Sunday, April 15, 2001

Kentucky News Briefs




Mortgage money will be available

        BURLINGTON — Three Northern Kentucky counties are uniting to provide mortgage money for new and existing homes.

        The fiscal courts in Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties are teaming together to issue up to $26.3 million of industrial revenue bonds to fund the 2001 Residential Mortgage program.

        Boone County Fiscal Court is scheduled to give the ordinance the first of two readings at its meeting at 5 p.m. Tuesday at the county courthouse.
       

Chao fires McAteer from review board

        LEXINGTON, Ky. — J. Davitt McAteer, former Mine Safety and Health Administration chief who was appointed a judge on the Labor Department's Benefits Review Board, has been fired by U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine Chao.

        Mr. McAteer was appointed to the post during the final days of the Clinton administration. He said he received a letter from Ms. Chao “stating that as of April 20, I would not be needed on the board.”

        The board reviews rejected black-lung claims.

        Ms. Chao did not say in her letter why she was dismissing him, Mr. McAteer said. He declined to speculate on the reason.

        Ms. Chao, who is married to U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., was traveling and could not be reached for comment, said Stuart Roy, a spokesman for Ms. Chao.

        Mr. Roy declined to comment on what he called a personnel decision, but said it was not due to partisan politics.

        “I guess the most fair question to ask would be how many of those board members were political appointees of a very high rank, who then were appointed in the closing days of an administration to a career position,” Mr. Roy said. “I don't know the answer. It'd be interesting to know.”
       

Phone service for disabled is easier

        Kentucky has a quicker way to call the Kentucky Relay Service.

        Effective this month, the Federal Communications Commission designated 711 as the national three-digit number for relay access, similar to 411 for information and 911 for emergencies.

        Relay telephone service enables people with hearing or speech disabilities to communicate via phone. Communication assistants facilitate calls through typed messages.

        Kentucky had used various toll-free numbers for this service. The three-digit number will connect callers to the service from any phone in the state, including cell phones and pay phones.

        The Kentucky Relay Service is free and available 24 hours a day.
       

Red Cross supply of blood is low

        JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — The Red Cross says a chapter that supplies blood to hospitals from southwestern Pennsylvania to Kentucky is running short.

        The Greater Alleghenies Region, which supplies hospitals in southwestern Pennsylvania and parts of Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Kentucky, has no more than a two-day supply of some blood types, and less than that of rare types.

        The Red Cross tries to maintain a three-day supply of all blood types, said Marianne Spampinato, a Red Cross spokeswoman.

        Fueling the concern is that the shortage is occurring before the arrival of summer — traditionally a time of blood shortages.

        The Greater Alleghenies Region has just a one-day supply of type O negative blood, which can be given to anybody and is therefore the most commonly used blood type in trauma and other emergency cases.

        Type A negative is down to a one-day supply, and the Red Cross has a 1 1/2-day supply of O positive blood.

        Ms. Spampinato said it could take weeks to again accumulate a three-day supply of all blood types, “when you have the capacity to collect 1,000 units (pints) a day and you send out that much.”
       

Drug fund probe has new prosecutor

        MAYFIELD — The investigation of the Mayfield Police Department for the alleged misuse of its drug fund by some of its officers has a new prosecutor.

        Fulton County Commonwealth Attorney Tim Langford replaced Graves Commonwealth Attorney David Hargrove, who recused himself on Friday because he said he works too closely with the Mayfield police.

        No one has been charged in the Kentucky State Police investigation, though since it began in November, the police chief and assistant police chief have quit.

        It case began when Major Wayne Potts sent a letter to Mr. Hargrove requesting an investigation of former Assistant Chief Ronnie Lear and Detective Sgt. Tracy House in the mishandling of evidence. Mr. Hargrove forwarded the request to the state police and asked that he be notified when the investigation was completed.

        The investigation expanded in January when Mr. Potts sent a second letter, this time directly to the state police, outlining possible misuse of the police department's drug fund. The fund includes money confiscated from drug arrests and from the sale of confiscated property.
       

Killings again put family in spotlight

        LOUISVILLE — The brother of a black man who died in a high-profile shooting by Louisville police has been charged with the murder of two teens, including his younger brother.

        DeShawn R. Rudolph, 18, was indicted by a Jefferson County grand jury on two counts of murder.

        Mr. Rudolph's older brother, Desmond Rudolph, was fatally shot by white Louisville police officers May 13, 1999 while trying to flee in a stolen truck. The shooting ignited protests from black leaders and led to the firing of Chief Gene Sherrard.

        DeShawn Rudolph was arrested Thursday for the Dec. 30 shooting of Joseph Epps, 15, and Sedrick D. Rudolph, 16. He is being held in the Jefferson County Jail in lieu of $1 million bond.

        After the shooting, Mr. Rudolph's mother told the Courier-Journal of Louisville that Mr. Epps was shot while trying to rob DeShawn and that Sedrick was shot possibly by a third person.

        Louisville police said in an arrest report filed last week in Jefferson District Court that DeShawn Rudolph shot Mr. Epps once and the bullet passed through him and struck Sedrick.

        David Schuler, the assistant commonwealth's attorney prosecuting the case, said that DeShawn Rudolph “was a suspect from early on.” He declined to discuss details of the case.

        Shari Rudolph, the boys' mother, refused comment.

       



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Newborn drop-offs considered
PULFER: Resurrection
Former air-quality official sentenced
Gift has kept on giving
Graham crusade is eagerly awaited
Iron ore company wants import curbs
Mountain towns shedding people
Ohio EPA allows runway
Truancy policy making strides
- Kentucky News Briefs
Tristate A.M. Report