Monday, June 24, 2002

Kentucky A.M. Report

Area near UK under renovation plan

The Associated Press

        LEXINGTON — A consultant offered several recommendations for transforming the area between downtown and the University of Kentucky into a bustling corridor of commerce and housing.

        The plan suggests transforming Two Keys Tavern into something that looks as if it could blend with the architecture of New Orleans' French Quarter. It suggests renovating Kimball House into lodging for university visitors, encouraging homeownership through a mortgage subsidy program and creating new homes, apartments and condos plus new stores and restaurants.

        Other key suggestions include changing all the one-way streets, such as Maxwell Street, to two-ways, putting an apartment or townhouse complex on High Street and switching the development center to the space on top of the transit center.

        Limestone Street would be a center for stores and restaurants.

        The recommendations were presented by Dhiru Thadani, the consultant heading the project jointly funded by UK and the city. The goal is to create an economic bridge between campus and downtown.

        Thadani said the research is substantially finished and most key recommendations are already included. Next, officials must find a way to put the ideas into action and to pay for them.

        The study will be presented next month to the Town and Gown Commission, a group of city and university employees looking for ways to improve relations and communications.

        “The plan gives us a wonderful direction for the next 20 years. It focuses on what is possible instead of theoretical ideas,” Mayor Pam Miller said.


Presbyterians state policy on abortion

        COLUMBUS — The nation's largest Presbyterian denomination affirmed a woman's right to an abortion as long as a fetus is too young to survive outside the womb.

        Abortion after that is acceptable only to save a woman's life, to avoid fetal suffering or in cases of rape or incest, said a statement the national assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) adopted at a meeting in Columbus. The woman also must receive counseling from pastors and doctors, says the measure, which passed 394-112 with four abstentions.

        “We affirmed the fundamental right to (abortion) prior to viability,” said Judy L. Woods of Indianapolis, moderator of the denomination's advisory committee on litigation and a convention delegate.

        “But after viability, we have said that although there is still a right to choose, that choice has to be undertaken after prayer and pastoral consultation ... and only in certain circumstances.”

        Supporters called the vote a reasonable compromise, but opponents said it's a step backward.

        The denomination is headquartered in Louisville.

        The Rev. Joanne Sizoo, a Cincinnati pastor and chairwoman of the denomination's advocacy committee for women's concern, said the measure “maintains our moderately pro-choice position in the Presbyterian Church and sees matters related to abortion as matters to be decided in consultation with the physician, her family and her pastor.”

        Terry Schlossberg, executive director of Presbyterians Pro-Life, said the late-pregnancy restrictions can be easily evaded.

        “This allows for so many exceptions. There's no way for the church to counsel that any late-term abortion would be objectionable,” said Mrs. Schlossberg, of Burke, Va.

       Abandoned building damaged in fire
        The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — The third floor of an abandoned building at 12th and Russell streets sustained heavy fire damage Sunday.

        Covington firefighters continue to seek a cause in the 7 a.m. blaze, which they are treating as suspicious. The building, which has been vacant for a decade, has caught on fire in the past.

        Nobody was in the building when firefighters arrived.


Longtime coroner dies in Warren County, Ky.

        BOWLING GREEN — Former longtime Warren County coroner J.C. Kirby died early Sunday of a heart attack. He was 76.

        Mr. Kirby, a prominent funeral director, died at the Medical Center in Bowling Green.

        He was county coroner from the 1960s into the 1990s. His son Kevin is the current coroner.


Madisonville youth city's 35th homicide

        Cincinnati police are searching for a young man who shot and killed a teen Sunday near West Mitchell Avenue and Vine Street.

        Anthony Buck of the 4300 block of Conant Street in Madisonville was pronounced dead at the scene of a gunshot wound to the head at about 3:30 a.m. Sunday.

        Mr. Buck is the city's 35th homicide victim this year. At this time last year, the city had 20 homicide victims.

        Cincinnati police say Mr. Buck was a passenger in a Ford Explorer near the Shell gas station at West Mitchell and Vine, near the border with St. Bernard, when he was shot. Police wouldn't release the name of the driver, who they say drove to the gas station to get help.

        The gunman is described as a black male, 16 to 18 years old, 5 feet 9 inches tall, with a stocky build. He was last seen running from the area of Vine Street and Forest Avenue. Anyone with information is asked to call the Homicide Unit at 352-3542 or Crimestoppers at 352-3040.


Pedestrian killed; driver later arrested

        HAMILTON — A 38-year-old man was fatally injured in a pedestrian hit-skip Sunday. The driver of the vehicle was later arrested and charged.

        Mario Cucul, whose address was not released, died at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton at 12:10 p.m.

        Police said Mr. Cucul was struck by a 1991 Buick LeSabre while walking in the 200 block of Sycamore Street at 2:03 a.m. The Buick fled the scene, police said.

        Gerardo Amaya-Torres, 34, of the 500 block of S. 12th Street in Hamilton was charged with aggravated vehicular homicide, leaving the scene of an accident, failure to control, and tampering with evidence.


Moscow man dies in crash on U.S. 52

        A Moscow man died early Sunday after the vehicle he was riding in hit a telephone pole on U.S. 52.

        Chad E. Brill, 21, was pronounced dead at the scene after a 1985 Pontiac Trans Am, driven by Joshua R. Baker, 21, of New Richmond, hit a pole and rolled before coming to rest on its wheels.

        Mr. Baker was taken to University Hospital. His condition was not available Sunday.


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