Thursday, August 31, 2000

Kentucky News Briefs

Lucas leads forum on school safety

        UNION — U.S. Rep. Ken Lucas, a Boone County Democrat, will host a school safety summit Friday at Ryle High School in Union.

        Mr. Lucas, who represents the 4th Congressional District and is running for re-election, said he is holding the summit to raise awareness about student violence and reach a better understanding in the community of potential warning signs and successful prevention strategies.

        “Even though our schools remain one of the safest places for young people, we have seen what can happen when intolerance, indifference and rage lead to hopelessness and then violence,” Mr. Lucas said.

        The summit will include a student assembly. Students will have the opportunity to ask questions and make statements.

        Also participating will be: Sgt. Joe Humbert, Boone County Schools safety director; Fred Bernier, Ryle assistant principal; Ralph Kelly, commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice; psychologist Dr. Michael Downer; school resource officer Deputy Mike Jarman of the Boone County Sheriff's Department.

Three join board of Forward Quest

        COVINGTON — Forward Quest, the nonprofit group helping to plan Northern Kentucky's development and growth, has added three members to its board, Chairman Frank Sommerkamp announced Wednesday.

        They are:

        • Joseph Head Jr., chairman of Atkins & Pearce manufacturing in Covington.

        • Helen Donaldson, manager of community relations and corporate affairs for Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America, Erlanger.

        • Jim Willman, president of the Drawbridge Inn and Heavenly Ham Co. and chairman of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

        “These three individuals bring tremendous leadership skills and perspective to Forward Quest,” Mr. Sommerkamp said.

        Mr. Sommerkamp also announced that one of the founding members — Erlanger lawyer William T. Robinson III — will assume emeritus status along with banker Merwin Grayson, real estate firm owner Jim Huff and venture capitalist Edwin T. Robinson.

Prison advised in baby's heat death

        LEXINGTON — A Fayette Circuit Court jury Wednesday recommended a 13-year prison sentence for a woman convicted of leaving a baby locked in a car while she shopped, causing the baby to die of heat-related illness.

        Karen Murphy, 38, was found guilty but mentally ill last week of second-degree manslaughter in the death of 11-month-old Bryan Puckett, who she was babysitting.

        Ms. Murphy left the child in a car along with her 14-month-old son, Jason, while she shopped for two hours in July 1999.

        The jury of six women and six men deliberated for 5 1/2 hours before it recommended the maximum of 10 years for manslaughter and three years for criminal abuse for leaving her son in the car. Jason nearly died but was revived.

Mine closing costs hundreds of jobs

— Peabody Coal Co.'s Camp No. 1 mine is closing after 30 years of operation, leaving 340 western Kentucky miners without work.

        The closing is expected in late October, said Peabody Holding Co. spokesman Vic Svec.

        The company's Camp 9 is also closing, so a total of 360 miners were given 60-day notices.

        It was hoped that Peabody Coal would keep the mine operating until a different Peabody Holding subsidiary, the new Highland Mining Co., opened an underground mine on the Henderson and Union county line. It is expect to employee 200 miners when it opens in spring 2002.

        But Peabody Coal can't afford to keep Camp 1 operating because of a combination of low coal prices and high operating costs, Mr. Svec said.

        Camp 1 has operated so long that its coal reserves are miles from the mine entrance, resulting in hours of lost production time each week as miners travel underground to reach the mine face.

        “Certainly we would have preferred to keep Camp No. 1 open until Highland comes on line,” Mr. Svec said. About 30 to 40 miners will remain on the job several months to remove equipment from the mine and reclaim surface areas.

Pornography case crossed state lines

        PADUCAH — A man was charged with distributing child pornography after an investigation that began in New York, the Kentucky State Police announced Wednesday.

        Rodney L. Steele, 49, of Paducah, allegedly distributed material portraying a minor engaged in a sex act, police said. Mr. Steele was served an indictment warrant on Tuesday night and lodged in the McCracken County jail. Bond was set at $20,000.

        The indictment was the result of an investigation by the Kentucky State Police Electronic Crime Section in Frankfort and the Westchester County District Attorney's Office in New York.

        Kentucky authorities were notified about the alleged criminal activity by the New York officials.

Madisonville factory to open next year

        FRANKFORT — Rexam Closures & Containers will build a $30 million facility in Madisonville, Ky., company officials announced Wednesday.

        The 190,000 square-foot facility is expected to open next summer.

        Employees will produce packaging products, containers and pumps.

        “When this project is completed, Rexam will have more than 1,000 molding machines in global locations, placing us among the top closure manufacturers in the world,” said Clas Nilstoft, the company division president.

Mrs. Dole helps Fletcher campaign

        LEXINGTON — Former presidential hopeful Elizabeth Dole was the main attraction at a fund-raiser for U.S. Rep. Ernie Fletcher, who is building on a campaign war chest that could help fuel the most expensive congressional race in Kentucky history.

        Mrs. Dole, a former head of the Red Cross who pulled out of the race for the GOP presidential nomination last year, appeared at a fund-raiser for Mr. Fletcher at a home in south Lexington on Tuesday.

        The event was attended by about 250 people and raised more than $75,000 in his race against Democrat Scotty Baesler, Mr. Fletcher said.


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Concert review
Cops give prostitution suspects wake-up call
Council to hear proposals for developing corner
Don't give cold shoulder to winter skin care
Man accused of threatening is cleared
McNicholas told it can't use fly-ash fill
Mobile home park fights ouster
More federal funds available for Ohio-Ky. light rail study
Oak and Acorn adds attractions for park festival
Official, husband face suit
Official's son pleads guilty in marijuana case
Overexposed duo getting diverted
Ponies, pigs, pageants provide plenty of pun
Preservationists stake out rural Ky. land
School bells announce new year, new district
Get to it
- Kentucky News Briefs
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