Tuesday, October 03, 2000

Kentucky Digest

State examining natural gas prices

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Public hearings to examine rising natural gas prices will take place in London, Ky., on Thursday and in Covington next Tuesday. .

        The Kentucky Public Service Commission is holding the hearings throughout the state as part of an investigation into recent increases in gas prices charged by five major local distributors. It is also examining the availability of their supplies and their procurement practices.

        Because the commission has no jurisdiction over other heating sources, such as propane or heating oil, it will be working with the Natural Resources Cabinet and the Cabinet for Families and Children to investigate that situation.

        The recent spike in wholesale natural gas prices could mean that Kentuckians' bills could rise 20 percent to 30 percent during the winter. For more information go to the commission Web site, www.psc.state.ky.us, or call (502) 564-3940.

Car clinic to help
buyers avoid trouble

               Lawyers, car troubles and consumers will dominate the agenda at a car clinic held by the Northern Kentucky Volunteer Lawyers Inc. and the Campbell County Cooperative Extension.

        The free clinic, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, will focus on hints to save consumers time, money and headaches. Officials from Fordland of Alexandria and attorneys Hutch Johnson, Ed Noe and Jack Mohr will discuss financing, credit, repossession, repairs, warranties, judgments and more.

Covington recognized
for downtown work

               Covington was one of 32 Kentucky communities that received Renaissance Kentucky designations Friday. The honor goes to communities that have maintained or restored their downtowns.

        The Renaissance program provides support and technical assistance for improving downtowns; communities at the “gold” and “silver” levels also receive some state aid. Covington is a silver city.

        Gov. Paul Patton started Renaissance Kentucky in 1997; 41 communities received the designation in 1998 and have received a total of $32 million for infrastructure planning, street- scaping, facade improvements and utilities.

        Covington's downtown plans include four blocks of Madison Avenue, three blocks of Scott Boulevard, one block of West Pike Street and the connecting blocks.

        Covington joins Fort Thomas as the only area cities with silver designations. Bellevue, Erlanger/Elsmere and Independence are bronze-level cities. The only gold-level designee is Owensboro.

Pets will be blessed
at St. Pius X Church

               Wednesday is the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, and St. Pius X Church in Edgewood is celebrating with a brief Mass and a blessing of the animals. Church officials expect more than 250 people to bring their pets to the front lawn of the church, at 340 Dudley Road, for prayers and songs.

McConnell rips
tobacco policies

               LOUISVILLE — U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called tobacco policies a “government-created catastrophe inflicted on our state” during a weekend address to the Kentucky League of Cities.

        “This is an industry under siege, apparently for producing a politically incorrect product,” Mr. McConnell said. “It's all part of this belief that anything people do that harms them must be somebody else's fault.

        “The reason this has been such a big deal is that there is simply nothing you can do legally that is remotely as profitable on such a small piece of land,” Mr. McConnell said.

        Mr. McConnell said he worked hard to secure $250 million in disaster relief for state tobacco farmers.

Courthouse project
near completion

               LOUISVILLE — A $16 million renovation to the Jefferson County Hall of Justice that began in February 1999 is scheduled to be finished this month.

        The 20-month renovation has forced some court officials to relocate, but all of them soon will be moving back into their offices. The goal is to have the Hall of Justice entirely up and running on Oct. 30.

        Barring unforeseen delays, all of Jefferson District Court is expected to be operating in the building beginning that day.

        The Hall of Justice — one of the busiest buildings in Kentucky — was built in 1976. This is its first major renovation.

        “I think it's something the community should be very proud of,” said David Nicholson, executive director of the Louisville and Jefferson County Crime Commission, who has been overseeing the project.

Federal suit alleges
builder showed bias

               LOUISVILLE — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of a woman against a Paris construction company, alleging she was sexually harassed by her supervisor and then fired.

        Brenda Skaggs is a former employee of HP Contracting, Inc. The lawsuit was filed on Sept. 27 in U.S. District Court in Louisville.

        The EEOC is also alleging that the company's actions were intentional. The agency is seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

United Methodists
install black bishop

               FRANKFORT — The Rev. James R. King became the state's first black United Methodist bishop at a ceremony on Sunday.

        The Rev. Mr. King, 52, was installed as bishop of the Kentucky and Red Bird conferences at Farnham Dudgeon Civic Center. He succeeds the Rev. Robert C. Morgan, who had served as bishop since 1992 and left to teach.

        The Rev. Mr. King is the former minister of the Brentwood (Tenn.) United Methodist Church.

        He was elected by delegates to the United Methodist Church 2000 Southeastern Jurisdiction in July. He began his duties Sept.1. The United Methodists are Kentucky's second-largest denomination with 154,500 members.


               Government and schools
       Burlington: Boone County Fiscal Court, 8:30 a.m., administration building, 2950 Washington St.
Covington: Board of Commissioners, 6 p.m., City Hall, 638 Madison Ave.


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Drug suspects recalled as good students
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Mason moves against sex businesses
Life in Tristate is under scrutiny
Ohio school money studied
Pupils gain interest in new school bank
Sports bias suit fails
Woman, 18, charged in Mt. Washington slaying
Woman's conviction overturned in death of motorcyclist
$4.5M saved on stadium
- Kentucky Digest
Local Digest
Wife killer sentenced: 'I know I have to pay'