- Associated Press - Saturday, May 31, 2014
15 years in prison for priest convicted of abuse

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A former Catholic priest dying of cancer was sentenced Friday to 15 years in prison for sexually abusing a teenage boy at a church, with a judge saying it was time for the former clergyman to “face the consequences.”

James Schook, who sought several delays to his criminal case, glanced at his family members in the courtroom before being taken into custody Friday morning.

Schook, 66, made no statements and did not testify during his April trial in Louisville.

The trial had been repeatedly delayed after Schook was indicted on sex abuse charges in 2011. He had argued that he was too frail from late-stage skin cancer and on too many medications to stand trial.

During the sentencing hearing, Schook’s attorney, David Lambertus, urged the judge to keep Schook out of prison by allowing him to serve out his term on probation. Lambertus also asked if Schook could remain out of prison on bond while his case is appealed.

“It would make a joke of the appeal if Mr. Schook goes to prison, dies there and then an appeals court” finds an error in the criminal trial, Lambertus said.

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Paul not sure what would happen to state exchange

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Rand Paul favors repealing the Affordable Care Act but said Friday he doesn’t know if rescinding the federal law would affect the 421,000 Kentuckians who are insured through state’s exchange.

The possible Republican candidate for president in 2016 discussed the health care law with reporters after speaking to the Franklin County Republican Women’s Club.

“I would repeal all of Obamacare,” Paul said. “The technical question though is whether or not - and I think this is why it’s not an easy answer - the technical question is what would that mean? Can a state still have an exchange? We live in a 50 state union, so some states could have exchanges. They already did before Obamacare.”

Democratic Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear has defended the state-run exchange, which has been embraced as a success among residents in the state where the federal law is unpopular. Meanwhile, the state’s other Republican U.S. Senator, Mitch McConnell, has said state officials could choose what to do with the exchange if the federal law were repealed.

Kentucky was among the states that chose to run its own exchange under the law, while other states left operation of the online marketplace up to the federal government. The marketplaces help people select insurance plans and determine if they are eligible for subsidies to lower their costs.

Under the health overhaul, states also had the choice of whether to expand Medicaid with the federal government paying most of the extra costs. Beshear chose to expand the joint federal and state health insurance program for the poor and disabled.

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Ex-cop is new Ky. Emergency Management director

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Gov. Steve Beshear has chosen a former Louisville assistant police chief to lead the state’s troubled Emergency Management division.

Michael Dossett will take over the state’s disaster response planning on Monday. He is the permanent replacement for former director John Heltzel, who resigned last summer after a scathing audit found the agency misspent $5.6 million on things like alcohol and entertainment.

“Michael Dossett is the right man at the right time for this job,” Beshear said in a news release. “I have full confidence that, under Mike’s leadership, the safety and welfare of citizens of the Commonwealth are in good hands.”

Dossett is a former assistant police chief for the Louisville Metro Police Department and a former deputy commissioner for the Department of Juvenile Justice. He was a regional response manager with Kentucky Emergency Management when he retired in 2013. He was unavailable for comment on Friday.

Emergency Management is a division of the Department of Military Affairs under the leadership of the adjutant general, Maj. Gen. Edward Tonini.

The agency directs the state’s response to natural and man-made disasters, including floods, tornados and chemical leaks. Tonini said he interviewed several highly qualified people for the job, adding he is glad to have Dossett’s experience as the state enters tornado and flood season.

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Heather French Henry to head state veterans agency

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Veterans advocate and former Miss America Heather French Henry has been appointed commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs.

Gov. Steve Beshear announced Friday that Henry will succeed former U.S. Rep. Ken Lucas, who will oversee construction of a veterans nursing home in Radcliff.

Henry became Miss America in September 1999 and a few months later started the Heather French Foundation for Veterans. The foundation works with public and private organizations to help veterans and their families.

Henry is married to former Lt. Gov. Steve Henry. She will begin her new post July 1.

Beshear’s spokesman, Terry Sebastian, says the change at the state agency is unrelated to federal Veterans Affairs chief Eric Shinseki resigning on Friday amid complaints about his handling of that agency.

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.

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