Sunday, May 22, 2011
EKB Capsule News...Kentucky...5-23-'11
- West Virginia photographer Michele Coleman contrasted a rugged hillside with the refined skills of a cello-playing teenager in a contest-winning photo meant to offer a fresh perspective of Appalachia. Her photo took top prize in a contest sponsored by the University of Kentucky's Appalachian Center. It shows a high school senior from Marietta, Ohio, with her arms draped around the classical music instrument while perched on the hillside. Coleman, from Parkersburg, W.Va., tires of seeing old photos reinforcing stereotypes of Appalachia as a backwoods filled with hillbillies. Zak Pence, a West Virginia native who is a spokesman for the UK Appalachian Center, said he wanted to chip away at those stereotypes with the photo contest dubbed "Re-Imaging Appalachia." Contestants were urged to offer non-stereotypical representations.
- A tea party group in northern Kentucky wants to dissolve a regional planning commission that taxes property owners in Kenton County. The Northern Kentucky Tea Party is sponsoring a petition drive to put the issue on the general election ballot this fall. They say they don't think the commission has the legal authority to exist and are critical of its costs. Kenton County property owners pay $32 per $100,000 assessed property value a year to the area planning commission. Former Fort Mitchell Mayor Bill Goetz, who is chairman of the commission, told The Kentucky Enquirer the tea party's petition drive is "an ill-advised, short-sighted political move." The planning commission serves Kenton County and provides planning staff to a city in Campbell County.
- Republican gubernatorial candidate David Williams is reaching out to a splintered GOP, hoping to pull together a divided constituency heading in the fall general election. With tea party activists still smarting from their candidate's loss, and some other Republicans defecting to support the Democratic incumbent, Williams faces no small chore. Williams and his two former opponents, Louisville businessman Phil Moffett and Jefferson County Clerk Bobbie Holsclaw, shared a stage at state Republican Party headquarters at the rally Saturday. Moffett said he declined an invitation to speak to the crowd of about 200. Holsclaw offered no public endorsement at the rally, but she said afterward that she would "support the ticket." Despite clamor by tea party supporters, Moffett said Saturday he won't run as a write-in candidate in the general election.
- Two U.S. Postal Service sorting centers in eastern Kentucky are slated to close this year. That means mail from far eastern Kentucky will be routed through Charleston, W.Va., and will take an extra day to get to Lexington and cities further west. The closure of sorting centers in Pikeville and Ashland are the latest announcement by the U.S. Postal Service as it tries to save on operating expenses. The agency plans to shutter more than 20 small post offices in the state. The Postal Service says it is changing how it does business as populations in many rural regions shrink, Internet access grows and transportation costs increase. Sorting facilities in Bowling Green and London closed earlier this year.
- Louisville police say a 21-year-old man wanted in the death of a boy who was hit by stray gunfire has surrendered. Police say Roderick Moss of Louisville was wanted in the shooting death of 3-year-old Davion Powell on May 13. The boy was inside an apartment when shots fired outside hit him in the head, police said. The boy died Monday. Moss turned himself in at Louisville Metro Police headquarters around 5:20 p.m. EDT.
- The U.S. Justice Department is refusing to pay $750,000 to a Michigan insurance company for a Ferrari that was wrecked in Kentucky during a drive by an FBI agent. In a recent court filing in Detroit, the Justice Department says it's immune to tort claims when certain goods are in the hands of law enforcement. The 1995 Ferrari F50 was being stored in Lexington, Ky., as part of an investigation into stolen vehicles. A prosecutor says he was invited by an FBI agent to ride in the vehicle in May 2009. He says the agent lost control, and the car landed against bushes and a small tree. Southfield-based Motors Insurance Co. says the Ferrari is a total loss. The next court hearing is June 13 in Detroit.
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