Thursday, November 16, 2000

Kentucky News Briefs

Art auction, party to aid Welcome House

        A fine-art auction and party on Friday at the Syndicate restaurant in Newport will benefit the Welcome House of Northern Kentucky.

        The third annual HeART for the Homeless will begin at 6 p.m. with live music, a light buffet supper, a cash bar and silent auction of more than 75 items. The live auction of fine art will begin at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 and will be available at the door. For more information, call (859) 431-8717.

        Among items in the silent auction are a bronze tabletop sculpture of a mare and colt, tuition vouchers to Thomas More College and Mount St. Joseph College, a weekend at the Grand Victoria Casino and Resort and a three-month membership to Better Bodies Fitness in Fort Mitchell.

        Proceeds benefit the Welcome House, a Covington homeless shelter that also provides services to economically disadvantaged families in Northern Kentucky.

Court to rule on press vs. schools

        FRANKFORT — The Kentucky Supreme Court on Wednesday took up a case in which student privacy rights are weighed against the public's interest in knowing how schools handle discipline.

        Specifically, the court must decide whether the Hardin County school district was justified in denying a newspaper's request for information on disciplinary actions. A circuit court judge said it was. The attorney general and the state Court of Appeals said it was not.

        The case pits Hardin County schools against the News-Enterprise of Elizabethtown.

        Using the Kentucky Open Records Act, reporter J. Kyle Foster asked for a breakdown of disciplinary cases by school, year of occurrence, type of action and reason for action. Mr. Foster conceded that students' names were confidential and did not ask for them.

        The school district contends it is bound by a federal law that forbids release of information that identifies or is “easily traceable” to specific students.

        An attorney general's opinion said school name and category of offense should be released. On appeal, Hardin Circuit Judge T. Steven Bland sided with the school district's argument that such information could be cross-referenced with school directories to identify students who had been expelled.

        The Court of Appeals reversed Judge Bland's ruling in a 2-1 decision. And in the hearing Wednesday, some of the justices questioned whether the district's scenario was far-fetched.

        The justices did not indicate when they would make a ruling.

Hospital's correction proposal accepted

        LOUISVILLE — Baptist Hospital East in Jefferson County will not lose Medicare funding due to deficiencies found in two state inspections, a federal official said on Tuesday.

        The U.S. Health Care Financing Administration issued a letter to the hospital that its correction plan was accepted, said Colleen Sandmann, an HCFA spokeswoman.

        HCFA notified Baptist East that Medicare funding, which accounts for about half of the hospital's revenues, would end if it didn't correct deficiencies that stemmed from five cases from 1999 and 1997.

        They involved federal requirements that a patient's condition be stabilized and other steps be taken before the patient is transferred to another hospital.

Parents sue over special ed services

        LEXINGTON — Parents of some private school special education students filed a federal lawsuit against Fayette County Public Schools, alleging it denied therapy and counseling to their children without consulting them.

        Under the program approved by the schools, which was intended to comply with state and federal regulations, 31 students lost services.

        The parents argued that the public meeting that school officials held to discuss the change was right before the July 4 holiday, curtailing their participation.

Year of spills to be forum topic

        MIDWAY — Kentucky's year of spills will be the topic of discussion at a conference here Saturday.

        This year, bourbon from a warehouse in Anderson County, oil from a pipeline in Clark County and hydrochloric acid from a truck in Powell County have all spilled into the Kentucky River basin.

        The worst disaster of all — last month's coal impoundment collapse that sent 250 million gallons flowing into the Big Sandy River basin — will also be addressed.

        For four years, the Kentucky River Watershed Watch has been sending volunteers to collect water samples from throughout the basin, then following up with a fall conference.

        The conference will include presentations by state Natural Resources Secretary James Bickford and Stephen Reeder, executive director of the Kentucky River Authority.

Many Hispanics aided by new coalition

        LEXINGTON — A coalition of four social-service agencies that helps Hispanics become acclimated to the area has provided services for hundreds of newcomers in its first four months of operation.

        The Hispanic Initiative Network is made up of FIRST-LINK of the Bluegrass, Operation Read, Catholic Social Service Bureau and the Hispanic Association of Lexington.

        Since July, it has provided English classes to more than 150 people, employment assistance for more than 350, and bilingual information and referrals for 598 people.

        Paid for by a grant from the United Way of the Bluegrass, Urban County Government and the thoroughbred industry, HIN operates on a $140,000 budget.

Prisoner drowning ruled an accident

        LOUISVILLE — The September drowning of a handcuffed prisoner on the city's waterfront was ruled an accident by Jefferson County Coroner Dr. Richard Greathouse on Wednesday.

        But three members of a six-member coroner's jury said police were negligent after they arrested 24-year-old Louis Wade Hermann just moments before he fled and jumped into the Ohio River. Mr. Hermann, of Louisville, was stopped for disorderly conduct and alcohol intoxication.

        The coroner's inquest is not a criminal proceeding. Its findings will be given to the Jefferson County Commonwealth's Attorney's Office, which will decide whether any charges will be filed.


Council doesn't act on outrage
Event adds lung cancer awareness
UC studies medication to break smoking habit
Fourth grade test argued
PULFER: Changing times
Stadium project had good safety record
Krings gets pay increase, bonus
Officials laud Cox-Fox-I-75 link
SAMPLES: Ah, Florida
Warren Co. seniors plead for more help
This design's for learning
A little touch of Mexico
Court against buying for outside customers
Finan re-elected Senate president
Green Twp. to fill empty trustee's spot
Hamilton replacing city clerk
Industrial zoning sought for 97-acre parcel on Dixie Hwy.
Kenton dispatch savings proposed
Kentucky Baptist Convention chooses moderate for president
Ky. official's wedding investigated
Lawmakers pushing bills through
Man, insane in slaying, gets 6 months in maximum security
New-hire policy questioned
NKU to reduce tuition costs for its out-of-state students
Online classes can get loans
Possible explosives found near man's body
Savings pegged at $300M per year
Symmes Township official is let go
Trend is for this president to excel
- Kentucky News Briefs
Tristate A.M. Report