Sunday, March 11, 2001

Kentucky News Briefs

Accident victim, wife awarded $2.3M

        UNION — A Boone County jury has awarded a local couple more than $2 million for injuries the man received in a truck wreck.

        After deliberating for more than three hours Friday, the jurors awarded Dale Young and his wife, Leslie, $2.3 million.

        Mr. Young suffered a permanent brain injury, causing his personality to change and destroying his sleeping habits, said his attorney, Paul Schachter. He also suffered a crushed pelvis, resulting in hip replacement surgery.

        Mr. Young was injured in a multi-car wreck in Union on Oct. 17, 1998. A dump truck loaded with asphalt went out of control, flipped over and slid on its side down the roadway.

        The driver of the truck, Michael C. Crider Jr., 27, of Hebron, died. Two other cars were hit.

Airport proposed adjacent to speedway

        SPARTA — Gallatin, Carroll and Owen counties want to build a regional airport at Sparta to serve their growing business and entertainment industry.

        The counties have applied for a $350,000 federal grant for a feasibility study. They want to put the airport on 297 acres adjoining the Kentucky Speedway motor racing track at Sparta in Gallatin County.

        The airport would be for private and corporate planes, similar to the airport in Pendleton County, said Gallatin County Judge-executive George Zubaty.

        “We're just in the crawling stages,” Mr. Zubaty said.

        The application must be approved by the Federal Aviation Administration.

        Kathleen Bergen, a spokeswoman for the FAA in Atlanta, said the office has had “very preliminary discussions” with Gallatin County officials about an airport.

        She said local officials must prove a distinctive need for such an airport, and the FAA then must put it in its national master plan before any money can be awarded.

Jury urges 35 years for teen-age gunman

        LEXINGTON — Geremy McGoffney, 18, who was found guilty of murdering a 20-year-old local man, could face up to 35 years in prison.

        A Fayette Circuit Court jury recommended a sentence of 35 years for Mr. McGoffney for fatally shooting Andrew Webb on April 28.

        Mr. Webb was a few weeks shy of 21 when Mr. McGoffney put three bullets in his heart and a fourth in his back during an argument that Mr. McGoffney said concerned a drug deal a few days earlier.

        “I hate that it happened, and I hate to see Geremy get the time he got — but something had to be done,” said Elijah Holloman, the father of Andrew Webb. “He's still a child, and we'll be there for him.”

        During the three-day trial last week, Mr. McGoffney, of Lexington, claimed he shot in self-defense at an unnamed Detroit drug dealer who was accompanying Mr. Webb and used Mr. Webb as a shield.

        The jury found Mr. McGoffney guilty of wanton murder and of ditching the gun he used. Mr. McGoffney's sentencing is set for April 6 in front of Fayette Circuit Judge Laurance VanMeter.

Lexington cops on trading cards

        LEXINGTON — The alumni association of the Citizen Police Academy has compiled a set of trading cards featuringcity police officers.

        Members of the organization said the program aims to improve the image of police officers by featuring information and quotations from the department's roughly 500 officers. The cards, funded by area businesses, will include officers from Chief Larry Walsh to recent police academy graduates.

        “Kids really do look up to police,” said Debbie Wagner, coordinator of the Citizen Police Academy, a program that lets area residents peek behind the scenes of police work. “There's something about police work that's intriguing.”

        Only 32 cards are available now, but Ms. Wagner said she wants to feature every officer on a card.

        The back of each card features biographical information about the officer and a positive message, such as “study hard” and “listen to your parents.”

Student pleads guilty in fatal DUI case

        RICHMOND — An Eastern Kentucky University student has pleaded guilty to manslaughter and drunken driving in connection with the death of a fraternity brother last year.

        Police said Josh Mattingly of Louisville was drunk when he lost control of his vehicle on Interstate 75 in Richmond, hit a guardrail and ran into a tractor-trailer at 12:45 a.m. on Oct. 6.

        Hal Vonsick Jr., 19, was thrown from the car and killed.

        Mr. Mattingly was charged with second-degree manslaughter and second-offense drunken driving and faced up to 10 years in prison.

        Hal Vonsick Sr., the victim's father, had urged prosecutors and a Madison grand jury to be lenient on Mr. Mattingly. He said Mr. Mattingly was a family friend and his son's “big brother” at Beta Theta Pi fraternity.

        Thomas J. Smith, commonwealth's attorney for Madison County, said he has recommended a sentence of five years in prison for manslaughter and 30 days for drunken driving.

        Sentencing will be within the next few weeks, he said.

Pupil arrested after gun threats reported

        SMITHLAND — A Livingston County Middle School student was arrested Thursday night and later suspended from school for allegedly threatening to take a gun to school to get revenge against several classmates who taunted him.

        The 15-year-old Ledbetter boy was charged with terroristic threatening and fourth-degree assault, both misdemeanors, police said.

        He spent Thursday night in the McCracken County Regional Juvenile Detention Center and was released to his parents Friday morning after a hearing before Livingston District Judge Jill Clark.

Dorm fire trial scheduled for June

        MURRAY — Jerry Wayne Walker's trial for murder and arson in connection with the 1998 Hester Hall dorm fire at Murray State University will begin June 25 in Hopkinsville, Calloway Circuit Judge Dennis Foust ordered Friday.

        Mr. Walker is accused of starting the Sept. 18, 1998, fire that killed Michael Minger of Niceville, Fla., and seriously injured Michael Priddy of Metropolis, Ill.

        Mr. Walker's attorney, Richard Null of Mayfield, said he was concerned the trial could go longer than the week Judge Foust is setting aside for it.

        Judge Foust also set a pretrial hearing for May 21.


Child support refunds bungled
City embarks on bold experiment
Dems endorse slate for council
Ex-champ Page's condition critical
Teen presses case against drug rule
City loan program criticized
BRONSON: Cruel, unusual punishment
CROWLEY: Steve Clark
PULFER: Abandoned
Airport needs expansion, Louisville told
Census tells more than how many
District may reopen school
Drop in tax revenue could affect projects
Family offers land for school
Great cities test
Hilton hotels, Mt. Notre Dame share common heritage
How would you design 'lid' on FWW?
Lexington businessman fined $2 million for obstruction
Match need not always be perfect
Migrants need more housing
Police, sheriff may join forces for good
Relief belies charges 2 face
Road plan upsets some residents
Volunteer hailed as special-ed hero
- Kentucky News Briefs
Tristate A.M. Report