Friday, November 10, 2000

Kentucky News Briefs

Learn to trace your home's past

        COVINGTON — Wondering about your home's history? If so, check out “From Roots to Rooftop: Tracing the Genealogy of Your Kentucky Home,” a program sponsored by the Greater Cincinnati Library Consortium History and Archives Interest Group, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Nov. 18 at the Kenton County Courthouse. Registration begins at 9 a.m.

        Panelists will discuss methods to find historical data, plus answer questions during the half-day program. Cost is $20; call (513) 751-4422.

Kentucky's tax take is up for October

        FRANKFORT — Receipts to Kentucky's General Fund jumped in October, but state finance officials cautioned against too much optimism.

        Tax revenues were 9.7 percent higher in October than the same month a year ago. Through the first four months of the fiscal year, the General Fund is growing at a rate of 6.1 percent, well above the 5.2 percent growth needed to meet budget projections.

        Budget director James Ramsey said receipts for October 1999 were artificially low, making the figures for October 2000 seem high by comparison.

        If adjustments were made, Mr. Ramsey said, year-to-date growth would be closer to 4.9 percent, which would be less than the budget figure.

        “We continue to be cautiously optimistic that we are on track to meet the budget estimates despite continued evidence of a national economic slowdown,” Mr. Ramsey said.

Racetrack owner: I'm not the bad guy

        LEXINGTON — Racetrack owner Frank Stronach says he feels unfairly criticized for his position on the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.

        Mr. Stronach controls Magna Entertainment, through which he owns Santa Anita in California, Gulfstream Park in Florida and five other tracks. Last week, shortly before the Breeders' Cup Championship on Saturday, Mr. Stronach's tracks and 15 others announced plans to leave the NTRA, racing's fledgling organization.

        Churchill Downs CEO Tom Meeker was meeting Thursday with the rebel tracks. Churchill, with ownership interests in seven tracks, is in the NTRA camp. The deadline for recommitting to NTRA membership is today.

        “This makes me kind of sad, when I read that I'm the bad guy,” Mr. Stronach told members of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers Club on Tuesday night. “We got bad press.”

        The audience gave him a standing ovation.

        “You're not the bad guy,” said Joe Riddell, a Lexington horse-farm real estate agent. “You're a breath of fresh air so necessary to break the good ol' boy system that has been in place for too long.”

        Mr. Stronach wants to reshape racing and wrest control from elitist clubs that he says run the industry.

Identity determined for woman's body

        LAWRENCEBURG, Ky. — Police in Anderson County identified a woman's body discovered by a private investigator last month near a bridge along U.S. 62.

        Heather Renee Wright, 27, was thought to have been dead for three to six weeks when her body was discovered on Oct. 23, police said. Ms. Wright had lived in Lexington and was originally from West Virginia, according to the coroner's office.

        Anderson County Coroner Brian Ritchie said Ms. Wright's death is being investigated as a homicide. The cause of death was still undetermined.

        Kentucky State Police are investigating.

        A private investigator found the body within a mile of where 13-year-old Stephanie Claunch was found in July. Ms. Claunch's family had hired the investigator to work on her case.

Arsonist, 17, gets 195-year sentence

        JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. — A Kentucky teen-ager convicted of setting a fire that killed three people has been sentenced to 195 years in prison.

        The sentence handed down Wednesday by Clark Superior Court Judge Jerry Jacobi means that even with time off for good behavior, Shawn Bald, 17, won't be eligible for release for 96 years.

        Mr. Bald, of Louisville, showed no reaction. The judge said a shorter sentence would have diminished the horror of the crime. “This court now hears (the victims') silent screams,” Judge Jacobi said.

        Attorneys for Mr. Bald said they plan to appeal the sentence.

        In September, a jury convicted Mr. Bald of three counts of felony murder and four counts of arson for setting a Sept. 11, 1999, fire at a Jeffersonville apartment building.

        The blaze killed Jennifer Steinberger, 24, Alan Rumpel, 40, and their 4-month-old son, Henry Rumpel Jr.

        The fourth arson conviction relates to another resident of the apartment building who was injured that night. Prosecutors contended that Mr. Bald set the fire in retaliation against another family who lived in the building and with whom he had quarreled.

Three face charges in insurance scheme

        LOUISVILLE — Three Kentucky men face federal charges that they were involved in a scheme to bilk insurance companies and lenders out of millions of dollars lent to buy insurance policies to cover trucking companies.

        W. Anthony Huff, 39, and his father, Marion W. Huff, 60, both of Jefferson County; and Bryan G. Kerwick Sr., 42, of Leitchfield, Ky., and Odessa, Fla., will be arraigned Tuesday.

        The younger Mr. Huff was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of mail fraud, money laundering and conspiracy to launder money.

        His father was charged with conspiracy to launder money.

        Mr. Kerwick was charged with mail fraud.

        The indictment alleges that between March 1995 and March 1996, the younger Mr. Huff secured millions of dollars in loans for his commercial insurance brokering company.

        The indictment says he never paid for the insurance but instead used the money.


Deaths raise call for federal probe
Deaths show bad judgment, leaders say
Chief justice: Appoint judges
Wind, rain unleash as air collides
New lawyer can celebrate
RADEL: The new guy
Vote a lesson they'll never forget
Campaign indictments back
Cop killer should be put to death, jury says
Developer sues over rejection of Wal-Mart plan
Early examples set for sons in politics
Fed-up Harveysburg residents seek help
For the impatient, waiting is the hardest part
Girl's long tresses to be made into wig
Hamilton council pay stuck at $300
Inez fears sludge-clogged creeks will flood
Kenton rescinds jail tax
Light rail backers see support for tax
Man killed at Evendale recycling center
Monument at former base to honor Tuskegee Airmen
Ohio could jail violent children
Portman witnessed Cheney's highs, lows
Prank caller sentenced to undergo counseling
Program helps pay heat bill
Question of successor remains
Veterans Day celebrations in Tristate
Write-ins leave races hanging
- Kentucky News Briefs
Tristate A.M. Report