Tuesday, March 13, 2001

Kentucky Digest

Mayor, executive meet for merger

The Associated Press

        LOUISVILLE — Mayor Dave Armstrong, Judge-executive Rebecca Jackson and their chief advisers will meet Wednesday for their first comprehensive session aimed at preparing for a city/county merged government in 2003.

        “He (Armstrong) will make sure I know what city initiatives are on the table, and I will make sure he knows ours,” said Ms. Jackson.

        Voters approved the merger Nov. 7.

        Ms. Jackson has already named the county representatives to the transition task force: herself, five key aides, University of Louisville geographer Bill Dakan, County Attorney Irv Maze, County Commissioner Dolores Delahanty and Louisville Board of Aldermen President Steve Magre.

        Mr. Armstrong said he will be a city representative to the transition task force, but other representatives have not yet been named.

        The merged government will take effect January 2003.

Body of woman found in Covington

               COVINGTON — Police were investigating the death of a woman whose body was found Monday night in a Madison Avenue residence.

        The body of a young woman was discovered inside a house in the 2000 block of Madison Avenue, police said. No additional information was immediately available from police late Monday. Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call Covington police at (859) 292-2222.

Group promotes Bluegrass golf course

               LEXINGTON — A citizens group is pushing a proposal to build a golf course on Bluegrass Farm. The proposal was voted down by the city in 1996 and defeated in court.

        Todd Strecker, president of the Lexington-Versailles Road Corridor Coalition, presented the proposal and study to the planning commission Thursday. It included a scaled-down version of the golf course that Bluegrass Farm had suggested in the past.

        Mr. Strecker said the coalition also supports allowing Bluegrass Farm to turn a 38-acre plot adjacent to airport property into a hotel and office park. Mr. Strecker said the coalition's study shows that a hotel and office complex would be compatible with the Blue Grass Airport.

        But the proposal will be closely examined by the city because the development would require a change in the comprehensive plan, a blueprint for what kind of development is allowed where in Fayette County. The planning commission will hold a hearing on the case Thursday.

Prison escapees file motion for new trial

               ASHLAND — Two Kentucky prison escapees sentenced to life plus 20 years for the slaying of a Virginia man have filed a motion for a new trial.

        James Neal Halley, 40, of Ashland, and Jack Wayne Napier, 48, of Lexington, were convicted Feb. 1 in Savannah, Ga., on charges of murder, concealing a body and auto theft.

        Assistant District Attorney Meg Heap, lead prosecutor in the case, said attorneys for Mr. Halley and Mr. Napier filed “the standard motion for a new trial” in Chatham County Superior Court.

        She said the motion did not cite any particular grounds for a new trial because transcripts of the first trial had not yet been made available.

        If the motion is denied, Mr. Halley and Mr. Napier would have the option of appealing their conviction to the state court of appeals, Ms. Heap said.

        Mr. Halley and Mr. Napier were convicted in the July 21 strangulation murder of Tommy Allen Chittum, 41, of Stafford, Va. Mr. Halley and Mr. Napier walked away from a work detail at a state minimum-security Blackburn Correctional Complex in Lexington on June 29.

Truck drivers face charges in fatal pileup

               LENOIR CITY, Tenn. — The drivers of two tractor-trailer rigs were charged Monday in a seven-vehicle pileup along an East Tennessee interstate that killed a grandfather, father and two young children from Kentucky.

        Investigation of the crash, which shut down Interstates 40 and 75 in Loudon County for about five hours Sunday evening, is continuing, said state Safety Department spokeswoman Dana Keeton.

        Killed were Aaron Teets, 26, of Midway, Ky., and his sons, John, 2, and Sam, 9 months. Mr. Teets' father also died in the crash, but his identity was not immediately available, Ms. Keeton said.

        The crash occurred about 5:30 p.m. near the I-40/75 junction, just west of Knoxville, as a disabled van driven by a 17-year-old Knoxville woman was being pushed by a Mazda pickup driven by her mother.

        As the two vehicles moved from the shoulder on eastbound I-40 into a moving lane on I-40/75, two other vehicles — a Ford Escort and Mr. Teets' pickup — slowed behind them. The crash occurred as two tractor- trailers and a Jeep came upon the slow-moving traffic.

        A rig driven by Jonathan Ramseur, 48, of Charlotte, N.C., hit the Jeep and the Escort, forcing the Jeep against a wall and sending the Escort spinning into the Mazda pickup, which overturned and hit the van.

        Meanwhile, a second tractor-trailer driven by Dereak Ebens, 28, of Santa Fe, N.M., hit Mr. Teets' pickup in the rear, knocking it down an embankment where it burst into flames.

        One person — the driver of the Escort — was taken to the hospital. Julie Goodrum, 20, of Paris, Tenn., was in stable condition Monday at the University of Tennessee Medical Center.

        Mr. Ramseur was charged with failing to maintain control of his rig.

        Mr. Ebens was charged with following too closely.

Owensboro students lobby for smoking ban

               OWENSBORO — A group of high school students from Owensboro is lobbying city officials to ban smoking at the Owensboro Sportscenter.

        The teens claim allowing smoking even in designated areas at the Sportscenter during high school sporting events sends the wrong message to students who attend the games that it is OK to smoke.

Government and schools

               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.

        Kentucky events

        Dayton: Bellevue-Dayton Memorial Day Parade Committee meeting, 7 p.m., Kersten O'Day VFW Post 2899, Sixth and Main streets.


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