- Associated Press - Saturday, September 26, 2015
Clerk Kim Davis switching parties to become a Republican

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, a longtime Democrat, says she is switching to the Republican Party because she feels abandoned by Democrats in her crusade against same-sex marriage.

Davis made the announcement while in Washington, D.C., to attend the Family Research Council’s Value Voters Summit, said Charla Bansley, a spokeswoman for Liberty Counsel, which represents Davis in her legal battles.

“I’ve always been a Democrat, but the party left me,” Davis said, according to Bansley.

Davis will address the conservative group Friday night.

She sparked a national furor by refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples after the Supreme Court effectively legalized gay marriage in June. A federal judge ordered Davis to issue the licenses, but she refused, and opted to spend five days in jail rather than license a gay marriage. The ordeal propelled her to folk hero status among some on the religious right.

Davis was elected Rowan County clerk last fall as a Democrat. She replaced her mother, also a Democrat, who served as county clerk for 37 years.


Sports Illustrated naming award for Muhammad Ali

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A sportsmanship award given by Sports Illustrated will be named for Louisville native Muhammad Ali.

Sports Illustrated says in a release announcing the name change that Ali has been on the magazine’s cover 38 times and was its Sportsman of the 20th Century.

The award is given to people who “embody the ideals of sportsmanship, leadership and philanthropy.” Sports Illustrated says there is “no better example of this tradition of excellence and influence than Muhammad Ali.”

The award has only gone to two people, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founder of the Special Olympics, and former NBA star and entrepreneur Earvin “Magic” Johnson.

It will be renamed the Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award.

Ali will be recognized at a dedication ceremony at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville on Oct. 1.


2 western Kentucky counties declare burn bans

BENTON, Ky. (AP) - Officials in at least two western Kentucky counties have declared burn bans.

Media report Marshall County Judge-Executive Chryill Miller and McLean County Judge-Executive Kelly Thurman issued orders on Thursday banning burning until further notice. Both officials noted dry conditions in the area.

The decision in Marshall County comes in the wake of a field fire that briefly burned out of control earlier in the week.

National Weather Service meteorologist Brittany Peterson told The Paducah Sun that the area has abnormally dry conditions typical with the onset of a drought.

Weather service meteorologist Robin Smith says rain is forecast over the weekend, but it likely will be only a “minimal” amount.


Kentucky cardiologist pleads not guilty to health care fraud

ASHLAND, Ky. (AP) - A Kentucky cardiologist pleaded not guilty to all charges after being accused of performing unnecessary cardiac stent procedures on hundreds of patients.

Dr. Richard E. Paulus was indicted on one count of health care fraud and 26 counts of making false statements relating to health care matters, the Independent (https://bit.ly/1YF6YZx) reported. On Thursday, Paulus pleaded not guilty to all charges in federal court. A trial is expected to be set for next year. Paulus’ attorney, Robert S. Bennett, said he believes the case may take “substantially longer” to finish.

Paulus turned over his passport and agreed not to seek any travel documents, the newspaper reported.

According to the indictment, Paulus schemed to defraud and obtain money from Medicare, Medicaid and other insurers from 2008 until he retired in 2013. The indictment also said Paulus billed Medicare for more heart catheterization and stent procedures than any other cardiologist in Kentucky.

A few supporters gathered outside the federal building with signs backing Paulus, the newspaper reported.

Alice Huffman, one of Paulus’ patients, said the charges were “absolutely false.” According to her, Paulus once opted to give her medical treatment instead of a heart stent when she had a 60 percent blockage.

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