Sunday, October 31, 2004

Catwalk's not for cats

Good Things Happening

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Hey, Kitty, just because the sign says catwalk, doesn't mean it is for cats.

A little kitten, now named Spirit, learned that the hard way last month when it was stuck underneath the Brent Spence Bridge.

Rescuing the kitten was all in a day's work for Darrell Dudgeon, an employee of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet in Frankfort, who found the kitten as he began an inspection. .

Dudgeon was with coworkers from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the Ohio Department of Transportation when they were walking along the catwalk underneath the heavily traveled bridge.

The kitten managed to get stuck on a narrow plate connecter underneath the bridge.

"It was shivering and meowing for help. It looked like it had tried to climb up to the light of the open joint but couldn't,'' Dudgeon said.

No one knows how long the kitten was stuck on the plate, but the workers know the stay was noisy because the 41-year-old bridge is a route for 135,000 vehicles daily.

Dudgeon said when he discovered the kitten, he asked his co-workers if they wanted to perform a animal rescue mission. They all agreed.

By carefully lowering himself with rappelling gear, Dudgeon was able to reach the kitten. He put it in a drawstring bag.

Once rescued, Steve Ellis, of the Kentucky State Transportation Cabinet, and Joe Mellman, of the Ohio Department of Transportation, took the cat to a nearby store to get food and water.

Brian Huber, Kenton County state maintenance operator for the state Transportation Cabinet, named the kitten "Spirit" because of its will to survive.

Hughes Award

Two leaders, one in Ohio and one in Kentucky, have received the Bishop William A. Hughes Award for community service.

George A. Schaefer Jr. of Columbia Tusculum was the recipient from Ohio. Schaefer is president and chief executive officer of Fifth Third Bancorp.

Frank "Al" Schleper of Villa Hills, was the Kentucky recipient. He is chairman of Pilot Contracting Corp., Boone County.

The award was established in 1996 in honor of Hughes, former bishop of the Covington Diocese. The award was presented Thursday at Thomas More College, Crestview Hills.

Schaefer's many community activities include serving as the 2003-04 chairman of the board of trustees at the University of Cincinnati.

Schleper has served as president of the Covington Lions Club and as a member of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce board.

Acts of kindness

Remke Markets is helping people with disabilities with a $15,000 donation to The Point.

The Covington-based agency provides opportunities to persons with mental retardation/developmental disabilities.

"Remke Markets is truly a partner with The Point ,'' said executive director of The Point, Judi Gerding. "It is wonderful to have such a fine Northern Kentucky company as Remke to step up.''

Remke is headquartered in Erlanger and has stores in seven Northern Kentucky cities, as well as one in Deer Park. The company sponsored a golf outing for The Point Sept. 8 at Perry Park Country Club in Perry Park, which attracted more than 140 golfers.

Health Fair

More than 300 people participated in a Hispanic health fair held Oct. 24 in Erlanger. The North Central Area Health Education Center hosted the fair for Northern Kentucky's growing Hispanic/Latino population at the Marydale Catholic Center. The fair was held in conjunction with Centro de Amistad and Cristo Rey, the Hispanic parish in Erlanger.

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Catwalk's not for cats