Tuesday, February 13, 2001

Kentucky Digest

Beechwood Schools to seek tax increase

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        FORT MITCHELL — Beechwood Independent Schools will ask voters for more money this spring.

        The school board approved a plan Monday night to seek a tax increase in a special election May 8.

        The district wants to increase real estate and tangible property taxes by 18 cents, from 53.5 cents to 71.5 cents per $100 assessed value, adding $600,000 to the district's $6 million budget. Property taxes for a $100,000 home would go from $535 to $715 a year.

        Blaming a lack of state funding, schools officials say the district must turn to local resources to continue operating. Because the district has high property values, Beechwood gets one of the lowest state allocations, ranking near the bottom in revenue per student.

        Beechwood has one of the lowest tax rates in Northern Kentucky. If the levy is approved, the district would rank sixth among the 14 districts in Boone, Kenton and Campbell counties.

3 teens charged in raid near school

               NEWPORT — Three Fort Thomas teens were arraigned in Campbell District Court on Monday in connection with Friday's drug raid near Highlands High School.

        Nick Stevens, 18, s charged with one felony charge, trafficking in a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school; misdemeanor possession of marijuana; and misdemeanor loitering for the purpose of unlawful use.

        Alan Haas, 18, the son of Fort Thomas City Councilman Eric Haas, faces two misdemeanor counts: loitering for the purpose of illegal use and possession of a prescription drug not in its proper container. Dustin Gramstad, 18, is charged with possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and loitering for the purpose of unlawful use.

        Mr. Stevens is in the Campbell County Detention Centeron $2,500 bond. Messrs. Haas and Gramstad are free on their own recognizance.

        Twelve teens were arrested Friday in what police called an “open-air drug market.” Fort Thomas Police Lt. Mark Dill said three juveniles are in detention, and six have been released to their parents.

Five arrested in clubhouse shootings

               DANVILLE — Police have arrested five suspects after a multiple shooting in a fight outside a clubhouse.

        Shortly after 1 a.m. Sunday, a group of people were denied admittance to a Wolf Pack Motorcycle Club party at the R.R. Donnelly Clubhouse in Danville.

        About 10 minutes later, police said, the group returned. One suspect struck a party host in the mouth with a gun. One suspect began shooting into a crowd of 100-150 people.

        Four people were struck by bullets. Two suffered gunshot wounds to the head, another was wounded in the back, and one was shot in the hands. State police arrested five people later Sunday morning.

Marchers protest police shootings

               LOUISVILLE — Protesters marched through South Louisville to call for an end to police shootings involving black youths.

        The Rev. Louis Coleman of the Justice Resource Center led the Sunday march of about three dozen people that was triggered by last week's fatal shooting of Antwan Bryant. The Rev. Mr. Coleman carried a sign reading, “Community has zero tolerance. Bad police. Bad mayor.”

        Mr. Bryant, 20, of Shively, was riding in a car driven by LePere Thompson, 21, of Jefferson County. Mr. Thompson is accused of backing the car over the legs of Officer Brent Routzahn during a traffic stop Tuesday night.

        Sgt. Dale Thompson then fired three shots at the car. About two hours later, Mr. Bryant's body was found in the car's back seat. Tests will determine if the bullet that killed him came from the sergeant's gun, police said.

Murray State co-op qualified

               MURRAY — An audit of an educational cooperative based at Murray State University resulted in a qualified opinion, not a “clean” opinion, because of inadequate record keeping, it was announced Monday.

        It was the first audit performed under a new law requiring state audits of nine educational cooperatives in Kentucky.

        The cooperatives are consortiums of school districts and universities. They handle grants, purchasing and contract for a range of services for member schools.

        The audit law was prompted by an embezzlement scandal in which a former Department of Education deputy superintendent, Randy L. Kimbrough, routed money through a cooperative in eastern Kentucky.

Civil rights group to open new chapters

               LOUISVILLE — A Louisville civil-rights organization will open chapters around Kentucky to represent people whose voices are going unheard, the group's director said.

        The Justice Resource Center will branch out with new chapters in Frankfort, Lebanon, Lexington, Owensboro, Shelbyville, Springfield and Versailles, the Rev. Louis Coleman said Saturday.

        The new chapters “have come about due to the emergence ... of negative policing, irregular court sentences, biased hiring practices and drug dealing in oppressed communities,” the organization's brochure said.

Day-care center ordered to close

               LOUISVILLE — The state Monday ordered the temporary closing of a child-care center where a young boy was found dead in his bed last week.

        The Cabinet for Health Services temporarily suspended Teddy Bear Day Care's operating license and ordered the center closed until an investigation is completed into the death of 2-year-old Domaneke Massey.

        The cabinet's inspector general, Pamela Murphy, wrote the day care's operator that state investigators had determined “conditions exist which constitute an immediate threat to children.”

        Ms. Murphy wrote the investigation into the boy's death had turned up “substantial evidence” of violations of state child-care regulations.


               Government and schools

        Elsmere: City Council, 7:30 p.m., city building, 318 Garvey Ave.

        Florence: City Council, 7:30 p.m., city building, 8100 Ewing Blvd.

        Independence: Kenton County Fiscal Court caucus, 9 a.m., courthouse, 5272 Madison Pike,.


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