Local News: Kentucky Rocks, Ohio Rolls; More – Updated With Drunk Elvis Content

Lookin' Good!

Remember that big-ass rock that Kentucky and Ohio are fighting over that we told you about? You know, the dispute that made it into the New York Times not too long ago? Well the C-J is now reporting that the interstate fight over an old rock is getting more intense:

Officials in Kentucky are hauling the mayor of Portsmouth into court in their effort to get back the rock, which an Ohio historian and a team of divers pulled from the Ohio River. The river is mostly under Kentucky jurisdiction.

The prosecutor in Greenup County, Ky., has issued a subpoena for Portsmouth Mayor Jim Kalb to testify before a grand jury on March 28 as a material witness in the removal of the boulder, which is being stored in a city-owned service garage.

“We have the Antiquities Act here in Kentucky, that involves things that are registered under that act through the University of Kentucky,” said Greenup County Prosecuting Attorney Cliff Duvall. “It’s a Class D felony, and in Kentucky that carries one to five years. That charge will probably be the most applicable. There isn’t any monetary value that anybody could put on it.”

Kalb said he wasn’t surprised when he received the subpoena.

“I got a call from my office a couple of days ago, saying that a member of the Scioto County sheriff’s office was there to serve me with a subpoena,” Kalb said Monday. “I kind of suspected that it would be over the rock.”

Oh yeah, take that, Buckeyes! Feel the power of Kentucky’s legal wrath!

In other local news, the Louisville Metro Council’s Transportation and Public Works Committee is set to debate an ordinance requiring our fair citizens to use only paper bags, biodegradable plastic bags or plastic waste containers for yard waste. This is a great idea, sponsored by one of my favorite Louisville politicians, Tom Owen. Afterwards, perhaps the Council could look into banning plastic grocery bags, as San Francisco has done. Just don’t tell Pat Boone. Wouldn’t want Louisville to turn into another San Francisco, natch.

And finally, in other pollution news, the C-J also took a look today at how Beshear’s budget cuts would affect anti-litter programs. And it ain’t pretty:

Under the governor’s plan, Kentucky’s two main environmental agencies face general-fund cuts of 20 percent and 25 percent next year. That’s significantly more than some other state operations, including state universities and community colleges, which face 12 percent cuts.

The overall reduction proposed for the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet — which regulates areas such as insurance, horse racing, mining, and air and water pollution — is 20 percent in 2009 and 14 percent in 2010, from 2008 levels.

Yikes. As expected both officials in the Legislature and local governments are not happy. Stay tuned to see what happens.

UPDATE: Speaking of the New York Times, this story on their web site (via the Associated Press) is the kinda thing that always plays well in the big city:

‘Elvis’ Shows Up At Kentucky Court Drunk

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A central Kentucky judge had a suspicious mind when an Elvis Presley impersonator showed up for court apparently drunk and sporting sunglasses and a rhinestone-studded shirt with a scarf draped around his neck.

County Attorney Brian Goettl said that as a result, the judge had David Blaisdell, 64, tested for intoxication and sentenced him to three days in jail for contempt of court when it was determined that the man’s blood-alcohol level was nearly twice that at which a person in Kentucky is considered legally drunk.

Blaisdell, who was in court for a pretrial conference on misdemeanor charges of stalking and violating a protective order, told the judge he had had a few drinks the night before, Goettl said.

Awesome. Really.

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