Sunday, May 01, 2011
EKB Capsule News...Kentucky...5-2-'11
- Pikeville College is out, UPike is in. The school's board of trustees unanimously adopted the University of Pikeville name on Saturday. The new name goes into place on July 1. The private, four-year liberal arts school founded in 1889 by Presbyterians has added enough departments and graduate programs to become a university, said President Paul Patton, who was governor of Kentucky from 1995 to 2003. The school has 1,000 undergraduate students and 300 medical students. University of Central Appalachia, University of Southeast Kentucky and Kentucky Commonwealth University were other names considered.
- The U.S. Postal Service announced Friday it is closing a mail sorting operation in Pikeville by January and moving it to Charleston, West Virginia. Postal service district manager James W. Kiser says the facility in Charleston has the capacity to handle the work and will save the U.S. Postal Service money. Postal officials say local mail delivery will not be affected by the consolidation, but delivery times to Lexington, Louisville and Frankfort will be two-day deliveries, where they are currently overnight deliveries. The announcement ends an Area Mail Processing survey that started in September. Mail-handling numbers have dropped from 213 billion pieces of mail in 2005 to 169 billion pieces by 2009. Postal service spokesman David Walton says the service projected in September that about 177 billion pieces of mail would have been processed by the end of the year.
- In an effort to offest a more than $3 million financial shortfall, Pike County Judge-Executive Wayne T. Rutherford has proposed imposing an occupational tax, which he says could result in another $7 million in revenue for the county annually. During a special meeting on Friday, the Pike Fiscal Court heard the first reading of an ordinance to begin the tax.
- University of Kentucky trustees have chosen Eli Capilouto, provost of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, as their finalist to become the school's next president. Capilouto, 61, was introduced as the preferred candidate after a conclusive round of closed-door meetings where trustees interviewed the final pool of candidates at a northern Kentucky hotel. The full UK Board of Trustees voted 19-0 Sunday afternoon for Capilouto after two days of interviews and deliberations. Capilouto is in line to succeed outgoing UK President Lee T. Todd Jr., who announced last September he is retiring in June after a decade of leading the university. UK has about 28,000 students and a nearly $2.5 billion budget. Next up for Capilouto will be a whirlwind, get-acquainted tour Monday that will include meetings with faculty, staff, students and alumni on the Lexington campus. Trustees will decide Tuesday whether to extend a formal offer to him. Capilouto is a Montgomery, Alabama native who graduated from the University of Alabama in 1971 and has two advanced degrees from Harvard University. He joined the faculty at UAB in 1975 and has spent his entire career there. He began as a professor in dentistry and was dean of the School of Public Health from 1994 to 2001.
- A new high school that will combine South Floyd and Allen Central is part of the Floyd County School District Facilities Plan. A special meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:00 P.M. Monday at May Valley Elementary School to set a public hearing date for concerns and input from the community. The plan, which was approved last week by the Local Planning Committee, will allow Allen Central High School to be renovated to become a permanent Area Technology Center/District Transportation and Maintenance Department, and South Floyd High School will become the new home for students from McDowell Elementary and Osborne Elementary. The new high school is estimated to cost over $24 million and have a 750-student capacity. The site for the 112,853 square-foot high school is yet to be determined. A new alternative school is also part of the plan at an estimated cost of over $5 million. The plan is subject to approval by the Kentucky Board of Education, with a tentative date set for June.
- Sara Elizabeth Shallenberger Brown, known around Louisville as "Sally," the matriarch of the family that founded Brown-Forman Corp., died Saturday night at the age of 100. Brown's late husband, W.L. Lyons Brown, who died at age 66 in 1973, was chairman and president of the distilling company, founded by his grandfather, Garvin Brown. Two of her children, W.L. Lyons Brown, Jr., and Owsley Brown II, also headed the company, which makes Jack Daniels whiskey, Little Black Dress Wines and Woodford Reserve bourbon. Brown was known around Louisville for her philanthropy, including gifts to the Speed Museum and Actors Theatre of Louisville, which named the main lobby after her.
- A lawsuit, naming the University of Louisville and the School of Dentistry as defendants, was filed last week by Lucille Bickett, Jessica Gossman-Poynter and Melanie Peterson, alleging they were retaliated against when they spoke out against sexual discrimination at the dentistry school. Bickett and Gossman-Poynter say they were forced out of their jobs after they reported to university officials that Christopher Morgan, the director of dental informatics, had allegedly misused a university-issued credit card. According to the lawsuit, Morgan discriminated against women in his department, assigning women set times when they could take their lunch breaks, while not doing the same for male employees, and that Gossman-Poynter and Bickett were excluded from departmental meetings. Peterson was pressured to resign in June 2010, Poynter was forced to resign in August 2010 and Bickett was fired in March after she made several more complaints against Morgan. U of L spokesman Mark Hebert says the university investigated and “found no suspicious or unjustified charges associated with” Morgan's use of the credit card.
- The nation's largest retailer has a plan to try and boost sales. Wal-Mart is putting guns back on the shelves at more of its U.S. stores. About 1,300 Wal-Mart’s nationwide currently sell shotguns, rifles and ammunition. The retail giant says it plans to up that number to 2,000. Stores that will begin selling firearms will be in areas where hunting and fishing are popular. Customers will have to complete the necessary forms and background checks, before they can buy a gun.
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