- Associated Press - Thursday, February 6, 2014
Ky. Senate passes abortion bill

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - The Kentucky Senate voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to require doctors to perform ultrasounds prior to abortions and to describe what is seen to the pregnant women.

Doctors failing to comply would face fines of up to $100,000 for a first offense and up to $250,000 for subsequent violations. The requirement would be added to Kentucky’s existing informed-consent law.

“It’s a life,” said Republican Sen. Whitney Westerfield of Hopkinsville, the bill’s lead sponsor. “And if ever we’re going to have all the information to make that best decision, this is the time to do that.”

Sen. Reginald Thomas, D-Lexington, said the bill reflected a “Scarlet Letter mentality” toward women.

“We don’t have to have face-to-face meetings, we don’t have to have ultrasounds … to understand what it means to be pregnant,” he said. “And what this bill does is try to deny a woman’s constitutional right to have control over her own health-care decisions.”

Senators voted 33-5 to send the measure to the House, where similar proposals have died in past years.


Ky. man charged with murder in 2007 death

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A certified medical technician has been charged with murder in the death of a nursing home patient who died of an insulin overdose almost seven years ago.

A Jefferson County grand jury on Wednesday handed up an indictment of 34-year-old David Satterfield. Police say Satterfield called investigators on Monday saying he wanted to admit to giving the fatal injection to 86-year-old Marcelline Katherine Sommer Vale in July 2007.

A judge entered a not guilty plea on his behalf during an initial appearance on Tuesday. He is being held in the Louisville jail on $50,000 cash bond. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Judith McDonald-Burkman.

Detectives are now combing through Satterfield’s past in Kentucky, Tennessee and Florida to see if there are any other similar incidents.


Freezing rain, ice leave thousands without power

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - High winds and a wintry mix blew through Kentucky, knocking down tree branches and leaving thousands across the state without power as temperatures dipped below freezing and took aim at single digits Wednesday night.

The Kentucky Public Service Commission reported more than 10,000 homes without power Wednesday morning, while other counties counted homes in the dozens and hundreds in the dark and cold.

LG&E; spokeswoman Natasha Collins told The Courier-Journal that power should be restored to all customers by Thursday night and that the company has brought in 250 additional workers to help.

The National Weather Service reported the winter storm that hit Tuesday evening left about a half-inch of ice in some areas of western Kentucky and quarter-inch of ice over much of the central part of the state. Areas in northern Kentucky saw up to 8 inches of snow.

Dennis Reynolds was out Wednesday afternoon clearing his neighbor’s driveway in their Hebron neighborhood. Reynolds said he has dragged the blower out of his garage for five snowfalls this season.

“I usually use this thing twice a year,” said Reynolds, dressed in boots and a bulky hunting cover-all.


Bevin criticizes McConnell for backing farm bill

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Matt Bevin accused Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of failing taxpayers by supporting a federal farm bill that the Republican challenger condemned as a “massive overreach” by the government.

“America is becoming more and more dependent on the government,” Bevin said Wednesday, a day after the Senate passed the sweeping legislation. “This farm bill is yet another example of exactly that.”

Agriculture is a big business in Kentucky, and McConnell’s campaign said Bevin’s criticism showed the Louisville businessman is out of touch with rural issues.

“If Bevin ever spoke to our farmers, he would understand the importance of this bill to Kentucky agriculture,” said McConnell campaign spokeswoman Allison Moore.

The nearly $100 billion-a-year farm bill would provide a financial cushion for farmers who face unpredictable weather and market conditions.

It provides subsidies for rural communities and environmentally sensitive land. Most of the cost, however, goes to the food stamp program, which aids 1 in 7 Americans.

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