Wednesday, May 02, 2001

Kentucky News Briefs




City revamp plan to be discussed

        FORT THOMAS — Local residents concerned about a plan to revamp the city's central business district will meet at 6 p.m. Thursday in council chambers at the city building.

        Sally Davis of Gov. Paul Patton's office and officials from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet areto answer questions about the re-routing of utility wires to residential streets and other aspects of the plan.

        A committee called Fort Thomas Forward has spent more than a year studying how to improve the business district along North Fort Thomas Avenue. City Council must ultimately approve any plan, but so far Fort Thomas Forward and the city's administration have proposed burying some utility wires and relocating others to nearby streets.

        Residents of Woodland Place, who helped organize Thursday's meeting, oppose the plan to add utility lines to their street. Under the plan, portions of a wooded area at the end of the street would be cleared to make room for the lines, which they also oppose.
       

Paducah plant study draws skepticism

        PADUCAH — A new study that concluded there is no apparent public health hazard at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant has drawn skepticism from the chairman of the plant's citizens advisory board.

        Mark Donham said the study by the Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry is too broad and vague.

        Mr. Donham, of Brookport, Ill., said one concern is that the study apparently doesn't assess the cumulative effects of toxins.

        Carol Connell, lead health assessor for the study, said researchers did consider the aggregate effects of exposures to various contaminants. She said the finding of no apparent hazard means people near the plant might be exposed, “but not at a level that a health hazard would exist.”
       

Ex-girlfriend's comments noted

        LEXINGTON — Comments made in a police interview with the former girlfriend of Shane Ragland have been introduced as evidence for Mr. Ragland's trial in the shooting death of University of Kentucky football player Trent DiGiuro.

        Aimee Lloyd told the police last year that she despised Mr. Ragland.

        The revelation that Ms. Lloyd might bear a grudge against the man charged in the 1994 killing of Mr. DiGiuro came in a court filing Monday. In the same filing, his attorneys said that ballistics tests on a rifle seized from Mr. Ragland's home failed to conclusively link that gun to the fatal bullet.

        Mr. DiGiuro was shot by a sniper July 17, 1994, as he celebrated his 21st birthday a few days early. The killing stumped police until last year, when Ms. Lloyd stepped forward to say that Mr. Ragland had told her in 1995 that he had fired the bullet that pierced Mr. DiGiuro's skull.
       

Illegal dumps can be romantic places

        PIKEVILLE — Surveillance cameras placed around illegal dumps in eastern Kentucky are capturing footage of more than litter bugs.

        Love birds are turning up on the video tapes, as well.

        “I've learned that dumps can be romantic places,” said Karen Engle, coordinator of PRIDE, a regional organization that provides money for county governments to purchase video cameras for illegal dumps.

        Usually, the dumps are on secluded portions of little-used rural roads with a shoulder broad enough to pull off the side, said Willard Burton, solid waste coordinator in Johnson County.

        For some, Ms. Engle said, that's also the description of a lover's lane.
       

Jefferson Co. plan calls for job cuts

        LOUISVILLE — Jefferson County would eliminate 118 jobs in it's final two-year budget before a merged government is in place under a plan unveiled Monday by Judge-executive Rebecca Jackson.

        The county would also levy penalties for false-alarm runs for county police and charge jail inmates $25 booking fee under the budget, both expected to raise about $828,000.

        Ms. Jackson would impose a hiring freeze and use a $3.6 million payment from Louisville for the development of the Hurstbourne Green office park to offset this fiscal year's $6.5 million budget shortfall.

        The $240.2 million spending plan for 2001-02 is a 1 percent increase over what the county expects to spend over this fiscal year ending June 30. Most of the county's 3,040 employees will receive a 4 percent pay raise under Ms. Jackson's plan, said finance chief Beth Stenberg.

        Ms. Jackson said the job cuts — which would save $2.9 million — would come through attrition.
       

Teacher charged with dealing drugs

        LOUISVILLE — A Jefferson County substitute teacher who police say sold drugs to students was released from jail on Tuesday.

        Carrie Waldrop, 37, pleaded not guilty during her arraignment Tuesday on four felony charges, including selling a controlled substance to a minor and trafficking drugs within 1,000 yards of a school. She was released on her own recognizance.

        Police say Ms. Waldrop handed out prescription drugs to Waggener High School students and smoked marijuana with them.

        She was arrested at the suburban school on Monday. She resigned shortly after the arrest.
       

Ex-state employee faces theft charge

        FRANKFORT — A former state employee is charged with stealing $9,000 from the Vital Statistics Branch over about four months, Kentucky State Police said.

        Curtis Franklin, 37, of Taylorsville was indicted by a Franklin County grand jury following a one-month investigation by state police. He is accused of pocketing fees paid by people who requested documents from the office between December and March 22, said Trooper Rick Devers. Mr. Franklin resigned from the branch effective April 12. He had been a state employee for 10 years.

       



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- Kentucky News Briefs
Tristate A.M. Report