Thursday, March 08, 2001

Kentucky News Briefs

Teen escapee faces charges after capture

        WILLIAMSTOWN — A 19-year-old who escaped from the Grant County Detention Center was captured Tuesday.

        Justin Darland of Lexington was arrested by the U.S. Marshals Service at a Lexington home about 1 p.m.

        He had been discovered missing from the jail about 7 p.m. Sunday. Investigators believe Mr. Darland walked out of the jail along with an inmate who was being released from jail.

        Mr. Darland, who was serving a jail sentence for theft, now faces felony escape charges.

Task force studies merger possibilities

        CRESCENT SPRINGS — A task force studying whether to merge the cities of Crescent Springs and Villa Hills or combine individual departments within those cities will meet at 7:30 p.m. March 13 at the Crescent Springs city building.

        Councilman Bob Krems is chairing the Villa Hills effort, while Councilman Tom Vergamini is heading Crescent Springs' committee.

        Brian Dehner of the Northern Kentucky Area Development District will discuss the recommendations he made in the merger study, and take questions from the task force.

        No timetable has been set for any town forums or to make recommendations to the city councils.

        The task force plans to meet on the second Tuesday of each month, alternating between Crescent Springs and Villa Hills.

Business Council opposes cap increase

        COVINGTON — The Covington Business Council has been accepted as a friend of the court in the city's lawsuit challenging Kenton County's authority to increase the payroll tax cap.

        Covington lawyers Chris Mehling and Cindy Shirooni filed the motion on behalf of the CBC's 200 member businesses.

        “An amicus curiae or "friend of the court' brief demonstrates that the CBC will be heard on behalf of its members,” Mr. Mehling said.

        The CBC's businesses represent about 20,000 Covington employees, most of whom will be subject to the raising of the taxable salary cap.

        The CBC agreed to join the dispute as a friend of the court after Covington Mayor Butch Callery told the CBC board Jan. 21 that the city of Covington was challenging the cap increase.

Public can comment on proposed rezoning

        INDEPENDENCE — Kenton Fiscal Court has set a hearing for March 20 to hear public comment on the proposed rezoning of more than 1,700 acres off Maher Road for industrial development.

        The hearing will be at 7 p.m. in the Summit Middle School cafeteria.

        Planning commission staff also will be available to answer questions.

        Officials set the hearing after some residents spoke against the proposed rezoning at a fiscal court meeting two weeks ago.

        The land is along the Boone County line and borders Maher, Banklick and Walton-Nicholson roads.

Gas "drive-offs' face losing driver's license

        FRANKFORT — Motorists who gas up at the pump, then skip without paying, could lose their licenses for up to three months under a bill passed by the Senate on Wednesday.

        The vote was 33-3. The bill originated in the House, which would have to go along with a Senate amendment.

        Retailers complained that “drive offs” cost them hundreds of dollars monthly and that thefts increase when prices rise.

EPA will supervise sludge spill aftermath

        INEZ — Following an approach first used after the Exxon Valdez oil spill, the Environmental Protection Agency will send a team to develop a restoration plan for streams and land affected by last year's spill of 250 million gallons of coal sludge.

        Carl Terry, spokesman for EPA in Atlanta, said that was part of an agreement reached between the federal agency and Martin County Coal.

        The agreement requires the company to stop additional sludge releases, restore stream and river beds and adjacent land, and take actions to offset further environmental damage.

        Martin County Coal also agreed to reimburse the EPA all costs incurred as a result of the Oct. 11 sludge release.


Ohio powers praise Rhodes
Schools confront Web of deceit
Private firm could revamp high schools
Prosecutor appointed
PULFER: Violent kids
Cheers follow Clark resignation
Police: Officers didn't violate policy
Furniture store owner plans to rebuild
Judge won't act on man's claims
Low-rated schools see slow, steady progress
Aides wanted memo rewritten
Beetles' destruction forces rare woodpeckers from state
Board urges adult schooling
Court: Federal benefits don't alter child support
Dispute over art is carved in stone
Four-hour standoff ends peacefully
Funds needed for urine tests done between contracts
Gun threat puts student in custody
Hemp research in Ky. draws near
Judge clears man in robbery
Life starts at egg-sperm stage, Ky. Senate says
Light blamed in fire
Mom's photos of daughter not obscene
Money needed to pay for urine tests
Shaken baby's dad gets eight-year prison term
State closes 2 Web sites
Students take journey to learn about energy-efficient building
Sweep seizes hundreds of guns
Sweeper worth $100K among arson damage
Tristate delegation backing Bush
Woman, 48, pleads guilty to sex with teens
- Kentucky News Briefs
Tristate A.M. Report