Friday, January 18, 2002

Kentucky News Briefs

Police seek help finding 'hot' gauge

        PARK HILLS — Police are requesting the public's help in finding a stolen soil-moisture-density gauge that contains a tiny amount of radioactive material.

        The gauge was stolen from the bed of a pickup truck parked in the 1000 block of Parkvale Court late Wednesday or early Thursday, according to police. The gauge was locked in a black toolbox that was chained to the bed of the pickup.

        The gauge is valued at $4,500. Police said the radioactive material is not a threat to public health.

        The owner of the gauge, H.C. Nutting Co. of Cincinnati, is offering a $1,000 reward for its return and does not intend to press charges.

        Anyone with information about the theft can call the Radioactive Materials Division of the Kentucky Cabinet for Human Resources at (800) 255-2587, or their local police.

Small-business group to have 1st meeting

        BURLINGTON — The first meeting for a small business owners association sponsored by the Boone County Cooperative Extension Service will be Jan. 24 at the Ellis House at 1973 Burlington Pike.

        The organizational meeting, at 10 a.m., is intended to provide an overview of the goals of the new group and allow potential members to shape the organization's direction.

        The intention of the association is to support small business owners and help them improve their businesses through networking and educational opportunities.

        Anyone interested in learning more about the association is urged to attend the meeting. For more information, or for anyone unable to attend, call Nora Meyer at (859) 586-7205, or the Cooperative Extension Service at (859) 586-6101.

Public input sought on new sewer plant

        ALEXANDRIA — The state's Sanitation District No.1 will host a community workshop Feb. 5 to gather input from the public on the general architectural design and aesthetics of the new Eastern Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant.

        The workshop, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., will be at the Alexandria Fire Department, 7951 Alexandria Pike. Consultants from GRW Engineers will provide an update on the design process.

        The new plant will replace the present Alexandria treatment facility, located in the same area of Alexandria that has been plagued in recent years by overflows after heavy rain, resulting in raw sewage spilling into Campbell County streams and the Ohio River.

        Anyone interested in attending the workshop should call Peggy Ziegler, at (859) 578-6776, or visit

Offer your thoughts on improving Mall Rd.

        FLORENCE — A series of five workshops to get input from Florence residents on the city's Crossroads Mall Road Corridor Study will be held at the Florence Square Shopping Center on Mall Road Jan. 28 through Feb. 1.

        Florence Mayor Diane Whalen and City Council members hope to improve Mall Road to convert it to a major economic center that will attract new business and provide better pedestrian access. Sidewalks, benches, new lighting and landscaping are planned.

        The walk-in sessions will be each day from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the storefront between the Dress Barn and the Hallmark store in the Florence Square Shopping Center, across Mall Road from Florence Mall.

        The study, conducted by Jordan, Jones and Goulding of Cincinnati for about $140,000, is being sponsored by the city, Boone County Fiscal Court, Boone County Planning Commission and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

Campbell, Kenton GOP meetings set

        Two Northern Kentucky Republican Party organizations have announced the dates of their monthly meetings.

        The Campbell County Republican Party will meet Jan. 22 at the Highland Heights Civic Building, 175 Johns Hill Road, at 7:30 p.m. The agenda will include plans for the 2002 election. For more information, call 441-9100.

        The Kenton County Republican Party meeting has rescheduled its monthly meeting. In observance of Martin Luther King Day, the Jan. 21 meeting has been moved to Jan. 28. The meeting — which will also serve as the quarterly precinct meeting — will be held at 6 p.m. at county GOP headquarters, 1939 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright.

Reward now $20,000 for ex-militia member

        SOMERSET — Federal authorities are boosting the reward for a former militia member who has been on the run since he allegedly shot at a deputy in October.

        The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms increased the reward for information on Stephen H. Anderson to $20,000 Wednesday. The reward had been $5,000.

        The new reward is the largest the agency has offered in Kentucky in at least four years, said Don York, spokesman for the ATF in Kentucky.

        Mr. Anderson, 54, once operated a shortwave radio program from his home in Pulaski County, espousing anti-government, racist, anti-Semitic and violent views so extreme that the Kentucky Militia kicked him out last year.

        Mr. Anderson fled into the woods near Middlesboro, abandoning his truck, and has been missing since. He is charged in state court with attempted murder, and in federal court with possession of illegal explosive devices.

Tobacco growers gloomy about buyout

        FRANKFORT — The Burley Tobacco Growers Cooperative is not optimistic about the prospects for a voluntary buyout of quotas, the government franchise to grow the leaf, an official said Thursday.

        Brian Furnish, government relations director for the cooperative, said money to finance a buyout is disappearing.

        “It's kind of hard to get any money out of the federal government,” Mr. Furnish told a Kentucky legislative committee.

        Manufacturing companies seem reluctant to finance any buyout, and, although there is money from the companies now going to payments to tobacco growers, the current system pays farmers without them having to give up anything in return.

        Even with a buyout, Mr. Furnish said tobacco growers want to keep some sort of price support or quota system.


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