Wednesday, January 17, 2001

Kentucky News Briefs

Airport traveler faces drug charge

        COVINGTON — A man arrested at the airport for allegedly carrying 2 kilos of cocaine on a flight from Los Angeles to Raleigh-Durham, N.C., appeared in court here Tuesday.

        Jesse DeLeon, 35, of Texas was charged in U.S. District Court with possessing 4.3 pounds, or roughly 2 kilograms, of cocaine at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. The amount was intended for distribution in North Carolina, said Fred Painter, an airport task force officer.

        Mr. DeLeon, now being housed at the Kenton County Jail, could face five to 40 years in prison if convicted.

        According to the federal complaint filed against him, Mr. DeLeon took Monday's red-eye flight from Los Angeles to Raleigh-Durham and had a layover in Cincinnati.

        Investigators said they suspected Mr. DeLeon because of the following:

        • His ticket was purchased the day before, and frequent-flier information attached to his name indicated that he had taken at least 12 short, turnaround trips originating from Los Angeles or Orange County, Calif., airports.

        • A task force officer talked with him as he walked toward the Raleigh-Durham gate. Mr. DeLeon said he was traveling on bereavement fare to attend his aunt's funeral. Yet he was unable to say where the aunt lived.

        • Mr. DeLeon first refused a request to let the task force officer pat him down or search his carry-on bag. The task force officer then said he would detain his carry-on bag for a canine sniff but that Mr. DeLeon was free to go to the gate, where the bag would be returned to him. Mr. DeLeon decided to stay nearby.

        • Mr. DeLeon eventually consented to a pat-down and search of his carry-on bag. Two vacuum-sealed bags containing cocaine were discovered in his luggage. Mr. DeLeon was arrested.

Liquor votes yield mixed results

        Voters in two western Kentucky towns voted down legal sales of alcohol by the drink Tuesday, but Morganfield residents voted to allow a private golf course the same privilege.

        The unofficial vote was 150 against and 85 for legal sales in Grand Rivers in Livingston County. In Calvert City in Marshall County, 544 voted no and 480 yes.

        But in Morganfield, in Union County, the tally was 63 to 40 in favor of legalizing sales.

        Grand Rivers proponents maintained that liquor sales would help the community by attracting tourism-related businesses and increasing tax revenues. But opponents said liquor sales would bring only more crime and moral decay.

        The local option votes were held under legislation enacted by the 2000 Kentucky General Assembly to promote tourism and economic development.

        Under the law, voters can approve sale of alcoholic beverages at golf courses or at restaurants that seat at least 100 people in otherwise dry territories.

Two-vehicle crash kills two teens

        MOREHEAD — Two local teens were killed in a two-vehicle crash on Interstate 64 in Bath County, Kentucky State Police said Tuesday.

        Colleen McCormick and Ann Courtney of Moorehead, both 17, were pronounced dead at the scene Sunday by Bath County Coroner Robert Powell, state police said.

        The crash happened after Colleen lost control of the car, which struck a guard rail and crossed the median into the path of a tractor-trailer driven by Gary Petrie, 55, of Columbia, Tenn., state police said.

        Mr. Petrie was treated for injuries and released from St. Claire Medical Center, state police said.

University obtains satellite tracker

        MOREHEAD — A former NASA satellite tracking station will soon boost burgeoning science research efforts at Morehead State University.

        Officials said they will move the ground-based station to the university by fall. It is currently housed at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Va.

        MSU science professor Benjamin Malphrus, a former NASA research fellow whose efforts were vital in securing the project, was traveling to Virginia on Tuesday to begin work on transferring the station.

        The school plans to use the station for educational and commercial research, MSU President Ronald Eaglin said. It will also help forge regional communications and weather-related partnerships with the Center for Rural Development in Somerset and the National Weather Service office in Jackson, Mr. Eaglin said.

Retired university president dies

        LEXINGTON — Irvin Lunger, Transylvania University's longest-serving president, has died. He was 88.

        Mr. Lunger became president in January 1958 and retired in July 1976. He returned in 1981 as interim president for a year and a half and was a member of the university's board of trustees from 1982 until his death.

City owes employees $70K in back pay

        HARRODSBURG — The Kentucky Labor Cabinet says this city owes $70,000 in back pay to its employees, including two dead police officers.

        A letter from the Cabinet to Mayor Carol Dean Walters said the city was out of compliance with laws governing overtime, payment of wages upon leaving city employment and timely payment of wages earned.


GOP backers set to party
Tone will be different from Clinton/Gore celebrations
CPS proficiency rank declines
CPS redesigns high schools
Most seniors dropped by HMOs yet to pick backup
Goal: 'Health-care independence' for seniors
Missionary loses home, but not hope
Tristate group aids quake victims
CROWLEY: One-man show
RADEL: Documentary in the making
SAMPLES: Birth was surprising, traumatic and scared the dog
Boone courts plan 50-year run
Boost sought for care tax
Campbell sees need for ball fields, trails
Cathedral bids are in
County breather
Defense fund for officers collects more than $19,000
Hamilton police vow to fight cuts
Intruders still at large
Kenton Dems set short list for chair
Kenton urges later poll hours
N.Ky. agency's new Web site to attract employers
Northside student fasts to protest new Army school
Painters compete for cash
Schools to ask for $50 million
Shooting range near completion
Sludge cleanup cost exceeds $46 million
Trial to begin in death of 8-year-old girl
Twp. OKs new zoning
- Kentucky News Briefs
Tristate A.M. Report