Sunday, June 17, 2001

Kentucky News Briefs

Celebrated author may join UK faculty

        LEXINGTON — Award-winning author Bobbie Ann Mason is in negotiations to be on the faculty at the University of Kentucky, university officials said.

        Ms. Mason, whose book, Clear Springs: A Memoir, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for biography in 2000, talked with UK officials Friday about joining the faculty as a writer-in-residence, said College of Arts and Sciences Dean Howard Grotch. No contract has been signed, but the deal could be five years in length, Mr. Grotch said.

        Ms. Mason could not be reached for comment.

        Ms. Mason, 61, grew up near Mayfield and graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1962.

        Among her works are Shiloh and Other Stories, which won the 1983 Ernest Hemingway Foundation Award, and Feather Crowns, which won the Southern Book Award.

Northup unlikely to run for governor

        LOUISVILLE — Republican U.S. Rep. Anne Northup said she is unlikely to run for governor in 2003.

        “I can't imagine a scenario under which I would be running for governor in 2003,” Ms. Northup said.

        Ms. Northup, of Louisville, had been appearing at Republican gatherings around the state nearly three months ago to test the waters. She said Friday that “nothing has changed” since that time, when she said she was not necessarily interested in the 2003 race.

        But the political landscape has changed. In March, Democrats in Ms. Northup's 3rd District were expecting a tough May 2002 primary that would leave the eventual nominee without money to mount a strong campaign against Ms. Northup, one of the best fund-raisers in Congress.

        Now, Louisville lawyer and former gubernatorial aide Jack Conway appears to be the only Democratic candidate. Mr. Conway plans to formally announce his candidacy Monday.

Prison guards consider union

        MADISONVILLE — Kentucky prison guards met with officials of the American Federations of State, County and Municipal Employees on Friday as part of a campaign to organize a union here.

        AFSCME officials said pay among Kentucky corrections officers is among the lowest in the nation with starting pay ranging from $17,000 to $18,000.

        Tim Jones, a correction officer from in Marion, Ohio, and an AFSCME member, said he and other union members have been helping with union organizing in Kentucky for several days.

        “I was absolutely shocked with the working conditions and pitiful wages,” said Mr. Jones. “AFSCME is here to give Kentucky officers the tools they need to improve their situation.”

        AFSCME represents 50,000 state and local correction officers in 28 states.

        Gov. Paul Patton signed an executive order in May allowing some state workers to choose a labor union to bargain collectively and to represent them on a state advisory council.

Agricultural board approves 32 projects

        FRANKFORT — The Agricultural Development Board, created to oversee distribution of half of Kentucky's share of the national tobacco settlement, approved 32 projects for $4.1 million in funding Friday.

        The largest grant, $1.8 million, will create the Kentucky Beef Cattle Network to improve marketing and herd production.

        Another 17 grants were approved to counties to improve cattle breeding programs, the largest of which was $143,000 to Casey County. The total for cattle genetics grants was almost $1.4 million.

        Six counties will receive financing to improve forage, including $500,000 to Barren County.

        Eight individual county initiative were also approved, including $50,000 to build a woodworking lab at the Monroe County technology center and $35,000 for a produce marketing initiative in Christian County.

Agriculture emergency plan is unveiled

The Kentucky State Board of Agriculture unveiled a plan last week that outlines procedures for government agencies in case of an agricultural emergency.

        The Animal Disease Emergency Management Program is a strategic plan designed in response to concerns over outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease in Europe. No cases have been reported in the United States.

        “What was a 75- to 80-page document, has now been summarized into an eight- to 10-page document,” said Agriculture Commissioner Billy Ray Smith. “It contains specific charts outlining procedures; who's in charge, who makes the call, who makes the contact and who kicks in their part of the service that would implement a disaster plan for agriculture.”

        “People have taken this seriously and have developed a very practical plan,” Mr. Smith said.

Man gets 18 years for assaulting infant

        PRINCETON — A Dawson Springs man was sentenced Thursday to 18 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to assaulting his 3-month-old son last August.

        William A. Stevenson, 27, was sentenced in Caldwell Circuit Court.

        The baby suffered injuries consistent with severe shaking. Mr. Ovey said the child now is blind, on a feeding tube and has brain damage.

Haydon, Mayton get new jobs in cabinet

        FRANKFORT — Mike Haydon, secretary of the Revenue Cabinet for about 18 months, will become deputy secretary of the executive cabinet, Gov. Paul Patton announced Friday.

        Dana Mayton, chief lawyer in the Revenue Cabinet, will replace Mr. Haydon as head of tax collections for the state.

        Mr. Haydon replaces Jack Conway, who left state government a month ago and is pondering a campaign for Congress next year in the 3rd District against Republican incumbent Rep. Anne Northup.

        Mr. Haydon is a former property valuation administrator of Washington County and Springfield city administrator who has also served in a number of jobs in the executive branch. He has been deputy secretary of the Finance Cabinet and deputy commissioner of the Department for Local Government.

        Ms. Mayton, a Shelbyville resident, joined the Revenue Cabinet in 1993, and has also worked for the Legislative Research Commission as counsel to the Appropriations and Revenue Committee.


Profiling forms get shaky start
NASCAR fans fill up the speedway
Single dads embrace rewards
Tristaters pitch in to clean up river
Parents ask for refund
Sheriff catches no-pay parents
BRONSON: Grow up
PULFER: Lincoln Heights
Buildings tell their stories
Butler, Ky. man drowns
Colerain seeks firehouse site
Crowd recalls, celebrates end of U.S. slavery
Ice balls a sweet Newport tradition
Leaders call for stop to gay minister ban
Man shot as rally decried violence
Miss Ky. is from Louisville
Mother charged when baby dies in minivan
Out of the mouths of graduates
Park looks for funding of soil wear
Rally attendance was low, but spirits remained high
Two sought in ATM theft
YMCA sets for expansion
- Kentucky News Briefs
Tristate A.M. Report