The Courier-Journal from Louisville, Kentucky on September 24, 2010 · Page B3
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The Courier-Journal from Louisville, Kentucky · Page B3

Louisville, Kentucky
Issue Date:
Friday, September 24, 2010
Page B3
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Time: 09-23-2010 23:45 User: marjohnson PubDate: 09-24-2010 Zone: MT Edition: 1 Page Name: B3 Color: Bftapbnta Neighborhoods LET THE GAMES AwBcfrfoa. R F C I N I World Equestrian Games' DCUIIM. Kentucky 2010 DAILY NEWS REPORT FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 24, 2010 www.courier-journal.comneighborhoods L 1 Green BRIEFLY Vacant restaurant burns, closing Bardstown Road A vacant restaurant in the 1200 block of Bardstown Road across from Mid-City Mall caught fire Thursday, forcing the closing of Bardstown Road while firefighters put out the blaze. No one was injured, and firefighters had control of the fire about 610 p.m., according to a MetroSafe Communications dispatch supervisor. The fire appears to have started in the rear of the restaurant near a garbage bin, said Louisville Fire & Rescue Maj. Jeff Knopp. The building had minor to moderate damage, Knopp said. The owner has not been located, and the cause was under investigation. Two men who were sitting in the McDonald's across from the vacant restaurant said they saw the rear of the building in flames about 530 p.m. One of the men, David Jones, said he comes to the McDonald's nearly every day and often sees what appear to be homeless people gathered around the garbage bin near where the fire started. Bardstown Road was closed between Mid-City Mall and Beechwood Avenue. Man sought in alleged roofing, paving scam The Bullitt County sheriff's office is a looking for a man accused of scamming homeowners, churches and a Louisville children's home. Tommy Green, 26, is charged in a warrant with theft by deception, Detective Scotty McGaha said. Green is accused of taking payments from homeowners for roofing and pav ing jobs he didn't do. Green, who owns Fix Right Roofing and Paving, has gone by the name Joe Delgado, among other aliases, and probably is in the Louisville area, although his driver's license is from Mesa, Ariz., McGaha said. Green has a dark complexion, is 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighs about 130 pounds, McGaha said. Anyone with information about Green or his business is asked to call local police, the Bullitt County Sheriff's Office at 543-2514 or the office's anonymous crime tip line at 543-1262, or the Better Business Bureau at 1-800-388-2222. CRIME REPORTS Louisville Metro Police filed reports on Thursday, Sept. 23, for the following major crimes: 40203 Burglary, 200 block of St. Joseph St., Sept. 20. Burglary, 600 block of E. Ormsby Ave., Sept. 10. Burglary, 1200 block of S. First St., Sept. 21. 40211 Burglary, 3500 block of Grand Ave., Sept. 20. 40212 Assault, 2700 block of Portland Ave., Sept. 21. Burglary, 100 block of N. 39th St., Sept. 21. 40215 Burglary, 4200 block of Wheeler Ave., Sept. 13. 40217 Burglary, 400 block of E. Burnett Ave., Sept. 20. 40219 Burglary, 4300 block of Shady Villa Drive, Sept. 20. 40243 Burglary, 200 block of S. Madison Ave., Sept. 20. Burglary, 11200 block of Finchley Road, Sept. 20. Burglary, 100 block of S. Madison Ave., Sept. 20. Burglary, 200 block of Tucker Station Road, Sept. 20. Go to www.cou crime to search for all the crime reports in your neighborhood. Ministers object to Heiner position Seek to keep JCPS assignment plan By Dan Klepal The Courier-Journal A coalition of Louisville ministers held a news conference Thursday to say Republican mayoral candidate Hal Heiner's position on scrapping the Jefferson County Public Schools student-assignment plan would set the community back "to the 1950s." The Rev. Frank M. Smith, Jr., president of the Interdenominational Ministerial Coalition, said Heiner is "playing games with our children and trying to drive votes based on fear." He called that "shameful." The coalition called for Heiner to take down a 30-second television commercial that says it is time to end the school district's "failed student-assignment plan." The television spot, and a longer radio version, began airing Tuesday and is to run for at least two weeks. "To advocate for neighborhood schools given that Louisville is a predominately segregated community would mean that schools would be resegregated," Smith said. "Isolated communities further defined by segregated schools will send a regressive message to potential employers seeking to bring jobs to Louisville." Joe Burgan, Heiner's campaign manager, said the ad will stay on the air. He also said that ending the plan does not mean a return to segregated schools. "Neighborhoods schools could be involved in some form, but that's not to say it's an eitheror situation," Burgan said. "Hal is just saying let's sit down and find the right answer to meet our diversity goals and our education goals." The mayor has no authority to change the plan, and a recent lawsuit brought by several parents challenging the plan was dismissed by Jefferson Circuit Judge Irv Maze. Heiner said many of Louisville's public schools are underachieving. He contends the district's students lag behind state averages in reading comprehension, math and graduation rates. The ad gives three bullet points for how to improve schools: merit pay for the best teachers "willing to teach in failing" schools, reduction of class sizes and an increase in magnet programs. "Diversity can no longer be about politics," Heiner says in the ad. "It must be about creating incentives that empower parents to choose the very best school for their children." School Superintendant Sheldon Berman criticized the ad, which referred to "failing schools" in the district. Berman said he does not agree there are failing schools and said the district has some of the "most successful urban schools in the country." Heiner's major-party opponent, Democrat Greg Fischer, also was critical of the ad, saying Heiner was using children for "political purposes" and said that was "deplorable." At a mayoral form Thursday, both candidates addressed the issue of the student assignment plan. Fischer said scrapping it would be a step "backward." "A leader pulls people together to figure out a solution," Fischer said. "You don't blow up the system." But Heiner, who said that 30,000 of the district's 100,000 students won't graduate, said, "It's time for a community conversation. It's time for a fresh look at education." Statewide test data, released Thursday, show just 21 percent of the district's 133 schools met their No Child Left Behind goals, compared with 37 percent last year and 44 percent in 2008. Berman said he was "not pleased" with those results. Shawnee High School, named among the state's 10 lowest-performing schools, had just 5 percent of students testing proficient in math and science, according to the most recent testing data. Six Jefferson County schools Shawnee, Fern Creek, Western and Valley high schools, along with Frost and Western middle schools have been forced to restructure after tests showed them to be among the state's lowest-performing schools. "Something has to change and Hal Heiner is unapologetic for standing up for parents and children across this community," Burgan said. The ministers said diversity is important and the school system should "tweak" the student-assignment plan instead of throwing it out. "Our city has prided itself for decades on having an integrated school system," Smith said. "Turning back the clock decades is not moving our city forward." Reporter Dan Klepal can be reached at (502) 582-4475. By Sam Upshaw, The Courier-Journal Paul Miller photographs a work crew Thursday as it removes debris from the historic brick building that collapsed Wednesday afternoon at Story Avenue and Webster Street. Crews cleaning up collapsed building in Butchertown The Courier-Journal Cleaning crews and demolition contractors are clearing debris and preparing to knock down what is left of a historic brick building in Butchertown that collapsed Wednesday afternoon. No one was injured in the collapse at 1401 Story Ave. A portion of the structure, which was divided into two addresses, is still standing at 1403 Story. It may take a few days for crews to finish the job, but no timetable has been set, said Dave Marchal, construction review manager for the city's Department of Codes and Regulations. He said workers will "proceed safely and slow-ly." Marchal talked to the building's owner, J.R. Hennessey, who had been renovating the building before it collapsed, but he said Hennessey gave him no indication Thursday about his plans. Marchal said it ultimately is Hennessey's decision to rebuild, but at the moment "he's still trying to take it all in." Hennessey said he has no plans to sell the property but has no definite plans to rebuild. He said he is waiting for the site to be cleared and hear what the city might allow to be built there. Since the property lies within the Butchertown Preservation District, the city's Historic Landmarks and Preservation Districts Commission has authority on the aesthetics of the area. Tenn. jury finds Louisvillian guilty in shooting of officer Associated Press NASHVILLE, Tenn. A Louisville man has been convicted of attempted first-degree murder for his role in the shooting of a Nashville police officer. Jurors deliberated for about four hours on Wednesday before finding Cortney Logan, 27, of Louisville, guilty. Logan, who also was convicted of using a weapon during a felony, faces up to 30 years in prison and additional charges in Mississippi. He was accused of helping his cousin, Joseph Jackson Jr., 32, escape from the Delta Correctional Facility in Greenwood, Miss., in June 2009 while Jackson was at a doctor's appointment. Jackson had been serving a life sentence for two armed robberies and an aggravated assault. Prosecutors said the pair were fleeing to Louisville when Nashville police Sgt. Mark Chesnut stopped their vehicle on Interstate 40 west of that city because Logan was not wearing a seatbelt. Jackson shot Chesnut, who survived. Jackson pleaded guilty to attempted murder earlier this week. Prosecutors said after the verdict in Logan's case that key evidence was video footage from Chesnut's unmarked police cruiser that showed Logan laughing after Chesnut was shot. "Nobody would laugh at somebody being shot in cold blood and leave them to die," prosecutor John Zimmerman said. Logan sat stoically as the jury forewoman read the verdict. Police said Jackson walked up to the side of the cruiser and fired six times at Chesnut. The officer, 46, had life-altering injuries and is likely to take a disability pension. The defense maintained during the trial there was no proof Logan was laughing or smiling after the shooting. Defense attorneys declined to comment after the verdict. Chesnut, a father of three, said he was thankful for the verdict. "It's been a hard time, but this is a big step right here," he said. Jurors heard testimony during the three-day trial about how Logan barged into the Eye Station where Jackson had an appointment and fired into the air while ordering everyone on the ground. A Mississippi woman who was working at the office during the escape embraced Chesnut with tears. "He could have very well have shot us, because we were put face down with a gun to our heads," Margaret Davis said. Chesnut and his wife filed a lawsuit in October against Corrections Corporation of America, the private company that runs the facility where Jackson had been serving, accusing the firm of being negligent in its handling of the prisoner. The company has said in court documents it is not to blame. Logan and Jackson will be sentenced Nov. 10. John Wilkinson Jr. to succeed father as fire chief at Lake Dreamland Board member: Experience, training gave him slight edge By Sean Rose The Courier-Journal John Wilkinson Jr., the son of the outgoing Lake Dreamland fire chief, was selected as the new chief of the suburban department by a four-person committee on Thursday night. "I'm glad I was selected," Wilkinson said. "I'm very qualified for the job, and I can carry the fire department forward in the proper direction." Wilkinson is secretary of the Lake Dreamland Fire Department's board of trustees and an assistant fire chief for the Kentucky Air National Guard. He worked as a firefighter at Lake Dreamland from 1985 to June 2009. Matthew Kolter, a member of the selection committee that was made up of board members, said Wilkinson's training and experience gave him a slight edge over the other candidates. "It just came down to who each individual person felt was the best candidate for the job," Kolter said. "All of them are more than capable of doing the job, but unfortunately you can only pick one." Two other candidates, Freddie George Jr. and Jo-dy Meiman, also have a history with the department. George, 42, has worked for Lake Dreamland as a volunteer since 1986 and holds the rank of captain. He works at Fort Knox as a paramedic. His father is the assistant chief. Meiman, 35, a captain and company commander with Louisville Fire & Rescue, serves as the training officer for Lake Dreamland. His father served the department for 33 years before his death. Wilkinson, George and Meiman also have relatives who serve on the department's board of trustees, all of whom removed themselves from the selection process. Another candidate, Robert Williams Jr., works for Pleasure Ridge Park Fire and has no ties to the Lake Dreamland department. Meiman said he was disappointed he was not selected. "I felt like I had the most qualifications, I had the most experience, I felt like I had the support of the community, and I felt like I was the best person for the job," he said. Asked whether he thought nepotism played a role in the selection since Wilkinson's father is the outgoing chief, Meiman said: "It went the way I fully expected it to," but would not elaborate. George said he supported the board's decision. Williams was not immediately available for comment. Kolter said there was no nepotism in the decision. "To me, that doesn't apply," he said. John Wilkinson's "father is retiring and neither one of them will answer to each other." The younger Wilkinson also said he didn't believe nepotism played in his favor. "He had already established that he's retiring and the board's already accepted his retirement," he said of his father. John Wilkinson, 69, the current chief, announced in July he would retire at the end of the year. He has been with the department since 1963 and was appointed chief in 1994. He has been restricted to administrative duties recently because of his health. John Wilkinson is scheduled to start as chief on Oct. 1. The position pays $18,000 a year and does not require full-time duties. Reporter Sean Rose can be reached at (502) 582-4199.

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