Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Around the Commonwealth



Derby night fatal crash brings charges

WARSAW - Two men driving back to Greater Cincinnati after last year's Kentucky Derby in Louisville face charges of murder and driving under the influence in connection with a wreck that killed two people.

Matthew Scott Burton was arraigned Monday morning in Gallatin Circuit Court on two counts of murder and driving under the influence. A pretrial hearing has been scheduled for April 21.

Burton was driving his 1998 BMW north on Interstate 71 in Gallatin County in the early morning of May 5 when two vehicles collided in front of him. In the four-car collision that followed, police said, Burton's car went into the southbound lane of the interstate and struck a 1991 Ford Aerostar van head-on. Burton was 48 at the time of the wreck and living in Amberley Village.

A passenger in Burton's car, 44-year-old Carmen Williams of Elmwood Place, was pronounced dead at the scene. A 24-year-old Michigan man who was a passenger in the van died a short time later at a trauma center in Lexington.

A second driver involved in the wreck - also returning from a Louisville-area Derby celebration - was charged with driving under the influence. Vince Rutledge was indicted on two counts of wanton murder three months later.

A pretrial hearing in his case is also set for April 21 in Gallatin Circuit Court. Rutledge was 38 at the time of the wreck and living in Price Hill.

Police said Rutledge was traveling north on I-71 when he struck the rear of a car in front of him. The two cars swerved to either side of the road. Police said Burton's car, traveling behind Rutledge's, crossed the medium into southbound traffic.

Councilman indicted in Internet sex sting

Independence City Council member Otis Ketron has been indicted by a Hamilton County grand jury on five felony counts of importuning, or sexual solicitation.

Authorities said the 15-year-old girl that Ketron thought he was chatting with was actually a detective with a computer crimes task force of the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office.

The 47-year-old first-term Independence City Council member was arrested March 14 in Winton Terrace after a four-month investigation, authorities said. The incidents were said to have occurred since December.

Last November, Ketron was the fourth-highest vote-getter in the 12-person race for six council seats. He took office in January.

Ketron is being held in the Hamilton County Justice Center under $500,000 bond. He is to be arraigned Thursday.

Sunday night blaze damage: $50,000

COVINGTON - Firefighters Monday did not release the cause of a fire that swept through an abandoned home on Sunday evening. It took two hours and about 20 firefighters to get the blaze at 1416 Scott St. under control. Firefighters said the blaze caused $50,000 in damage to the three-story home. No one was injured in the blaze, which was reported at 5:42 p.m.

Corporate tax break on fast track

FRANKFORT - Legislation to preserve a major corporate tax deduction is being rushed to passage as the 2003 General Assembly nears its end.

If enacted, about 500 Kentucky-based corporations could continue, at least for this year, to take a credit for license taxes paid by their subsidiaries.

The Senate, voting 34-0, passed legislation to that effect late Monday and sent it to the House. It was attached to a House bill dealing with preservation of Kentucky's share of a national tobacco settlement. That was a hedge against a veto, which Gov. Paul Patton has threatened.

"It would be less likely to be vetoed" if attached to the tobacco bill, Senate Minority Leader Dan Kelly said.

Boone Co. Extension to hold nature walk

The Boone County Cooperative Extension Service will host a free "Wildflower/Nature Walk" 1:30-3:30 p.m. April 8. The walk will be held at Big Bone Lick State Park. Attendeeswill learn the history and identification of the plants they find.

Registration information/directions: (859) 586-6101.

Gardening classes tonight, Thursday

BURLINGTON - The Boone County Cooperative Extension Service will hold two classes about garden care and perennial flowers.

The first class, "Garden, Lawn and Landscape Basics," will cover basic garden needs. The class will be 7-9 tonight. The second class, "Perennial Flowers for Spring Beauty," will be 9-11 a.m. Thursday. Speaker Mike Klahr, Boone County Extension Agent for Horticulture, will present information and pictures of springtime perennials.

The classes will be held at the Boone County Extension Office, east of Burlington. Registration information: (859) 586-6101.




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Around the Commonwealth

INDIANA
Lawrenceburg city hall moving