Wednesday, April 05, 2000

Rogers won't appeal testing requirement

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — Lloyd Rogers, Campbell County's former judge-executive, has given up the possibility of running for county circuit clerk and pursuing the federal lawsuit that might have allowed him to do so.

        Mr. Rogers said he will not appeal U.S. District Judge William O. Bertelsman's recent decision denying an injunction that would have allowed him on the ballot.

        His lawsuit questioned the constitutionality of the qualifying exam required for circuit clerk candidates across Kentucky. Mr. Rogers failed the exam, which he has called unfair and a poor barometer at determining his potential as a circuit clerk.

        When ruling on the injunction last month, Judge Bertelsman said such a court order wouldn't serve the public's interest. He also noted that the Kentucky Supreme Court already ruled that testing for circuit clerk candidates is not unconstitutional.

        Mr. Rogers said Tuesdaythat he can't afford to appeal the decision or continue with the lawsuit. However, he is gratified to know Kentucky's Administrative Office of the Courts, which administered the test, has said the qualifying test will be reviewed for the next circuit clerk election.

        About 190 people took this year's test. More than half failed. In 1993, about 25 percent failed.

Gardening workshop offered in Erlanger The Cincinnati Enquirer
        ERLANGER — There will be a free beginning gardening workshop for children and adults from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. today at the Erlanger-Elsmere Family Resource Center across from Arnett Elementary.

        Everyone will receive a free potted plant.

        Instructors are Mark Mains and Anna Lee Samson of the Kenton County Extension Office. Mark Mains is a 4—H agent who has worked with a variety of horticulture programs and activities. For information, call 342-2351. el,3

Fish derby part of park opening The Cincinnati Enquirer
        BURLINGTON — The Boone County Parks Department will open England-Idlewild Park April 30.

        From 2:30 to 4:30 will be a Youth Fishing Derby. Children 15 years old and younger may participate in the catch-and-release event.

        Fishing poles will be available for loan by the Northern Kentucky Fly Fishers Inc. or you can use your own.

        Bait will be provided by the fly fishers and there will be free pictures of children and their fish.

        For more information, call 334-2117.

More miners able to have chest X-rays The Associated Press
        LOUISVILLE — The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration says thousands more coal miners are eligible for free, confidential chest X-rays to determine if they have lung diseases.

        The pilot program began last fall and ended March 31, with more than 7,000 miners being checked.

        The second phase began Saturday, and the administration said 10,000 more miners are eligible and are being notified by MSHA officials.

Murray scales back new campus proposal The Associated Press
        MURRAY — Murray State University scaled back original plans for a new Hopkinsville cam pus, hoping this will bring the cost closer to the $5.3 million that may be needed for start-up costs.

        Murray State officials insist they need the 36,000-square-foot building that will eventually house 1,200 students, but there aren't that many students now. And it's cheaper to build one building now instead of two smaller buildings down the road.

        So when the bids go out later this month, it will give contractors several options to bid on.

        The bids will be advertised April 26 and opened May 23. The building is scheduled for completion by the fall of 2001.

Patton signs child development law The Associated Press
        FRANKFORT — Surrounded by toddlers and preschoolers, Gov. Paul Patton signed an early childhood development bill Tuesday.

        The $56 million initiative would pump money into child care subsidies, immunizations and early vision and hearing exams.

        It expands a limited program of health department workers making home visits to first-time parents who asked for help to operate statewide.

        The state also would launch a campaign to get women of childbearing age to use folic acid, a B-vitamin that can prevent neural tube birth defects.

        Thirty-nine children, many from area Head Start preschool classes, were on hand for the bill signing in the Capitol Rotunda.

Coal-fired plant planned in coalfields The Associated Press
        HAZARD — A Kentucky company will build the first coal-fired power plant in the state in more than a decade.

        The announcement Tuesday came just moments after Gov. Paul Patton signed a bill into law called the Kentucky Rural Economic Development Act that encourages the development of coal-burning plants in the coalfields.

        Kentucky Mountain Power will construct a $600 million, 500-megawatt facility 10 miles outside of Hazard, said Harold Sergent, president of Kentucky Mountain Power, during a news conference.

        “We felt like if we could get near the coalfields — the middle of them preferably — obviously, the delivered cost of fuel would be down and it would enable us to compete on a basic unit, one that runs all the time,” Mr. Sergent said.

        The power plant will primarily be fueled by coal waste, or what's been left over the years as coal goes through the washing process. Hundreds of millions of tons of coal waste can be found in the region left over from decades of mining.

        It is expected to open by Jan. 1, 2003.

        Later Tuesday, Mr. Patton signed a second coal-related bill in Madisonville. It allows coal-fired generation plants to have a tax credit equal to $2 per ton on Kentucky coal.

        “Don't let us ever forget that coal is the backbone of our economy, and for our lifetime coal will continue to be the backbone of our economy, and coal is in trouble,” Mr. Patton said in Hazard.

        “This General Assembly for the first time ever has enacted specific incentives to promote the coal industry like we've enacted incentives to promote other industries, and I think it's about time,” Mr. Patton said.

DAYBOOK Government and schools Alexandria: Campbell County Fiscal Court, 7 p.m., Alexandria Courthouse, 19 E. Main St. Burlington: Boone County Planning Commission, 7:30 p.m., administration building, third floor, 2950 Washington St. Southgate: City Council, 7:30 p.m., city building, 122 Electric Ave.

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