Monday, May 28, 2001

Kentucky Digest

Boy drowns while swimming in river

The Associated Press

        PADUCAH — An 11-year-old boy drowned downstream from J.R.'s Executive Inn Saturday night. His name has not been released.

        The boy and three friends — Desmone Hale, 9, Shane Doyle, 12, and Mark Wheeler, 12, all of Paducah — were swimming along the Ohio River, said Paducah police spokeswoman Robin Newberry. The victim apparently went too far from the shore and began yelling for help, she said.

        Desmone Hale tried to save the boy but began having trouble and was pulled from the water by Shane Doyle. Mark Wheeler then tried to save the victim, but was unsuccessful, Ms. Newberry said.

        The boys told police the victim was clinging to tree branches, then went underwater and they lost sight of him. The three ran to the Executive Inn to call for help.

        Authorities said the boy was underwater for about a half hour before being found about a quarter mile downstream from the hotel.

        The boy was pronounced dead at Western Baptist Hospital at 8:05 p.m.

Hallways collapse in college building
The Associated Press

               BEREA — It will be at least two months before employees can return to Berea College's Lincoln Hall administration building, where hallways on the second and third floors collapsed.

        Employees from Congleton-Hacker Co. of Lexington were shoring up a load-bearing wall during renovations on Friday when the damage started, college President Larry Shinn said. The building, where 10 employees were working, was evacuated, Mr. Shinn said.

        The hallways collapsed two hours later, he said. Each is about 25 feet wide by 40 feet long.

        The damage started as cracks in the 115-year-old walls.

        Private guards left the building just five minutes before the hallways collapsed, Mr. Shinn said. The guards had re-entered some two hours after the initial damage was discovered to collect diplomas for graduation ceremonies.

        “We were very lucky,” Mr. Shinn said.

        Mr. Shinn couldn't estimate the cost of repairs but said it would be significant. It should be covered by the contractor's insurance, he said.

Idea for police review board rejected
The Associated Press

               OWENSBORO — City officials are not supporting the formation of a citizen police review board.

        Louisville civil rights activist Louis Coleman called for the implementation of the board during a march this month on City Hall.

        Betsy Morton-Thomas, director of the local branch of the Justice Resource Center, met with City Manager Ron Payne and other officials last week.

        Ms. Morton-Thomas said she came away pleased with the reception she received from city and county officials.

        “I was surprised initially, because I thought they might think we'd be singling out the Owensboro Police Department,” she said.

        However, on Friday,Mr. Payne was not receptive to the idea of forming a citizens' police review board.

        “This is not something that appeals to the commission, and I don't think we need one,” Mr. Payne said.

        Mr. Payne said the city al ready has ways to deal with police matters. He said citizens can file complaints through the internal affairs division of the police department or at City Hall.

        NAACP President Kenny Riley said he is open to the formation of a citizens' review board.

        “There is still a distrust with the city,” Mr. Riley said. “But if it's done right, I think it can be an effective tool.

        “I think you have to have a diverse board of representatives that is fair,” he said.

        The city of Louisville also recently declined the formation of a citizen review board.

Shooting suspect holds off police
The Associated Press

               MORGANTOWN — A 12-hour standoff ended shortly after dawn Sunday when a state police team stormed a house in rural Butler County.

        Police arrested and charged Randy Brown, 53, with attempted murder for the wounding of a Morgantown man.

        Chris Phelps, 27, was shot in the leg. He was treated at a hospital and released, police said.

        Authorities said someone reported that Mr. Brown was firing a weapon in Morgantown Saturday night. When police arrived at the residence, they found Mr. Phelps wounded. Mr. Brown had fled to his nearby home.

        Police surrounded Mr. Brown's home. At 5:40 a.m. CDT Sunday officers raided the home and arrested Mr. Brown.

        Mr. Brown is lodged in the Butler County Jail on a $250,000 cash bond.

        Mr. Brown is also charged with possession of marijuana.

Wilkinson farm is sold at auction
The Associated Press

               HARRODSBURG — In the first public sale of former Gov. Wallace G. Wilkinson's assets, one of his Mercer County farms was sold at auction Saturday.

        “This is an absolute auction ordered by federal Bankruptcy Judge William Howard,” said auctioneer Ronald Hurst. “We're selling it the way we have been told to sell it.”

        The 384 acres went for $952,665, which included a 5.5 percent buyers premium. The land was bought by David Baker, Kenneth Kirkland and Jim McGlore, who have developed a subdivision and own a farm on one side of the Wilkinson farm.

        “We're going to have to try to farm it,” Mr. Baker said.

        Mr. Wilkinson still owns 600 acres in Mercer County.

        The former governor, who held office from 1987 to 1991, filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February. He declared debts of $418.4 million and assets of $86.8 million. His main asset, he said, was a 76 percent stake in Wallace's Bookstores.

        This month, attorneys working on Mr. Wilkinson's bankruptcy told the court his estate is “under water” and that he will not be able to pay his debts.

        The attorneys said they had agreed on several things, including the auction of the farm, and the sale of Mr. Wilkinson's jet plane in Lexington and two “yachts” in Florida.

Kentucky events

               Ludlow: The City of Ludlow will present the Hendricks Family Three Ring Circus Friday at the Knights of Columbus parking lot, 828 West Elm St. Show times are 5 and 7:30 p.m. Advance tickets on sale at the Ludlow City Building, 227 Elm St. for $7 through Thursday. Tickets day of the show are $10. Free admission for children under 3 years old.


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Butler Co. air 'worst' in Ohio
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Police investigate fatal stabbing
- Kentucky Digest
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