Thursday, March 07, 2002

Kentucky News Briefs




Police on lookout for peeping Tom

        FORT WRIGHT — Police here are asking the public to keep an eye out for a peeping Tom, after an incident occurred Tuesday night on Vidot Court near the Lookout Motel.

        Fort Wright Police Chief Dan Kreinest said a man looked in a bathroom window while a 6-year-old girl was taking a shower. The incident occurred at 7:26 p.m.

        “The mother came in to check on the child and saw somebody looking in the window,” Chief Kreinest said. “She screamed and went running after him.”

        Police were called immediately, but the suspect had fled.

        Chief Kreinest said he didn't know if the man's intent was to spy on the child, or if he just happened to look in that particular window by chance.

        Besides the invasion of privacy, Chief Kreinest said, police are concerned because the incident could be a prelude to a sexual assault.

        The suspect was described as a white man of thin build who's about 6 foot 2 to 6 foot 3. He was wearing a light brown baseball cap and a light brown plaid or checkered shirt.

        To report a peeping Tom, or to provide information on the suspect, call 911 or Kenton County Police at 356-3191.

Show offers kids trip to the stars

        INDEPENDENCE — Theatre IV, Ohio's oldest and largest nonprofit professional theatre for young audiences, will present Journey to the Stars — A Tiny Tales Production, Saturday at the Independence branch of the Kenton County Public Library.

        The free program will be at 2 p.m. It's designed for preschool pupils through the second grade, and allows children to become space explorers as they are launched into the cosmos with Professor Quark.

        Besides catching the excitement of science, children also receive a lesson in problem solving as they blast off on the trusty spaceship, How I Wonder, to unravel the mystery and learn about the sun, moon, planets and stars.

        The Independence branch is at 6477 Taylor Mill Rd., 6 1/2 miles south of the Taylor Mill Road/Ky. 16 exit off Interstate 275. No registration is required. For directions or information, contact the Independence branch at (859) 363-0200.

Head Start sponsors Friday fish fries

        NEWPORT — Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission Head Start is sponsoring a fish fry every Friday during Lent.

        The fish fries will run through March 29. They will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Head Start, 437 W. Ninth St. You can eat in or carry out. There also is a limited delivery area.

        Information: (859) 431-4177.

Gas pipeline explosion burning itself out

        MOUNT STERLING — An explosion at a natural gas pipeline Wednesday sent up a column of flame visible for miles, officials said.

        The explosion occurred at a substation 10 miles east of Mount Sterling near the Montgomery-Menifee County line.

        There were no reports of injuries, but 30 families left their east-central Kentucky residences voluntarily, said Ray Bowman, a spokesman for the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management.

        “Around 4:30 a.m. eastern time, we detected a loss of pressure and our automatic valves closed to eliminate the flow of gas in the pipeline,” said Mel Scott of the El Paso Corp. in Houston, Texas, owner of the Tennessee Gas Pipeline.

        The flow of gas to the facility was shut off and the fire was being allowed to burn itself out, Mr. Scott said. Firefighters were on standby, but were making no effort to extinguish the flames.

        The cause of the explosion was under investigation, Mr. Scott said.
       

Mother indicted in 3-month-old's death

        PADUCAH — A federal grand jury indicted a 20-year-old woman on a murder charge in the death of her 3-month-old son.

        Misty Ann Munden Smith, of Fort Campbell, is charged with second-degree murder in the Feb. 26 death of Andrew Gabriel Smith, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

        Investigators said in an affidavit that the baby was shaken and its head apparently struck the top of a washing machine several times. There was also evidence the baby was dropped onto the floor, the affidavit said.

        Ms. Smith called 911 and paramedics rushed the baby to Blanchfield Army Hospital, where it was pronounced dead, the affidavit said.

        Ms. Smith is the wife of a Fort Campbell soldier, but not a soldier herself, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Hancy Jones III. Mr. Jones did not know her husband's name or rank.
       

Panel backs keeping abuse records private

        FRANKFORT — A bill meant to protect the records of abused children who seek safe haven at children's advocacy centers was approved Wednesday by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

        The centers' staff would be given limited immunity from being sued for carrying out duties if the bill becomes law. The immunity would not cover any acts of negligence by staff members who are mainly volunteers.

        First lady Judi Patton spoke in favor of the bill. More than 3,600 children each year get assistance at centers in the state, she said.

        The bill seeks to guarantee the confidentiality of records detailing the alleged abuse, including videotaped statements by the children, said Rep. John Vincent, R-Ashland and the bill's lead sponsor.

        The records would be available to state investigators, prosecutors and defense lawyers in preparation of their cases, Mr. Vincent said. Parents not accused of abuse could also see the records.

        The bill, already passed by the House, now goes to the full Senate. The legislation is House Bill 393
       

Mom accused of using Oxy while pregnant

        MONTICELLO — A mother accused of injecting OxyContin while pregnant pleaded not guilty to an abuse charge.

        Misti Harris, 26, was indicted by a Wayne County grand jury on Feb. 19 on one count of first-degree criminal abuse.

        The grand jury's indictment alleges that between June 2001 and Feb. 13, 2002, Harris injected herself with OxyContin, a synthetic morphine. Ms. Harris delivered her son on Feb. 13.

        Prosecutors said Ms. Harris never told doctors she was using the drug.

        Commonwealth's Attorney Larry Rogers said authorities learned of the birth and Ms. Harris' drug abuse in a report from social workers, who apparently were called in by doctors. The report said the baby showed signs of drug withdrawal, and social workers took emergency custody, Mr. Rogers said.

       



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