Tuesday, January 23, 2001

Kentucky Digest

Quarter-ton of pot found aboard truck

The Associated Press

        LONDON, Ky. — A late-night inspection of a truck hauling hair gel also turned up 489 pounds of marijuana, authorities said Monday.

        Two Florida men were charged with marijuana trafficking. The Laurel County Detention Center was holding them for federal marshals, a dispatcher said.

        A tractor-trailer, supposedly bound for New York from Los Angeles, was stopped for a random safety inspection late Sunday at a weigh station on the northbound side of Interstate 75 near London, according to the Transportation Cabinet's vehicle enforcement division.

        Vehicle-enforcement Maj. David L. Herald said officers noted discrepancies in the stories of the men arrested — driver Lenval W. Rose, 55, of Miami, and passenger Patrick L. Duncan, 38, of Lauderdale Lake, Fla.

        Maj. Herald said officers also were suspicious of the truck's location, considering its destination. He would not elaborate.

        Street value of the marijuana was estimated at $978,000, according to the agency.

School board slot has 5 applicants

               Five people have applied for a seat on the Fort Thomas school board.

        Kentucky Education Commissioner Gene Wilhoit will appoint one of the applicants to serve the remaining two years of Steven Kimball's four-year term.

        Mr. Kimball stepped down in December for personal reasons.

        The applicants will begin interviewing with a screening committee of educators and community members next week. The commissioner has 90 days to fill the position.

        The applicants are Carl Baker, a retiree from Amko Plastics and a former member of the Newport school board; Tesa Clark, a teacher for Kenton County Schools; Kevin Haas, a manufacturing consultant for the National Band and Tag Co.; Larry Holladay, a computer specialist for the Internal Revenue Service in Covington and a member of Kentucky Association of School Councils' board; and Cynthia Jones, a former member of the Newport school board who works with her husband, H. Douglas Jones, a Florence lawyer.

Couple thrilled by White House tour

               WASHINGTON — Kentucky tobacco farmer Larry Sutherland and his wife got a tour of the White House from its newest occupant.

        President Bush gave the Sutherlands and several dozen other rank-and-file supporters the tour Sunday. The guests passed through the Green Room, the Red Room, the Blue Room, a tea room, and a dining room, then walked onto the North Portico and headed for Pennsylvania Avenue.

        Afterward, the Lawrenceburg, Ky., couple told friends and family that their host was charming,

        “He just makes you feel at ease,” Larry Sutherland said of Mr. Bush. “This guy's down to earth, I'm telling you.”

        On his first full day in office, Mr. Bush took time to shake hands with Mr. Sutherland and his wife, Judy, to pat their backs and pose for pictures, to admire Mr. Sutherland's tie — a red one dotted with pictures of campaign buttons — and to hug Mrs. Sutherland.

        The Sutherlands, both 49, were invited to the White House last week by Mr. Bush's office. At first, Mr. Sutherland thought the call was a prank.

        “Who in his sound mind would think the staff of the president was calling you?” he said.

        Mr. Sutherland, a distillery worker, said he and his wife donated $500 to U.S. Rep. Ernie Fletcher, R-Ky. and, as a Republican precinct captain in Anderson County, he put up yard signs, attended rallies and talked to fellow farmers about voting for Mr. Bush.

Sympathizers ask leniency for killer

               LOUISVILLE — Several hundred people have written letters and signed petitions urging a judge to be lenient when sentencing a 16-year-old boy convicted of killing his younger brother.

        A jury convicted Aaron Hardin of murder and possession of a handgun by a minor last month and recommended a 22-year prison sentence.

        The youth, convicted of killing his 13-year-old brother Andre, is eligible for probation because he is a juvenile.

        Most of those who signed petitions and wrote to Jefferson Circuit Judge James M. Shake suggest that Aaron Hardin be put on probation, if not at his sentencing Feb. 7, then when he turns 18.

        “I cannot see that it would serve him, his family, or our community, to lock him away in prison,” Joan Vogel of Louisville wrote Judge Shake.

        So far, more than 1,000 signatures have been presented to Judge Shake. The youth's parents have pleaded for mercy for their son.

        Paul Dzenitis, one of the prosecutors in the case, said he will oppose probation, contending that it would unduly depreciate the seriousness of the crime.

        Aaron Hardin was 15 when he shot Andre in the jaw the night of Dec. 27, 1999, while the two brothers were playing video games with a friend at the family's home.

        At the trial, prosecutors contended that he shot Andre after the two wrestled over the controls of the video game. The youth said it was an accident — that he'd grabbed the gun off a chair and it went off.

        FLORENCE — The Boone County Democratic Women's Club will meet Monday at the Olive Garden Restaurant on Mall Road in Florence.

        Dinner is at 6 p.m. and the meeting begins at 7 p.m. For more information contact Betty Roth, 586-4744.

        Government and schools

        Burlington: Boone County Fiscal court, 5 p.m., administration building, 2950 Washington St.

        Covington: Sixth District Elementary Site Based Decision Making Council, 7:30 p.m., 19th Street and Maryland Avenue.

        Covington: Board of Commission meeting, 7 p.m., commission chambers, city building, 638 Madison Ave.

        Elsmere: City Council meeting canceled.Florence: City Council meeting, 7:30 p.m., city building, 8100 Ewing Blvd. Fort Mitchell: Board of Adjustment public hearing, 7 p.m., city building, 2355 Dixie Highway.

        Independence: Kenton County Fiscal Court caucus meeting, 7 p.m., courthouse, 5272 Madison Pike.

        Independence: Building Committee meeting, 7 p.m., city building, 5247 Madison Pike.


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Faith leads teens to capital protest
PULFER: Science textbooks don't tell whole story
Riverboat casinos pull in $497 million
Ind. gamblers might soon skip the cruise
UC going ahead with mansion over city's objection
Bengals withheld seats from sale
Death stalks Ross High
FDA approves hepatitis drug
Health care tax apt to be on May ballot
Hospitals divvy up pediatric care
Man found dead after fire
Sex charges go back a decade
Slain woman's mother still seeking body
Firefighter saved from icy lake
Florence council hesitant to fund ballpark
Airport seeks grant for precision navigation
Awards recognize aid to handicapped
Four more charter schools for Cincinnati
High school revamp OK'd
Board to discuss role in adult education
Fire destroys Whitewater home
Fox blasts court, says it delays child cases
Indiana governor pushes daylight-saving time
- Kentucky Digest
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