Sunday, July 25, 2004

Northern Kentucky Week in Review

Florence Freedom stadium in jeopardy

FLORENCE - The Florence Freedom owes more than $1.7 million to contractors building the team's new stadium.

The debt is a violation of the team's lease with the city of Florence. If it's not paid after a 30-day grace period, the city will evict them, said City Attorney Hugh Skees.

The team has six home games remaining after the grace period ends.

In addition to the money owed to the contractors, the team's first lease payment of $197,617 is due to the city Aug. 10.

Though the stadium is privately owned, it is built on land the city bought for $5 million.

The 4,500-seat stadium opened June 18 to its largest crowd of the season - 4,453.

Before that game, the owners said the Frontier League team needed to average 2,500 fans per game to break even. It's averaging about 1,800 per game.

New students at NKU face tougher standards

Northern Kentucky University's board of regents has adopted minimum grade-point averages and composite ACT test scores.

School officials are hoping the new rules will boost sagging graduation rates. The new, tougher standards could cut NKU's 2005 freshman enrollment by 10 percent.

"Our goal is to have every student at the university succeed," President James Votruba said. "I see this as being the university's effort to ensure that students admitted here have the wherewithal to be successful."

Clooney gets fewer Hollywood donations

The famous appear to be fading from Nick Clooney's fund-raising efforts.

The 4th District Congressional candidate's latest report, for May and June, includes about $10,000 in contributions from people tied to the film industry. Most of the $236,112 raised came from Kentucky residents - though Catherine Zeta-Jones and Warren Beatty were among contributors.

That's a switch.

When actor George Clooney's dad filed his first-quarter fund-raising report, the list of contributors was heavily star-studded, including nearly 120 people connected to the film industry. Paul Newman, Michael Douglas and Cincinnati native Steven Spielberg were just a few of the famous who pitched in.

Republican candidate Geoff Davis, of Boone County, is using Clooney's Hollywood ties as ammunition for his run.

"The elites of Hollywood, led by Nick Clooney's movie star and liberal activist son, George Clooney, have been unloading truckloads of money into this race for the sole purpose of defeating me and the conservative values I stand for," Davis said last week.

Davis campaign manager Justin Brasell announced the Republican had raised $373,143 over the past two months.

Officials investigate fire at Ludlow home

Fire officials were investigating a fire in Ludlow that started outside an occupied home Monday night and quickly spread to the frame house and to two unoccupied homes.

Neighbors say three children had been left alone in the home where the fire began, on a couch on a deck behind 314 Poplar St. The children escaped unharmed. All three homes were a total loss, said Ludlow Fire Chief Terry Bandy.

Too fast, too young
Kids with a yen for speed have a legal outlet to race
Is suspending license enough?

Lung cancer genes identified
Is it safe to smoke if you don't have gene?
Years of detective work tracked genes

Home sale to sever final link to Epling
Swing-state status lifts Ohio delegates' prestige
Group one of nation's few to help save species

Comic-book exploits lure kids to libraries
Pay-to-play program lags
White's Senate position onerous
What has odds of 1 in 9 million? Hit twice by lightning - and he was
State Fair evolution: Shorter, diverse
Local News briefs
Neighbors briefs
Ohio briefs

Crowley: Deja vu once again as Clooney shuns his fellow Democrats
Bronson: Center woes: What to do? Oh, nothing
Good Things Happening
Good Things Happening in Kentucky

Anne G. Brierley, 84, was retired dietician
Dr. William Fullen was U.C. professor, pioneer in surgery
Elsbet Gruen, 97, owned Corryville apparel store
Pat Hibbard managed St. John's cafeteria

Newport detour headache to linger
Buildings to be razed for Bellevue development
Northern Kentucky News in Brief
Ky. hate-crimes law assailed
Forgotten cemeteries need care
Mom unrepentant after disappearance
Got a crime to report? Try online
Edgewood seniors move meeting place
Thursday confabs meld into faithful fellowship
Senators fight tobacco buyout
Northern Kentucky Week in Review