Grayson County News-Gazette from Leitchfield, Kentucky on October 14, 2017 · C6
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Grayson County News-Gazette from Leitchfield, Kentucky · C6

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Leitchfield, Kentucky
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Saturday, October 14, 2017
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C6
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C6 GRAYSON COUNTY NEWS-GAZETTE Saturday, October 1 4, 201 7 WHO KILLED ALBERTA JONES? The murder of Louisville's first black female prosecutor remains unsolved The prosecutor was pulled out of her rental car, beaten in the head with a brick until she lost consciousness and thrown into the Ohio River, where she drowned. The brutal Aug. 5, 1965, murder of Alberta 0. Jones, a civil rights activist and the first woman to become a prosecutor in Louisville, was never solved, despite fingerprints obtained from her car and witnesses who saw men tossing a body from a bridge. "Because things were still so segregated in Louisville then, I believe, if she had been a white woman prosecutor, they would have turned over heaven and hell to solve this," said Jones's sister Flora Shanklin, 81, who still lives in Louisville. "But she was black. They didn't do anything about it." Shanklin doesn't want people to forget about Jones, a trailblazer who integrated the University of Louisville and worked as the first attorney for Muhammad Ali, who was then Cassius Clay, negotiating the contract for his first fight. On Monday, a Hometown Heroes banner honoring Jones was unfurled in downtown Louisville, where she joined Ali; actress Jennifer Lawrence, and television anchor Diane Sawyer, among others. Last year, Shanklin and Lee Remington, an associate professor of political science at Bellarmine University and prelaw program director, raised $8,000 to create the banner for Jones, which now hangs from the side of the River City Bank building. Remington has been intrigued by Alberta Jones since 2001, when she was a first-year law student at Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville. "In a hallway, they had portraits of Kentucky civil rights leaders," Remington recalled. "She was the only African-American woman on the wall. I stopped to read the inscription. It talked about her work with civil rights. At the bottom, it said she was murdered, and it was unsolved." Remington was incredulous that the slaying of a prosecutor would go unsolved after so many years. The image of Jones and the caption would stay with her for more than 10 years, through law school and graduate school. When Remington became a professor at Bellarmine University in 2013, she immersed herself in research on Jones's life. "I called her sister. I found her online. We became close. The more I found out about the case," Remington said, "the more I wondered whether it was more than a book project." She combed through thousands of pages of files. She found evidence police seemed to have ignored. She found living witnesses who police had told the family were dead. The book project, Remington said, evolved into a quest for justice for Jones, a member of the NAACP and the Louisville Urban League who helped organize for the March on Washington and taught black people how to register to vote in voter training classes. Jones, who was born in Louisville, graduated third in her class from the University of Louisville and fourth in her class from Howard University School of Law. Jones returned to Kentucky, where she was one of the first black women to pass the state bar exam. In 1965, when Jones became the first female prosecutor in Louisville, she gave an interview to the Louisville Courier-Journal. She was quoted saying that after she returned home from law school, people told her: " You've got two strikes against you. You're a woman and you're a Negro.' " Jones replied, "Yeah, but I've got one strike left, and I've seen people get home runs when all they've got left is one strike." As a prosecutor, Jones worked on domestic violence cases. "She was putting white men in jail for beating their wives," Remington said. Only months after Jones began working as a prosecutor, she was killed. Jones, who lived with her mother and sister, rarely went out at night. "When I went upstairs about 10 to go to bed, she was sitting on the couch reading about the assassination of President Kennedy," her sister, Flora Shanklin, recalled in an interview. When Shanklin woke up the next morning Jones was not in her bed. "I went downstairs and asked my mother where Alberta was. She said, 'I've been laying in my bed the whole night wondering that' " Jones, her mother said, had received a call late that night from a friend named Gladys Wyckoff, who asked Jones to meet her to talk about a lawsuit against a beautician. Jones told Wyckoff she was now working as a prosecutor and did not handle that kind of lawsuit. "Gladys knew how to rattle her chain," Shanklin recalled. "Gladys told her, 'Since you have this job, you got uppity.' Because Alberta was well educated, she didn't want her friends to think she had gotten uppity" Jones decided to go out that night to meet Wyckoff. Wyckoff was interviewed repeatedly by police; she W Family photo Alberta Jones, Louisville's first female black prosecutor, was killed in 1965. The 34-year-old civil rights pioneer was beaten and thrown in the Ohio River. died this year. "My mother asked did she want her to go with her. Alberta said she would be OK," Shanklin said. "That was the last we heard of her." The next morning, when Jones had not returned home, Shanklin called Wyckoff's house. "Her daughter answered the phone and said, 'Mom's downtown taking care of some business.' No business was open at 7 o'clock in the morning in this city." "I said, 'Alberta came there that night, and we haven't seen her since.' Gladys never called back," Shanklin said. "So, by 8:30, I called the safely director of the police department and said Alberta is missing." Jones was 34, and at the time, "the media speculated she was dumped off the bridge into the Ohio River," Remington said. "The police believed her body was dumped off a boat ramp. She drowned because she was unconscious. Her purse was found three years later hanging from the Sherman Minton Bridge." For years, police told the family there was not enough evidence to arrest anyone. When Remington began her research in 2013, police told her witnesses in the case were dead. A friend of Jones's family gave Remington police records he had obtained from an open-records request. "In 10 minutes, I found two major discrepancies," Remington said. "In the records, they said all the detectives who worked on the case were dead, which is not true." She immediately located one of the detectives, Carl Corder, who had collected evidence in 1965. "I called him. He was very much alive. He invited me to his house," Remington said. "I got to sit down and interview him. He was a young detective at the time and had overseen much of the collection of evidence." In 2008, the FBI matched a fingerprint found inside Jones's rental car to a man who was 17 years old at the time of the murder. A detective interviewed the man, who submitted to a polygraph test. 'The polygraph examination revealed that deception was indicated" when the man was questioned "regarding the circumstances surrounding the murder of Alberta Jones," according to a police report. But the prosecutor decided two years later he would not pursue the case, citing loss of evidence and the deaths of investigators and other key witnesses. Last year, Remington sent a letter to the chief oi the Louisville Metro Police Department, requesting the department reopen the investigation. "A tremendous amount of evidence was collected in this case fingerprints, vacuum samples from every inch of the car by the FBI, blood samples, her purse and all of its contents (found three years later with credit cards and checks still inside), her dentures, cigarette butts from the car, her shoes, her clothes," Remington wrote. Remington asked: "The evidence is now missing. Misplaced? Lost? Thrown Away? Destroyed? Where did it go?" Sgt. Josh Carr, who works in the Louisville homicide unit, said the case is still active. "Homicides remain open until there is an arrest made or a clearance of some sort," Carr said in an interview with The Washington Post. "Over 50 plus years, that case has been worked by multiple detectives. There are detectives who have worked tirelessly on that case. The case is not closed." Rescue pipeline saves hundreds of animals from communities hit by hurricanes Washington Post photo by Salwan Georges Kayla Robinson, 26, adopted a Chihuahua mix left homeless after Hurricane Harvey. Robinson named her Lizzie. BY STEVE HENDRIX WASHINGTON POST Lizzie's hurricane finally ended on a bright September day in a Washington townhouse, four weeks and 1,400 miles from the floodwaters that overwhelmed her Houston neighborhood in August. 'Welcome home, Lizzie-poo," whispered Kayla Robinson, 26, as she carried the still-quivering Chihuahua mix across the threshold to a new life of plentiful food, squeaky toys and two dog beds of her very own. It was a comfy end to a journey that started at an emergency animal shelter in Texas, spanned nine states and touched foster families and rescue volunteers in five cities. As a historically destructive hurricane season grinds on, Lizzie is one of hundreds of displaced pets now pouring through a pop-up pipeline established between storm-ravaged areas from Texas to Puerto Rico and urban centers throughout the country, including Washington, D.C. Here, the flow of Harvey-, Irma- and, soon, Maria-dogs is reshaping the local rescue landscape. Even as Hurricane Nate landed in Mississippi this weekend, groups were radically expanding their capacity to receive, shelter and place a stream of animals expected to continue for months. 'We're upping all of it fundraising, volunteers, donated supplies, space," said Colleen Learch, spokesman for the Arlington, Virginia-based Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation, one of several organizations on the receiving end of the onslaught. Last month, the group took over a defunct boarding kennel in Falls Church, Virginia, that can accommodate up to 200 of the animals it has been taking from the hurricane zones. There has long been a supply-and-demand relationship between parts of the South, where spay-and-neuter traditions are weak, and adoption-crazy population centers such as Washington, New Jersey, Chicago and Seattle. But the hurricane bulge has vastly boosted the flow, and it will continue to grow. Many of the pets abandoned in Texas will never be claimed. Some families struggling to rebuild will surrender yet more animals to shelters or simply turn them loose, free to breed on the streets. "There will be a puppy and kitten boom around Christmas," Learch predicted. Lizzie's trek out of Texas illustrates the refugee railroad that has sprung up to move the animals northward. She wasn't named Lizzie when, a few weeks after Harvey struck, the scrawny brown dog was one of 30 brought one day to a shelter set up in an empty Houston grocery store. Residents, heading back to damaged homes and overwhelmed, were surrendering their pets. Without asking questions, shelter workers took her in and named her Nala. A volunteer veterinarian found her, underfed and testing positive for heartworms. "She was very sweet but looked like she'd had a hard life," said Clare Callison, the head of Pets Alive, the San Antonio rescue group running the shelter. Later that day, she was on the four-hour drive to San Antonio. Twice a week, Pets Alive volunteers make the trip to the hurricane zone, using RVs, SUVs and an old school bus to fetch animals from the shelters. The group's foster network has doubled since August, and one of the new volunteers, Lori Maxi, a stay-at-home mom, took Nala for five days. "She trembled all the way home," said Maxi, who is now on her fifth hurricane foster. "My kids absolutely adored her." On Sept. 21, a San Antonio paralegal named Carlos Uresti loaded Nala and 72 other pets for the long ride north. Uresti, who has been caring for stray dogs since he was 14, fitted a 24-foot race-car trailer with racks for animal crates and a rooftop air-conditioning unit that he runs off a generator in the back of his pickup. Since Harvey, he and two assistants have put 21,000 miles on the rig on rescue runs as far as Spokane, Washington. The drive to ArlingtonVirginia, took almost 47 hours, partly because walking the dogs every four hours takes a three-hour stop. But they also detoured to Memphis for several hours to get the AC fixed. "No way I was going to let it get that hot back there," Uresti said. When they finally pulled up outside Arlington's Dogma Bakery on a Saturday evening, more than 50 foster volunteers were waiting, all arranged by Lucky Dog Animal Rescue. The group has taken more than 200 hurricane-affected pets, putting out calls on social media to expand its volunteer list to 1,300 and holding weekly mass adoption events. Old Towne Pet Resort is one of the local kennels making space available to animals that don't get a foster family. 'We've learned a lot about disaster response," said Lucky Dog Executive Director Mirah Horowitz, a former Supreme Court clerk who founded the group in 2009. This ballooning of Washington's rescue scene began before Harvey even made landfall. A week in advance, based on experience with Hurricane Katrina, animal welfare groups knew to clear shelter space to make room for the rush. Washington, D.C.'s Humane Rescue Alliance, which has taken in more than 150 hurricane animals, emptied its kennels as the storm approached by holding a free adoption weekend, with the fees of up to $250 paid by Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer and his wife, Erica May-Scherzer, an alliance board member. The event placed more than 150 animals in four days. 'We were hoping to draw attention to the cause as much as anything," said May-Scherzer, who has been an animal activist since her days bottle-feeding injured squirrels as a child in Colorado. "There's going to be a need for quite some time." In Arlington, Horowitz carried one animal after another from the noisy trailer: Queenie, Stardust, Harper Lee. One of the waiting volunteers, Kevin McCormack, reached his fingers into the cage labeled "Nala" and tickled the cowering head of the dog he would take to his home in Annandale. The IT consultant and his wife have fostered more than 40 dogs in recent years, some for days, some for weeks, depending on how long it takes to find a permanent home. The next day, after a bath and a night with his own two Chihuahuas, McCormack drove Nala to a Petco in Rockville, Maryland, where more than 90 Lucky Dog animals were displayed for adoption. The sidewalk was jammed with mixed beagles, boxers, terriers and labs, each led by a volunteer, most surrounded by potential parents. The smaller dogs, always in high demand in urban areas, generated the most interest. Kayla Robinson, a recent law-school graduate starting a job as a government attorney, had seen Nala's profile online. She had failed to get little dogs at previous adoption events, so this time she arrived with an application already filled out. Her mother ran to submit it while Robinson parked the car. "There were already other people interested in her when we finally found her," Robinson said. "But I knew she was the dog for me." It took a few days for Lucky Dog to interview Robinson, conduct a home visit and approve the adoption. McCormack kept Nala, then drove her to the group's Arlington office the following Friday. The storefront was packed to the ceiling with thousands of pounds of donated dog food and supplies ready for shipment to Puerto Rico. Lucky Dog expects its first flight of stray dogs from the island within a week or two. "Hi, baby," Robinson cooed when she arrived, taking the dog from McCormack, the last transfer in a chain of custody that finally led from hurricane to haven. Robinson fished a collar from her bag and put it around the tiny neck. "Lizzie," read the dangling tag. Her new name. They got in Robinson's car and drove the final 12 miles, at long last, to her new life.

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