Tuesday, July 03, 2001

Kentucky Digest

Patton orders belt-tightening

The Associated Press

        FRANKFORT — Gov. Paul Patton on Monday ordered a freeze on state employee pay raises and overtime except in life-threatening situations to prepare for a budget shortfall that could reach $321 million this year.

        Mr. Patton hinted that if spending cuts were not successful, the annual 5 percent pay increase granted all state employees could be at risk. “I have asked all state agencies to take some basic steps in their personnel matters to help ensure my overall goal of preventing employee layoffs and to protect state employees' annual 5 percent pay increment this year,” Mr. Patton said in a news release from his office.

        Payments for accrued compensatory time will also be suspended.

        Overtime will be authorized “only in cases to prevent or eliminate life-threatening, safety or health situations.”

        Payments for such raises and overtime cost about $45 million in the fiscal year that ended June 30.

        All state agencies have also been asked to review travel expenses.

        Budget director James Ramsey is expected to make his formal recommendations for budget cuts to Mr. Patton by the end of July.

Sen. McConnell on campaign stop

               Kentucky U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, a Louisville Republican, will be in Northern Kentucky today to demonstrate support he is receiving for his 2002 re-election campaign.

        Mr. McConnell is traveling around the state to announce the chairman of Democrats for McConnell, a committee of Kentucky Democrats backing the three-term Senator.

        Mr. McConnell's campaign would not release the name of the chairman Monday. Lois Combs Weinberg, an Eastern Kentucky Democrat, is challenging Mr. McConnell in next year's election.

        The local announcement will be made at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. Mr. McConnell will also be traveling to airports in Louisville, Lexington, Bowling Green and Owensboro.

Reapportionment panel to meet

               BURLINGTON — The Boone County Commissioner Districts Reapportionment Commission will hold the first of three meetings at 7 p.m. Thursday in Fiscal Court chambers at the County Administration Building on Ky. 18.

        The county has been considering how to redraw its districts based on 2000 census data.

        The other meeting times are July 19 and July 26, both at 7 p.m. at the administration building.

Circus camp performances set

               COVINGTON — Wire walkers, jugglers and others will be featured at the fifth annual circus camp performance by My Nose Turns Red Theatre Company at 7:30 p.m. July 13 and 14.

        The circus features performances by youths ages 7 to 16, as well as professionals Derek Dye, Julie Janosick, Steve Hayes and other guest artists.

        The circus performances will be at the Behringer-Crawford Museum in Devou Park. Tickets are $6 for adults and $3 for children.

        Information: (859) 581-7100.

Marketplace adding two businesses

               COVINGTON — More than 50 vendors will display and sell vintage items at the second Sunday Antiques Marketplace this Sunday.

        Show hours are from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. There is free admission and parking.

        This Sunday's antiques marketplace will include a European beer tasting, refreshments at various businesses and the grand opening of two businesses — Grandma's Nook at 606 Main St., featuring fine antiques and collectibles, and Wonder's at 609 Main St. with new age books and gifts.

        Call (859) 491-0458 for a “first time” discounted set up fee of $25.

Man charged in death of Winchester teen

               WINCHESTER — A Nicholasville man has been charged with murder in the death of Derek Whitt, 16, of Winchester, according to Clark County Sheriff Gary Lawson.

        Derek died about 9:30 p.m. Sunday as he was being taken to the University of Kentucky Medical Center. The teen-ager died of blunt force injuries to the head, according to a preliminary autopsy report from the Lexington/Fayette County Coroner's Office.

        Derek was hanging onto the side of a pickup driven by David Holt, 19, and was dragged for a distance before he was run over, Sheriff Lawson said.

        Mr. Holt was also charged with wanton endangerment, unlawful transaction with a minor and terroristic threatening, according to the sheriff.

        The incident occurred a mile west of U.S. 60 on Lamond Ruelle Street.

        Mr. Holt is expected to be arraigned today, Sheriff Lawson said.

Used golf equipment needed for schools

— The Covington Educational Foundation is seeking donations of gently used golf equipment for the golf teams of Holmes High School.

        Clubs, balls, shoes, and bags are among the items the group is collecting.

        Anyone who is interested in donating golf equipment can arrange to have it picked up, or can drop it off during the Covington Educational Foundation's golf outing July 13 at the Twin Oaks Golf Club.

        For information, call Diane Brumback at (859) 384-2073 or send an e-mail to DBrumb1800@aol.com.

Spalding University gets $1 million gift

               LOUISVILLE — For the second time in three years, a couple has given $1 million to Spalding University.

        Former Louisville residents Bill and Shirley Merke's latest gift designates $500,000 for each of two permanent endowments, university officials said.

        The Merke Chair in the School of Business will assist in recruiting and paying the salary of a nationally respected business faculty member.

        The other half of the gift sets up a $25,000 annual scholarship fund for undergraduates who are the first members of their families to attend college.

        The Merkes, who now live in Highland Beach, Fla., were introduced to Spalding through Mrs. Merke's aunt, Sister Margaret Reilly, a Spalding alumna and former faculty member.


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Local Digest
Miami student sentenced for possessing cocaine
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Chamber will endorse candidates
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- Kentucky Digest
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Police shooting called accident
Term limits' influence seen in budget fray
Township wanted RR signals where 5 died