The Courier-Journal from Louisville, Kentucky on March 7, 1989 · Page 6
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The Courier-Journal from Louisville, Kentucky · Page 6

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Tuesday, March 7, 1989
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THE COURIER-JOURNAL LOUISVILLE, KY. TUESDAY, MARCH 7, 1989. METRO B Education leaders unsure if Wilkinson will take tax initiative By CAROL MARIE CROPPER Staff Writer LEXINGTON, Ky. The door is open for the governor to act on taxes, but many question whether he will grab the opportunity. That's how education leaders are reacting to a story in Sunday's Courier-Journal that said most legislators could support a tax increase for school improvements if Gov." Wallace Wilkinson called on them to do so. ." 1," "It's probably the postpositive sign I have seen in a long time," saiu jane Duyci, picsiueiu ., of the Kentucky Parent-' Teacher Association. Rep. Roger Noe, chair: man of the House Educft ' tion Committee, said: ,'1 think everything's ready and we're ripe for progress. If the governor's willing to lead that effort, I believe the legislature is ready to follow." The legislative willingness "puts the ball back in the governor's court," said David Keller, executive director of the Kentucky School Boards Association. But there are questions about whether Wilkinson mmmmmmimmmm AjkJ& AaS. i ma NOE: "If the governor's willing to lead . ... the legislature is ready to follow." will pick it up. "He steadfastly refuses to do anything. He's another A. B. 'Happy' Chandler," Noe said, referring to the former governor, who also campaigned on a no-tax-increase platform. : , Wilkinson has refused to link his proposals for education to a tax in- crease saying his program can be ' paid for through normal growth in state revenue. Before taxes or other efforts are considered, Wilkinson has said he wants the legislature to pass his program restructuring schools giving employees more authority on how students are taught and giving bonuses to workers at schools that improve. -::2 Late last month, he accused legislative leaders of "hiding behind" ; him on the tax issue. He said they would be scared if he called their hand, adding there was not enough support among legislators for a tax tesass "" $ mmmi ffD mm ? f - - , I ill if J a TasCW " I MP p4 - t: ' - . . '-v-, l$TX rVt Ftift'- " i ....vy'.. miiwrtf- mrta STAFF PHOTO BY PAT McDONOGH GREYHOUND PROTEST: Police Officer Walter Aberli took Phyllis Shea away from a bus yesterday at the Greyhound station. Four people in wheelchairs, including Shea, were arrested for blocking the buses to protest Greyhound's policy on disabled accessibility. (Story, Page B 4.) corrections & Because of an editor's error, a,sto-. ry Saturday about a wreck .Second and Hill streets Thursday-night involving an off-duty city policy officer who was driving a police cruiser and who was suspected of having been drinking was incomplete. ' The , story failed to say that, according to the police accident report, the other driver involved, Wanda D. Walker;;; 27, ran a red light. In an interview, she denied that she ran the light. , An item in the business-section "People" column yesterday gave the . wrong title for Mark Zanni of Humana Inc. Zanni has been promoted to marketing manager for the corpo INSIDE Weather 2 Regional roundup 4 Deaths - .,;,?,,,;,, 5 Crime . , 3 Business , . 6-10 increase "to raise enough money to do anything." The Courier-Journal survey found, however, that 25 of the 36 senators and 57 of the 100 representatives said they could support taxes if they were tied to school improvements and carried the governor's support. Some education leaders said yesterday they weren't surprised at that willingness to answer a tax call. Others said they would not have expected that many legislators to go on record so soon, without the governor's support and without a defined program and tax package. "I have believed all along that it was not a problem with the legislators not being willing to support a tax increase if the governor was out in front," said Larry Diebold, executive director of the Kentucky Education Association. But former Gov. Bert T. Combs, who represents poor school districts in a suit that could cost the state millions, pointed out that legislators were committing themselves without knowing what such a bill might include. Noe said he didn't expect "that many legislators to go on the record this early saying they would or possibly would support a tax increase. It was a pleasant surprise." Rep. Joe Clarke, the Danville Democrat who is chairman of the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee, said he had believed Wilkinson was right in saying there weren't enough votes to pass taxes, But the survey showed "that the votes were there to do some pretty significant things if some things would work out and the governor would support it," Clarke said. Wilkinson is in Japan this week and could not be reached for comment. The education leaders and legislators who were questioned yesterday hesitated to predict his response. "It would be interesting to see the See EDUCATION PAGE 4, col. 6, this section clarifications rate marketing department Because of an error by The Associated Press, a story .last week incorrectly said three inmates convicted of escaping from the Kentucky State Penitentiary last June were sentenced to 20 years. That was the jury recommendation; Circuit Judge Willard Paxton has scheduled formal sentencing for April 7. Because of an Associated Press error, Sunday's story on a 6-year-old transplant patient welcomed home to Lyon County erred in the location of St. Jude Children's Research Center. It is in Memphis, Tenn. Two vie for top union job FIELD DAY: Darrel Cooper acres in New Washington, Ind. Changes in colleges' By BILL WERONKA Staff Writer A special committee of the Council on Higher Education unanimously approved a recommendation yesterday to change the funding formula for the state's colleges and universities a change that would require $25 million in additional revenue. Schools use the formula to submit budget requests to the General Assembly, which approves all funding. Perhaps more significantly, the committee will also recommend that the formula's application be changed to fund all institutions, particularly the community college system, more equitably. The formula is now weighted toward bringing each institution's funding in line with inflation, but the percentage of funding has not changed appreciably. The recommendations of the Formula Review Steering Committee Children's funds widely mishandled, survey says Associated Press There is widespread mishandling and outright theft of children's money by their court-appointed guardians, according to a statewide survey of district judges. "My research reveals a disturbing pattern of financial child abuse that appears to be rampant," said Judge Stanley Billingsley of Carrollton, who compiled the results from questionnaires he distributed last fall. Billingsley said the size of the problem is unknown "but it is safe to assume that millions of dollars BUSINESS, used an all-terrain vehicle to check his wheat crop for freeze damage Many parts of Kentucky and Southern Indiana had rain or freezing rain will be presented to the council's Finance Committee and then the full council on May 15. The council will base its recommendations to the General Assembly on the committees' recommendations. The recommended changes would affect instruction, research, student financial aid, community service, agricultural extension programs, preparatory education and equal educational opportunities. The additional revenue would include a 2.8 percent instruction increase, to be used primarily for a new salary structure. Other changes in the formula would boost matching funds from the state, and put more money into recruiting minority staff and faculty members for traditionally white campuses. There is enough money now to fund only 84 percent of the formula's requirements, which leaves a shortage of $107 million for the current year. Police reopen probe of murders of 2 black women in mid-1960s By KAREN MERK Staff Writer Louisville police have reopened two unsolved murder cases from the mid-'60s after receiving information that they might have been linked. Lt. Jeff Moody, who heads the department's physical-assault unit, said the two victims, DeCora Hampton White, 41, who died in October 1964, and Alberta O. Jones, 32, who was killed in August 1965, were acquaintances. Jones, who is believed to have been the first black woman lawyer in Kentucky, may have been White's attorney, Moody said. It is rumored that Jones was investigating White's death when she was killed, he said. Two police department employees have been told recently that the slayings might have been connected in some way, Moody said, but he declined to elaborate. He did say that a detective who originally investigated the deaths continues to believe they are unrelated. That detective could not be and hundreds of guardians are involved. It is certainly 10 or 20 times bigger in this state than bank robbery." Billingsley said he understood that about 80 percent of all bank robbers are caught and prosecuted but that "few guardians are caught and fewer still are punished." Children with large sums of money generally acquire it through inheritance or through settlement of personal-injury or malpractice lawsuits. State law requires appointment of a guardian to manage the money BACK PAGE Wilkinson woos Japanese funding suggested The recommended changes in the formula would increase that shortage. The committee, which consists of the presidents of the eight state universities, the state budget director and representatives from the General Assembly, also pointed out what they consider a bigger problem: the inequity of the formula's application. The range of funding goes from a low of 67 percent for the community-college system to a high of 97 percent for Murray State University. Kentucky State University President Raymond Burse said the university presidents met yesterday morning and agreed to push for a more equitable distribution. "If we all had our druthers, we would go for 100 percent" funding, Burse said, noting that there would be no need to discuss formula application if that occurred. But, he added, the presidents took a "significant reached yesterday. The known circumstances of the slayings are similar, however. White was a first-grade teacher, the wife of Central High School football coach James D. White. Her body was found in the Ohio River near Kosmosdale on Oct. 6, 1964. According to Courier-Journal reports, water was found in her lungs, but authorities could not determine whether she had drowned. "There were no marks of violence on the body," the newspaper reported. White, also black, was last seen about 3 a.m. Oct. 3, driving home alone in her 1960 Chevrolet after playing bridge at the home of friends. Jones, who was Louisville's first black woman prosecutor, was last seen about 2 a.m. Aug. 5, 1965, driving alone in a white rented car after visiting the home of a female friend. Her body was found about eight hours later in the Ohio River near Fontaine Ferry Park. Authorities determined that Jones until the child comes of age. The appointment usually goes to a parent, who must file annual reports and make a final accounting to a district judge when the child turns 18. The guardian also must be bonded, so that an insurance company could reimburse the child if the guardian misappropriates or otherwise loses the money. Despite these safeguards, Billingsley said, Kentucky's antiquated financial-guardianship system is not working. Billingsley said he hopes the sur STAFF PHOTO BY PAT McDONOGH yesterday on some of his 240 yesterday. step" in pushing for equity. "We have to be leery of making changes that fragment us," Burse said. University of Louisville President Donald Swain said the current application continues the disparity, and ' the committee should "go on record for a forceful movement toward equity." Keven Hable, the state budget director, supported that move. While it's too early to tell how much new revenue will be available, he said, it is important to move toward equity even with no new revenue. State Sen. Mike Moloney said flatly he did not see any possibility in 1990 for an increase given the current revenue base. "And with the governor's opposition to an increase in the revenue base, we can't pass it (a tax in- See COLLEGE PAGE 4, col. 6, this section had drowned, but she had two gashes in her head and police believe she had been knocked unconscious before being thrown into the water. Jones had been active in the civil-rights struggle and was founder of the Independent Voters Association, which conducted voter-registration drives among blacks. ;' At a 1963 rally in Louisville spon-' sored by her group, The Louisville Times quoted Jones as saying that blacks "would like to exchange our votes for part of the political pie. ; We cannot be bought but we will bargain." Jones shared a law office with Darryl T. Owens, who succeeded her as prosecutor in Domestic Relations Court and is now a Jefferson County commissioner. Asked yesterday whether Jones' civil-rights activities might have had anything to do with her death, Moody said anything is possible. A number of theories are being See POLICE PAGE 4, col. 6, this section vey will lead to changes in the law, which has remained essentially the same since the 1930s. His questionnaire went to every district judge, even though some do not handle guardianship cases. Thirty-four of the 54 judges who responded 63 percent said they were aware of guardianship-theft problems in their jurisdictions. Billingsley said 45 of the judges responding 83 percent said they had not had training in the au- See CHILDREN'S PAGE 4, col. 6, this section LOOKING BACK 25 YEARS AGO MARCH 7, 1964 Jonathan Worth Bingham. 21, son of newspaper publisher Barry Bingham Sr., was electrocuted outside his parents' home at Glenview while installing electrical wiring.

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