Wednesday, February 21, 2001

Kentucky News Briefs

Police ethics code bill advances

        FRANKFORT — A bill to let the Kentucky State Police draw up its own code of ethics, opting out of the code for other state employees and clearly placing itself outside the jurisdiction of the Executive Branch Ethics Commission, advanced through a House committee Tuesday.

        The sponsor, Democratic Rep. Brent Yonts of Greenville, said it was an attempt to “reduce friction” from a much-publicized jurisdictional dispute between the agencies.

        State Police Col. John Lile, who also is a deputy commissioner of his agency, sued to block an ethics commission investigation of his handling of fund-raising for the agency's 50th anniversary gala in 1998. The suit contended that only a state police trial board can handle allegations against an officer.

        A Franklin Circuit Court judge ruled that the commission could conduct an investigation, but no more. It had to refer a complaint to the state police for further investigation by a trial board — the avenue available to all citizens.

        Rep. Jim Wayne, D-Louisville, said state agencies are constantly trying to “chip away at” the ethics law and commission. He also said he feared the bill would “eliminate any civilian review of the state police.”

Lottery replacing Cash Five game

        LOUISVILLE — Slumping ticket sales have forced the Kentucky Lottery to eliminate its 10-year-old Cash Five game.

        The final Cash Five drawing will be March 3. Sales for the game have declined from $21 million in 1998 to $19.5 million in 2000, said lottery spokesman Rick Redman.

        “Some people just became tired of the game,” Mr. Redman said.

        The lottery will replace Cash Five with a game that resembles the regional Powerball game. The first Cash Ball drawing is scheduled for March 6.

        In Cash Five, players win $100,000 if they match five numbers drawn from a set of 35. The game began with twice-weekly drawings in 1991 and was eventually expanded to seven nights a week in 1998.

        Cash Ball will have drawings on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays for a top prize of $200,000. Mr. Redman said the lottery expects Cash Ball ticket sales of $25 million a year on the $1 tickets.

        The game is based on the Powerball drawing. In Cash Ball, four white balls will be drawn from a set of 33 and then a blue one will be drawn from a set of 31.

Rotary Club plans to double membership

        ERLANGER — The Rotary Club of Erlanger-Fort Mitchell hopes to double its membership during a yearlong Millennium Membership campaign.

        President Phyliss Stamper said the club now has 30 members. It plans to have 60 by the end of the year.

        “The greater our numbers, the greater the good we can do for our communities,” Ms. Stamper said.

        The Rotary Club of Erlanger-Fort Mitchell meets at noon every Thursday at the Four Seasons Country Club in Crestview Hills.

State worker sues, alleges cover-up

        PIKEVILLE — An employee in the Pikeville district office of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has alleged in a lawsuit that he was wrongly forced on sick leave because he knew too much about what he claims is a cover-up of illegal acts.

        Dan E. Hall, who served as the district's affirmative action officer for six years, filed suit last week in Floyd Circuit Court against the Transportation Cabinet; Secretary James Codell III; Pikeville District Engineer Linda Wagner-Justice; and the executive director of the state personnel board, Hanson Williams.

        Mr. Hall has been on involuntary sick leave since Feb. 18, 2000.

        The suit, filed by Lexington attorney Bernard Pafunda, alleges Mr. Hall was forced on sick leave in violation of Kentucky's whistleblower law, which prohibits retaliation against public employees who disclose wrongdoing. In the lawsuit, Mr. Hall did not say what allegations prompted his leave of absence.

High court won't review death row case

        LOUISVILLE — The U.S. Supreme Court has again declined to hear an appeal by Kentucky death row inmate Ralph Baze, convicted of murdering a sheriff and deputy in Powell County.

        The high court entered the decision without comment on Tuesday. The U.S. Supreme Court also declined to review Mr. Baze's case in 1998.

        Powell County Sheriff Steve Bennett and Deputy Arthur Briscoe were shot from ambush outside Mr. Baze's house in 1992. They were trying to arrest Mr. Baze on warrants from Ohio.

        Mr. Baze never denied being the shooter but claimed he acted in extreme emotional distress.

Black newspaper to suspend publishing

        LEXINGTON — The city's only black newspaper will stop publishing Feb. 23 while funding is sought to expand the struggling venture, said its publisher.

        The Community Voice Newsjournal, a biweekly newspaper with a circulation of 10,000 in Lexington and Louisville, will publish its last edition Friday, said founder Donald Cordray.

        Mr. Cordray, who is also the paper's only full-time employee, said he hopes to raise $300,000 to hire more advertising and editorial staff to begin publishing again on April 9, the 14th anniversary of the publication.

        The newspaper has never showed a profit and has published sporadically in the last year because of an office move and health problems, Mr. Cordray said.

Ex-Harlem Globetrotter Carl Helem dead at 75

        ASHLAND, Ky. — Carl Helem, a native of Horse Cave who became a Harlem Globetrotter, is dead at the age of 75.

        Mr. Helem died Saturday at King's Daughter's Medical Center in Ashland. Nicknamed “Kingfish,” he was the 15th player designated a member of the Globetrotter's “Legends” team.

        Mr. Helem was the last surviving member of the 1944-45 Horse Cave team that won the state championship in the all-black Kentucky High School Athletic League.

        He later played for Tennessee State, leading the team in scoring his freshman year and twice being named All-Midwest.

        Mr. Helem played for the Globetrotters from 1948 to 1955 and was a member of the first Globetrotters team to tour overseas, in 1950.

        After his basketball career, he worked at Ashland Oil's Catlettsburg refinery for 35 years, retiring in 1990.


Where worst bridges are
Train warned before wreck
Fuel spill threatens wells in Carlisle
31 merit finalists call Sycamore home
Bush stresses school accountability
RADEL: Can't find a darned barn in the county
Restricting drug draws praise, fire
Xenia police play roles to trap online predators
Health levy's price hidden
Hoxworth makes emergency appeal
Deerfield puts limits on talk at meetings
Slain girl's mom unleashes fury
Accused drug dealer surrenders
City targets junked cars on streets
Covington schools settle on Moreland
CROWLEY: Rumor mill
'Handyman' pleads not guilty
Henrys told it's a girl
House panel approves litter bill
Ohio asks for execution date
Program at UC steers blacks toward degrees
Testimony to begin in street slaying
Tetanus vaccine available here in limited amounts
Woman pleads guilty to defrauding banks
- Kentucky News Briefs
Tristate A.M. Report