Saturday, September 29, 2001

Kentucky News Briefs

Boone Democrats hold fund-raiser

        BURLINGTON — Gov. Paul Patton, Lt. Gov. Steve Henry and Maysville native Heather French Henry — Mr. Henry's wife and a former Miss America — are scheduled to attend an Oct. 17 fund-raiser for the Boone County Democratic Party.

        The event will be held at the Little Britain Farm, 5309 Idlewild Road, just past the Boone County Fair Grounds in Burlington.

        Costis $25. For more information or to make reservations call 859-647-0465.

New moms receive reading promotion

        COVINGTON — Baby Outreach, a program to introduce new Kenton County mothers to the importance of reading to their babies, is being offered through the Kenton County Public Library and the home visiting nurses of the Northern Kentucky Independent District Health Department.

        Four visiting nurses will deliver the packages during the next 12 to 24 months to new mothers receiving home visits from the WIC/home visiting unit of the health department.

        The literacy packages include a toddler book in English or Spanish, a library card application and a bilingual flier describing the lapsit storytime program at the library. The program also invites mothers to bring babies to the library for infant, toddler and preschool programs.

        For information on library programs call (859) 491-7610, or visit the Web site at

Technical college enrollment rises

        EDGEWOOD — Fall enrollment at Northern Kentucky Technical College rose 55 percent over last fall.

        This year, it has 1,714 students, compared to 1,106 last fall, spokesman Bryan Armstrong said.

        Overall, the Kentucky Community and Technical College System had an increase of 15 percent over last year. NKTC is one of 28 colleges in the statewide system.

Student stabbed in fight at school

        LEXINGTON — A Paul Laurence Dunbar High School student was in serious but stable condition Friday after being stabbed during an altercation at the school.

        The 15-year-old male was stabbed by another 15-year-old Friday afternoon, said Karolyn Kell, spokeswoman for Fayette County Public Schools.

        The alleged assailant was taken into custody and a weapon was confiscated.

        The boy later was arrested at the school and charged with first-degree assault and carrying a deadly weapon on school property, said John Toye, director of security for the Fayette County school system.

        Mr. Toye said the incident occurred just outside the school's doors.

OxyContin blamed in prostitution case

        HARLAN — Harlan County authorities blame OxyContin for bringing a big-city problem to their small-town community.

        They point to a Harlan County man arrested for allegedly forcing his wife to work as a prostitute to generate money to buy OxyContin.

        Merle Glenn Hensley, 34, of Wallins Creek, is accused of making his wife solicit motorists on U.S. 119 at Coldiron.

        Harlan County Sheriff Steve Duff said the arrest shows just how far people are willing to go to feed their addictions to the prescription drug.

        “It's amazing at the complaints that we've had on this problem from the residents in that area,” Detective Roger Hall said. “Prostitution is something that you hear of in big cities, but not in places like Harlan County.”

        Mr. Hensley was charged with promoting prostitution by intimidation. His wife, Jennifer Adams Hensley, 22, was charged with prostitution. He is being held in the Harlan County Detention Center under $15,000 bond. She was released shortly after her arrest.

Part of ex-official's file can be released

        FRANKFORT — A judge has ordered the Kentucky attorney general's office to release the investigative file of former legislative official Kent Downey after deleting material that would invade the privacy of those fighting the file's release.

        Mr. Downey, a longtime official of the Legislative Research Commission, pleaded guilty in 1997 to federal charges of promoting prostitution and illegal gambling, sometimes through a company from his Capitol office.

        After the case was closed in 1998, the media requested copies of the attorney general's investigative file under the Kentucky Open Records Act.

        Mr. Downey and another person, identified in court records only as John Doe, sued to keep the file sealed.

        Thursday, Franklin Circuit Judge William Graham ruled that seven other unidentified people can join the case but no one else can. He directed the attorney general's office to “make available a redacted version of the investigative file that protects the privacy interests” of Mr. Downey and others mentioned in the file.

        Barbara Hadley Smith, spokeswoman for Attorney General Ben Chandler, said the office will comply with Judge Graham's ruling.

No criminal intent in KSP fund-raising

        FRANKFORT — An internal investigation of two ranking Kentucky State Police officers concluded that an “unintentional violation” occurred in fund raising for the state police's 50th anniversary gala in 1998.

        Those solicited included some attorneys who held contracts with the state police. But there was no intent to break the law, the state police's attorney said in a letter to the Executive Branch Ethics Commission.

        The commission investigated the officers — Col. John Lile and Maj. Joe West — and tried to pursue a case against them. But a Franklin Circuit Court judge ruled that the commission lacked authority to do more than an ordinary citizen: file a complaint to the state police. The complaint then was dismissed because more than a year had passed.

        The ethics commission also was turned down after using the Kentucky Open Records Act to request the internal-affairs file.

        The letter by KSP Chief Legal Counsel Elizabeth D. Baker said the internal investigation “determined that an inadvertent solicitation of funds from entities that held contracts with the Kentucky State Police occurred, and ... constituted an unintentional violation” of the law.


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