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A former Western Kentucky University professor is facing a federal charge of wire fraud stemming from his time as a civil engineering faculty member. 

Matt Dettman was placed on unpaid administrative leave in October 2017 and resigned from his position last December. 

According to documents filed in U.S. District Court, Dettman is charged in connection with the testing of concrete and soil samples for local companies.  The testing was performed by the WKU Engineering Department. 

Somerset Mayor's Office

Somerset Mayor Eddie Girdler made his first court appearance on Friday stemming from a hit-and-run involving a juvenile last month. 

Girdler’s arraignment was postponed after the prosecutor recused himself.  Pulaski County Attorney Martin Hatfield filed a motion to step down from the case, citing a conflict of interest. 

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear will either appoint another county attorney or have an attorney from his Special Prosecutions Unit prosecute the case. 

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Kentucky’s top corrections official says staying out of prison could be as easy as having a job for some former inmates.

The state is developing a partnership between prisons and industries in hopes of both decreasing recidivism and filling vacant jobs.  Under the initiative, industries would move some operations to prison grounds, and provide training and near private sector wages to inmates.

A felony record often shuts former inmates out of the job market and that increases their chances of committing more offenses and returning to jail.  

Abbey Oldham

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul says the White House needs to use a lie detector test to find out who wrote an anonymous op-ed published in the New York Times this week.

The op-ed is purportedly written by a senior official in President Trump’s administration who claims to be a part of an internal resistance effort actively working to block the president’s most extreme policies and instincts.

Stephen George

The mining engineer from Lexington, Kentucky, President Donald Trump nominated to lead the federal Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement has withdrawn his nomination over issues with the vetting process.

Trump tapped Steven Gardner, CEO of Lexington consulting firm ECSI LLC, to lead the office last October. Gardner has more than four decades of experience working with and advocating for the mining industry.

But Gardner is withdrawing his nomination after a year of negotiations with the Office of Government Ethics over conditions of an ethical agreement, he told Bloomberg’s Stephen Lee on Thursday.

Becca Schimmel

Bowling Green could be home to a new trolley service this spring. Nashville-based Gray Line Trolley is offering free rides through Saturday, in hopes of making the service permanent. Bowling Green hasn’t had a trolley in more than 100 years.

The first few days of trolley rides are a trial period to see whether residents are interested in the service. Gray Line is a private business and is sponsoring the free rides. If the service becomes permanent, those wanting rides would pay. That cost hasn’t been determined yet. Beth Noffsinger is the public relations manager with the Bowling Green Convention and Visitors Bureau. She said free rides are available from 2 to 8 p.m. Friday, and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

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The chief justice of the Kentucky Supreme Court says there’s a growing movement across the nation to reform the pre-trial justice system. 

John Minton, Jr. says the current method of setting bail disproportionately affects low-income defendants who aren’t able to pay for release after being charged with low-level, non-violent offenses.

“We don’t need to lose sight of the number one, bedrock principle and that is the presumption of innocence operates in every case, so that presumption does not need to be lost," Minton told WKU Public Radio.

J. Tyler Franklin

Gov. Matt Bevin says former University of Louisville men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino is blaming everyone but himself for recent scandals at the university that led to his firing last year.

In a book published this week, Pitino railed against Bevin for unilaterally replacing all the members of U of L’s Board of Trustees in 2016, suggesting that the move was done at the behest of University of Kentucky boosters and ultimately led to his ouster.

In an interview on The Greg Dunker Show on WKYX in Paducah, Bevin said the book sounded “sad.”

Jane Venters\Melinda Dalton

A new family court judgeship for Pulaski, Lincoln, and Rockcastle counties has created a three-way race.

A second family court judge is being added to the 28th Judicial Circuit, which has the heaviest family court caseload in the state.

Among the candidates is Somerset attorney Jane Adams Venters.  Venters has been practicing since 1985 and specializes in family law and civil litigation.

Rhonda J. Miller

A father and son who share an entrepreneurial spirit are bringing a new product from their Kentucky farm to the regional marketplace. Tilapia is the first locally-raised fish from the Daviess County aquafarm. The project is part of Kentucky’s fledgling aquaculture industry that produces fish for commercial customers.

Inside the greenhouse at Thomas Aquafarms in Daviess County, water is constantly flowing through nine bright blue tanks that are shoulder height and eight feet in diameter. Each tank has about 500 tilapia of various sizes swimming around.

Forrest Wynne, an aquaculture extension specialist for Kentucky State University, is dropping a probe into one of the tanks.


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Rob Taber

Photo Gallery: Lost River Sessions Arts & Music Festival

It was a hot afternoon May 12 at the first Lost River Sessions Arts & Music Festival. But that didn't stop hundreds from attending the outdoor festival at Fountain Square Park. Later that evening, Willie Watson, Joan Shelley and the Dead Broke Barons put on a fabulous show inside the Capitol Arts Center.

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