Wednesday, July 04, 2001

Kentucky News Briefs

Colonels give grant to Humanities Council

— The Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels has awarded the Kentucky Humanities Council Inc. $25,000 for the council's Florence S. Rhinehart Endowment Fund. The fund will help ensure the future of the Humanities Council's most popular programs, such as Kentucky Chautauqua — a statewide series of living history presenters that includes Daniel Boone and Adolph Rupp.

Edgewood's Bryant on history museum board

— William S. Bryant of Edgewood has been appointed to fill an unexpired term on the Kentucky Natural History Museum Board of Directors. He replaces James Luken of Villa Hills.

        Mr. Bryant's term ends Jan. 31, 2004.

Crescent Springs park closes 2 days

— Crescent Springs Community Park will be closed July 16 and 17 for maintenance. The park will re-open at 8 a.m. July 18.

St. Luke East offers screenings, seminars

— Free vision screenings will be held July 10 at St. Luke Hospital East in Fort Thomas from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

        The event is one of several planned by Senior Care Preferred of the Health Alliance.

        A free long-term-care seminar will be held at 10 a.m. July 12 at St. Luke Hospital East.

        And 55 Alive Driver Training will be held from noon to 4 p.m. July 17 and 18 at St. Luke Hospital East. Cost is $10.

        Reservations are required for all of the above. Call (513) 585-6462.

Environmentalists, miners join forces

        QUINLAND, W.Va. — Coal miners and environmentalists have joined forces to challenge Massey Energy Co.'s operating record.

        About 200 coalfield residents turned out for a meeting Monday at the Quinland Freewill Baptist Church. They were joined by officers of the United Mine Workers and representatives of environmental groups such as Coal River Mountain Watch and the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition.

        They gathered not far from the site of a June 19 spill of 30,000 gallons of coal sludge from Independence Coal Co.'s Liberty Preparation Plant.

        Independence Coal, a Massey subsidiary, has not yet explained what caused the spill, said Joe Hager, an inspector with the state Department of Environmental Protection.

        No Massey representatives attended the meeting.

Officer's gun goes off; suspect dies

        ELIZABETHTOWN — A passenger in a car pursued by police was shot and killed by an Elizabethtown officer, Kentucky State Police said Tuesday.

        Harold G. Lee Jr., 29, of Owensboro, was fatally shot after a high-speed chase late Monday night in Hardin County, police said.

        The driver of the car, Randall Babb, 40, also of Owensboro, was arrested and charged with parole violation, wanton endangerment, driving under the influence and fleeing and evading.

        The Babb car had been stopped for speeding at 11:15 p.m., but left the scene when Sgt. William Bland of the Elizabethtown Police Department approached the driver. After tire-deflation devices were successfully used by state police, the chase ended at the intersection of Kentucky 1357 and 1375. Elizabethtown police Officer Rob Green apprehended Mr. Babb, who had fled on foot, police said.

        Meanwhile, Sgt. Bland approached the car with his weapon drawn. While attempting to remove Mr. Lee from the car, Mr. Bland's weapon accidentally discharged, striking himself in the left thumb and Mr. Lee in the right temporal area, said Trooper Steve Pavey, a state police spokesman.

        Mr. Lee was taken to Hardin Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead .

        Sgt. Bland was treated at Jewish Hospital in Louisville and released, Trooper Pavey said. Sgt. Bland remains on medical leave.

Murray State arson trial up in the air

        MURRAY — The prosecutor in the murder and arson case stemming from the 1998 Murray State University dormitory fire said he likely will decide next week how to proceed after jurors deadlocked, resulting in a mistrial.

        Special prosecutor Jay Wethington said he wants to talk to the Christian County jurors who heard the case before deciding whether he will try it again.

        The jury deadlocked Friday on whether Jerry Wayne Walker, 25, of Kevil, set the fire that killed one student and seriously injured a second. He is charged with arson, murder and assault.

        Mr. Wethington can try the case again, drop charges or keep the case open indefinitely.

Israeli tourists survive hostage ordeal

        NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Two Israeli tourists are thankful to be returning home safe after they were taken hostage by a fugitive whose flight ended when he was shot dead by police.

        “I can't believe that I'm alive,” said Limor Ribak as she waited Monday with her mother for an early flight home. The two had planned to stay in Nashville four days but cut their visit short after their ordeal.

        Ms. Ribak and her mother, Bruria Ribak, had just checked in Sunday at a Family Inns of America motel in Nashville when the younger Ribak went outside to get some suntan lotion from the car.

        That was when ex-convict David Eugene Minis, 56, pulled into the parking lot. Police had trailed him since Saturday, believing he shot Robert Lewis Criswell, 52, to death in a dispute over a car Mr. Criswell's brother rented to Mr. Minis.

        Mr. Minis had led police on a high-speed chase for more than an hour Sunday in a stolen pickup truck. When he pulled into the motel parking lot, he closed in on Limor Ribak.

        “The man choked me and pointed a gun to my head,” she said. “I didn't think I could get alive out of it.”

        Her mother heard sirens and emerged from their motel room to find her daughter had been taken hostage. She begged Mr. Minis to let his hostage go, but Mr. Minis ordered the women to shield him from police gunfire. At gunpoint, the younger Ms. Ribak stood in front of the fugitive, while her mother stood behind him.

        The standoff continued for up to 20 minutes before Sgt. Robert Butler came within a few feet of Mr. Minis and shot him once in the head. He was killed instantly.


Neyer won't make 2nd run
Patriot, Liberty celebrate freedom
Blood researcher joining Children's
Visitors Bureau scrutinized
Bevy of boaters expected
Bullet pierces officer's pants leg
CROWLEY: All-American
RADEL: Old Glory
Lucas wants raunch kept from kids
'Welcome' sign will be reworded
Congregation sues pastor's estate for $1M
Democrat backing senator from GOP
Hearings in Covington to discuss racing issues
Lights, camera, council
Man's body recovered from river
Mason revitalization gets boost
Money for jail axed in budget
Officials: Energy plant won't cripple Smokies
Ohio Lottery income down; competition cited
Oxy trade target of lawsuit
- Kentucky News Briefs
Tristate A.M. Report