The Courier-Journal from Louisville, Kentucky on November 4, 1983 · Page 6
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The Courier-Journal from Louisville, Kentucky · Page 6

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Louisville, Kentucky
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Friday, November 4, 1983
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The Courier-Journal, Friday morning, November 4, 1983 Regional news Marketplace Deaths attire -i iwwl w7 ID) KENTUCKY ELECTION '83 Political sluggers iddlesboro m M don velvet gloves By R. G. DUNLOP Couritr-Journd Stoff Writer - MIDDLESBORO, Ky. Bareknuckle politics is nothing new to Middlesboro, where hard-fought elections are the rule rather than the exception. In recent years, some of those elections have gotten downright dirty, characterized by threats, obscene or threatening telephone calls and a fire or two of suspicious origin. During the 1981 mayor's race, gunshots were fired into property owned by each of the candidates. So far this political year, however, that sordid brand of intimidation has not reared its ugly head. And no one seems to be bemoaning its absence. "I don't think the people would stand for it," said Dewey Morgan, a former City Council member and one of 25 candidates this fall for the 12 council seats. "It has been a very quiet election, and I don't want that stuff started back on me again." Morgan resigned from the council and dropped out of politics in 1979, after his pickup truck was destroyed by fire, and he was subjected to a barrage of anonymous threats. ; He characterizes this as his last political fling, undertaken to "restore pride to our city." Civic pride has taken a beating in Middlesboro lately, and the civilized nature of this year's campaign doesn't mean that the stakes aren't high. Ten Republican and Democratic candidates, plus one independent, have banded together on a council slate that generally is regarded as being In opposition to Republican Mayor Chester Wolfe. And some among those running on the "It's Time for a Change" slate, as the 11 are calling them- - 3 jr-v Middlesboro T J 0T ; selves, believe that victory for them on Tuesday would spell the beginning of the end for Wolfe's 20-year reign in local politics. A few even speculate that Wolfe, who has had recent bouts of ill health and who declined this week to be interviewed, might resign rather than joust with a hostile council during the two remaining years in his fourth term as mayor. Several members of the "It's Time for a Change" slate already are trying to make it warm for Wolfe, Identifying him as the pri-' mary source of the city's troubles. The centerpiece of those troubles has been Middlesboro's sewage-treatment plant, the Middlesboro Tanning Co. and the pollution of Yellow Creek. In the most recent chapter of this long-running saga, a group of Bell County residents known as Yellow Creek Concerned Citizens obtained a court injunction against the city and the tannery to prevent discharges of sewage or acid into the creek. The injunction is part of a $31 See MIDDLESBORO PAGE 4, col. 3, this section Veteran Sheehan faces real race for Senate seat By ED RYAN Courltr-Journil Stiff Wrlttr COVINGTON, Ky. At 33, state Rep. Barry Caldwell, R-Villa Hills, is considered to be a more energetic campaigner than 66-year-old state Sen. Gus Sheehan, D-Coving-ton, the veteran incumbent whom Caldwell is seeking to unseat in Tuesday's election. Last summer, when daylight lasted until 9:30 p.m., Caldwell walked several times through much of the 23rd Senatorial District which takes in Covington, some of the Kenton County suburbs, and a section of Pendleton County. ' On Labor Day weekend, he hit the pavement again in his door-to-door campaign against Sheehan. But where was Caldwell during half of this last week' before the election? At the "Palmer House hotel in Chicago at a national ophthalmologist convention. Caldwell is the sales manager for the eastern United States for a California-based firm that has developed a highly successful laser product used by eye surgeons. In the past five years, Caldwell said, his firm has grown from a $3 mil-lion-a-year to a $60 million-a-year company. His presence was required at the convention, he said, but at night he made calls to Northern Kentucky in behalf of his candidacy. He said he expects to continue a vigorous campaign effort back home in the five final days. Meanwhile, back in Covington, Gus Sheehan is facing his first serious general-election contest in more than a decade as a state senator. The good-natured Sheehan has become a virtual fixture in the Kentucky Senate since being elect ed in 1971. He was a state representative as far back as the early 1950s and then again in the mid-1960s. A lawyer and a weekly newspaper publisher, Sheehan works out of his small, cramped office near the Kenton County municipal building in downtown Covington in the heart of the heavily Democratic urban voting area that has carried him to victory year after year. His name recognition in the Senate district is high. Sheehan, In his own way, conceded this week that he has some concern about his re-election, although he remains confident. "I'm a little more cautious this time," is the way he puts it. For one thing, he wonders how much "slop over" vote will accrue to his Republican opponent because Northern Kentucky native Jim Bunning is running for governor at the top of the GOP ticket. ' Also, Sheehan notes that Caldwell is waging an aggressive and expensive direct-mail campaign against him. Caldwell acknowledged that he will have sent four mailings to every registered voter in the district before Election Day, plus several "targeted" messages to different groups. "We figure that every registered voter will be contacted seven times by our campaign," said Caldwell, who explained that his plan See VETERAN PAGE 4, col. 1, this section i if - ft J - V'h-klh pryl Js ;( f - ' ' ' . 4.--. ...wj.m- - ':'y-ii...J.J.., .y... A... ,. .-w.., Willard Brown, left. Ray Dandridge, Buddy Burbage and Lou Dials got together yesterday while posing for a group portrait Negro leagues have fifth reunion The annual reunion of black former baseball players from the old Negro leagues started In Ashland Wednesday and will continue through today. The event reunited a number of players who were banned from white professional baseball during the first Alh decades of the century. Previous reunions had been held during the summer, but this year's was delayed because of financing problems. A banquet last night was expected to feature Hall of Famers Hank Aaron, Monte Irvin, Bob Feller, Buck Leonard and Judy Johnson. Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn and A. B. "Happy" Chandler, the former baseball commissioner and governor of Kentucky, were also expected, as were more than 40 baseball stars of yesteryear. The reunion was made possible through underwriting by the Alcoa Foundation, the Donald Trump Foundation and the Ashland Oil Foundation. STAFF PHOTOS BY BILL KIGHT during the Fifth Annual Negro Baseball Leagues' Reunion in Ashland. The reunion continues through today. t v It v . ii 1 I, ' y Former Negro league player William Evans signed a bat yesterday for Hollie Crouch, left, while Todd Dykes, center, and Hollie's father, Jim, watched. At left, Felix "Chin" Evans, a former pitcher and outfielder for teams from Memphis, Tenn., and Atlanta, Ga., signed a baseball. Hardin school board drops plan to levy maximum tax rate By AL CROSS Courier-Journal Staff Wrltor ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. The Hardin County Board of Education has abandoned its attempt to levy a maximum tax rate, and a similar effort by the Elizabethtown school board is in jeopardy. Faced with a costly referendum on the issue, the Hardin County school board voted unanimously Wednesday night to set a rate of 11,3 Cents per $100 worth of property. The rate will generate 4 percent more local tax revenue than last year. (Most of the school budget is financed by the state.) The 13.8-cent rate first proposed the maximum allowed by the so-called "rollback" law of 1965 would have Increased local tax revenue by 26 percent Under House Bill 44, passed by the 1979 special session of the General Assembly, annual tax-revenue increases of more than 4 percent - excluding revenue from new property are subject to a petition for a referendum. A petition that appeared to have more than the required number of signatures was filed in Hardin County last week. School officials questioned the validity of the petition because it didn't precisely follow the form established by law, different names were signed in what appeared to be the same handwriting, and ditto marks were used for some family names. In a 45-minute closed session be fore the vote, the school board discussed the possibility of challenging the petition, board member Jim Al-dridge said after the meeting. "We felt it would be misinterpreted and ill-timed," Aldridge said, adding that the board didn't want to cause any further delays in mailing the county's tax bills. School officials also didn't like the idea of spending $10,000 to $12,000 to hold the referendum, and at least $20,000 more to mail seDarate tax bills. "We're talking about a decision to put it on the ballot costing the board of education at least $30,000, with the possibility of the tax rate being defeated," Dr. Stephen Towler, the county school superintendent, said before the meeting. That is about the amount of extra revenue that will be generated by the 4 percent increase. The maximum rate would have raised an extra $200,000. Towler said the referendum couldn't have been held until mid-December because voting machines must be impounded for at least a month after Tuesday's general election. The school board has had other timetable problems. It filed suit in September to delay the tax bills because of conflicts in the statutory timetables for completing property See HARDIN PAGE 2, col. 2, this section Missive links Letter writers have forged a chain of unusual mail The mailbag is abulge with letters on a variety of unusual topics this month. Kay Waters Sakaris of Houston asks for assistance in solving a family mystery. It seems that the grave of her great-great-grandmother, Sarah Jane (Marshall) Johnson, in Livingston County, Ky., is marked with a Masonic emblem. "There have been only three women (members) in the history of the Masons," Mrs. Sakaris writes, "in England, France and Ireland." In each case, she says, the women were inducted because they had learned secrets of the order. Mrs. Johnson, the paternal grandmother of former Kentucky Gov. Keen Johnson, was the wife of steamboat CapL Richard M. Johnson, who was a member of the Dy-cusburg Masonic Lodge in Crittenden County. Mrs. Johnson died in 1873; her husband in 1894. Mrs. Sakaris suspects that her great-great-grandmother may have been a Mason, but so far, she says, Masonic officials in Kentucky have been of little assistance in the matter. Anyone having information that, might be of help may write Mrs. Sa-' karis at 7227 Woodland West Drive, Houston, Texas 77040. Lewis R. Porter of Campton, Ky. was among several who wrote letters about gourds: "After reading your latest article 9i mm-,.,,. Byron r Crawford ; . . ? courier-journal SJt columnist on bushel gourds and wanting to try my hand at growing of same, I would appreciate it very much if you could either send me some seeds ... or at least the names and : addresses of some of the lucky people who might have some." You might send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to Artie Smith, Route 3, Box 122, Vine Grove, Ky. 40175, and see if he has any seeds he can spare, Mr. Porter. Artie generally has a good crop, and, like most bushel gourd growers, he is a kind and generous person. If you should find him out of sorts , this year, it is probably because someone stole his largest bushel gourd right out of the patch. Professor Wlllem Meijer, curator of the University of Kentucky Herbarium, writes concerning my Sept. 23 column about the muscadine, a species of wild grapes that seems to be confined to only a few counties See LETTER PAGE 2, col. 2, this section

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