Friday, December 01, 2000

Kentucky News Briefs

Report: Employee misused computers

        FRANKFORT — An employee of the Governor's Office of Technology used state government computer equipment for personal sites on the World Wide Web, a state auditor's report said Thursday.

        The employee, who was not identified, linked a high school alumni page to a state Web server, the report said. He used the same server to reserve a domain name his brother-in-law could use for a future Web site, the report said.

        Agency employees sign an “acknowledgement of responsibility” when they are hired. It states, among other things, that state computers are to be used only for state business.

        No such form could be located for the employee in question, the report said.

Pilot aids family in runaway plane

               PRESTONSBURG — A pilot flying routine elk patrol through the rugged mountains of eastern Kentucky is being credited with saving a family of four in a runaway airplane Thursday.

        Mark Clements offered his help after hearing air traffic controllers in Indianapolis talking with a frightened woman who found herself piloting a single-engine plane after her husband passed out at the controls, apparently from breathing carbon monoxide fumes.

        The Federal Aviation Administration identified the unconscious pilot as Thomas Bailey of Benton, Ky. He was flying with his wife, Marcie, and their two children from Bluefield, W.Va., to Murray, said Elizabeth Isham Cory, an FAA spokeswoman in Chicago.

        Mr. Clements abandoned his aerial search for elk near Hazard and intercepted the Bailey plane, which was flying above the clouds at about 8,000 feet. He tried to talk Marcie Bailey down at a small airport in Hazard but she was unable to get the plane turned that direction.

        Mr. Clements said he then tried to head for an airport in Pikeville, but the woman hadn't mastered the controls and so they bypassed that city too.

        “I think she was also incapacitated by the carbon monoxide,” Mr. Clements said.

        Next, he directed the plane for the Big Sandy Regional Airport about 10 miles outside of Prestonsburg. He told her what to do. She followed his directions.

        About the time she found the switch to lower the landing gear, her husband regained consciousness and landed the plane without incident. Paramedics who were standing by rushed all four people on board to Highlands Regional Medical Center in Prestonsburg, where they were treated and released.

"Sore Loserman' sign maker from here

               HEBRON — A Boone County sign maker's clever play on words has become quite popular during the post-presidential election fray.

        Republican John Kanis, owner of Larger than Life printing in Hebron, took Gore-Lieberman's campaign sign and turned it against them.

        Mr. Kanis fiddled with the spelling to the blue-background sign and came up with a similar-sounding “Sore Loserman.”

        He said at first the signs were simply an inside joke; he sent a few to friends and good customers across the country.

        But many backers of the Bush-Cheney campaign have since included them in their protests.

        He sells them for $12. A bumper sticker with the slogan is $5.

Justice Department stalled on Paducah

               PADUCAH — The U.S. Justice Department has yet to decide whether to join a lawsuit against the former operators of the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant, and federal prosecutors plan to ask for a fourth extension to the deadline for making that decision.

        Federal law requires the Justice Department to investigate claims raised in whistle-blower lawsuits that allege fraud against the government. The department also has the option of joining such suits as a plaintiff and sharing in any financial recovery.

        Bill Campbell, an assistant to U.S. Attorney Steve Reed, said an extension to March would be requested on Thursday, the latest deadline for the department to disclose its intentions. Three times previously federal prosecutors have asked for an extension to decide whether to join the suit. The first came in July 1999, the second in November 1999 and the third in April.

        The lawsuit was filed under seal in U.S. District Court at Paducah in June 1999. It alleged that two companies that ran the government's uranium-separation plant for nearly 50 years covered up environmental problems and health issues to obtain financial bonuses.

        The amount of damages claimed has never been specified. But Joseph Egan, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said the total could run into the tens of millions of dollars.

Man charged in death of Ky. man

               JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. — An Indiana man has been charged with reckless homicide in connection with an Ohio River boating accident last spring.

        Robert A. Osborne, 58, of Jeffersonville was arrested Tuesday by Indiana conservation officers. A plea of not guilty was entered on his behalf in Clark County Circuit Court.

        Mr. Osborne was released Wednesday on $7,500 bond.

        “This is the first time I've ever been in trouble,” he told the judge.

        The victim, Robert “Whitey” Hawkins Sr., 64, of Louisville died from head injuries 33 days after the April 15 accident.

        Authorities estimate more than 400 boats were in the area at the time for Thunder Over Louisville, the annual fireworks display that kicks off the Kentucky Derby Festival. Waves swelled from 3 to 5 feet, and there were several other accidents, including a drowning.

        Mr. Osborne was steering his 20-foot runabout across the river from Indiana to Kentucky when it struck Mr. Hawkins' houseboat after getting caught in its anchor line, according to a police affidavit.

        Mr. Hawkins had been sitting in a captain's chair and fell to the floor, striking his head.

UK vice chancellor finalist at Memphis

       MEMPHIS, Tenn.
— A search committee has chosen a University of Kentucky administrator and two men as finalists for the University of Memphis presidency.

        The finalists are:

        • Shirley Raines, vice chancellor for academic services at the University of Kentucky.

        • Roger W. Bowen, president of State University of New York at New Paltz.

        • Richard Ringeisen, vice chancellor for academic affairs at East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C.


Flu fight seeks a shot in the arm
Low marks for higher ed
Sick of the ballot battle? So are half your neighbors
RADEL: Fifth and Race
Study: Commute is costly here
Cancer check easy to get here
No federal money yet for riverfront park study
'Ramping' hazard remains
Bush sympathizers put money where their miff is
Township buys land in Lebanon
Firm likely to bring 20 jobs to city
Lebanon chamber head has big plans
New horns at rail crossings might reduce noise problems
Priest stabbing case still on hold
Tristaters give student standards qualified OK
Beetles devastating E. Ky. pines
Bus crash claims 5-year-old
Butler leaders scrutinize court budget
Figures give clues on how guns come to be used in area crimes
Judge tosses most counts mayor faced
Lawsuit says boy, 16, was molested by teacher
Lucas avoids taking stand on election
Ohio State might hire off-duty police for off-campus parties
Search for top cop down to 5
Seeing, touching a slice of 1883
Seminar for adults considering college
Several alternatives remain for final route of Ohio 63 extension
Spill blamed on 'an act of God'
St. X High chooses president
State footed Henry's bill at hotel for pageant stays
'SWAT' teams enter for safety
- Kentucky News Briefs
Tristate A.M. Report