Thursday, November 09, 2000

Kentucky News Briefs

Elsmere man faces robbery-plot charges

        COVINGTON — A 55-year-old Elsmere man was indicted Wednesday in U.S. District Court on charges of conspiring to commit armed bank robbery, carrying a firearm and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

        Charles Leroy Woods faces 35 years in prison if convicted.

        He was convicted on a firearm possession charge in 1993 and is accused of violating his federal parole when he was arrested earlier this month on charges of conspiring to rob the Fifth Third Bank in Edgewood.

        According to the federal indictment, Mr. Woods had masterminded a plot involving wigs and other disguises, two-way radios and a vest made to look as if it contained eight sticks of dynamite.

        To carry out his plan, he began conspiring with at least two other men, officials said. He is also accused of stealing a car and motorcycle and scoping out several banks to pinpoint which one to rob.

        FBI agents said they received a tip about the plans and arrested him before any bank heist was committed.

        Mr. Woods remains in Campbell County Jail.

Man accused of distributing drugs

        COVINGTON — Aundis Davis, 64, of Glencoewas indicted Wednesday in U.S. District Court on charges of distributing 1 pound of marijuana and 50.62 grams of methamphetamine.

        He faces 40 years in prison if convicted of distribution, forfeiture and intimidating a witness.

        According to a federal complaint, Mr. Davis told an FBI informant that he could sell him some “white stuff” and “crystals” for $1,200 an ounce or $300 for an “eight ball.”

        The informant gave Mr. Davis $2,200 in marked $100 bills while under surveillance on Oct. 11, officials said.

        The informant received 50.62 grams of methamphetamine and turned over the $2,200 when he was questioned at home, officials said.

        Mr. Davis remains in the Campbell County Jail.

State may take over failing health insurer

        FRANKFORT — A judge Wednesday ordered a state takeover of a failed health insurer, affecting at least 36,000 policyholders in 55 central and eastern Kentucky counties.

        Advantage Care Inc., based in Lexington, can no longer meet its minimum financial requirements and could be out of business as early as Dec. 31, said Insurance Commissioner George Nichols III.

        The company thinks it can meet its obligations through the end of the year but concedes it lacks the level of capital reserves required by the state, a lawyer for the company, Judith Villines, told Franklin Circuit Judge William L. Graham.

        In a brief hearing, Judge Graham signed one order for the company's rehabilitation and a second order freezing its assets. Mr. Nichols' agency, the Department of Insurance, would assume daily control of the company, which specializes in group coverage.

Railroad board nears end of line

        FRANKFORT — The Kentucky Railroad Commission, a relic of another regulatory era, will be abolished under a constitutional amendment approved by voters Tuesday.

        It was hardly a landslide. The margin for ratification was about 11,000 votes out of 1.6 million cast.

        The commission, with three elected members representing large districts of the state, dates to 1880.

        In its heyday, it was a powerful regulator, holding sway over rates, track routes and movement of freight cars, among other things.

        The state commission has had little to do since railroad regulation was taken over by the federal Interstate Commerce Commission decades ago.

Party bickering in legislature not over

        LOUISVILLE — The Kentucky Capitol will remain a house divided among Republicans and Democrats.

        The GOP retained a 20-18 control of the Senate while Democrats held on to most of their House advantage, though three incumbent representatives lost.

        The disagreements apparently won't be going away anytime soon.

        Democratic Gov. Paul Patton and Republican Senate President David Williams continued sniping at one another even after returns were in on Tuesday.

        Mr. Williams said Mr. Patton offended many Republican senators.

        “The governor's got a lot of fence-mending to do with these members,” Mr. Williams said.

        Mr. Patton said that was political naivete among Republicans.

        “I have said nothing that I would back out on,” Mr. Patton said. “If they didn't expect me to support the Democrats, then they're not very mature politicians.

        “I did not say anything personal about any Republican members of the Senate,” Mr. Patton added.

        Mr. Patton said it was a Democratic victory because his party had to defend 11 of the 19 seats on the ballot this year. “By not losing, I think we won,” Mr. Patton said.

Computer glitch throws off count

        FRANKFORT — A computer failure apparently caused a state Web site for election results to display wildly fluctuating totals for a constitutional amendment on annual legislative sessions, Secretary of State John Y. Brown III said Wednesday.

        At one point, the unofficial returns showed the amendment ahead by 40,000 votes, Mr. Brown told the Associated Press.

        Within an hour, it was 70,000 votes behind, with nearly the entire deficit appearing attributable to Jefferson County, which voted to ratify a similar amendment just two years ago.

        Moreover, the numbers indicated that twice as many people in Jefferson County were casting ballots on another proposed amendment to abolish the state Railroad Commission.

        “The likelihood of people voting 2-to-1 for Railroad Commission over annual sessions seemed highly unlikely,” Mr. Brown said.

        A device routing numbers from county clerks into the secretary of state's computers crashed Tuesday night, and the system refused to accept Jefferson County totals after that, Mr. Brown said.

        Totals from at least 16 counties were incorrect or incomplete as posted on the secretary of state's Web site, according to Mr. Brown's staff.

        The Associated Press' count showed the annual-sessions amendment passing by better than 49,000 votes in unofficial returns from all but 17 of the state's 3,362 precincts.


Two die in incidents with police
Suspect in shoplifting grabbed cop's gun
Council demands answers in choking
PULFER: In the West End
Housing plans backed
Main St. project rejected
Slain man talked on dating service
Spruce donated for city holiday tree
Those cops parked on Ky. interstates are real dummies
Woman, child killed in I-275 crash
BRONSON: A nation divided
HOWARD: Black voters
PULFER: Women voters
SAMPLES: Civics lesson
WILKINSON: Fighting dirty
Bedinghaus lost support in suburbs
Butler leaders see mandate for growth
Children know what levy means
City schools will reap benefits as soon as January
Council vacancy attracts interest
Covington mayor-elect says issues key to win
Covington schools get fresh faces, fresh start
Democrats licking wounds
Glitches in Kenton slow voting
Losing candidate is jailed
Ohio election of '74 similar to Bush-Gore
Ohio turnout called disappointing
Ousted mayor unbowed
Piper hopes to smooth feathers
Political types have night of angst
School cuts loom in Norwood
Tristate rides election 'roller coaster'
Voters said no; schools changing plans
In the schools
- Kentucky News Briefs
Tristate A.M. Report