Monday, May 15, 2000

Around the Commonwealth

Former Miss America, 74 running for president

The Associated Press

        EUBANK, Ky. — Venus Ramey, a former Miss America and former Cincinnatian who recently gained attention for filing a $300 billion-dollar lawsuit on behalf of tobacco farmers, says she's running for president as a write-in candidate.

        Ms. Ramey, 74, who lives on a farm just north of this central Kentucky town, says she knows she has no chance to win, but considers her campaign a “peaceful, bloodless revolution.”

        The 1944 Miss America representing Washington, D.C. says she is running for president because she thinks the two main candidates — Vice President and Democrat Al Gore and Texas governor George W. Bush, a Republican, “can't fathom the plight of common people.

        “The main candidates running don't know what losing their mortgage or not being able to pay their telephone bills mean,” Ms. Ramey said.

        Ms. Ramey's campaign slogan is “the ones who pay should have the say.” She wants an amendment to the Constitution that would allow taxpayers to nullify any law enacted by Congress, any presidential executive order or any Supreme Court decision with a yes/no vote on their income tax forms.

        “I have no opinion on what they should get rid of,” she said. “I just want the people to have a say.”

Toddler run over by car in driveway The Associated Press
        LOUISVILLE — A 22-month-old girl was fatally injured when she was run over by a car.

        Kelley Van Bach died Friday at Kosair Children's Hospital after she was struck by the car backing out of a neighbor's driveway. Louisville police spokeswoman Kim Kraeszig said the girl was with her mother and grandmother when she ran down the sidewalk.

        Ms. Kraeszig identified the driver as Toan Phan and said he would not be charged. Witnesses say Mr. Phan apparently did not see the girl behind him.

        “I saw the bumper hit her forehead when the car moved, and she fell,” said Elashia Neal, 13, a neighbor who saw the accident. “He (the driver) was looking out of his rearview mirror and I put my hands up and yelled for him to stop, that there was a child behind him. He didn't know she was already on the ground.”

        The little girl's grandfather, Quyen Bach, who also saw the accident, said through relatives who were translating that he yelled for the driver to stop, but the car's windows were up and he didn't hear.

        Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Joseph E. Ratterman & Son, with burial in Cave Hill Cemetery.

No jail recommended for owner of killer dogs The Associated Press
        LOUISVILLE — A jury recommended fines, but no jail time, for a man whose dogs killed a 3-year-old boy last October.

        Jeff Germain, 44, was convicted Friday of harboring dangerous animals and failing to have them licensed.

        The Jefferson District Court jury recommended that Mr. Germain be fined $500 for harboring dangerous animals and $500 for failing to have his 10 dogs licensed — $50 for each dog.

        Mr. Germain could have faced up to a year in jail. The jury's fine is only a recommendation. District Judge Kevin Delahanty must sentence Mr. Germain, but a date was not set.

        Judge Delahanty, however, ordered that the dogs, which have been in quarantine, be euthanized.

        Bill Butler, Mr. Germain's attorney, said he will appeal the verdict. That should also block the death of the dogs until the appeal is resolved, he said.

        The friends and family of Mickey Wayne Oakes, whose body was found in Mr. Germain's back yard last October, hugged each other and cried after Judge Delahanty ordered the dogs killed.

        Mickey's body was found Oct. 2 just down the street from where the boy lived. How the 3-year-old got past a 5-foot-high chain-link fence and into the yard, where he was attacked, remains a mystery.

Police say woman's death a homicide The Associated Press
        LOUISVILLLE — Jefferson County police are investigating as a homicide the case of a woman whose body was found in her apartment by a maintenance man.

        Authorities first thought the death of Carolyn Williams, 31, was accidental until an autopsy was performed, according to police. Her body was found on Friday.

        The maintenance man had been called to work on Ms. Williams' air conditioner, according to Officer Robert Biven, a county police spokesman.

        “All indications were that she had died of a drug overdose,” Officer Biven said. “But Friday evening an autopsy was conducted by the medical examiner, and at that it was determined that foul play was involved.”

        The coroner's office referred questions about the case to Officer Biven, who declined to disclose how the autopsy pointed to homicide or to say why an overdose had first been presumed to be the cause of death.

        “The specifics are pertinent to the case, and we're talking to several individuals,” he said.

The Park reborn in Jessamine County The Cincinnati Enquirer
        HIGH BRIDGE — The new High Bridge Park Pavilion in Jessamine County was dedicated in a celebration area residents hope will signal the rebirth of the Kentucky landmark.

        The Park — a hopping night spot in the 1930s and 1940s — had fallen into disuse in recent years. Trainloads of people came to the park from Cincinnati for sightseeing and dancing. The park also was host to famous evangelists and speakers such as William Jennings Bryan.

        The park takes its name from a 300-foot bridge that spans the Kentucky River. When the bridge opened in 1877, it was the highest bridge in North America and the highest railroad bridge in the world.

        Festivities Saturday included a ribbon cutting, speeches, entertainment and a picnic.

        The new pavilion replaces one that had almost collapsed from age.

        The Kentucky River Authority approved $525,000 over two years for the restoration.

Mallard nesting inside store The Associated Press
        LEXINGTON — A mallard duck that laid its eggs in the lawn and garden department of a Lexington Home Depot store last year has again taken up residence there.

        Employee Tonya Pasley said she knows the duck is the same one because she has only one foot.

        About three weeks ago, the duck attempted to lay her eggs in the pot of a holly bush, said Todd McWhorter, head of the department. When one of the eggs rolled out of the pot and cracked, the duck built a nest on the shelf with the azaleas, where she laid 10 yellow-tinted eggs.

        “It's kind of a novelty,” Mr. McWhorter said.


Newport Aquarium to grow
Norwood police chief had great teacher: His dad
City's budget outlook healthy
School board to review sports eligibility
How eligibility rules vary among local schools
'Sisters' march for Second Amendment
No new gun laws, say mom, daughter
Hearings on shooting resume
Honors sought for Marine
Quarter designs rolling in
Local radio stations minus 'Imus'
Night can't cool hot Jammin' acts
Pig Parade: Hammin' on Main
Queen City's moments to shine reflected in book
Results of our news poll
Symphony rolls with rock stars' works
Tristate Digest
- Around the Commonwealth
Envoy helps inaugurate air route
Federal grant to improve park
Holocaust scholar Browning to deliver free public lectures
More cable programs due for Union Twp.
Oven draws school raves
Rabbis to present lecture, concert
Schools aim to lift Middie Pride
Volunteers fix homes in Boone