Monday, January 22, 2001

Kentucky Digest

Weather scratches races at Turfway

        FLORENCE — Poor track conditions caused by inclement weather forced Turfway Park to cancel racing Sunday.

        It was the third day in a row racing was called at the track and the 10th time this winter.

        After Friday night's second race, racing was canceled after it was determined that the track conditions were unsafe. Saturday's conditions were not much improved, according to a statement from Turfway.

        The track stayed closed on Sunday to give crews extra time to get it back to racing condition. Racing will resume on Wednesday at 6 p.m.

Day camp is free for needy children

               HIGHLAND HEIGHTS — Low-income children ages 10-16 from Northern Kentucky and Hamilton County can attend summer day camp at Northern Kentucky University for free this year because of a grant from the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

        The $95,500 grant, earmarked for the National Youth Sports Program, will pay for five weeks of day camp. There, children can participate in sports; nutrition, personal health and drug-prevention programs; and learn about higher education and job opportunities.

        The first session will be June 11-16. Participants must live in Hamilton, Boone, Campbell or Kenton counties. For information, or to obtain an application, call (859) 572-5825.

Houseboat maker will fix vent system

               LOUISVILLE — A Kentucky houseboat manufacturer will voluntarily repair, at no cost, the houseboats it sold with a potentially deadly design flaw, and even offered to fix its competitors' boats as well.

        The chief executive officer of Sumerset Custom Houseboats on Lake Cumberland, one of the two largest makers of houseboats in the country, said Friday that his company will repair about 2,500 houseboats it built from 1953 to 1996. The boats were built to vent carbon monoxide from generators under the swim platform, where the deadly, odorless fumes can accumulate and overcome swimmers.

        A federal study released in November found seven deaths and 74 injuries related to houseboat carbon-monoxide exhaust on Lake Powell in Arizona during the 1990s.

        The study spurred an investigation of dangerously high levels of the gas found near houseboats at Lake Cumberland, and the Coast Guard has asked the nation's 85 houseboat manufacturers to come up with repair plans by Jan. 29.

        “Our livelihood is based on selling boats to families,” said Tom Neckel, president and chief executive officer of Sumerset. “If any family thinks our boat is unsafe, I don't want our name on it.”

        Sumerset will do the retrofits free for purchasers of its boats or boats made by its predecessor, which produced boats dating to 1953.

        Owners of boats made by Sumerset competitors will be charged $120 or $130, the cost of parts and labor, Mr. Neckel said.

        Since 1996, he said, all Sumerset boats have had exhaust systems on the side. In that time, Sumerset has not had a death connected with one of its boats, he said.

        His company's action may spur other manufacturers to follow, Mr. Neckel said.

        “The problem is we have some kooky manufacturers that are trying to cover themselves and aren't willing to make the change,” he said. “We're willing to do the right thing.”

Accident kills roadside helper

               HOPKINSVILLE — A Fort Campbell man who was apparently trying to rescue a stranded motorist was killed on Saturday when he was hit by an oncoming car.

        Christopher Lemin, 23, had stopped to help Brescia Huie, 29, of Paducah after she lost control of her car on U.S. 24 and ended up in the median, according to Kentucky State Police.

        Ms. Huie had run into snow and slush on a bridge, state police said.

        Mr. Lemin and Douglas Sunderbird, 20, also of Fort Campbell, were standing in the median when an oncoming vehicle hit Ms. Huie's vehicle head-on. The car, driven by Charles Link Jr., 43, of Goodlettsville, Tenn., spun 180 degrees then hit Mr. Sunderbird and Mr. Lemin. According to the report, Mr. Sunderbird was pinned between Mr. Link's vehicle and the guardrail and Mr. Lemin was killed upon impact.

        Mr. Link and Mr. Sunderbird were taken to Blanchfield Army Hospital. Their conditions were not available. Ms. Huie was not hurt.

Man thought to be 120 years old dies

               BOWLING GREEN — A man whose family believes he was 120 years old died Friday at Greenview Regional Hospital in Bowling Green of heart failure.

        Frank David Greenwell was born April 5, 1880, in Union County in Western Kentucky, according to his family.

        John Tapp, Mr. Greenwell's physician for the past few years, has never seen any documentation of his age, such as a birth certificate, but said Mr. Greenwell was “the oldest man I've ever seen.”

        Dolores Kersey, who has “only been in the family 23 years,” since she married Bishop John Kersey, Mr. Greenwell's nephew, said the family knew that Mr. Greenwell was older than other family members and friends who had lived to be over 100, including several sisters.

        According to Mr. Greenwell's family, he rode a Harley-Davidson motorcycle until he was around 95, and the retired construction superintendent worked until he was 110.

        For what his family believed was his 120th birthday last year, he flew in a plane for the first time.

        Mr. Greenwell, formerly of Indianapolis, was a member of Church of God in Christ International in Bowling Green. He is survived by nieces and nephews.

KET co-founder Ronald Stewart dies

               LEXINGTON — Ronald Bentley Stewart, co-founder of Kentucky Educational Television network, died Wednesday in Tucson, Ariz. He was 67.

        Mr. Stewart helped start KET in 1963 with partner O. Leonard Press.

        He worked on the technical operation of the studio until he left to form Rotair Inc., a helicopter and hot air balloon company, in 1975.

        At KET, Mr. Stewart overcame the technical problems caused by Eastern Kentucky's mountainous terrain by designing a system of transmitters that provided service to the entire state.

        His transmitters made KET the largest educational television network in America, and second in the world to NHK in Japan.

        A memorial service is planned for February at KUAT studios in Tucson.


Challengers for Luken are scarce
Florence considers minor-league ballpark
Local Army Rangers join protest
RADEL: Your chance to gripe about FWW
CT scans on kids increase cancer danger
Kids' radiation dose can be lowered
Lawmaker Bateman, 64, dies
Anti-abortion marchers hopeful
Choices Fair places focus on education, responsibility
Family opens home to 'unadoptables'
Principal who assists disabled among honorees
School tests software based on brain studies
Talawanda schools planning 10 years ahead
$20,000 to expand Warren housing
JA chapter seeks grads for festivities
Madeira may build walking trail
- Kentucky Digest
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