Thursday, May 16, 2002

Kentucky News Briefs

Man killed by train identified

        ELSMERE — Police have identified a young man killed by a train here this week as Markcus Sturgeon of Madisonville.

        A Norfolk Southern train heading northbound hit Mr. Sturgeon, 19, at 9:48 a.m. Tuesday near the New Bufington Road overpass in Elsmere.

        The engineer told police that Mr. Sturgeon appeared to be sleeping between the tracks when the train whistle blew and woke him up. The man staggered right into the path of the train, police said, and the force knocked him off the track.

        Police said Mr. Sturgeon has a girlfriend and child who live in the Elsmere area. Officers said they do not know why Mr. Sturgeon was sleeping on the tracks. Officers said there is no indication he committed suicide.

        An autopsy was performed today, but toxicology reports, which would indicate if Mr. Sturgeon was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, will not be completed for several weeks.

Father charged in death of newborn son

        LOUISVILLE — Police charged a 28-year-old father with killing his 2-week-old son Wednesday.

        Virgil Hall of Louisville faces a murder charge after his son died at Kosair Children's Hospital early Wednesday morning, Jefferson County police said.

        Jefferson County EMS became suspicious when they arrived on the scene about 11 p.m. and noticed that the baby, who wasn't named, had suffered some severe injuries, said county police spokesman Robert Biven. Mr. Biven said the father wasn't at the scene when officials arrived.

        The boy was pronounced dead at 12:56 a.m. Wednesday in Kosair's emergency room, said deputy coroner Reva Morris. Ms. Morris said he died of multiple injuries caused by physical abuse.

        Police later found Mr. Hall hiding in a closet at his sister's apartment in western Jefferson County, Mr. Biven said. Detectives from the Crimes Against Children Unit interviewed him and charged him with murder Wednesday morning.

        Mr. Biven said Mr. Hall made a statement to detectives “implicating himself in the assault.” Mr. Hall told police that he had become angered after his girlfriend, the child's mother, left him alone with the infant and the boy began crying, Mr. Biven said.

Candidate for jailer arrested in 1998 theft

        RICHMOND, Ky. — A man running for jailer in Madison County has been arrested on a warrant for a theft charge that was nearly four years old.

        The warrant for Mark Jackson, 32, was issued after he failed to appear in court Sept. 10, 1998, on theft by deception charges. Kentucky State police arrested Mr. Jackson on Tuesday.

        Mr. Jackson was released about 30 minutes after he was jailed on $500 cash bond in the Madison County Detention Center.

        Mr. Jackson questioned the timing of his arrest on the old warrant.

        “I've been in and out of the courthouse God knows how many times,” he said. “It was dug up. It's probably all they can find. All it's going to do is sound bad on me.”

Judge-executive cites morale in chief's ouster

        LA GRANGE, Ky. — Oldham County Judge-executive John Black refused to say what led him to ask for the resignation of Police Chief Gene Hicks.

        Mr. Black said the county police department had management and morale problems, but he wouldn't offer any details Tuesday.

        Mr. Hicks resigned Monday after eight years, saying he had been asked to do so and that he had been unaware of Mr. Black's dissatisfaction with the way he ran the department.

        The department's second-ranking official, Billy Way, was demoted from major to lieutenant Monday. Lt. Way said Tuesday that he had been “blindsided” by the demotion. Mr. Black appointed 11-year veteran Tim Wakefield as interim chief, temporarily promoting him from lieutenant to major.

        About a dozen officers of the 28-officer department, other emergency personnel and a handful of courthouse workers and Mr. Hicks' friends attended Mr. Black's news conference Tuesday.

        Mr. Black acknowledged the presence of Mr. Hicks' wife, Becky, and described her as a “dear friend of the family.” But Becky Hicks responded sharply, calling Mr. Black's decision “underhanded.”

        Mr. Black said there was almost a “complete lack of rapport between the chief and the majority of officers.” There was a danger that a number of officers would leave, he said.

        Mr. Black said he had not realized how bad morale was until he talked to officers Friday.

Woman to lead athletic group

        LEXINGTON — Brigid DeVries, an assistant commissioner with the Kentucky High School Athletic Association for the past 23 years, was named Wednesday as the organization's new commissioner.

        Ms. DeVries is the first woman to serve as commissioner of KHSAA and, according to the organization, one of only four women across the country serving as commissioner or executive director of a state athletics association.

        She will begin her new duties July 1.

        Ms. DeVries, 52, replaces Louis Stout, KHSAA's first black executive and the first black in the nation to head a state athletic association office.

Project to assess information technology

        FRANKFORT — Gov. Paul Patton on Wednesday announced a project to assess Kentucky's information technology. It would include the extent to which businesses, government, schools and the general populace use the Internet.

        The self-assessment would be followed by a development plan, Mr. Patton said at the Capitol. He likened it to “the transportation decisions that were made 50 years or so ago.”

        “Only this time we're not talking about physical highways. Instead we're talking about information highways,” Mr. Patton said. “Our state's future depends on how effectively and quickly we built the technological infrastructure that is needed to compete in the new economy.”

        The three-year project is to be carried out by a committee of government and business figures. John R. Hall, former chairman and chief executive officer of Ashland Inc., is a co-chairman with Bill Brundage, commissioner of the state Office for the New Economy.

        The project has been given a Net-age name — connectkentucky — and is to be coordinated by the Center for Information Technology Enterprise in Bowling Green.


Killings up 87% over last year
28 slain in Cincinnati neighborhoods
Milestone reached in Fernald cleanup
Monroe mall plan cut from mega to just big
Charter school to open downtown
Commissioners pave way for Sabin expansion process
Curbing take-home cars saves the city $204,000
Norwood to unveil schools' revamping
Obituary: Dr. Mikio Suo, GE Engines engineer
Presbytery addresses gay issue
Ride your bike to bus stop, take a bus to work
Robbers strip man's clothes
Search goes on for two boaters
Teachers begin voting on merit plan
HOWARD: Some Good News
PULFER: A child's tale
RADEL: Ultimate good cop
Conese guilty of soliciting
Diplomas honor service to country
Fairfield mayor admits open meeting violation
Milford to get places to sip, sup
Relay for Life gets bigger every year
Teens find contest fun, but grueling
Troupe provides inspiration
Brownfield cleanup eases liability rule
Business group in Toledo wants new arena downtown
Cigarette tax hike falters in Capitol
Essay contest promotes Ohio learning program
Mental-retardation director urges training
Ohio high court strikes down same-sex solicitation law
Prison riot leader's sentence of death upheld by high court
Selling dorms proposed
Victim rights endorsed
Flasher gets time in jail
Foal losses decrease from 2001
Human cloning predicted this year
- Kentucky News Briefs
Lights to be installed on Pendery Park playing fields
Patton's daughter to leave leadership of state Democrats
Principal openings abundant
Six more sue Louisville church
Study: Minority youths charged, detained more