Tuesday, June 06, 2000

Kentucky Digest

Fitness center closes doors early

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — A financially troubled Fitness and Career Center in Covington's Eastside neighborhood has closed three months ahead of schedule.

        The Housing Authority of Covington, which operated the center, closed it last week and paid its two remaining employees through Aug. 31.

        “We decided to close it early and pay the employees for the remaining months, so that they could look for work full time,” said Bill Simon, executive director of the Housing Authority of Covington.

        The fitness center was opened in 1995 to deter drug use by involving youths in body building and health awareness activities.

        In March, the center lost $77,000 in Department of Housing and Urban Development funding. Covington's grant was cut from $280,000 to $211,000 when HUD adopted a new grant formula that allowed it to distribute money to more housing authorities, Mr. Simon said.

        The Housing Authority of Covington has agreed to provide the Northern Kentucky Community Center with $20,000 to renovate old classrooms to accommodate the fitness equipment.

        The community center hopes to open a new fitness center, if it can find the necessary funds to do so.

Storm sirens to be tested Wednesday The Cincinnati Enquirer

        KENTON COUNTY — Kenton County Emergency Management will test the county's new severe weather storm warning sirens at noon Wednesday.

        The test signal will be a one-minute steady tone.

        If there is the threat of severe weather this Wednesday, the sirens will be tested the following Wednesday.

        The 31 sirens' activation tones are encoded, so that they are resistant to false alarms or vandalism. The system is electronically monitored and computer controlled and activated.

        During severe weather, the sirens will be activated under two conditions: a tornado warning or a severe thunderstorm warning during a tornado watch. The warning signal will be a three-minute steady tone. The siren activation policy is consistent with Hamilton and Boone counties.

        After this week's initial test, the sirens will be tested at noon on the first Wednesday of the month.

Boone board will announce partnership The Cincinnati Enquirer
        FLORENCE — The Boone County Board of Education will announce a partnership with are businesses that will help the school system continue its English as a Second Language programs.

        Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America, Inc., the Mazak Corp. and individuals donated more than $42,000 to the ESL program, which would have been reduced because of budget cuts.

        The program serves 280 students.

        In addition, several spouses of Toyota employees will act as ESL volunteers to assist non-English speaking students making the transition to their new school environment.

        Details of these partnerships will be provided at a press conference Thursday.

Soybean growers will get $462M The Associated Press
        WASHINGTON — Some 601,000 farmers who grow soy beans, sunflowers and other oil-bearing crops are getting payments totaling $462 million under the farm-aid package passed by Congress last year, the Agriculture Department said Monday.

        The checks are intended as compensation for the relatively low prices that growers have been getting for the crops.

        The payments will amount to $593 for a farmer who grew 100 acres of soybeans, and about $407 for the same area of sunflowers. Other crops that qualified for the payments include flaxseed, canola and mustard.

        Legislation that the Senate and House passed in May would provide similar payments on this year's crop.

        “American farmers have been hit hard by collapsing prices and market conditions beyond their control,” Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman said. “This assistance should be helpful.”

Gov. Patton chosen for ARC position The Associated Press
        FRANKFORT — Gov. Paul Patton has been chosen states' co-chairman of the Appalachian Regional Commission.

        Governors of the other 12 Appalachian states selected Patton, a Democrat, for a one-year term that will begin Jan. 1. He succeeds West Virginia Gov. Cecil Underwood, a Republican.

        The commission, which has funneled money to the states since 1965, also has a federal co-chairman appointed by the president.

        The ARC region takes in 406 counties from New York to Mississippi. Kentucky has 49 of the counties, of which 40 are classified as “distressed,” based on poverty and unemployment.

Aldermen plan to beef up security The Associated Press
        LOUISVILLE — The city's aldermen plan to set aside some money to beef up security at City Hall.

        The measures come in response to two recent incidents involving a group called Citizens Against Police Abuse, said Steve Magre, president of the Board of Aldermen.

        Two weeks ago, about a dozen members of the group held a news conference without permission in the third-floor lobby of the Board of Aldermen offices. Earlier last month, members of the group waited two hours in the first-floor lobby for Mayor Dave Armstrong to emerge from his office, then they blocked his car as he tried to drive away from City Hall.

        A spokesman for Citizens Against Police Abuse said there's no reason to limit access to a public building like City Hall.

        Mr. Magre said he doesn't want to deny anyone access to City Hall, but he also doesn't want people without legitimate business “just wandering around” the building. Mr. Magre said he doesn't know the cost of the new measures, which include surveillance cameras.

        Covington: John G. Carlisle Elementary Site Based Decision Making Council, 4 p.m., first floor conference room, 910 Holman Ave.

        Dayton: City Council meeting, 7 p.m., city building, 514 Sixth Ave.

        Highland Heights: City Council meeting, 7:30 p.m., city building, 175 Johns Hill Road.

        Independence: Kenton County Fiscal Court meeting, 7 p.m., courthouse, 5272 Madison Pike.

        Kentucky events

        Covington: Adult book discussion of Follow the River, by James Alexander Thom, 7 p.m., Kenton County Public Library, 502 Scott Blvd.


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- Kentucky Digest
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