Sunday, June 03, 2001

Kentucky News Briefs

Injuries, damage reported after tornado

        LONDON — A tornado struck Laurel County Saturday night, injuring at least four people and damaging several homes and a shopping center, authorities said.

        The tornado touched down at about 6:15 p.m. the National Weather Service reported. The service had issued a tornado warning five minutes earlier for Laurel and Clay counties.

        Ray Bowman, a spokesman for the state Emergency Management Service, said the tornado hit London's main street and moved northeast toward Clay County.

        Several cars were overturned and stores damaged at the Carnaby Square shopping center, Mr. Bowman said. A Big Lots store took the most direct hit, said state police dispatcher James Mosley.

        “It's a total loss,” Mr. Mosley said.

        Mr. Bowman did not know how severe the injuries were or where the injured were transported.

        The weather service said a tornado was reported by residents in Manchester at about 7:30 p.m. Spotters reported airborne roofing material, branches and cardboard.

Dump cleanup runs into complications

        GEORGETOWN — Efforts to clinch state funding for cleanup of a neighborhood built atop a city dump may be stifled by the lack of state relief money reserved for legal waste areas.

        Technically, the Briar Hill dump, which closed in the 1950s, is considered legal; until the 1970s, there were no guidelines regulating the kinds of materials that could be trashed in dumps, or who could do the trashing.

[photo] PIRATE TALES: Steve Warnick, 5, of Erlanger (right) shuts his eyes along with other children in his group after Tom Scheidt (below), otherwise known as Pirate MacGregor, instructed them to imagine they were on a pirate ship at sea. Pirate MacGregor is Mr. Scheidt's portrayal of a 17th century Scottish pirate. Mr. Scheidt entertained the group of kids at the Public Library on Taylor Mill Road to kick off the library's summer reading program Saturday.
(Brandi Stafford photo)
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        But it is the legality that may keep the city from getting government money for the cleanup.

        “To date, we have found no existing state program that addresses our situation,” said Michael Johnson, the city's code enforcement officer.

        Mayor Everette Varney met with Kentucky House Speaker Jody Richards, D-Bowling Green, Thursday to ask for state funds. Although no figures have been estimated for the cleanup, the city's offer to buy back the 19 homes from their owners would probably cost Georgetown at least $1.2 million, officials have said.

Wilkinson declares Florida residency

        LEXINGTON — Kentucky's financially troubled former governor is now officially a Florida resident.

        Wallace Wilkinson says he might make the state his home after his bankruptcy problems are resolved.

        “I guess when all this is over that's where we will end up. I guess,” he said Friday.

        The former governor, who owns houses in Lexington and in Naples, Fla., filed a Declaration of Domicile in Collier County, Fla., on April 16.

        Three days earlier, he registered to vote as a Democrat in Florida.

        He also has a Florida driver's license, according to the Declaration of Domicile.

        Mr. Wilkinson, 59, who was governor from 1987 to 1991. He told the Lexington Herald-Leader that the filing had nothing to do with his bankruptcy.

        He filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Feb. 12 and later declared debts of $418.4 million and assets of $86.8 million to $315 million, depending on the value of his extensive real estate holdings.

        Mr. Wilkinson said Florida laws generally allow residents to keep more of their property after a bankruptcy filing.

        “For the purposes of the bankruptcy proceeding, I am not claiming Florida residency,” he said. “I am clearly a Kentucky resident, and was at the time the action was filed.”

Assistant managing editor named at Post

        COVINGTON — Dan Hassert was promoted Friday to assistant managing editor of The Kentucky Post and will direct the newspaper's beefed-up Kentucky newsroom.

        Mr. Hassert, 35, a Covington native, began writing for The Post in 1989. He has been an assistant city editor at the newspaper's Cincinnati office for more than a year.

        His appointment as assistant managing editor is effective immediately.

        He replaces Mark Neikirk, whose appointment as managing editor of The Cincinnati Post and The Kentucky Post was announced May 15 and was effective Friday.

        Also appointed to a new position Friday was Mike Kaiser, who was named assistant managing editor for news. The Post recently announced plans to move additional reporters and resources to its Covington office.

Accused man fights double murder charge

        PIKEVILLE, Ky. — A man accused of double murder in a crash that killed a woman and her full-term fetus wants one of the murder charges dismissed.

        Charles Christopher Morris filed the motion Wednesday in Pike Circuit Court, arguing that a 1983 Kentucky Supreme Court ruling doesn't allow for a murder charge in the death of the fetus.

        The 22-year-old victim, Veronica Jane Thornsbury, of Kimper, was in labor and was being driven by her husband to the hospital on March 24. Mr. Morris allegedly ran a red light and crashed into the couple's car, killing Ms. Thornsbury at the scene. The fetus was removed by a Caesarean section but later died.

Newspaper offering early retirement

        LOUISVILLE — The Courier-Journal has offered early retirement to 54 non-union employees and hopes that about 18 will accept the offer.

        Employees receiving the offers represent about 5 percent of the work force at the newspaper, owned by Gannett Co., which also owns The Enquirer.

        “The double edge of advertising reductions and increased costs continue to make managing the operation more difficult,” Edward Manassah, the newspaper's president and publisher, said in a note to employees.

        Mr. Manassah said in an interview that the employees who are eligible for voluntary retirement will be 58 or older by the end of this year and have at least 10 years' service. Those eligible include 23 in the news and editorial departments.

        Mr. Manassah wouldn't speculate on the possibility of layoffs if the early-retirement program falls short, saying the company would explore other options first, such as a voluntary departure program.


Peaceful marchers cry out for justice
Strong schools, strong cities
School improvements at selling point for city's home sales
Rain doesn't stop crowd from enjoying Summerfair
Streets starting to shape up
Warm weather hung up out West
BRONSON: Liberals' hero
CROWLEY: Jumping parties
WILKINSON: Money talks
Ball players visit students
Cell phone ban musters little support
'Clean Air' means lower Metro bus fares
Covington chooses proposals
Diabetic man bikes 100 miles
Health director refuses to leave job
Kings test scores are top-notch
Landlord forced into rental unit
Now and Then
OSU students get 28 mpg from SUV
Riverboat cited for sewage releases
Schools won't get vacation
Spinney named Clermont County administrator
Taylor Mill neighbors fight plan for road
Third meningitis case confirmed
Tillery presses activism at polls
University course explores rap music culture
- Kentucky News Briefs
Tristate A.M. Report