Bill Estep, Lexington Herald-Leader

Bill Estep

Lexington Herald-Leader

Somerset, KY, United States

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Past articles by Bill:

Kentucky county official allegedly sold drugs while running for re-election

A former magistrate in a Southeastern Kentucky county illegally sold pain pills during the time he was running for re-election last year, a federal grand jury has charged. → Read More

Children allegedly sprayed with bleach in forced-labor case. KY mom pleads guilty.

An Eastern Kentucky man forced his girlfriend’s children to sell items door-to-door and abused them if they didn’t bring back enough money, spraying them with bleach and sometimes beating them, according to a court document. → Read More

‘Closing the digital divide.’ First part of long-delayed internet project finally done.

A project to build a high-speed internet network across Kentucky has suffered delays and big cost overruns, but officials say the first phase that includes Lexington is done. → Read More

Erosion, landslides and pollution. Coal industry’s compliance with federal rules down.

Only 57 percent of surface coal-mine permits in Kentucky were free of violations during oversight inspections in the most recent evaluation, a low rate of industry compliance on environmental and reclamation rules. → Read More

‘Filth and depravity.’ Kentucky web model’s harsh life helps her avoid prison in large tax case

A Lexington internet model who failed to pay nearly $300,000 in federal income tax was sentenced to three years’ probation. Her lawyer said the woman’s sexually-charged job is lucrative but degrading. → Read More

McConnell: Federal centers that provide jobs, training in rural Kentucky to stay open

Trump Administration officials have backed away from a plan to close two Job Corps centers in rural Kentucky, according to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. → Read More

Kentucky county official’s shoddy work creating funding woes for others, audit says

Poor financial practices continued in the Owsley County clerk’s office in 2016, depriving other local agencies of money needed to provide services, according to Kentucky Auditor Mike Harmon’s office. → Read More

Feds allege dad of Alison Lundergan Grimes’ wrongly funneled money to her state races

Federal prosecutors plan to argue that top Kentucky Democrat Jerry Lundergan funneled money to his daughter, Alison Lundergan Grimes, in state races to try to prove he illegally did the same thing in her U.S. Senate bid. → Read More

Employee stole $250,000 in equipment from the Georgetown Toyota plant, grand jury charges

An employee at the Toyota Motor Manufacturing plant in Georgetown stole $250,000 worth of laser scanners and electronic components and sold them on the internet, a federal grand jury has charged. → Read More

Kentucky deputy got payments that weren’t deposited in office accounts, audit finds

A former Leslie County, Kentucky sheriff’s deputy received $6,380 in 2017 for doing vehicle inspections, but the money was not put into an account in the office, according to an audit. → Read More

Kentucky county to sue coal company linked to W.Va. Gov. Justice to collect unpaid taxes

Floyd County, in Eastern Kentucky, plans to sue a coal company linked to West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice to collect $670,000 in delinquent taxes. The county refused to waive tax penalties and interest for the company. → Read More

Report: Feds to withdraw approval to build prison on former Kentucky coal mine

The federal government will withdraw its approval to build a prison on a former surface coal mine in Letcher County, according to the county’s newspaper. Many residents support the project as a way to create jobs. → Read More

Potential danger to patients. Kentucky doctor suspended from practicing.

State regulators barred a Kentucky doctor from practicing after an assessment raised concerns about his skills, including his grasp of screening guidelines for breast and cervical cancer. → Read More

Coal companies tied to W.Va. Gov. Justice agree to pay delinquent Kentucky taxes

Companies tied to the governor of West Virginia have struck a deal to resolve some of the biggest property-tax delinquencies in Eastern Kentucky’s coal counties. Four counties got checks totaling nearly $1.2 million. → Read More

Officers at Central Kentucky health companies allegedly took part in $1.6 million tax fraud

Two executives at Central Kentucky healthcare companies allegedly conspired to defraud the government by not paying in $1.6 million in payroll taxes. A federal grand jury indicted the two on conspiracy, embezzlement and other changes. → Read More

‘Not fulfilling her duties.’ State audit blasts this Kentucky county official.

A Kentucky county clerk has done such a poor job with financial functions that she has shorted other agencies of needed money and is not fulfilling her duties, according to state Auditor Mike Harmon. → Read More

Kentucky doctor allegedly put veterans ‘in harm’s way’ with fake blood pressure results

A Kentucky doctor accused of falsely recording blood pressure readings of military veterans has been fined $5,000 and had his license placed on probation for five years. → Read More

Lack of policies to protect miners played role in Kentucky coal death, agency says

The death of a surveyor in a Kentucky coal mine in January happened because the mine operator did not have effective methods in place to protect employee, federal regulators said. → Read More

Trump agency wants to close two Kentucky job-training centers. Hal Rogers isn’t happy.

The Trump Administration plans to close Job Corps centers in two Kentucky counties that provide training to disadvantaged young people, but a Republican member of Congress and others oppose the move. → Read More

Injuries in Harlan County mine result in Kentucky’s second coal-mining death of 2019

A Kentucky coal miner died Thursday as a result in injuries he suffered at a Harlan County underground mine on May 22. Felix “Matt” North, of Bell County, was critically injured when the mine wall fell on him. → Read More