Saturday, June 16, 2001

Kentucky News Briefs

Covington opposes peaking station site

        COVINGTON — Covington City Commission has joined seven local governments in their opposition to a mini power plant, or peaking station, proposed for a Cinergy-owned site in Erlanger.

        The commission unanimously adopted the resolution at its meeting Tuesday.

        Opponents say they are concerned about noise, pollution and the plant's effect on residential property values.

        “I'd seen the maps, and we just didn't think they should put that plant anywhere near residential areas,” said Covington Mayor Butch Callery.

[photo] LIFTED ON THE WIND: Alex Smith (left) and his twin Jarod, 12, of Independence fly a red, white and blue kite in Mills Road Park in Covington. They were participating in a “Go Fly a Kite for Flag Day” event Thursday. It'll be kite-flying weather today, mostly sunny, warm and breezy.
(Patrick Reddy photo)
| ZOOM |
        The peaking station — designed to operate during peak emergency electrical usage situations — would consist of two natural gas-fired turbine engines in front of Cinergy's gas plant and electrical substation at 3000 Erlanger Crescent Springs Road. It would be 600 feet from the Baptist Village assisted living complex and the future Erlanger branch of the Kenton County Public Library, as well as 800 feet from two residential neighborhoods with hundreds of people.

Chautauqua member offers free program

        COVINGTON — An Ohio Chautauqua member who portrays a Union Army soldier and spy will give a free program at 1 p.m. today at the Behringer-Crawford Museum in Devou Park.

        In her free program, “How to Develop a Living History Character,” Karen Vuranch will explain how to develop a Chautauqua-type character. She will discuss how to research a historical figure, develop the costume, create a monologue and find background information.

        In 1994, Ms. Vuranch and her husband, Gene Worthington, performed at the Ellipse Theatre at the White House. In 2000, she was named the 2000 Performing Artist of the Year for Tamarack, from the West Virginia state arts center, and she also received the Spirit of West Virginia Award from the state tourism office.

        Information: (859) 491-4003.

Health dept. holds hearings on funding

        The Department of Public Health will hold public hearings on funding for maternal and child health and on smoking cessation funding.

        The hearing on the Fiscal Year 2002 Title V Maternal and Child Health Block will be at 9 a.m. on June 19 in the Health Services Auditorium, 275 E. Main St., Frankfort, Ky.

        This grant provides funding to strengthen maternal and child health infrastructure in order to assure continued improvement in the health, safety and well-being of the maternal and child health population.

        The smoking cessation hearing will be held at 10 a.m. on June 19 in the Health Services Auditorium.

        This hearing will discuss the spending of funds appropriated by the 2000 General Assembly from the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement to the Cabinet for Health Services for its Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation Program.

Louisville gets OK for all-nude dancing

        LOUISVILLE — A Jefferson Circuit judge ruled Thursday that the city's adult-entertainment licensing ordinance is unconstitutional. With that ruling, dancers at Louisville's topless bars could perform bottomless.

        Attorney Michael Hatzell is telling his clients, including the Centerfold Lounge and several other businesses with cabaret licenses, that “there's no reason to abide by” the city's ordinance forbidding totally nude dancing in establishments that serve alcohol.

        City law director Bill Stone said it's not clear what Judge James Shake's ruling means, and the city would file a motion asking the judge for a clarification.

        About 14 Louisville bars have cabaret licenses, said Bill Schreck, who is in charge of the city department that issues the licenses. Seven other businesses have adult-entertainment licenses, including six bookstores and one club that offers nude dancing but doesn't sell alcohol, he said.

        “While we abide by the current ruling, by no means does it create"open season' for adult entertainment in Louisville,” Mr. Schreck said.

Court says insurance doesn't cover drive-bys

        FRANKFORT — Car insurance doesn't cover drive-by shootings, the Kentucky Court of Appeals ruled Friday.

        Melissa Roederer was shot and killed and a passenger in her car, Stephen Ritchings, was injured by gunfire on Jan. 13, 1994 during a drive-by shooting in Jefferson County.

        The occupants in the other vehicle did not have insurance and ended up in jail for various crimes.

        Ms. Roederer's family sued State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., which insured the vehicle she was driving. Although a Jefferson County Circuit Court ruled that Ms. Roederer's family should be compensated, the Court of Appeals in a unanimous ruling said car insurance covers car use and getting shot is not included.

Judd, "Entertainment Tonight' settle suit

        LOUISVILLE — Kentucky native Ashley Judd and Entertainment Tonight have settled a lawsuit brought against them by a freelance journalist from Louisville who writes about the entertainment business.

        According to papers filed in Jefferson Circuit Court, Larry Birkhead, 28, had claimed that Ms. Judd, of Franklin, Tenn., made libelous statements about a USA Today article he wrote on the national broadcast show Entertainment Tonight.

        Mr. Birkhead was seeking punitive and compensatory damages.

        The three parties settled out of court last week, Mr. Birkhead said on Friday. The settlement terms are undisclosed.

Blue Flame may sell reserves in Kentucky

        LEXINGTON — A company seeking to drill three natural-gas wells on the Kentucky side of Breaks Interstate Park in Virginia said it would consider selling its holding for the right price.

        After threatening the joint Kentucky-Virginia board that runs the park with a “legal battle” over access to 494 acres of mineral rights, Charles Baird, a Pikeville lawyer who represents Blue Flame Energy Corp. of Bowling Green, said Thursday that the company would settle the dispute if asked.

        Mr. Baird said Blue Flame is studying its reserves and their worth, warning that recent wells have been some of the largest ever in eastern Kentucky.

        “So don't be surprised if it's a very large figure,” he said.

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Tristate A.M. Report