Thursday, June 5, 2003

Around the Commonwealth



Man arrested in arson that burned woman

BUTLER - A 24-year-old Indiana man was arrested Wednesday in connection with a Pendleton County arson case in which a woman was seriously burned, Kentucky State Police said.

Daniel W. Shockey of Peru, Ind., was charged Wednesday with first-degree arson, first-degree burglary and criminal attempt to commit murder. He has been held at the Grant County jail on a charge of possession of a handgun by a convicted felon since Friday.

Novenda Jean Fields, 42, of Butler remained in critical but stable condition Wednesday afternoon at University Hospital in Cincinnati. She was seriously burned when someone doused her with gasoline Friday afternoon inside her trailer on Ky. 609 in Butler, police said.

Lt. Kevin Payne of Post 6 in Dry Ridge said police have interviewed numerous people as part of the investigation of the arson. They did not release a possible motive for the crime.

Clay shoot to raise cash for cystic fibrosis

OWENTON, Ky. - Sixty four shotgun-toting teams from Greater Cincinnati expect to raise more than $250,000 for cystic fibrosis research this week as they blast flying clay discs out of the sky.

Todaythe teams will finish competing in the two-day Boomer's Sporting Clays Pro Am, an annual event that raises money for the Boomer Esiason Foundation for Cystic Fibrosis.

Proceeds from the event at the Elk Creek Hunt Club in Owenton will be donated to Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

Esiason, a national sportscaster and former Cincinnati Bengals quarterback, has been raising money for cystic fibrosis research ever since his son, Gunnar, was diagnosed with the genetic disease in 1993.

Woman seen standing on coaster before fall

SANTA CLAUS, Ind. - Witnesses saw a woman "virtually standing up" while riding a roller coaster at Holiday World amusement park moments before she fell to her death, investigators said.

Authorities had already said they thought the death of Tamar Fellner of New York City was an accident, and the Spencer County coroner's office officially ruled the death an accident Tuesday.

Fellner, 32, was among a group of roller coaster enthusiasts at Holiday World Saturday night when she fell from The Raven. She fell from the ride while it was in the midst of a 69-foot drop. She was riding next to her fiance, Robert Weitzner, officials said. Weitzner and Fellner's family members declined comment.

A preliminary investigation showed Fellner's seat belt and lap bar were buckled and locked when she started the ride.

Board of education to lobby for more money

FRANKFORT - The Kentucky Board of Education plans to try to persuade the General Assembly to pay for full-day kindergarten and to give school districts more money for students with limited English proficiency.

The board may also ask the legislature to broaden the state's basic school funding formula to cover preschool education, rather than leave it to be separately funded in every biennial state budget.

Those are among the board's funding priorities as it gears up for the 2004 General Assembly, which figures to see a fierce competition for funding from an array of interest groups.

The board and other education boosters "are going to have to be articulate and passionate" about funding, board Chairwoman Helen Mountjoy said Wednesday.

The current budget was precariously balanced, partly at the expense of education.

The budget delayed spending $21.7 million for textbooks.

It took about $2 million from technology and a management assistance program for struggling schools.

It also took $22 million that had been set aside for performance awards in 2004 and sent it to districts to pay for employee raises.




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Around the Commonwealth

INDIANA
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