News briefs

Early release denied for former Garrard official

Lancaster: For the second time in three months, a judge has denied early release from prison for a former Garrard County official serving time for reckless homicide. Dwayne Nave, former emergency management director, was denied shock probation on Friday by Garrard Circuit Court Judge Hunter Daugherty. The judge also had denied shock probation to Nave in early October.

Under Kentucky law, a judge may release an offender who has served 30 to 180 days of his jail sentence under so-called shock probation. It is to be used with first-time, non-violent offenders on the theory that a small taste of prison life is enough to "shock" them into becoming law-abiding.

Nave was sentenced in July to five years in prison for reckless homicide, fourth-degree assault and driving under the influence. On April 29, 2007, Nave was driving an official vehicle when it crossed the center line and collided with a pickup on U.S. 27 near Bryantsville.

The pickup driver, Willard Quinn, 43, of Parksville was killed, and a passenger, Kevin Reed of Stanford, was seriously injured. Nave had a blood-alcohol content of 0.12 when his blood was analyzed nearly two hours after the crash at Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center in Danville. In his latest bid for early release, about 50 letters in support of Nave were submitted to Daugherty.

UK might close cancer center

Maysville: The University of Kentucky may have to close its cancer center in Mason County because of low patient numbers. The Ledger Independent reports that the center in Maysville is drawing about nine patients per day.

The center needs 15 patients per day to break even, according to Dr. Marcus Randall, chairman of the UK Department of Radiation Medicine.

Randall says a decision about the center's future should be made in February.

The center is in a building owned by Meadowview Regional Medical Center. Its CEO, Chad Patrick, said the medical center's administration is working with UK to see what can be done to keep the cancer center open.

Randall says that as a clinical operation, the cancer center is expected to generate enough money to operate.

Unpaid bill means limited lunch

Hazard: Some students in an Eastern Kentucky district will soon have limited options for school lunch if they owe $50 or more on their lunch bill.

Perry County school officials tell WYMT-TV in Hazard that 236 students at nine of their schools owe a total of $37,000 in lunch money to the school system. The alternative lunch at Perry County schools will be a cheese or peanut butter and jelly sandwich and milk.

Officials say they need a way to get the money back. The financial officer of Perry County schools, Jody Maggard, says he hopes the new policy serves as a wake-up call to parents failing to pay school lunch bills. The policy goes into effect Jan. 4.

Bridges project moves forward

Louisville: Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear has announced the sale of $100 million in bonds for a long-sought project to build two new Ohio River bridges linking the Louisville area with southern Indiana.

Most of the bond money will be used to acquire and clear right of way. The governor says the sale of bonds means the project is moving forward, and that the days of stop-and-start planning for the bridges are coming to an end.

The project calls for new bridges both downtown and between eastern Jefferson County and Clark County, Ind., along with a reconfigured Spaghetti Junction interchange in Louisville.

staff, wire reports