Madison County

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Hearing set on release of psychiatric records

Attorneys for a former University of Louisville student charged with killing her two children say her psychiatric records should not have been made public. Jefferson County assistant public defender Mike Lemke says psychiatric reports for Gail Lynn Coontz were supposed to be under seal, but were released to The Courier-Journal on Monday. On Tuesday, Jefferson Circuit Judge Mary Shaw set a hearing for July 17 to determine why the records were released. Coontz showed up with a gun at the University of Louisville health services counseling center on March 27. The children were found dead in their home. Coontz has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, terroristic threatening and tampering with evidence.


Rats a problem on two streets

The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department set bait for rats at six houses on the 300 blocks of Owsley and Lincoln avenues Monday. The problem stemmed from one house on Owsley, and investigators found burrows and other signs of rats at five more, said Natasha Collins, a senior health specialist. The rats probably were attracted by trash and dog food, as well as good places to hide, like junked cars and fallen tree limbs, Collins said. Residents concerned about rats can report problems to the Division of Environmental Health at (859) 231-9791.

Newspaper reporter charged

A Herald-Leader reporter was arrested and charged with public intoxication last month after police found him walking along a road in south Lexington. Religion writer James W. Niemi, 64, of Lexington, was arrested about 10 p.m. June 20 near the intersection of Four Wynds Trail and Langley Circle, near his home, according to court records. Court records say that when police found Niemi walking along Langley Circle he appeared confused, had bloodshot eyes and slurred speech and was unsteady on his feet. He told police he drank too much wine and was a danger to himself and others. Niemi paid a $174 fine for the misdemeanor. He declined to comment.


Officer sues over his firing

A former Berea police officer is suing the city after being fired. Billy Beavers, a former lieutenant in the Berea police force, was acquitted March 6 of a charge of improper arrest. Beavers forgot to cite ”use of force“ in subduing a suspected drunk driver last July, and was fired and charged for the misdemeanor. He was originally sentenced by jury to pay a $1 fine, but a judge nullified the verdict. In the suit filed July 3, Beavers accused Berea Mayor Steven Connelly, Police Chief Dwayne Brumley and the city of defamation, negligence, and violation of the Kentucky Civil Rights Act. Beavers seeks reinstatement to the Berea police force, back pay and compensation for the emotional and financial burden.


Noise ordinance tabled

The Richmond City Commission decided on Tuesday to table a noise ordinance that would prohibit commercial venues from hosting outdoor music after 10 p.m. City manager David Evans said an individual spoke on behalf of the proposed ordinance, followed by an attorney for live music venues in the area speaking against the ban. The commission decided to research how other areas deal with noise issues.

Staff, wire reports