Tuesday, May 07, 2002

Kentucky A.M. report

Students present WTC memorial design

The Associated Press

        FRANKFORT — A salvaged facade from the World Trade Center is the focal point of a memorial design by Murray State University students.

        Flanking the facade, stylized male and female forms ascend from shards of steel and other wreckage. “Humanity rising from chaos,” Termaine Shellman, one of the student designers, explained Monday as a model of the proposed memorial was unveiled at the Capitol.

        Fourteen students of Edward Breathitt, artist in residence at Murray State, are to take the model to New York next week. It is to be housed at a New York fire station — Engine 1, Ladder 24 — whose crew raced to the World Trade Center Sept. 11.

        Also being presented is Mr. Breathitt's sculpture of Mychal Judge, a Franciscan priest who was the engine company's chaplain. Father Judge was killed by falling debris while administering last rites to a firefighter.

        In the memorial design, the trade center's crater would be turned into an underground museum and amphitheater.

        Kentucky saw less tourism last year

        SOMERSET — Revenues from tourism dipped in 2001, due in part to a drop in business travel after Sept. 11, Tourism Development Secretary Ann Latta said Monday.

        The tourism and travel industry was worth $8.7 billion to Kentucky's economy last year, Ms. Latta told a joint conference of state and local tourism agencies. The Tourism Development Cabinet calculated that it was a decline of 0.7 percent from 2000 after adjusting for inflation.

        “It doesn't sound like much to say we're down less than 1 percent,” Ms. Latta said. “But that represents nearly $60 million less into our economy.”

        A contributing factor was the sluggish national economy, Ms. Latta said.

        Hotels and motels felt the effects, especially in Kentucky's urban areas. Rural areas, more dependent on auto-driven pleasure travel, were less affected.

        The cabinet's calculation of tourism's effect on the economy included $768 million generated in state taxes and $138 million generated in local taxes. In addition, the government estimates that 160,200 Kentucky jobs are tourism-related.

        Churchill Downs adding luxury suites

        LOUISVILLE — Less than 48 hours after the 128th Kentucky Derby, crews were beginning construction on 70 luxury suites at Churchill Downs.

        Demolition to the two-story fire escape stairwell in the grandstand courtyard began Monday morning. It was the beginning of the $30 million first phase of what is expected to be a $130 million renovation of the track.

        The first phase will include repairs to the twin spires and renovation of the grandstand and the first- and second-floor Jockey Club.

        Phase one of the project should be completed next summer.

        Churchill Downs' board of directors is expected to consider the funding of the $100 million second phase in June. The phase will include a teardown and reconstruction of a large section of the clubhouse.

        The entire renovation project should be complete by the 2004 fall meet, according to a statement from the track.

        Group would be river's protector

        RICHMOND — A new program will offer an alternative to some of the costly cleanup efforts that organizers say need to take place on the Kentucky River, which borders 57 cities.

        The mission of Kentucky Riverkeeper is to preserve the river with awareness, protection and maintenance, said the program's executive director Heather Crawley. The program will also respond to citizen complaints and identify and solve pollution problems.

        Robert F. Kennedy Jr., president of Waterkeeper Alliance, a national organization, was at the program's kickoff Monday at Fort Boonesborough. Joining him was Backstreet Boys member Kevin Richardson, who is an Estill County native and founder of the Just Within Reach Environmental Foundation.

        The program is a collaboration with Eastern Kentucky University's Center for Appalachian Studies. The Kentucky Riverkeeper will offer hands-on activities in a floating classroom, a boat EKU graduate Dustan McCoy, president of the Illinois-headquartered Brunswick Corp. Boat Group, donated to the project.

        Cost of hail damage could set record

        FRANKFORT — Hail storms that damaged roofs and vehicles last week may turn into the largest insurance loss in Kentucky history, state officials said.

        Hail that some reports said was as large as a softball pummeled homes and vehicles on April 28, primarily in Webster and Breckinridge counties, and on May 1 centered on the London-Laurel County area.

        One insurer reported taking 800 auto damage claims in one day in London after the storm. The same company reported 4,200 claims after the April 28 storm.

        Insurance Commissioner Janie Miller said there have been numerous reports of extraordinary service from insurance and claims agents. Help has been available for emergency lodging and processing of claims to get checks written quickly.

        A state law, enacted in reaction to the 1998 hail storm around Bowling Green, should make it easier for consumers to get compensated for vehicles that are totaled from damage.

        The law stipulates that if damage exceeds 75 percent of the value of the vehicle, but is still safe to drive and the owner intends to keep it, there is still a way to get a quick settlement check.

        The owner must provide proof of the loss and get an inspection from the sheriff's office for $5. A county clerk can issue a new title stamped “hail damage” that will allow an insurance company to settle a claim.


Reds' home on time, on budget
Couple surprised by murky home title
Getting to races gets easier
Luken: City already on 'right path'
Umbrella weather all week
Indiana election a snoozer
Primaries: What's on the ballot
Tax issues before local voters today
Vote put off on life-center zoning
Beanbag victims paid for pain
Danielle Hater, 19, embodied courage
Melee photos could lead to arrests
Recreation center to be built
Reece's lawyer denounces suit
PULFER: Family ties
RADEL: Race relations
Some Good News
2 killed in 4-car accident
Aging facilities sprout problems
Breast cancer cases increasing in Ky.
Cheshire, Ohio no more
Colorado has latest mailbox bomb
Educators meet with government
Fire unit gains mascot
Jury hears tape in child-death case
Law to be deposed in abuse lawsuit
Many colleges still have openings
Robber's punishment is 5 years
Students stung in drug bust
Veterinarian charged with animal cruelty
- Kentucky A.M. report
Tristate A.M. report