Friday, July 28, 2000

Martin Marietta can add to arguments

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A Boone Circuit Court judge has breathed new life into Martin Marietta's seven-year fight to establish a limestone mine near Interstate 275 in northwest Boone County.

        The court is allowing the company to file an amendment to its complaint that the county denied its request for a zoning change but now is ready to approve one for a rival company's mining proposal.

        The amended complaint claims that Hilltop Basic Resources' mining plan is being favored because the county has a financial stake in it. Hilltop has agreed to pay Boone County 10 cents for every ton of limestone shipped for sale, amounting to about $180,000 a year for 20 years.

        The planning commission recently recommended approving Hilltop's request for a zoning change for property next to the Martin Marietta site. The Boone County Fiscal Court will decide the Hilltop zoning change in August.

        In early July, a judge upheld a prior Boone Fiscal Court decision denying a zoning change for Martin Marietta's 575-acre tract near the I-275/Petersburg interchange.

        Also in the complaint, Martin Marietta claims it is owed “anticipated profits” from the delayed mining operation as well as reimbursement for attorney fees and other costs of submitting zoning applications. Attorneys for the county could not be reached for comment.

McConnell to speak at GOP convention The Cincinnati Enquirer
        Kentucky U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell will serve as a warm-up act of sorts for his wife during next week's Republican National Convention in Philadelphia.

        Mr. McConnell, a Louisville Republican, will speak Monday afternoon in his role as chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, a partisan group that works to elect Republicans to the Senate.

        That night, Mr. McConnell's wife, Elaine Chao, will be one of the featured prime time speakers along with retired Gen. Colin Powell and Laura Bush, wife of George W. Bush.

        Ms. Chao is a former head of the United Way and the Peace Corps.

Comment invited on new sewer rates The Cincinnati Enquirer
        WILDER — Boone, Kenton and Campbell county residents who want to comment on a proposed sewer rate increase should call 578-6745 by today, to reserve free bus transportation to Monday's meeting.

        The three judge-executives will consider a proposed sewer rate increase that would double rates over five years.

        The meeting is at 6 p.m. Monday at the Marquis Banquet Center off Interstate 275 in Wilder. Sanitation District No. 1 has agreed to provide free bus service from the bus terminal at the Kenton County garage in Covington. The bus leaves at 5:45 p.m.

        If the sewer rate increase is approved, it would take effect Aug. 1. Northern Kentucky customers would pay 35 percent more the first year, and 14.8 percent more a year through 2004.

        The average monthly sanitation bill for Northern Kentuckians would be $16.08 in 2001; $18.42 in 2002; $21.11 in 2003; and $24.22 in 2004.

        Residents can also express their opinion on the rate increase by calling 578-6776 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. today and Monday.

Army investigating soldier's death at post The Associated Press
        FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. — A soldier died at Fort Campbell Thursday, Army officials said.

        The identity and the cause of death were not released late Thursday. A news conference was planned for today, said Army spokesman Capt. Carl Purvis. No time was announced.

        “The cause of death is under investigation,” Capt. Purvis said.

Parks contract made political issue The Associated Press
        PADUCAH, Ky. — A new federal contract for a company tenuously linked to Dick Cheney has become an issue in the 1st District congressional race.

        The U.S. Forest Service hired Houston-based Brown and Root Energy Services to take over maintenance of campgrounds and other facilities in the Land Between the Lakes recreation preserve. Jobs will be eliminated for about 60 current maintenance workers when the contract takes effect Sept. 9. “They don't know if they will be hired by the new contractor,” Brian Roy, a Democratic congressional candidate, said Wednesday.

        Brown and Root is a subsidiary of Halliburton Co., which deals in oil-field services. Mr. Cheney was its chairman and chief executive officer until Tuesday, when George W. Bush picked him as his vice presidential running mate.

        Brown and Root's five-year, $16 million contract was signed Monday. Mr. Roy used it to criticize Republican Rep. Ed Whitfield, who helped engineer a change in management of Land Between the Lakes from the Tennessee Valley Authority to the Forest Service last year.

        A Whitfield spokesman said Mr. Roy had launched a “misdirected tirade.”

Consumers warned of fraudulent schemes The Associated Press
        FRANKFORT — The Better Business Bureau and the attorney general's office Thursday issued a warning about a pair of telemarketing scams.

        Consumers are told by telephone that they have won the Canada lottery or a British bond that pays an annuity.

        In both cases, the consumer is asked to pay advance fees, which can be several thousand dollars.

        At least one Kentucky victim, at a telemarketer's request, sent a cashier's check for $8,750 to Anjou, Quebec, supposedly to cover fees on lottery winnings. Payment was stopped by the victim's bank after the Better Business Bureau contacted the attorney general's consumer protection division, the two agencies said.

        In the other scam, consumers are asked to pay $1,000 to $2,400 in advance for fees or taxes on a bond that supposedly will pay them monthly. The bonds are pitched in the names of nonexistent companies, including Guaranteed Capital Holdings Ltd., Overseas Registry Service, National Investment Group Inc., and British Secured Investments, the statement said.

        Attorney General Ben Chandler said a growing number of unlawful telemarketers have been making calls in Kentucky, especially to senior citizens, over the last year.

DAYBOOK Government and schools Newport: Campbell County Fiscal Court special meeting, 11:45 a.m., fiscal court building, 24 W. 4th St.

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- Martin Marietta can add to arguments
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