Sunday, May 05, 2002

Kentucky Digest

The Associated Press

        LOUISVILLE — A jury will hear Mayor Dave Armstrong's lawsuit against Bee Line Courier Service next month. The June 4 trial will come more than four years after Mr. Armstrong was involved in a car accident that he says caused serious physical problems.

        The accident occurred Feb. 4, 1998, when Mr. Armstrong was then Jefferson County judge-executive. Mr. Armstrong was driving to work on an icy road when, according to a police report, an oncoming Bee Line car slid across the center line into the path of Mr. Armstrong's vehicle.

        Shortly after the accident, Mr. Armstrong was diagnosed with a rare neuromuscular disorder called myasthenia gravis.

        His lawsuit contends the driver was negligent and therefore Bee Line is responsible. He seeks unspecified damages.

        Mr. Armstrong, now 60, says in the court papers that the disease has never affected his ability to do his job as mayor.

        His suit does not mention the disease by name, but in interviews and in court documents filed by his attorney, he has claimed the crash brought on the disease.

        In Bee Line's response to the suit, attorney Mark A. Osbourn denies all allegations of negligence.

Pat McCuiston dies; was state senator

— Former state Sen. Pat McCuiston died Friday night at Jennie Stuart Medical Center. He was 84.

        Mr. McCuiston of Pembroke, served Christian, Todd and Caldwell counties as state senator for several years before being unseated in 1992 in the Democratic primary by Sen. Joey Pendleton of Hopkinsville.

        He was a recipient of the Ned Breathitt Award, given annually to a local Democrat in recognition of party contributions.

        Services will be 2 p.m. CDT on Sunday at Pembroke Baptist Church. Burial will be in Rosedale Cemetery in Pembroke.

Pastor dies while preaching at funeral

               LEXINGTON — A pastor died last week while preaching at a funeral at the eastern Kentucky church he founded.

        The Rev. Roy Leonard Hudson was near the end of his sermon, in which he was talking about one of the two thieves who died on crosses with Jesus, when he fell over dead against the coffin Thursday. Mr. Hudson was 80.

        An emergency medical technician attending the funeral tried to render aid. Rev. Mr. Hudson was placed in a funeral home vehicle, which met an ambulance on the way to Kentucky River Medical Center in Jackson, but he could not be resuscitated.

        Rev. Mr. Hudson was founder and pastor of Faith Bible Church at Hardshell in Breathitt County.

        “He wasn't a city preacher. He was a country preacher. The church was his life. And it's just so odd to me he died in the church,” said Madro Noble of Lost Creek, a friend of Rev. Mr. Hudson.

        Services will be at 10 a.m. Sunday at Faith Bible Church.

Ordinance on books, but not enforced

— A city ordinance meant to crack down on excessive partying wasn't enforced by police this past semester at the University of Kentucky though it has been on the books for months.

        Many homeowners and students assumed that the ordinance, passed by the Urban County Council on Dec. 13, was already in effect. The law tracks disturbances such as noise violations and underage drinking and can make offending houses a “no-party zone.”

        Police Chief Anthany Beatty said police are taking their time to develop procedures to ensure the plan is effective.

        “The plan was passed quickly without input from us,” Chief Beatty said. “If they gave us more leeway and more lead time, maybe we wouldn't be in this situation, but that's not the case.”

        A changeover in computer software and other priorities also contributed to the delay.

        Some UK students said they hadn't noticed any more police or fewer parties compared with the fall semester.

        “It's stupid to even have (the plan) if cops aren't going to enforce it,” said freshman Chappell Schardein.

        But others say there has been some effect. Justin Vicroy said the plan had already put a damper on the party scene in neighborhoods near UK.

        “Last year at this time, there'd be a party down the block, one over there, maybe we'd be having one,” he said. “Now, it seems like people keep to themselves. Here it is April and we're sitting on the porch. I don't mind it, but it's not the same.”

FBI veteran named to direct airport

               LOUISVILLE — A 20-year veteran of the FBI is the new federal security director at Louisville International Airport.

        Bruce Botman was one of four security chiefs identified Thursday by the U.S. Department of Transportation as part of its federalization of security procedures at the nation's 429 commercial airports.

        They “will be the security field marshals at airports across the country,” Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta said in a statement.

        The positions were created by the National Aviation and Transportation Security Act in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The directors are supposed to provide a clear line of authority for airport security matters.

        The Transportation Department statement said Mr. Botman had served as a supervisory special agent and had held “some of the most coveted positions within the FBI.” The statement gave no further details.

        Other security directors were named at the Washington Dulles, San Francisco and Orlando, Fla., airports.

Clean-water rule to be amended

               WASHINGTON — The Bush administration said Friday it was amending a clean-water rule that environmentalists say bans the dumping of mine waste into the nation's waterways.

        The administration contends the dumping of debris from mining activity is allowable and denied that the change would encourage “mountaintop mining” of coal in which the tops of ridges in Appalachia are sheared off and dirt and rock are pushed into nearby streams.

        Environmentalists disagreed.

        “Now that the administration has changed the rules, it sends a clear signal to the coal companies not only to continue but to accelerate their destruction of waters,” said Joan Mulhern, a lawyer at Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund.


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Local Digest
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- Kentucky Digest
Receding waters leave devastation, little hope
48 revelers arrested at University of Akron