Council OKs budget
By a 13-1 vote Thursday, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council approved a $279 million budget for fiscal year 2010, which begins July 1. The budget includes cuts, but gives a 1 percent raise to full-time city employees, with the exception of police, fire and corrections officers, who are covered by a contract that is negotiated separately. An additional $6 million was budgeted for the employees covered by contract, while the cost of raises for the other city workers comes to $932,000. At-large councilman Chuck Ellinger II said he voted against the budget because, based on figures provided by city officials, money coming into city coffers might turn out to be $3 million less than budgeted. Fifth District councilwoman Cheryl Feigel was absent from the council meeting.
Not guilty plea in murder case
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A Lexington man who was indicted on a murder charge in the April slaying of his girlfriend has pleaded not guilty. Edward Marquise Stokley, 34, appeared Thursday in Fayette Circuit Court for a formal arraignment on a murder charge, three counts of wanton endangerment and charges of being a convicted felon in possession of a handgun and a persistent felony offender. Lexington police say Stokley shot Lavena Gibson, 25, multiple times April 29 as she sat in her car, parked at a house on Bishop Drive.
Coach's actions defended
Three assistant high school football coaches have defended in depositions the actions of their former boss, who is charged with reckless homicide in the death of a player last summer. The three coaches for Pleasure Ridge Park say in depositions filed Thursday they never heard former head coach David Stinson use profanity, ridicule players for getting a drink or deny players water during the Aug. 20, 2008, practice. The Courier-Journal reports that some of the coaches' statements are at odds with what players, witnesses and Stinson have previously told police. Fifteen-year-old sophomore Max Gilpin collapsed from heat stroke during the practice and died three days later. Stinson and the other coaches are all named in a civil lawsuit filed by Gilpin's parents.
Court: Shirts didn't bias jury
Murder trial spectators did not bias a jury when they wore T-shirts bearing a photograph of the victim, the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled Thursday. Chief Justice John D. Minton Jr., writing for a unanimous court, said the T-shirts weren't cause for reversing the conviction of Charles Allen, who is serving 20 years in prison for the 2006 murder of Chad Brown in the largely rural northeastern Kentucky county. Allen was found guilty of shooting Brown to death for not paying a $50 fee for having stored a mobile home on his property.
City expecting budget surplus
While many are struggling with budget deficits, a city in western Kentucky is expecting a surplus. The Messenger-Inquirer reports that the city of Owensboro expects to have a budget surplus of $700,000 to $1 million at the end of June. City Manager Bill Parrish attributed the extra money to the way the municipality is managed — like a business, which he said is unusual.
Staff, wire reports