The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.

The Northerner

The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.

The Northerner

The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.

The Northerner

Around Kentucky news briefs

Another round of wintry weather is headed toward Kentucky

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – The National Weather Service has issued a snow advisory for sections of northern, central and eastern Kentucky for Wednesday. Forecasters are predicting anywhere from a dusting to possibly 4 inches of snow. The precipitation is expected to start overnight, which could make roads slick during the morning commute.

In northeastern Kentucky, accumulations could reach 2 to 4 inches by midday Wednesday.

Forecasters say 2 inches of snow could fall from New Castle in northern Kentucky to Paris in central Kentucky. Other areas in the region could get around an inch of snow.

Elsewhere, forecasters are predicting a dusting to a half-inch of snow north.

Another weather system could produce slick conditions in western Kentucky later in the week. Forecasters have issued a winter storm watch for much of the area Thursday, predicting a mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain.

Judge suggests aiming for ‘global settlement’ of fen-phen cases

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – A state judge recommended that civil attorneys, federal prosecutors and defense lawyers meet to reach a “global settlement” of a multimillion-dollar fraud case involving Horse of the Year Curlin’s original owners.

Special Judge Roger Crittenden made the suggestion Tuesday during a hearing in a civil case against attorneys William Gallion, Shirley Cunningham Jr. and Melbourne Mills.

“I’m not mandating it, but a month from now, I might,” Crittenden said.

The hearing centered on issues related to a $42 million judgment against Gallion and Cunningham, who bought Curlin for $57,000 in 2005, and Mills, who has no stake in the horse.

The judgment stems from a lawsuit by 418 former clients of the three men who claim they were bilked out of the money in a $200 million settlement involving the diet drug fen-phen.

A nonprofit set up by the attorneys, the Kentucky Fund for Healthy Living, also owes the former clients $20 million. Crittenden scheduled a hearing on Friday to discuss a distribution plan for the money.

Lawmakers overhaul Beshear’s casino proposal

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – Gov. Steve Beshear’s proposal to allow up to 12 casinos throughout the state got a major overhaul from Kentucky lawmakers on Tuesday, less than five days after the newly elected governor unveiled it.

A plan by Rep. Joni Jenkins, D-Louisville, would cut the number of casinos by three, allowing for no more than five to be set up at race tracks. The move, Jenkins said, was aimed at resolving some of the concerns House lawmakers had with Beshear’s plan.

“There were lots of concerns about the original piece that was filed,” Jenkins said.

Beshear, a Democrat, unseated former Gov. Ernie Fletcher in part on a promise to push for legalized casino gambling in this Bible-belt state that already allows gambling at horse tracks, bingo halls and through a state lottery.

Beshear has said casino gambling could allow Kentucky’s cash-strapped government to collect about $600 million per year at a time when the state faces a $900 million shortfall over the next two fiscal years.

It wouldn’t solve all of Kentucky’s fiscal woes, but it would help, Beshear said.

Defense lawyers granted security clearance in Iraq rape case

PADUCAH, Ky. (AP) – Lawyers for a former Army private accused of raping a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and murdering her and her family said Tuesday that they now have security clearances to view secret military documents in the case.

Defense attorneys for former Pfc. Steven D. Green, however, declined to discuss what those materials include.

In a conference call with U.S. District Judge Thomas Russell, defense attorney Scott Wendelsdorf said the documents are likely the last of materials needed to begin preparing for a trial scheduled next year in Paducah.

Green, 22, of Midland, Texas, faces a possible death sentence if convicted. He pleaded not guilty in November 2006 after being indicted on charges that included premeditated murder and aggravated sexual assault.

Four other soldiers pleaded guilty or were convicted for their roles in targeting the girl from a checkpoint near Mahmoudiya, a village 20 miles south of Baghdad, and helping rape and kill her.

Two of the soldiers testified they took turns raping the girl while Green shot and killed her mother, father and younger sister, and that Green raped the girl and shot her.