.

Photo: Secretary of State website

Kentucky’s area development districts helped raised the equivalent of more than 250,000 pounds of food as part of the Commonwealth of Kentucky Bowl, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes announced Monday.

Big Sandy Area Development District is the winner of the overall award having raised nearly 1/3 of a pound of food per person in their district. The rural district winner is the Purchase Area Development District, and the Northern Kentucky Area Development District takes the prize for the urban area winner.

The Office of the Secretary of State, Kentucky Association of Food Banks (KAFB), the Kentucky Council of Area Development Districts (KCADD), and the Kentucky Association of Food Banks partnered to create the competition.

“I’m so proud of the efforts of all who participated in our inaugural Commonwealth of Kentucky Bowl,” said Grimes. “It breaks my heart to know that one in five Kentuckians – and in some areas of Kentucky, one in three kids – don’t know where they’ll get their next meal. I am grateful to Kentucky’s development districts for stepping up to help provide some relief this holiday season through Kentucky’s amazing food banks.”

The 15 area development districts across Kentucky collected food and monetary donations in the inaugural campaign from Oct. 16 through Oct. 27.

The 250,000 pounds collected is enough food for 2,525 people served by KAFB for an entire year or 208,333 meals, according to the food banks association.

“The generous outpouring from our regions across the state will make a financial difference to the agencies who struggle to serve those in need, and will make a difference to the families who constantly worry, ‘What will be for dinner? And where will it come from?’,” said Mayfield Mayor Teresa Rochetti-Cantrell, who is co-chair of the KCADD. “The Kentucky Council of Area Development Districts is proud to have been a part of a competition resulting in this kind of generosity.”

Every $1 donated returned $8 or more in food to the community.

Proceeds and goods generated from the competition will directly aid the members of the KAFB – an organization that distributes over 63 million meals to 1 in 7 Kentuckians annually in partnership with a network of 800 local charitable feeding organizations. Its members serve all 120 counties in Kentucky.

“Kentucky’s food bank network is so grateful for impact the inaugural Commonwealth of Kentucky Bowl will have on hunger. Thanks to the efforts of KCADD and the leadership of Secretary Grimes, our struggling neighbors across the Commonwealth will benefit from increased resources in the fight against hunger,” said Tamara Sandberg, executive director of KAFB.

Grimes has been a champion for solving Kentucky’s hunger issues since she took office in 2012, including being instrumental in the Farms to Food Banks tax credits legislation, and before she was elected to public office. She is a longtime volunteer at the Salvation Army, serving the Thanksgiving meal at her local service center every year. She also has served on the board of God’s Pantry Food Bank in Lexington.

Grimes, KAFB, and KCADD will make an official presentation next month.

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