Thursday, October 26, 2000

Kentucky News Briefs




Drug, alcohol arrests are top campus crimes

        FRANKFORT — Alcohol and drug violations topped the list of 1999 crimes and disciplinary actions on Kentucky campuses, according to federal statistics.

        But inconsistencies in reporting make it difficult to interpret the statistics, some observers say. For example, University of Kentucky officials reported no campus alcohol arrests or disciplinary action to the U.S. Department of Education.

        “No student or family should look at this data as the final word,” Terry Hartle, of the American Council on Education, told the Courier-Journal for a story published Wednesday.

        But Mr. Hartle said the information provides a starting point for parents and administrators.

        UK officials said federal regulations allowed them to exclude statistics on public drunkenness or drunken driving.

        “We strictly followed what they told us to do,” said Rebecca Langston, chief of UK police.

        Alcohol-related information posted at UK's Web site showed 34 alcohol intoxication arrests on campus in 1999, 26 drunken driving arrests and 31 citations of minors in possession of alcohol.

        The data indicated that Eastern Kentucky University took disciplinary action against 229 students for alcohol-related violations and arrested seven students for violating liquor laws.

        “We have a fairly stringent policy,” said Tom Lindquist, EKU director of public safety. “There's a lot of supervision that goes on in the dormitories. They have a strong alcohol policy and it's brought to our attention more often.”

        Tuesday was the deadline for colleges to report 1999 data. Federal law requires colleges that enroll students who receive federal financial aid to report crime data.
       

Paducah "blue glow' may indicate radiation

        PADUCAH — Workers at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant reported a “blue glow” that could indicate that nuclear reactions occurred underground in a burial pit for atomic-weapons parts, according to a newspaper report Wednesday citing an internal memo.

        The memo written by a health physicist employed by the plant operator says the “blue glow” was first observed in the early 1980s over the southwest corner of the top-secret burial yard, the Courier-Journal reported. The glow, which looked like “blue fire above the ground,” reportedly was seen a number of times after that, the memo said.

        Ray Carroll, a health physicist for the U.S. Enrichment Corp., wrote last week that the “blue glow” could be a type of radiation resulting from nuclear fission processes, the newspaper reported.

        “If the cause is a fission source, personnel entering the area could potentially receive a lethal dose of radiation,” Mr. Carroll wrote.

        The U.S. Department of Energy's site manager at Paducah, Don Seaborg, said Tuesday that officials had no indication that a fission reaction occurred. He said that after receiving the memo last week, he had not been able to find supporting data, such as elevated radiation readings on the landfill's surface or worker exposure measurements.
       

Legislation provides compensation for TVA

        WASHINGTON — Legislation that would compensate the Tennessee Valley Authority if it transfers mineral rights in the Daniel Boone National Forest to the federal government was approved by Congress on Wednesday.

        Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., inserted the measure in the foreign operations appropriations conference report, which is now headed to President Clinton. Mr. McConnell is chairman of the foreign operations appropriations subcommittee.

        In exchange for the transfer to the Forest Service, TVA will get up to $4 million from the sale or lease of mineral rights on some other federal lands.

        Mr. McConnell and Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky., introduced the legislation in September as a way to compensate TVA for its decision not to auction 40,000 acres of mineral rights in the eastern Kentucky forest.

        TVA had maintained that it should receive fair-market compensation for the mineral rights, because they were purchased in the 1960s with ratepayer money.

        Underground mining is permitted in national forests.
       

Official explains how Paducah plant was saved

        PADUCAH — The head of the U.S. Enrichment Corp. says the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant's recent contract with the Tennessee Valley Authority saved the plant from extinction.

        Nick Timbers, the chief executive officer of USEC, which operates the plant, said the TVA contract was the deciding factor in last summer's move to keep the Paducah plant. USEC took over the nation's enrichment program from the Department of Energy a decade ago.

        TVA Board Chairman Craven Crowell said he met with top USEC officials, including Mr. Timbers, before last year's choice.

        “We realized the decision was very important for Paducah, for TVA and for USEC,” Mr. Crowell said Wednesday while in Paducah for a TVA board meeting. The decision preserved more than 1,000 high-paying jobs in Paducah.

        “It was a win-win situation for everyone,” Mr. Crowell said.

        The 10-year contract establishes a fixed price for power, rather than requiring USEC to pay higher prices that fluctuate based on demand.

       



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Molester sentenced, thanks apprehenders
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N.Ky. man honored for photo of snake
New levy likely in Fairfield
Outside agency to probe police actions
Oxford manager well known
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Sidewalks due after 14-year wait
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Warren Co. jail adding 14 beds
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In the Schools
- Kentucky News Briefs
Tristate A.M. Report