Wednesday, October 24, 2001

Kentucky News Briefs




Low-income families can get free car seats

        NEWPORT — One hundred free car seats will be distributed to low-income families between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. this Saturday at the World Peace Bell at Fourth and York streets here.

        The giveaway is courtesy of the Northern Kentucky chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the National Safe Kids program.

        The car seats will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, said Jerome Bowles, president of the Northern Kentucky chapter of the NAACP. National Safe Kids will provide material on how to use the seats and install them correctly.

        The giveaway is part of a continuing program made possible by a partnership among the United Auto Workers, General Motors, the National Safe Kids Campaign, the NAACP and the National Council of La Raza.

        Since the program began three years ago, 50,000 child safety seats have been distributed through the NAACP, and another 63,000 seats have been given away through the National Council of La Raza.
       

County plans Halloween events

        COVINGTON — The Kenton County Parks & Recreation will hold its annual Four Nights of Frights at Kenton County's Mills Road Park tonight through Saturday.

        Enter your carved jack-o'-lantern in the contest by 6 p.m. today. While the jack-o'-lantern walk is being set up, you can listen to “not-so-scary” stories.

        From 7 to 9 p.m. today you can take the jack-o'-lantern walk on a torch-lit trail through the woods and vote for your favorite carvings. Prizes will be awarded after votes are counted.

        Other events include the quarter-mile Haunted Halloween Trail from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday and from 6 to 11 p.m. Friday, and the Great Pumpkin Launch from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday.

        From 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, it will be the Great Pumpkin Races, with unaltered pumpkins of various sizes racing down a torch-lit, wooden ramp.

        The events are free, but organizers ask that participants bring a canned food donation for Welcome House.

        For information, call Kenton County Parks and Recreation at (859) 525-PLAY.
       

School wins appeal in records case

        COVINGTON — A man who accused Holmes High School officials of illegally withholding his children's records has lost an appeal to the attorney general.

        School officials were only following a court's order, so there was no violation of the Open Records Act, according to an attorney general's opinion.

        The appeal was by Ronald J. Bray, who wanted copies of records pertaining to his two children. The opinion by Assistant Attorney General James M. Ringo noted that Mr. Bray did not have custody of the children.

        The school's attorney produced a Boone Circuit Court order, obtained by the students' mother, prohibiting Mr. Bray's access to their school or medical records, Judge Ringo's opinion said.

        Under a federal law, the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, either parent has a right to inspect a child's school records. There is an exception for “evidence that there is a court order, state statute or legally binding document relating to such matters as divorce, separation or custody that specifically revokes these rights,” the opinion said.

Senate approves judicial nominee

        WASHINGTON — The Senate unanimously approved Karen Caldwell's nomination Tuesday to be a federal judge for the Eastern District of Kentucky.

        Kentucky Sens. Mitch McConnell and Jim Bunning applauded the nomination in a joint statement. They recommended Ms. Caldwell to President Bush, who nominated her to the bench in August.

        Ms. Caldwell is a former federal prosecutor for the Eastern District. In that position, she was involved in Operation Boptrot, an undercover corruption probe that centered on the Kentucky General Assembly. Ms. Caldwell is currently in private practice in Lexington.

        The Senate has not moved to confirm the two other judicial nominees from Kentucky. They are David Bunning and Danny Reeves.

        Mr. Bunning is the senator's son and a federal prosecutor in the Eastern District of Kentucky. An American Bar Association panel recently told the Senate Judiciary Committee that he was not qualified for the federal bench.

        Mr. Reeves is a partner in a Lexington law firm.

        Two of the lifetime seats opened after judges announced retirement plans. The third seat is a new judgeship.
       

Inspectors investigate coal miner's death

        HAZARD — State and federal inspectors are investigating the death of a coal miner in Perry County.

        John B. Smith, 46, of Arvawan, Ky., a foreman with 25 years of mining experience, was not accounted for when a shift ended late Monday night. A co-worker who went searching for Mr. Smith found him at about 11 p.m. on an electrical box some 8,200 feet underground, said Holly McCoy, spokeswoman for the Kentucky Department of Mines and Minerals.

        Mr. McCoy said he was lying on an electrical box with a phone receiver in his hand.

        Foul play is not suspected. Evidence at the scene suggests either electrocution or heart attack as the cause of death.

        Mr. Smith was pronounced dead at the scene by Perry County Coroner Jimmy Maggard. The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration also is investigating.

No indictment on rape charges

       LOUISVILLE — A grand jury declined to indict a Louisville police chaplain on charges of raping a woman who is a member of his church.

        The woman had asked that the charge be dropped.

        The Rev. Forrest Brooks, 41, pastor of Mount Vernon Missionary Baptist Church, was arrested Aug. 2 after the woman filed a criminal complaint against him. According to the complaint, the woman said she had wanted to end their relationship and that the Rev. Mr. Brooks had raped her at a hotel.

        However, at the Rev. Mr. Brooks' arraignment Aug. 7, the woman told the judge that the charges should be dropped — that she never told authorities that he raped her.

        The grand jury declined to indict the Rev. Mr. Brooks on felony charges of first-degree rape, unlawful imprisonment, wanton endangerment and intimidating a witness.

        The Rev. Mr. Brooks remains charged with fourth-degree assault and menacing, both misdemeanors.

       



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