Saturday, April 27, 2002

Kentucky News Briefs

Ohio River to be checked for dioxins

        EVANSVILLE, Ind. — The Ohio River near Evansville will be sampled for dioxins because the potentially cancer-causing chemical compounds have been detected upriver.

        The sampling is part of an assessment by the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission, which regulates water quality for the eight states in the river basin.

        Jason Heath, the commission's manager of monitoring, assessment and standards, said he expects to find high levels of dioxins — associated with reproductive disorders and development problems — in the sampling near Evansville.

        But Peter Tennant, commission executive deputy director, said Tuesday at a commission meeting that there is no evidence to suggest that the dioxins have contaminated Evansville's drinking water.

        Although increasing river flow or other disturbances can stir the sediment, solid dioxin particles are generally filtered out by treatment plants.

Slain sheriff's brother backs detective

        SOMERSET — The brother of slain Pulaski County Sheriff Sam Catron, who was killed earlier this month while campaigning for re-election, asked voters on Friday to support a local police detective in the upcoming primary election.

        Lewis Catron said his family is supporting Todd Wood, a detective with the Somerset Police Department and one of four candidates who were running against Sam Catron in the May 28 Republican primary.

        “We feel he is the most qualified person not only to maintain but to continue what Sam has literally given his life for,” said Lewis Catron, speaking at a news conference with his 86-year-old mother Jennie Rachel Catron sitting nearby.

UK's role in Ashland explored

        ASHLAND — Community leaders from across Eastern Kentucky will gather in Ashland this weekend to explore the University of Kentucky's role in the region.

        Lee Todd, UK's new president, is the keynote speaker at the 15th annual East Kentucky Leadership Conference.

        Dr. Grady Stumbo, a founder of the leadership conference and a member of the UK board of trustees, said the university's presence in Eastern Kentucky has historically been viewed through the state's community-college system. That system was operated by UK until Gov. Paul Patton put them into a separate agency with vocational and technical schools.

        “Now that they don't have the community colleges, what's the university doing?” said Dr. Stumbo, who answered his own question. “Quite frankly, I think they're doing quite a lot. Dr. Todd envisions building a whole new structure between the university and regions of the commonwealth — specifically east Kentucky.”

        The conference concludes this afternoon.

Students leave class in support of teachers

        OWINGSVILLE — About 200 Bath County High School students walked out of class Thursday morning after several teachers were laid off for next year.

        According to the Owingsville police, Superintendent Woody Cheek handed out 19 pink slips to high school teachers, which means they may or may not be rehired for next year.

        “The students were outraged so they walked out of school,” said Officer Jim Tout.

        The spring ritual of pink slipping untenured teachers is a common method school districts use in order to not over-commit their budget for next year, officials said.

Support sought for proposed power plant

        CENTRAL CITY, Ky. — Three Kentucky congressmen are asking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to support a proposed power plant in Muhlenberg County.

        “We do hope you will work with all concerned to help make this plant a reality,” concluded a letter copied to other Bush administration officials, including senior presidential adviser Karl Rove.

        Republican U.S. Reps. Ron Lewis, Ernie Fletcher and Ed Whitfield sent the letter Wednesday to EPA chief Christine Todd Whitman, complaining about official comments made on Kentucky's proposed permit for Peabody Energy's Thoroughbred plant.

        The letter criticizes EPA employees for official comments on Kentucky's proposed permit and for speaking to reporters about those comments, part of the public record.

        EPA officials questioned Kentucky air quality officials and Peabody for not justifying their proposed use of conventional technology to burn Muhlenberg County-mined coal with high-sulfur content.

Man gets 30 years for football player's death

        LEXINGTON — Convicted killer Shane Ragland was sentenced to 30 years in prison Friday for the brutal 1994 sniper-style slaying of University of Kentucky football player and honor student Trent DiGiuro.

        Fayette Circuit Court Judge Thomas Clark followed a jury's recommendation that Mr. Ragland be sentenced to 30 years. Under state statute, he would become eligible for parole after 12 years.

        Clark also overruled a defense motion for a new trial based on more than 20 legal errors that Mr. Ragland's attorneys believe occurred during last month's trial.

        Mr. Ragland was convicted of gunning down Mr. DiGiuro as he celebrated his 21st birthday with friends on the front porch of his Lexington home on July 17, 1994.

Funding sought for U of Tenn.

        KNOXVILLE — President-designate John Shumaker already is at work trying to win support for the University of Tennessee.

        The five-campus system struggles to overcome years of underfunding from the state and the short, scandal-tainted administration of former president J. Wade Gilley.

        Mr. Shumaker, still officially president of the University of Louisville, seems unfazed.

        Mr. Shumaker, 59, agreed March 1 to become the 21st president of the 42,000-student UT system. He expects to move to Knoxville in mid-June.

        He plans to initiate the university's first major private fund-raising campaign since 1996 — one that would push UT's endowment from $700 million to $1 billion.


Coleman dies for his crimes
For Coleman, death came gently
Seder meal finished in memory
Boycott groups talk of joining forces
Camp has teens feeling solidarity with homeless
Funds sought for police co-op
Groups pitch in to pitch trash
Program honors nursing at Mount St. Joseph
Tristate A.M. Report
Uniforms required in district
Woman saved from funeral home fire
MCNUTT: Neighborhoods
RADEL: Jazzman's jazzman
SAMPLES: At the show
THOMPSON: Faith Matters
Teens hurt in wreck in Monroe
Butler Co. water rate fight ends
Commissioner leads in campaign funds
Festival looks backward to lives of early America
Hamilton schools called most improved
Hometown Hero: Retiree still tireless
Man sentenced for stealing checks
Talawanda bond issue seeks $53.9 million
Two students win Lazarus awards
Election could change direction of Ohio court
Somali immigrant seeks answers months after business shuttered
Judges uphold teacher's transfer
Keep mares away from caterpillars, farmers told
- Kentucky News Briefs
Ky. House, Senate still far apart
Louisville plant to close
Miners debate water rules
Principal threatens to shut critical paper
UK's medical center to test smallpox vaccine for military
University says legislator meddling with its budget