Thursday, March 25, 2004

Henry wants Kentucky to have a surgeon general


Around Northern Kentucky

Pat Crowley

Former Lt. Gov. Steve Henry was in Northern Kentucky Tuesday, touting legislation that would limit the sale of soft drinks and snack food in schools. As he did while in office, the Louisville Democrat is trying to pressure Senate Republicans to call the bill for a vote.

For the past two years the bill died in the Senate without a vote.

Henry, an orthopedic surgeon, said opponents are either beholden to the soft drink industry - which has acknowledged lobbying against the bill - or uninformed on health issues.

So he is promoting the idea of establishing a state surgeon general for Kentucky.

"It would operate in Kentucky just like the surgeon general on the federal level," Henry said during a Tuesday morning visit to John G. Carlisle School in Covington. "Kentucky needs a surgeon general to concentrate on issues like this every day. Who in state government is looking out for the health and welfare of our children, our seniors? We have nobody."

Henry is also starting The Kentucky Prostate Cancer Coalition, which will encourage men 40 and older to undergo a blood screening known as a PSA Test that can detect the cancer.

"I'm going out in the state to talk about this because the state is not doing its job," Henry said.

Henry, 49, was diagnosed last year with prostate cancer and underwent surgery to have it removed.

SIGN OF THE TIMES: Given that it is an election year, Fort Wright officials will eventually remove a sign in front of the city building that urges support for President Bush and America's military.

But for now the sign that reads "Support President Bush and our troops" stays, said City Administrator Larry Klein.

Klein said only two people have complained that the sign is overtly political in its support of Bush, who is seeking re-election this year. Klein took the complaints to City Council, which took no action.

"Our original position was that (Bush) is commander-in-chief, and our soldiers are fighting and dying every day," Klein said. "This is not a time to be petty. But probably at some point when we actually have a true political race going on, we'll replace it with a 'support our troops' sign with no mention of the president."

Klein said more than 300 people purchased signs - which the city offered at cost - during a rally the city staged last year.

THEY SAID IT: "In the end, he will go down with his ship." 4th District GOP Chairman Marcus Carey on actor George Clooney. Clooney, who played a doomed ship's captain in the film The Perfect Storm, visited Northern Kentucky last weekend to raise money for his father, Democratic Congressional candidate Nick Clooney.

E-mail pcrowley@enquirer.com. Crowley interviews Kenton County Democratic Party Chairman Nathan Smith next week on ICN6's "On the Record," which is broadcast daily on Insight Communications Channel 6.




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