Chinese Restaurant In Williamsburg Kentucky Shut Down As It Prepared To Cook And Serve Roadkill Deer – “…They Didn’t Know That They Weren’t Allowed…”

October 1, 2012

WILLIAMSBURG, KENTUCKY – A Chinese restaurant in Kentucky has reportedly been forced to shut its doors after allegedly serving up roadkill. reports that the Red Flower Chinese Restaurant in Williamsburg was shuttered on Thursday after a customer called the health department when she saw a dead deer being wheeled into the kitchen.

“Two of the workers came in wheeling a garbage can and they had a box sitting on top of it,” Kate Hopkins told the website. “And hanging out of the garbage can, they were trying to be real quick with it. So that nobody could see it. But there was like a tail, and a foot and leg. Sticking out of the garbage can and they wheeled it straight back into the kitchen.”

Paul Lawson, Whitley County’s environmental health inspector, said the owner’s son admitted to pick up the dead animal from the side of I-75 North in Williamsburg. The restaurant was immediately shut down.

“They said they didn’t know that they weren’t allowed to,” Lawson said. “So that makes me concerned. But maybe they could have before. They didn’t admit to doing it before.”

Owners can reopen the restaurant, Lawson said, if it passes a secondary health inspection proving that they have properly sanitized it.

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“Emergency” Kentucky Drug Law Targets The Innocent – Requires Urine Tests Costing Patients Hundreds Of Dollars, Which Insurers Won’t Pay As Its Not Medically Necessary – $533 For Each Test

September 28, 2012

KENTUCKY – To curb prescription drug abuse, Kentucky started in July requiring people with long-term prescriptions for controlled substances to submit to urine testing. The tests determine if patients take their drugs, rather than sell them, and if other, unprescribed drugs are in their systems.

In Lexington, retired nurse Cynthia Burton grudgingly followed the rules Aug. 14 by urinating into a plastic cup so she could get a refill of her insomnia medicine. Her husband did the same for his anxiety medicine.

Last week, Burton’s insurance company, Bluegrass Family Health, sent her a letter. The urine tests at LabCorp cost $533 each, and because they were not medically necessary, the insurer said, it won’t pay for her husband’s test. She’s still waiting to hear if it will pay for hers, but she’s not optimistic given that it was the same test for the same reason under the same plan.

“More than $1,000 is pretty damn big to us. We’re both retired, so it’s a lot of money,” said Burton, 61, “What I don’t like is that, under this law, we’re considered guilty until proven innocent. We’re having to prove our innocence at considerable expense.”

Gov. Steve Beshear, who enacted emergency regulations requiring urine tests as part of House Bill 1, the “pill mill bill,” said this week that he understands the Burtons’ financial burden.

Changes may come in January when the expiring emergency regulations are replaced with permanent rules, Beshear said. The Kentucky Medical Licensure Board is hearing complaints about costly urine tests and has extended a grace period for doctors until Nov. 1 so that “an isolated and simple failure to comply” with the regulations will not lead to professional discipline.

“We are aware of the concerns about the insurance coverage for these urine tests, and we recognize the costs of these tests can be prohibitive for patients,” Beshear said in a prepared statement.

“We are working with the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure to review options, including exploring whether other tests (blood, hair, etc.) could be as effective,” the governor said. “We are also consulting with private insurance groups and managed care organizations about their policies regarding this standard of care, because some are covering the tests while others are not.”

But critics say they warned last spring that HB 1 — intended to crack down on the illicit sale of prescription drugs — would treat everyone like a potential felon, including doctors and patients engaged in legitimate medical care.

“We anticipated this. Now we’re starting to see third-party vendors denying payment for the tests, as we feared,” said Cory Meadows, spokesman for the Kentucky Medical Association. “It’s still early in the game, so concrete numbers are hard to come by at this point. But this certainly will be a significant issue.”

Rep. Stan Lee, R-Lexington, who voted against HB 1 in April, is the Burtons’ House member. He’s been listening to their complaints.

“These were not unforeseen consequences,” Lee said. “Some of us were not in favor of this bill for the primary reason that it punishes law-abiding citizens for the criminal acts of others. These problems were predicted and discussed in the legislature, but they obviously did not carry the day.”

The General Assembly passed HB 1 to address the hundreds of deaths reported annually in Kentucky from prescription drug overdoses, as well as a scourge of crime by pill addicts desperate to feed their craving.

So far, most debate over the law has focused on how it affects doctors — requiring them to complete patients’ medical histories, check photo identifications, conduct physical exams and consult a statewide prescription database before they issue prescriptions for controlled substances.

Relatively little attention has been paid to the impact on patients. But that may change shortly.

Under the emergency regulations, doctors must obtain a “baseline” urine sample from patients who have long-term controlled substance prescriptions, defined as greater than three months. When test results indicate that patients are likely to abuse or illegally sell drugs, doctors cannot issue a new prescription.

Doctors also must impose random urine tests — at least once a year if a patient is considered “low risk” for drug abuse and up to four times a year if the patient is considered “high risk.” Additionally, patients must submit to urine tests if they show “aberrant behavior,” such as multiple lost prescriptions, repeated requests for early refills and unauthorized dose escalation.

Nobody in Frankfort seems to know how many people will be giving urine samples under the rules, but it’s likely to be in the tens of thousands.

In 2011, doctors and dentists in Kentucky requested 679,487 reports from the statewide prescription database before prescribing pills to address pain, anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, seizures, muscle spasms and attention deficit disorder.

“I need to go into the drug-screening business,” quipped Lee, the lawmaker.

This month, the first round of patients ordered to get a baseline urine test are receiving their “explanation of benefits” letter from their insurance companies announcing whether the tests are covered. Some insurance companies are paying for them and others aren’t. The Kentucky Department of Insurance this week reported having received one consumer complaint and five consumer inquiries on the subject.

Medicaid is supposed to pay for the urine tests for its low-income clients, according to the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

“However, we are receiving anecdotal reports of some tests that have not been covered, and we are checking into whether there was an error or oversight or if the provider is billing for a full panel drug test when only a smaller drug screen panel is medically necessary,” said cabinet spokeswoman Gwenda Bond.

There clearly is widespread confusion about the urine tests, said Rep. Linda Belcher, D-Shepherdsville, who co-sponsored HB 1.

Belcher said she recently heard from a woman whose son had to be urine tested for his prescription to treat attention deficit disorder. One doctor told her the urine test would cost $600. The mother consulted with a second doctor who said a $60 urine test would be adequate, Belcher said.

“I think there’s a lot of misinformation going around, or at least, some people who don’t understand what the requirements and costs are supposed to be,” Belcher said.

Lloyd Vest, general counsel for the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure, said some doctors apparently misunderstand the regulations to require a urine test with every visit by a patient who has a controlled substance prescription. As for the high price of urine tests, Vest said, “We don’t really have any control over the costs.”

The Burtons, the Lexington retirees billed $533 for urine tests, this week shared an explanation of benefits letter they received from Bluegrass Family Health. The letter identified three tests conducted on their urine — one to determine that the prescribed drug was in their systems and two to determine that unrelated painkillers were not present. Had the tests been medically necessary, the insurer said, it would have covered about two-thirds of the cost.

Jessica Kearney, director of regulatory compliance for Bluegrass Family Health, said she was aware of the Burtons’ complaint but she could not discuss the company’s policy on urine tests.

“This will be under investigation for us to look at,” Kearney said. “There’s no comment that I can provide at this point.”

Cynthia Burton, who was a nurse at Central Baptist Hospital until she retired, said the law casts too wide a net.

“With the technology that we have, we can track the prescriptions that Cynthia Burton gets from however many physicians over 30 days or 60 days or whatever period of time,” she said. “So let’s take it from there. Let’s track the patients where there are signs of abuse, where you’ve obviously got a problem with multiple prescriptions or multiple doctors, rather than testing everyone.”

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Nutcase Woodford County Kentucky Judge Mary Jane Phelps Jails Woman At Taxpayer Expense For Not Deleting Her Facebook Account After Posting “LOL” – Not Convicted Of A Criminal Offense, Yet She Is Not Allowed To Have A Facebook Page

September 18, 2012

WOODFORD COUNTY, KENTUCKY – A common acronym for “laugh out loud” on the internet is “lol.” But a Woodford County judge wasn’t laughing over comments a woman posted on her Facebook page regarding a serious DUI crash. A crash, police say, she caused. Now, the judge has held the woman in contempt of court.

Woodford District Judge Mary Jane Phelps warned Paula Asher over her Facebook postings about a serious DUI crash that happened on July 20. Asher didn’t listen, and ended up in jail.

Police say Asher drove drunk and t-boned another car with four people in it, then left the scene of the accident. The crash landed her in hot water, but so did her Facebook comments. “I didn’t think ‘lol’ would put me in jail,” said Asher.

After the crash, Asher posted the following on her Facebook page: “my dumb (expletive) got a dui and I hit a car…lol.”

Some parents of the teenagers in the other car read the comments and told the court. That’s when Phelps ordered Asher to close her Facebook account, but she didn’t. “I really wasn’t trying to make fun of (the crash),” claims Asher.

The judge found asher in contempt of court and put her in jail for two days when she ignored the order and kept her Facebook account. “I had to go pull my time in,” said Asher. “I did and they said I’m not allowed to have Facebook.”

Asher says she’s learned her lesson. “I apologize to everybody,” she said. “i apologize to the judge. I didn’t mean to hurt anybody.”

Asher will face the judge again September 27 on all the charges, including possession of a controlled substance.

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Fayette County Kentucky Officials Hide Facts From Family Concerning Man’s Death While Serving 10 Day Jail Sentence – Epileptic Seizures Treated With Shackles And Pepper-Spray Instead Of Medicine

September 6, 2012

LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY – It’s been more than three months since Julie Curtsinger’s brother died after a medical emergency, and her family still has unanswered questions about what happened that day at the Lexington jail.

Jeffrey McKinney’s family says they have pressed jail officials, the police and the coroner for more details about McKinney’s death on May 22, but they have been shut down.

“We want to know what happened to my brother,” said Curtsinger. “Why was he shackled, why was he handcuffed, why was he pepper sprayed?

“If nothing went wrong, why are they so hush hush? Why can’t they tell us what happened?”

McKinney, 37, was serving a 10-day sentence at the Lexington jail for driving under the influence of alcohol.

Curtsinger said her brother had two epileptic seizures the day of his death. He was reportedly placed in restraints by jail staff and was pepper sprayed at some point before he became unresponsive, she said.

Jail officials have said McKinney was taken from the Fayette County Detention Center to University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital about 6:50 p.m. that day after he had a medical emergency. He died about 7:35 p.m.

Investigators have released few details about the case, which police have said is still an open investigation.

Lexington police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts said the investigation remains open because officers are waiting for the state medical examiner’s report. Roberts said police have found “no sign of foul play.”

Fayette County Coroner Gary Ginn said his office has not ruled on the cause and manner of death.

Ginn said autopsy and toxicology reports are being reviewed. He said his staff reviews reports from a number of sources, including medical reports, before making a determination in a case such as this. Ginn said he hoped “we would come up with a conclusion fairly soon.”

“With an investigation, we try to keep the family in the loop as much as we can,” he said. “A lot of times … we are not able to divulge information to the family until we have come up with a conclusion about the case.”

Ginn said his office has “about all the reports that we need, but we have to go through all that again to make sure we haven’t missed something.”

McKinney was arrested in February for driving under the influence of alcohol after weaving on Versailles Road in Lexington, according to Herald-Leader archives. McKinney refused a breath test but failed several field sobriety tests, the archives said. He was released from jail on a $500 bond and was re-booked after pleading guilty May 17.

McKinney had been having seizures since he was 19, when he was diagnosed with epilepsy, his sister said.

Curtsinger said McKinney said the jail was not giving him his anti-seizure medication, and her mother had called the jail and Comprehensive Care officials.

Curtsinger said McKinney was often disoriented and could be rebellious in the first few moments after a seizure. McKinney also had short-term memory and cognitive problems that appeared to come from a head injury suffered during an ATV accident in 2006, Curtsinger said. Before the ATV accident, McKinney was an electrician who ran his own business. He was the father of four children, ages 1½ to 20, his family said.

The week of McKinney’s death, Curtsinger says Fayette Deputy Coroner John McCarty told her that her brother had “aspiration of gastric content,” which she took to mean choking on his vomit. She says McCarty also told her McKinney had a seizure, had been in restraints and had bruises on his wrists and ankles. She said the deputy coroner told her McKinney had been pepper sprayed.

Curtsinger said she had not heard from the coroner’s office until she went there Tuesday and McCarty told her he expected to sign the death certificate, which could provide more details about the death, within the next several days.

Ginn on Tuesday declined to comment about what Curtsinger says she was told by the deputy coroner. Ginn said it was customary for his staff to provide information to families shortly after deaths. Anything his staff tells a family member before ruling on the cause and manner of a death is preliminary, he said.

Ginn said his staff will talk to the family before his office releases information to the public about McKinney’s death.

Still, McKinney’s family doesn’t like being in the dark.

“Why wasn’t their medical staff there to take care of my son?” said McKinney’s father, Robert McKinney. “He went in to serve 10 days. He gave them his life.”

Curtsinger said the family has talked to an attorney about the case, but they have not filed a lawsuit.

There have been at least two other deaths of inmates at the jail since 2010.

Robert McKinney said he wants state laws changed to better address the needs of inmates who enter jails with medical conditions.

“I can’t sleep … I cry every day,” Robert McKinney said. ”We can’t get closure. We can’t start a healing process.”

Jeffrey McKinney’s minister, Hershael W. York, senior pastor of Buck Run Baptist Church in Frankfort, said he is among those concerned about the lack of information.

“If this death happened anywhere outside of the Fayette County Detention Center, we could know the names of the people directly involved,” York said in an email. “… I am baffled that more than three months after Jeff’s death, the family still cannot … get answers about the circumstances of his death … and have not had anyone in a position of responsibility simply look them in the eyes and express condolences for their loss.”

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Jefferson County Kentucky Prosecutor Paul Richwalsky Told Child Rape Victim “Get Over It” And That Prison Is For “Real” Rapists After Her Attackers Get Sweet Plea Deal – Records Opened To Public After Victim Named And Shamed Attackers Who Photographed Their Crimes

September 2, 2012

JEFFERSON COUNTY, KENTUCKY – A teenager who was sexually assaulted at a high school party was told by a prosecutor to ‘get over it’, according to court documents.

Savannah Dietrich made headlines when she risked jail by tweeting the names of her attackers in order to express her outrage at what she considered their overly lenient sentence.

Now it has been revealed that the culprits attacked the 16-year-old because they believed it would be ‘funny’.

New details of the case have emerged from the unsealing of hundreds of documents relating to Savannah’s case, which were unsealed following a ruling that the proceedings should no longer be kept secret.

The assault in Louisville, Kentucky dates back to last August, and in June this year the two boys who admitted attacking Savannah accepted a plea deal which will see them avoid prison time.

The victim then took to Twitter to unmask the perpetrators – and was threatened with a prosecution for contempt of court by their lawyers.

The motion was withdrawn, and last week Savannah scored another victory when a judge agreed to make the records of the case public.

One of the revelations which emerged from the newly released documents relates to an encounter between the teenager and county prosecutor Paul Richawlsky, according to the Courier-Journal.

When Savannah complained about her attackers’ plea deal, Mr Richawlsky told her to ‘get over it and see a therapist’, adding that ‘the jail was for “real” rapists, murderers and robbers’, according to an affidavit.

The victim’s lawyer accused the prosecutor of giving the defendants unduly lenient treatment because they were star athletes at the high school he had attended.

The court documents have also revealed the content of the interviews the defendants gave to the police in February.

One of the boys said they had sexually assaulted Savannah when she was drunk because ‘we thought it would be funny, but it wasn’t.’

They photographed her in a state of undress, and later shared the pictures with classmates.

The elder boy told police that Savannah ‘was fine with it’, adding: ‘She could have definitely been like, “Stop, don’t do this” and we would have stopped, but she didn’t.’

Following the attack, the boys exchanged text messages with their victim begging her not to take the case to court.

One wrote: ‘Savannah I know u probably think I’m the worst person in the world.

‘There is another way to deal with this other than jeopardizing our lives forever. I’m not a bad person just a dumb one.’

The girl replied to one of her attackers: ‘How would you feel knowing you basically got raped. Knowing people are seeing your pictures, tell me who all saw these pictures? It’s humiliating I feel exposed.’

The boys are due to be sentenced later this month.

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Payback: Man Takes Out Former Tompkinsville Kentucky Chief Of Police Decades After Being Arrested

August 30, 2012

TOMPKINSVILLE, KENTUCKY – We are told the murder of Herbert Proffitt yesterday afternoon was a case of revenge.

According to City Attorney and the appointed family spokesperson, Reed Moore, Jr., evidence was found on the scene yesterday relating to an arrest many years ago.

He was a man of many titles: sheriff, chief of police and a military officer, but most people in Tompkinsville called Herbert Proffitt, or “Sprocket”, a friend.

Several current public officials looked up to him as children.

“He would be directing traffic that would just make my day for him to see me on that bus, you know, and wave at me. I guess that’s kind of what got me to wanting to be a police officer,” says Tompkinsville Chief of Police Dale Ford.

“He was always a pleasure. Everybody smiled when sprocket walked into the room. He had a knack for being positive. You can’t be in public service that long without being nice to everybody,” says City Attorney Reed Moore, Jr.

Proffitt’s son, Jeff, is the current Mayor of Tompkinsville, and Moore says they’re best friends.

“They lost a good man, the community did yesterday,” Monroe County Sheriff Roger Barlow says.

A 50-year veteran of Tompkinsville and Monroe County Law Enforcement, “Sprocket” would often run into the same people throughout town, including those he had to put in jail.

“It is my understanding that during that tenure as sheriff that he arrested the defendant that is charged with “sprocket’s” murder for a domestic situation, and he wound up in the penitentiary as a result,” Moore says.

The early 70’s were the first time “Sprocket” arrested Charles Hammer.

Fast-forward 30 years, in 2001, “Sprocket” arrested Hammer again for wanton endangerment and possession of a handgun.

According to Moore, evidence was found on the scene yesterday explaining the murder was revenge.

“When they went to arrest the defendant yesterday after “Sprocket’s” murder that he had evidence if not one, but both of the citations, I believe of his personal belongings that they found when they went down there,” he says

Hammer was released from those charges and was later arrested in 2002 for harassment and disorderly conduct.

Moore says it wasn’t because Hammer wasn’t guilty.

“It’s a shame though right now with the judicial system and the budget the way it is people will be convicted in trial and the court will have to turn them out because there’s no room to keep them incarcerated,” Moore says.

Hammer has been charged with murder, and is currently in the Monroe County Jail.

Funeral arrangements for Herbert Proffitt have not been confirmed yet, but we’ll keep you updated as the information comes available.

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Tax Dollars Pissed Away As Kentucky Supreme Court Tells Atheists To Pound Dirt – State Can Continue To Thank God For Its Homeland Security

August 21, 2012

KENTUCKY – The Kentucky Supreme Court has declined to hear a challenge to a state law mandating that the commonwealth give credit to Almighty God for its homeland security.

The top court issued a brief order dated last week denying a petition to review the case. Several citizens represented by the group American Atheists had challenged the law.

By declining to take the case, the Supreme Court lets stand a 2011 split decision by the Kentucky Court of Appeals upholding the mandate.

At issue were two related laws passed in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The first was a 2002 “legislative finding” saying the “safety and security of the commonwealth cannot be achieved apart from reliance upon Almighty God.”

The second was a 2006 act creating the state’s Office of Homeland Security and requiring its executive director to publicize “dependence on Almighty God” in agency training and educational materials and through a plaque at the entrance to its emergency operations center. The office has done so in years since.

The plaintiffs sued in 2008, saying the laws violated constitutional bans on state-sponsored religion. Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate agreed, ruling that the state had “created an official government position on God.”

But in a 2-1 decision, the Court of Appeals reversed that decision and upheld the law, saying it “merely pays lip service to a commonly held belief in the puissance (power) of God” and does not advance religion.

Edwin Kagin, national legal director for American Atheists, said he was disappointed with the Supreme Court decision not to review the case. He said he would discuss options with his clients, which include letting the matter drop or bringing a challenge in the federal court system.

“What’s really frightening about this is it’s increasingly clear that these people (proponents of such legislation) want to establish the Christian religion, and they’re getting more and more blatant about it all the time,” he said.

When the case came before the Court of Appeals, virtually every state legislator, the attorney general and the governor had weighed in with briefs in favor of the law.

In last year’s Court of Appeals ruling, Senior Judge Ann O’Malley Shake was the sole dissenter. She said Wingate was correct in saying the legislation has an ‘impermissible effect of endorsing religion because it was enacted for a predominantly religious purpose and conveyed a message of mandatory religious belief.”

The Court of Appeals majority compared the case to that of an Ohio law, upheld by a federal appeals court in 2001, establishing a state motto, “With God, All Things Are Possible.” That ruling, the Kentucky appeals court said, harmonized with a long history of “all three government branches recognizing the role of religion in American life.”

But Shake said the Ohio motto is a “passive aphorism that places a duty upon no one,” while the Kentucky legislation requires the Homeland Security director to be “stressing to the public that dependence upon Almighty God is vital.”

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