Monday, July 16, 2001

Kentucky Digest

1,776 turn selves in in warrant 'amnesty'

The Associated Press

        LOUISVILLE — Nearly 1,800 people with outstanding warrants came clean last week as part of Jefferson District Court's effort to cut down on a backlog of about 45,000 warrants.

        Most who took advantage of the county's first-ever warrant resolution week were able to dispense with the warrants and, in most cases, avoid arrest.

        “I thought it went real well,” said Chief District Judge William P. Ryan Jr. Of the 1,776 people who turned themselves in, about 10 were taken into custody on more serious charges, he said.

        County prosecutors have been working to purge thousands of outstanding warrants on cases deemed unprosecutable.

        Among last week's participants was Lameka Cooke, 26, who said she didn't want to go to jail for having missed court dates on 2-year-old traffic charges.

        “It was a quick and easy way to get the weight off your shoulder,” Ms. Cooke said.

        The cases ranged from an elderly man ordered to pay a dollar to resolve a vehicle-emissions testing charge to a man taken into custody for escape, said Debbie Linnig Michals, a spokeswoman for the court clerk's office.

Golf course atop strip mine praised

        PRESTONSBURG — A new economic development concept that includes a golf course atop a strip mine in eastern Kentucky is drawing praise from politicians and the business community, though questions remain about its economic viability.

        The project, on a mountain between Jenny Wiley State Park and downtown Prestonsburg, had been on Rep. Greg Stumbo's wish list for years.

        StoneCrest Golf Course — a development that also calls for an industrial park and two upscale subdivisions — is the center of the concept that converts lands blighted by mountaintop-removal strip mining into assets, according to Mr. Stumbo.

        Since opening in May, the course has been met with acclaim.

        “It's exceeded our wildest expectations,” said Mr. Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg.

        Still, there are uncertainties about the project's current and ultimate cost. And there are questions about the stability of new topsoil and subsoil on both the golf course and building sites, and whether, over the long term, StoneCrest will be able to make enough money to maintain itself.

        “Maintenance is going to be our biggest challenge,” said Paul Hughes, a businessman who heads a committee appointed by Prestonsburg City Council to oversee the project

Man killed mowing when tractor flips

        RICHMOND, Ky. — A Madison County man died after his tractor rolled on top of him while he was mowing his yard, state police said.

        Wayne A. Gray, 57, was riding a Ford 9000 with a bush hog attached about 11:15 a.m. Sunday when the road near the yard he was mowing gave way, police said. The tractor tipped over and Mr. Gray was thrown to the ground. The tractor then rolled over Mr. Gray, police said.

        Mr. Gray was found dead at the scene, which is 11 miles north of Richmond, according to the Madison County coroner's office.

Gospel group moves
homecoming festival
The Associated Press

        OWENSBORO — The city of Owensboro is hoping a family gospel act can help replace some of the economic loss felt when a giant bluegrass festival left town five years ago.

        In 1996, the International Bluegrass Music Association's annual convention and Fan Fest brought in an estimated $2.4 million for the city, the state said. But the next year, the association moved its convention to Louisville.

        Now the Crabb Family, a 13-member Ohio County-based Southern gospel act, is moving its three-day Homecoming 2001 festival to Owensboro on July 28.

        “We're expecting people from both coasts and maybe Europe,” Kathy Crabb of the Crabb Family, said last week. “These people are fanatics. They're not chasing rock bands now. They're chasing gospel.”

Patient injured in fire at hospital

        WILLIAMSON, W.Va. — A man injured in a fire in a Williamson Memorial Hospital room was in serious condition Sunday at another hospital.

        Ray Marcum, 53, of Martin County, Ky., sustained third degree burns over 18 percent to 20 percent of his body in a Friday morning fire. He was being treated Sunday in the burn unit of Cabell Huntington Hospital, a nursing supervisor there said.

        Mr. Marcum was evacuated from his room on the third floor of Williamson Memorial when the mattress on the bed in the room was found to be on fire shortly after 4 a.m.

        Forty other patients also were evacuated from the hospital, which returned to normal operation by 11:30 a.m.

        It was not clear Sunday what started the fire.


Boycott aims for lasting effects
Lynch explains his boycott stance
Citizen gripes bypass panel
Over-the-Rhine under the gun and in fear
OTR businesses struggle to woo back customers
Man severely beaten; 5 others shot
RADEL: Fountain of peace
Drawings heal effects of riots
First Unity Day lunch planned for today
Bad drivers leave costly mess
Ky., Ohio government Web sites honored
Dance group taps into variety
Franklin schools plan bond-issue vote
Hamilton has plans for bridge
Home safety checks offered
- Kentucky Digest
Local Digest
Odd history on display
Oil suppliers work on image
You Asked For It
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Web ups hate group membership