- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Biden, Clinton among hundreds who honor former Senator Ford

OWENSBORO, Ky. (AP) - Vice President Joe Biden knew former Kentucky governor and U.S. Sen. Wendell Ford as a trusted adviser and Bill Clinton knew him as the man who first introduced Clinton as President of the United States.

But Leroy Lamar knew him for his love of Coke Classic and peanut butter crackers.

A commercial pilot from Hawesville, Lamar is used to putting up with demanding needs of his clients. But whenever Ford called him for a ride, he was happy with just a Coke and crackers.

“If he had never been senator or governor, he would have been just the same,” he said.

From presidents to pilots, the theme at Ford’s funeral Tuesday in his hometown of Owensboro was his ability to make things happen at the highest levels of government without compromising his love of Kentucky or its people. Biden, who served in the Senate with Ford for 25 years, marveled at how Ford could know a state so well, and how a state could know him even better.

“You knew he knew what your problem was. You knew he knew, and he understood. … He could smell it, taste it, feel it,” Biden said during Ford’s funeral. “Technically, I was senior to Wendell (in the Senate.). … But I was smart enough to know I was junior in every other way.”

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Republican Matt Bevin files for Kentucky governor

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Republican Matt Bevin jumped into Kentucky’s biggest political campaign for the second straight year, joining the crowded field of GOP candidates vying to wrest the governorship away from Democrats.

Hoping to capitalize on name recognition from his failed 2014 primary challenge against now-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Bevin was the final entry into a four-way GOP gubernatorial primary.

Bevin, a Louisville businessman, drew slightly more than one-third of the vote as a political newcomer running against McConnell, who went on to win a sixth term in November.

Bevin introduced Jenean Hampton, a tea party enthusiast, as his running mate Tuesday - the last day for candidates to file for this year’s slate of statewide elections. Hampton, of Bowling Green, faced her own uphill campaign last year, losing to former state House Speaker Jody Richards in a legislative race.

Bevin, who has drawn tea party support, said Hampton brings “a wealth of experience” to the ticket from the private and nonprofit sectors. Both also served as military officers.

Bevin didn’t immediately delve into issues but sounded themes reminiscent of his Senate campaign.

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Ex-leader of county hit by tornado gets 7 years in prison

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - The former top official of a tornado-ravaged Kentucky county was sentenced to seven-plus years in prison Tuesday for raking in more than $100,000 in a kickback scheme that continued even as his constituents struggled to rebuild from the deadly storm.

As former Morgan County Judge-Executive Tim Conley tearfully begged for mercy at his sentencing, reconstruction work continued in his devastated Appalachian county - nearly three years after the tornado.

Downtown West Liberty, the county seat, took a direct hit March 2, 2012, as part of an outbreak of tornadoes that killed 25 people statewide. In Morgan County, six people were killed. Churches, a bank and apartments are being rebuilt. Empty gaps stand in the tiny downtown.

Conley, 50, took the lead in the reconstruction. But by that time, the Republican already was caught up in a long-running scheme of soliciting and accepting illegal kickbacks from a bridge contractor, federal prosecutors said.

Conley’s successor as the county’s judge-executive, Stanley Franklin, said his actions left scars among residents in the county about 60 miles east of Lexington.

“I think they’re hurt more than anything else,” Franklin said Tuesday in a phone interview. “There was a lot of confidence in Mr. Conley.”

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‘Kentucky Hammer’ lawyer from commercials hurt in bike wreck

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Darryl Isaacs, a Kentucky lawyer known as the “Heavy Hitter” and the “Kentucky Hammer” to television audiences who see his commercials, is recovering in a hospital after being hurt in a bicycle wreck.

The Courier-Journal (https://cjky.it/18rMfmfhttps://cjky.it/18rMfmf ) says the 50-year-old Isaacs was hit by a motorist Jan. 19 east of downtown.

University of Louisville Hospital spokesman David McArthur said Tuesday that Isaacs is in fair condition.

Indian Hills Police Chief Kelly Spratt said Isaacs was hit from behind as he attempted to turn into a residential area and is lucky to be alive. Witnesses and Isaacs told police he was signaling the turn when he was hit and was thrown back into the car’s windshield and on to the pavement.

Spratt said the driver told police he didn’t see Isaacs because of the sun’s glare.

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