Thursday, July 1, 2004

Kentucky news briefs

Fletcher visiting for 4th, fireworks

INDEPENDENCE - Gov. Ernie Fletcher and his wife, Glenna, will celebrate Independence Day in Independence. The couple will preside over the city's Independence Celebration Parade Saturday. Fletcher will give a brief speech at 3 p.m. at the Kenton County Courthouse and then kick off the parade, which begins at 3:30 p.m. at Summit View School and ends at the Independence Town Center. A celebration follows and will feature games, rides, music and fireworks at 10 p.m.

Firefighters honor 28-year veteran

The casket of Capt. Mark Seeger, a 28-year veteran of the Bellevue-Dayton Fire Department, will ride atop a fire truck today in a funeral procession to St. Stephen Cemetery in Fort Thomas after a 10 a.m. church service at Divine Mercy Parish in Bellevue. Seeger, of Alexandria, died Friday in a motorcycle accident on Ky. 10. The funeral procession will depart from the church at 318 Division St. immediately after the service.

Museums to begin charging admission

FRANKFORT - The Kentucky History Center and two other museums in Frankfort - the Old State Capitol and the Military History Museum - will begin charging admission today, the Kentucky Historical Society announced Wednesday.

The money will be used to keep each facility open an extra day each week, the society said in a statement. The History Center, which originally had a six-day schedule, was cut back to five. The old capitol and the military museum at the former state arsenal were not open on weekends in the past. All three now will be open every day but Monday.

Ceremony honors members of military

NEWPORT - A ceremony from 7 to 8 p.m. today at the World Peace Bell Center will honor local servicemen and women.

Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky officials, including Newport Mayor Thomas Guidugli, will speak at the ceremony. A prayer for peace will be given by the Rev. Donald Drewry, Newport Police and Fire chaplin.

The World Peace Bell will ring at the ceremony's closing. Attendees are encouraged to bring bells and join in ringing, in support of the troops.

Covington approves $41 million budget

COVINGTON - City commissioners have approved a general fund budget of about $41 million for the fiscal year starting today, a 7.7 percent increase from last year.

Commissioner Bernie Moorman cast the only dissenting vote. He said Covington isn't getting enough results for the $65,000 it's paying Southbank Partners for economic-development work on behalf of the city.

"Wally (Pagan, president of Southbank Partners) is a wonderful guy,'' Moorman said. "Southbank is a wonderful program. But you don't pay anybody unless they do something for you.''

Moorman said he hasn't seen results from Southbank in the past year and a half.

"Newport pays Southbank Partners some $43,000, and they get the bulk of Southbank's time and talent and effort,'' Moorman said.

Pagan could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Moorman said Covington needs to watch its spending if it's going to head off a $1.3 million deficit by next year. Finance Director Bob Due has proposed several options for erasing the shortfall, including raising fees for parking tickets and liquor licenses.

Tree board cancels July, August meetings

FORT MITCHELL - The Fort Mitchell Tree Board has cancelled its regular July and August meetings.

The next regular meeting will be at 7 p.m. Sept. 9 in council chambers, 2355 Dixie Hwy.

Drowned man's body to be taken to Mexico

TAYLOR MILL - The body of a Mexican immigrant who drowned June 23 will be shipped to Mexico for burial by the end of this week, the man's friends said.

Sergio Dominguez, 17, died after wading into Banklick Creek in Taylor Mill, where he was fishing with five friends. None could swim, and Dominguez perished after floundering in water that was 8 to 10 feet deep, police said.

He worked as a drywall installer for a construction company. Friends and family took up a collection to send his body home for burial.

University board positions filled

FRANKFORT - Longtime Republican fund-raisers and political insiders were among Gov. Ernie Fletcher's selections Wednesday to fill vacancies on university boards across the state.

Fletcher appointed 21 people to vacancies on the university governing boards of Kentucky's public universities. The list includes 17 Republicans, three Democrats and an independent. Among the appointments:

University of Kentucky: Mira Ball, Lexington, chief financial officer of Ball Homes, Republican; Stephen Branscum, Russell Springs, president and CEO of Branscum Construction Co., Republican; Ann Brand Haney, Nancy, public librarian, Republican.

University of Louisville: William A. Stone, Louisville, president and CEO of Louisville Plate Glass Co., Republican; Steve Poe, Louisville, real-estate developer, Poe Investments, Republican; Margaret Handmaker, Harrods Creek, consultant, Mercer Human Resources Consulting, Republican.

Kentucky State University: Michael Alexander, Louisville, deputy general counsel to the governor, Democrat; Yvette Haskins, Campbellsville, retired, Republican.

Northern Kentucky University: Joyce Griffin, Elsmere, civic volunteer, Republican; Denise McClelland, Lexington, attorney, Republican.

Higher gasoline tax kicks in today
Pair of homers just divine for nun
Hiker's fall a lesson in gorge survival
Briefing leaves Maupins with hope, but no news

'Partial birth' ban in effect
Health groups announce changes
Yates fast to jump on board for gambling
Tests find more lead in yards
GE donations make impact for organizations and people
Critical eyes on health levies
Go 4th: fun, fireworks
Liberty's new head a resident since 1997
Ex-deputy found guilty in drug case
Children's study: Obese kids at risk
Ohio epicenter of anti-Bush group's national offensive
Ex-treasurer will repay funds, says her attorney
More money for Lakota
Union Twp. trustee's death leaves board to fill vacancy
Public safety briefs
News briefs
Neighbors briefs

Bronson: Drake Center doesn't need to go negative
Young People's Theatre hopping

Alvin L. Schulte owned N.Ky. drugstores
Arthur Wiedenbein, 57, trustee, 'visionary'

Williamstown may get 'wet'
Bohman 'likely' to run for board of education
Kentucky news briefs
Judge approves Fletcher's plan
Fireworks fizzle, but ballpark beer $1
Multi-vehicle crash kills trucker, closes I-71
Independence gets life squads
Kenton joins Scholars initiative