- Associated Press - Thursday, November 13, 2014
Prosecutor: Son plotted Kentucky family killings

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A Kentucky man accused in the slayings of his parents and sister who then told a tale of “turning the tables” on the killer actually was in cahoots with the person and is charged with murdering him, authorities say.

Ryan Champion, 36, was indicted in Trigg County Wednesday on the murder count, three counts of complicity to commit murder and complicity to commit kidnapping.

Along with Ryan Champion’s family members, the body of 22-year-old Vito Riservato was found last month at the family’s home in Cadiz, which is about 80 miles northwest of Nashville, Tennessee, in western Kentucky. All four died of gunshot wounds.

Commonwealth’s Attorney G.L. Ovey said authorities believe Champion enlisted Riservato, then killed him.



Ovey, the top prosecutor in Trigg County, said it started out as a murder-for-hire scheme, but “it didn’t end up that way.”

“In a murder for hire, he would’ve got paid, but … he was murdered,” Ovey said. Ovey said he will seek the death penalty for Champion.

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$7 million grant to focus on lung cancer survivors

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - In a state that leads the nation in lung cancer cases, Kentucky is turning its attention to small but growing group: lung cancer survivors.

State officials on Wednesday announced a collaborative, funded by a three-year, $7 million grant from the Bristol Meyers Squibb Foundation. Its goal to come up with programs to help people once they survive lung cancer.

Lung cancer is the most common form of the disease in the world, and more people get it in Kentucky than anywhere else in the country, according to statistics from the American Lung Association. A big reason is more than 30 percent of Kentucky’s population smokes, the highest rate in the country, according to a Gallup Poll released in March.

But treatment for lung cancer is improving rapidly, aided by early detection screenings and new drugs.

“In my clinic, we’ve seen more complete remissions in the last two months than I’ve seen in whole decades earlier,” said Donald Miller, director of the University of Louisville’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center.

The project, called the Kentucky LEADS Collaborative, stands for “Lung Cancer. Education. Awareness. Survivorship” seeks to “reduce the burden of lung cancer in Kentucky.” Jamie Studts, a psychologist at the University of Kentucky, is leading the effort to come up with programs to help lung cancer survivors.

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Ky. lawmaker to step down from leadership post

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky House Speaker Pro Tem Larry Clark says he will not run for the leadership post he has held since 1993.

The Louisville Democrat, who was re-elected for the 18th time last week, also said he is likely to retire at the end of his two-year term. Clark has represented the 46th legislative district for more than 30 years and has been second in command for the Democratic majority for more than two decades.

In a letter to House Speaker Greg Stumbo, Clark said he decided not to seek re-election as speaker pro tem because he thought it was a good time for someone new to learn the job while Democrats still control the House and the governor’s office. Democrats maintained their eight-seat majority after last week’s elections.

Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear’s term ends in January 2016.

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Community college system moving on next president

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - The chancellor of Kentucky Community and Technical College System is the system’s board of regents’ preferred candidate for the next president.

Jay Box won unanimous support from the board Tuesday.

As chancellor, Box has led the statewide committee to develop the Kentucky Transfer Action Plan, which eliminates barriers for community college students transferring to the state’s eight public universities. He has also been involved with revising the dual credit program, online education and a partnership to offer skills and training to lead to high-wage, high-demand careers.

Box will meet with KCTCS college presidents, faculty, staff and students on Nov. 18 in Versailles. The board will meet the next day to consider feedback and a final contract.

The system is seeking a successor to Michael McCall, who is resigning Jan. 15.

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