Monday, November 13, 2000

Kentucky Digest

Former official Ward Burnette dies

        BOWLING GREEN — Ward “Butch” Burnette, the former Kentucky agriculture commissioner who resigned after being convicted of theft, died Saturday in Bowling Green. He was 59.

        Mr. Burnette, who lived in Fulton, was visiting relatives in Bowling Green when he suffered a heart attack, according to Kent Hutchins of Hornbeak Funeral Chapel in Fulton. He died at The Medical Center, the Warren County coroner's office said.

        Mr. Burnette had served in the Kentucky House before being elected agriculture commissioner in 1987.

        He resigned in February 1991 as his impeachment trial was about to begin in the state Senate.

        He served 49 days of a one-year sentence for a 1990 theft conviction for payment to a secretary before she actually began working. He was fined $1,500 in that case and $5,000 for an unrelated theft conviction involving charter flights taken at state expense after Mr. Burnette was elected in 1987 but before he took office in January 1988.

        Mr. Burnette maintained his innocence in both cases.

Case endangers
hospital's funding

               LOUISVILLE — Baptist Hospital East is fighting to keep Medicare funding for its patients after a complaint was filed by a father whose baby died while being transferred to Kosair Children's Hospital, 26 hours after being born in Baptist East.

        Wesley Henderson, a former resident of Oldham County who now lives in Florida, filed the complaint with Health Care Financing Administration, a federal agency that distributes Medicare payments. Mr. Henderson and his wife, Julie, said their newborn son, Cameron, had a respiratory problem at the hospital that should have been treated easily but instead worsened and led to his death.

        Wesley Henderson alleges that Baptist East had not stabilized his son's condition before it attempted to transfer him to Kosair Children's Hospital in 1997.


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