Wednesday, June 28, 2000

Northern Kentucky News Briefs

Chamber rates state lawmakers
        FORT THOMAS — State Sen. Katie Stine, R-Fort Thomas, was the top-ranked lawmaker in the Kentucky General Assembly in a survey by a statewide business group.

        Mrs. Stine, a freshman state senator who served two terms in the Kentucky House, scored a 92 average on the survey by Kentucky Forward, the political arm of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

        The survey covers lawmakers votes on business issues, how they are perceived by lobbyists of the chamber's members, and a subjective evaluation of how legislators handle issues dealing with free enterprise.

        The average score covers every session since 1992. The legislature meets every two years.

        The average scores of other Northern Kentucky lawmakers were:

        • Rep. Paul Marcotte, R-Union, 86.

        • Rep. Jon Draud, R-Crestview Hills, 84.

        • Rep. Joe Fischer, R-Fort Thomas, 79

        • Sen. Ernie Harris, R-Crestwood, 79

        • Rep. Jim Callahan, D-Wilder, 78.

        • Rep. Charlie Walton, R-Florence, 76.

        • Sen. Jack Westwood, R-Erlanger, 76.

        • Sen. Dick Roeding, R-Lakeside Park, 75.

        • Rep. Tom Kerr, D-Taylor Mill, 73.

        • Rep. Royce Adams, R-Dry Ridge, 68.

        • Rep. Arnold Simpson, D-Covington, 67.

        • Rep. Jon David Reinhardt, R-Claryville, 62.

        The average for the Senate was 72. In the House, the average was 65.3.

NKU names new administrator
        Don Gorbandt of Florence is the new assistant vice president for university development at Northern Kentucky University.

        Mr. Gorbandt comes from nearby Thomas More College, where he was associate vice president for institutional advancement after serving as director of development. There, he was responsible for the successful $5.5 million capital drive and was instrumental in winning a $1 million donation.

        At NKU, his primary focus will be strengthening the school's fund-raising, and he will coordinate major gifts strategy and solicitation.

Kenton Co. libraries open hour earlier
        COVINGTON — Starting July 3, the Kenton County Public Library system will open an hour earlier Monday through Friday.

        The new hours for the libraries in Covington, Erlanger and Independence will be 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Fridays.

        Weekend hours will stay the same, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.

        The Covington location only will be open from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

        Also, on July 4, the library system will be closed in observance of the holiday.

        Library officials say they have extended the hours to better serve the community. Users also can visit the library's Web site at to browse the catalog and put a book on hold.

        For information on library programs and services, call 491-7610.

Chandler wants ruling on pension increases
        FRANKFORT — Attorney General Ben Chandler said Tuesday he will ask a court to rule that a bill passed by the 2000 General Assembly that appears to nearly double legislative pensions is unconstitutional.

        The Judicial Form Retirement System, which also oversees the legislative retirement program, voted last week to ask a court to declare the exact meaning of the provision of House Bill 389 that related to legislative pensions.

        Sen. Albert Robinson, R-London, who sponsored the provision, said he intended that it raise the presumed salary for legislative pensions from $27,500, the amount originally set in 1982, to more than $43,000.

Newspaper says Ky. went easy on Paducah
        PADUCAH, Ky. — Kentucky's regulators have gone easy on the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant but punished other polluters like coal mines and landfills, a newspaper says.

        The U.S. Department of Energy, the plant's owner, has been fined $5,000 since the mid-1980s even though it has created a toxic-metal junkyard and released tons of radioactive material into the air, the Courier-Journal of Louisville reported Tuesday.

        Kentucky officials say they have been hampered by government secrecy, a lack of resources and, until 1992, questions about whether they could legally challenge the agency.

        State regulators have been aware of serious problems at the plant since 1986, when inspectors found that sludge the plant dumped into a landfill was hazardous.

        Robert Logan, state commissioner of environmental protection, said Kentucky has not shirked its duty and that the plant has been given the same chance to correct problems as is offered to private industry.

        Information obtained under the Kentucky Open Records Act shows Kentucky officials did much less than state regulators in Ohio and Tennessee who also oversee DOE nuclear facilities.

        Those states have each fined the DOE more than $200,000.

        Ohio's and Tennessee's regulators also were more assertive than Kentucky's in gaining entry to nuclear facilities when the DOE, in the 1980s, refused to let inspectors see many parts of its plants.

        Mr. Logan insisted that much has been accomplished in recent years by talking and negotiating and avoiding legal battles.

        “We have done an adequate job,” Mr. Logan said. “We would like to do better.”


Bengals let go of sellout guarantee
Program could help restore cemetery
Tristate viewers revel in suspense
RADEL: Nordstrom deal
Hospital to lose $12M in funding
Walnut St. Bridge open
Sister cities benefit beyond good will
    "Sister" program's origins traced to Ike in '56
Tributes, pain for slain scientist
West Chester: A name by any other wouldn't be so sweet
Barleycorn's to sail into N.Ky. history
3 boys held in school vandalism
Budget pencils in tax roll-back
City could lower property-tax rate
Classes feed grass roots
Clermont wreck leaves teen dead
Deerfield: We need more police
Design entries chosen
Friends of crash victims trying to copy with tragedy
Kidnap suspect indicted
Land sought for sewer plant
Lawsuits against Kenton dismissed
Lebanon electric rates to go up
Local Community Shares receives grant to start volunteer program
Man douses blaze
Missing girl, 3, found
Monroe schools to get funds
more teens die in separate wrecks
Movie review: 'Patriot' gamey
Nader could be on Ky. ballot
- Northern Kentucky News Briefs
Palm trees adjusting to climate
Parking lot cost up $400,000
Portman mentioned for veep
Principal arrives at Losantiville
So, just why does 'Brady Bunch' live on?
CROWLEY: Why we matter
BIG PIG GIG: Chop 'Til You Drop
Get to it
Tristate A.M. Report