Thursday, October 19, 2006

Earl Hickey attacks domestic partnership benefits for Kentucky universities

I took one look at the picture above and had one thought..... How in the heck did Earl Hickey get into the state legislature? I would have figured "Once Used Same Sex Marriage To Pander to the Base" would have been on his list of things that he needed to atone for.

If this guy really wants to protect marriage, perhaps he should ban divorce. Or maybe he should concentrate on tightening laws on the states barbers and beauty shops for letting people walk out with that hairstyle.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Renee Terrell and Christopher Wayne Luttrell -- Sick individuals

When I look at the picture of these two inbred idiots, the only thing I have is contempt. Christopher Luttrell gives an unsmiling death glare with his shiny bald head, hoping to look like a hard homeboy, but looking more like a phallus with ears. Guess that menace came in handy beating to death a 67 year old woman. Renee Terrell looks like a waste of space as well. All she is a baby machine that keeps pumping out kids and wanting to keep them like some three year old who finds a kitten.

If the press wanted to do something, they would a) spell Daewoo NUBRIA correctly, and b) publicize what the car and its emblem look like. Both are distinctive.

I hope that when they find these scum that the kid is taken as far away from them as humanly possible, and they are charged with a capital crime. If they killed the woman (got to say alleged to be fair, don't we), then they deserve far worse than she got.

Neighbor says mother threatened to kidnap son
By Jessie Halladay
and Katya Cengel
The Courier-Journal

HENDERSON, Ky. — A Henderson woman told friends on Saturday night that she planned to kidnap her 9-month-old baby and flee to New Mexico, a neighbor said Tuesday.

Jean Davis, 38, who lived down Clay Street from the house shared by Renee Terrell and her boyfriend, Christopher Wayne Luttrell, said she didn’t say anything to authorities because she didn’t believe Terrell would carry through on her threat.

But Tuesday, authorities were looking for Terrell, 33, and Luttrell, 23, and for Terrell’s young son, Saige Terrell.

An Amber Alert for the child and adults was issued Monday evening after state social worker Boni Frederick was found slain in Terrell and Luttrell’s home, according to police. Frederick had taken Saige, who is a ward of the state, to visit his mother that morning.

Davis said Terrell’s threat to kidnap her son had been precipitated by the mother learning Oct. 11 that the boy would be put up for adoption.

“She loved her baby. She talked about how she was going to get him back. She had bought clothes, a high chair … I guess that’s what made her snap,” Davis said.
Davis said Terrell has three other children besides the baby, but none of them live with her. A fifth child had died in its crib, Davis said.

Police got involved in the case about noon Monday when the foster mother taking care of Saige called social services and reported that the infant had not been returned, Detective Ron Adams of the Henderson Police Department said.

That’s when authorities began looking for 67-year-old Frederick.

By about 3:30 p.m., police had obtained a search warrant to enter Terrell’s home.
That’s when they discovered Frederick’s body, Adams said. He would not say how Frederick was killed. An autopsy was being performed Tuesday morning.

Frederick’s car, a white Korean-made 2000 Daewoo Nubira station wagon remains missing. It has a Kentucky license plate of 675-DRV.

Police issued a warrant for kidnapping against Terrell Monday night.

They are also seeking Luttrell, who is described as white with blue eyes, 6-foot-2 and 150 pounds with tattoos on his arms.

Luttrell was convicted in August 2004 of several counts of burglary and theft, said Cheryl Million, a spokeswoman for the Kentucky Department of Corrections. He was sentenced to five years in prison and was paroled from the Eastern Kentucky Correctional Complex in April.

After his parole, Luttrell was assigned to a halfway house in Jefferson County, Million said. On June 3, he walked away from the house without authorization.

A warrant was issued for him on June 26 for absconding parole supervision and failure to complete a halfway house program, Million said. That warrant is still active.
Renee Terrell is described as white with brown hair and eyes, 5-foot-5 and 240 pounds. She wears glasses.

Police say the boy is developmentally disabled and has a scratch on the right side of his face and a rug burn on the back of his neck. He has brown hair and eyes, is 27 inches tall and weighs 19 pounds.

Kentucky State Police issued the Amber Alert for Saige just before 8 p.m. Monday, said Lt. Phil Crumpton. The alert was also extended to Indiana.

“We have had a tremendous amount of telephone calls,” Adams said.

Police were spending Tuesday tracking down those leads trying to locate the child and suspects, Adams said.

He asked the public to keep a vigilant eye out for the couple and the missing car. He said people should pay particular attention at rest stops, motels and to cars parked along the side of the road.

“We believe the baby to be in danger because of the nature of the crime,” Adams said.

There have been 14 Amber Alerts issued in Kentucky since the program began in 2002, Crumpton said. All those people to date had been returned safely, Crumpton said.

The alerts are useful, Crumpton said, because “that puts a lot of people out there looking for these subjects.”

Reporter Jessie Halladay can be reached at (502) 582-4081.

Reporter Katya Cengel can be reached at (502) 582-4224.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Sending fathers off to war

Tonight on Channel 41's news, they had a story about the Bardstown National Guard going to Iraq. As I watched the men in uniform kissing their kids goodbye, I started to cry. I cannot imagine leaving my daughter. I certainly cannot imagine leaving her to go halfway around the world to fight in a horrible war that didn't need to be fought. I pray that every one of these men returns to their family intact.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Northup's Attack Ads Raise Blogger Ire

Northup For Congress? is a blog that has some interesting assessments of Anne Northup's negative campaign against John Yarmuth.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Matter of fact, it's a gas.

I was born too late, I imagine. I was born in 1971 and grew up after some of my favorite bands had hit their prime or fell apart. In the time since, one of my secret goals was to see all of my favorite British warhorses in some or fashion before they died. The Who, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles (as solo artists), Led Zeppelin, and The Kinks.

I got Paul and Ringo years ago, seeing Paul on February 9, 1990 (the anniversary of their appearance on Ed Sullivan) at the Worcester Centrum, and Ringo not long after at the Kentucky State Fair. The Who remain to be seen, primarily because I can't rouse myself to spend hundreds not only for tickets, but to travel hundreds of miles they always seem to be away from Louisville, especially when the backbone of the band is long dead. Led Zep. Well, we know why that won't happen. As for The Kinks, between strokes and shootings, that probably won't happen either.

Which brings us to the Stones. When it was announced I was excited beyond words. My first and probably only chance to see them. I got my tickets within minutes of the presale, and anxiously awaited the big day.

1st... the complaints. Churchill Downs did a HORRIBLE job with this one. After all the fanfare about the event, you'd have thought CD would have used its skills on Derby Day to make a better event. They didn't.

Let's start at the entrance. For some reason, nobody ever tries to tame the lines to enter a venue, so people were lined up blocking through traffic for security and taxis. Once let inside, the ticket takers didn't scan the tickets like at other venues, but instead tore the tickets, and then put holes in them when you got to your section. NOT COOL!

Once inside, the Brantley ushers had no clue how to get to the track seats. We wound up walking way out of our way to find an entrance and then had to walk all the way back to our seats. When we got to our seats, they were poorly marked folding chairs. The marking of each section was a price tag with the section on it and some Post It notes to indicate what seat number you were near.

Problem two became apparent at that point. Because the track understandably doesn't want people on a normal day to go into the track area, there were very few entrances, of too small a size. This created bottlenecks on the track. Plus, because they were channelling two to four times as many people through the entrances underneath the grandstands, there were huge bottlenecks in the back. During Alice Cooper's set, I went to use the restroom and some woman warned me "Don't go, it'll take you an hour to get back." When I saw the waves of people trying to get in, I turned back.

This wouldn't have been so bad had Churchill bothered to put porta potties and refreshments on the track side of the event. The only beverages they were selling was beer.

I was excited because all week they'd been promising great weather, and for a moment, it seemed that it would be nice, if somewhat cool. The sun was blazing.

As the time for Alice Cooper rolled near, the rain started. Never quite a deluge, but enough to get you wet and make you miserable. "If I see John Belski, I'm kicking his ass," I told my wife. What if it stormed, I thought. I couldn't imagine a bunch of drunk, wet, people running for shelter in a space that 2 or 3 people could fit in at a time. Worse, the ushers were conspicuously absent, trying to corral the crowd (I guess) so people were funnelling wherever they wanted, including crowding the aisles.

I remember looking around and thinking the people in line with me and sitting around me were old enough to be my parents. How was that possible? This is a rock show. Then I realize that the Stones were old enough to be my parents. It made me realize how timeless the band truly is.

Alice Cooper did a competent if rather bland set. I'm not a big fan, but it was cool to see him perform. His set was short and rather lacking in theatrics he's known for.

Then the Stones came on. OH MY! From the first bars of Jumpin' Jack Flash, it was clear that they weren't letting the rain get to them. I'd seen video and heard live CDs of Stones performances in the past. You'd think that in 40 years their performances would get more and more like other contemporaries. Essentially lifeless recreations of their hits with some nice stage effects to try and distract you. Instead, based on all accounts, including those of longtime fans, the boys are doing some of the best shows of their lives. They were incredible! From a sound mix that was far better than any show I've been in, especially one of this magnitude, you could hear almost everything clearly. Mick was actually singing, not talk singing or spitting out lyrics like in some shows I'd heard. He was hitting notes that a guy his age who has been doing that many shows for over a year should not be hitting. Charlie anchored the band as always, getting a huge sound without looking like he was even breaking a sweat. Ronnie and Keith looked like they were having a good time, lost in their own guitar playing. All of it was played out on a huge stage that added to the show without becoming the show.

Because it was their first time in Louisville in years, they stuck mostly to hits, to the delight of the many casual fans there, I'm sure. But each was performed with a vigor that belied the number of times they've performed them. While the rain sucked, the rain added a cool element to the video of the boys hammering out the hits. It all came to an early climax with Midnight Rambler, surpassing the Get Your Ya Ya's Out version for all 12 or so minutes. The obvious Dead Flowers kicked the studio version's butt as well, as Mick brought cheers to the crowd singing about "making bets on Kentucky Derby Day." Mick was a marvel, strutting around, playing to the crowd, and looking about 30 years younger than he is. His stage moves bordered on self parody, but somehow he pulled it off.

What amazed me about these shows is that the $240 I paid for two tickets was more than worth it. Not just because I saw living legends, but because the guys put on an incredible show. The sound, stage, and above all performance was far superior to any concert I've been to before. Rather than sounding like a cover band on their own songs (a charge I could hurl at the recent Journey/Def Leppard concert I saw), they sounded like men who have been playing together for years and still find new reasons to enjoy it. Songs that had no reason to be played with anything but competence, such as Satisfaction, sounded fresh again. Even the new tunes off A Bigger Bang had the crowd rocking and cheering.

In the end, I got more than I ever thought I could hope for. I got to see classic songs performed with most of the core band intact in an energy filled concert that musicians 1/3 of their age couldn't have pulled off. For two plus hours, all of my cares, including being soaking wet and the fact that I was trapped with several thousand drunks disappeared, and I was in music heaven.

And as for kicking John Belski's ass... I almost got my chance by proxy. About midway through the show, Kevin Harned and three friends (including a very young looking girl) appeared right next to us standing and watching the show. He disappeared a couple of songs later. I guess he feared for his life.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Random thoughts.... or Zam Bam Thank You Ma'am

Does James Zambroski remind anyone of the reporter Lauraine Newman played on SNL with his drawn out method of speaking and his sign off "Wave 3 Newwwwwwwzzzzzzz"?

Why is it that every picture in Mike Weaver's congressional commercials looks like it was taken in 1964?

Ever notice that the machines you check your blood pressure on at pharmacies are surrounded with advertising guaranteed to raise your blood pressure? "ARE YOU AT RISK FOR HEART DISEASE!?!?!?!?!" "DIABETES THE SILENT KILLER!!!!!"

Does Ann Northup look more and more like a characture or is it just me?

Iceberg doesn't make a salad! SAVE THE SPINACH!

Can someone tell WHAS that when someone farts in Frankfort, it's not necessarily BREAKING NEWS!!!!

Can someone tell WAVE that we bought our HDTV to see broadcasts in HD, not to watch their promotional crawls in 4:3.

and finally.......

Wouldn't the world be a better place if people voted AGAINST the candidate with the most negative ads?

Friday, September 15, 2006

Where's Popeye when you need him

First Al Qaeda and now E Coli. I don't know who this E Coli terrorist cell is, but attacking our spinach supply is beyond the pale. And what will it do to one of our greatest super heroes, Popeye the Sailor Man.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Let the Attack Ads Begin

John Yarmuth has taken the semi-high road by not directly attacking Ann Northup. Ann and the Republican smear machine can't be depended on to do the same, of course.

First, Anne attacks Yarmuth for a supposed flip flop on the bridges. First he was against the East End bridge, and now, according to Anne's website, John says in today’s Courier-Journal that he has always been for the East End bridge! But I've read the article several times and I don't see where it says that. Northup has ads that have just come out that claim he's flip flopped on several more issues.

Now I don't know if this is true. Ann dcites LEO editorials. As the LEO Weekly pointed out in an article several weeks back, LEO doesn't have a great archival system. In fact, they only have a single archival copy of many issues. That didn't stop Anne from making an ass out of herself requesting all of the issues (800 plus), photocopying them, and now apparently having her staff scour every one of them for a quote they can use, whether in context or not.

I find it interesting that political campaigns make so much out of "Flip Flopping". Show me a person who hasn't changed his position on something in their lifetime and I'll show you an idiot.... like W. It's not even clear that John is flip flopping from what is shown. After all, many of us have flip flopped on the Iraq war after it became clear that the Government knew there was no connection at all. What seems like a good idea or bad idea at the time can turn out to be the opposite when the details are fleshed out.

I really wish that Ann would take the high road. Of course, that would require her to stand on her own terrible record.

Yarmuth, Northup clash on bridges
Each says other's support is lacking
By Marcus Green
The Courier-Journal

By Marcus Green
The Courier-Journal

Ask Louisville's leading congressional candidates where they stand on a $2.5 billion project to build two bridges across the Ohio River, and they'll tell you they wholeheartedly support it.

Ask them where their opponent stands -- and you'll get a much different answer.

Republican U.S. Rep. Anne Northup's campaign says Democratic challenger John Yarmuth's current support contradicts his past opposition to an East End bridge.

Yarmuth, in turn, says Northup's support has fallen short of securing enough federal money to push the project forward.

"I've always said I'm for as many bridges as we can build, as we can afford to build," said Yarmuth, who lives near the eastern bridge route. "I have serious questions as to whether there's going to be enough money to build these projects -- always have and still do -- but it's not a question of support for them at all."

Northup's campaign says work has begun, including the eastern bridge approach, with a bridge design expected soon.

"For John Yarmuth to suggest that we are no closer to an East End bridge is just baffling," said Patrick Neely, Northup's campaign manager.

The other two candidates for the 3rd District seat say they oppose part of the bridges project.

Constitution Party candidate W. Ed Parker said he favors an eastern bridge, but not a second downtown. Libertarian Donna Mancini said she would support bridges at either end of the Snyder Freeway.

Northup's accusations against Yarmuth stem from a 1991 newspaper column he wrote questioning a possible East End bridge; a 2005 television appearance in which he agrees that the bridge is a "stupid idea"; and his tenure as a trustee of River Fields, a conservation group opposed to an eastern bridge.

In 1991, Yarmuth wrote in the weekly LEO paper that he founded that an eastern bridge couldn't be justified on the basis of alleviating traffic downtown or creating a downtown bypass.

He wrote in part: "([T)here are a lot of roads that end somewhere, and, until I hear some better reasons for spending $250 million, I think U.S. 42 is as good a place as any for the Snyder to stop."

Yarmuth defends the column, saying that at the time there was talk about a new Ohio River bridge -- but no formal plan to build two bridges.

The current plan grew out of a 2001 study determining that the best solution to the region's traffic woes would be to build two bridges and untangle Spaghetti Junction, where interstates 64, 65 and 71 converge downtown.

Yarmuth said in the 15 years since he wrote his bridge column, "there have been a lot better reasons offered (for an East End bridge), namely economic development ones."

An eastern bridge would, for example, benefit Ford's Kentucky Truck Plant on Chamberlain Lane just off the Snyder, he said. The plant has expanded several times since 1991, adding new truck production and several shifts that have boosted employment.

In remarks on the WAVE-3 "Hot Button" program last year, Yarmuth agreed with commentator Jim Milliman, who said Northup ought to support a proposed southwestern Jefferson County bridge and "get rid of this stupid idea for an East End bridge that does nothing but bail out Southern Indiana."

"You won't get any disagreement … from me on that," Yarmuth told Milliman during the telecast. "The arguments for the southwest bridge are more compelling than the ones for an East End bridge, particularly for traffic congestion."

But Yarmuth said this week that he was not agreeing with everything Milliman said.

"I was trying to get on to something else and didn't want to argue with him about every little point he made," Yarmuth said. "He made about three or four different points there."

Speaking to reporters in Louisville late last month, Northup accused Yarmuth of opposing the bridges project. She questioned his past association with River Fields, a preservation group that favors a downtown bridge and redesigning Spaghetti Junction but opposes an East End bridge.

This week, Neely said Yarmuth is not coming clean on the bridges issue.

"He won't even be honest about his position on the East End bridge," Neely said.

Yarmuth was a River Fields trustee from September 2004 to March 2006. He defended his tenure on the board, saying that River Fields is dedicated to other environmental causes besides the bridges.

"One of the reasons that I resigned from the River Fields board was because I didn't want to be put in the position of being bound by their position as it relates to bridges and everything else they're involved in," he said.

Yarmuth accused Northup of trying to make the election about the bridges rather than the Iraq war, health care and prescription drugs for seniors, among other issues. But he also attacked Northup's record on helping get money for the bridges.

"The critical factor here is what Anne Northup and the Congress have done to fund these bridges so far. And as far as I'm concerned, we're no further along in this bridge project than we were five years ago," he said. "There's really nothing that's been done. She hasn't been able to procure the funding that's been necessary."

Northup's campaign says that isn't true.

In July 2005, Kentucky and Indiana delegates helped secure $58 million in federal funds for the bridges project from the transportation bill. Last winter, Northup lobbied in Frankfort for the project, which received $789 million in the state's six-year highway plan.

The bridges project is expected to cost $2.5 billion, with Kentucky picking up an estimated $1.7 billion.

Reporter Marcus Green can be reached at (502) 582-4675.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Support WLKY, CBS, and their airing of 9/11 documentary

It's time to reclaim the airwaves for EVERYONE, not just the low minded religious publicity seekers in organizations like the American Family Association who want to make sure that none of us can make our own decisions on what we wish to turn off.

On Sunday, CBS is showing a documentary on 9/11 for the third time. This documentary has some "R-rated" profanity, and was aired without incident twice before. Since the events of that day are more horrific than a few F-bombs, I encourage everyone who values this heartbreaking documentary to e-mail the FCC and let them know you are NOT offended by its showing and that you will take offense at any attempts to fine your affiliate or CBS for airing it.

Then, e-mail that giant set of idiots at the AFA, who are rallying around this show to try and send a chill through the networks. You can contact them here. Let them know that there is an on/off switch on their TV and a channel selector if they don't like something that is on.

CBS To Air Profanity-Laden Program
It is time to tell CBS and the other networks that enough is enough!.
Not content with all the profanity already on TV, CBS has decided to air the profanity-laden unedited version of "9/11" on Sept. 10. The decision by CBS is a slap in the face to the FCC and Congress, which recently raised indecency fines to $325,000 per incident.

"9/11," which will be shown in prime-time, contains a tremendous amount of hardcore profanity. CBS has stated they have not, and will not, make any cuts in the amount and degree of profanity. CBS will ignore the law. The network is suing the FCC over the indecency law, saying they should be able to show whatever they desire whenever they desire. CBS wants no limits.

This is a test case for CBS to see how far they can go. If there is no out-pouring of complaints from the public, they will go further the next time.

The profanity is so bad that CBS has warned their affiliates that they could be subject to huge fines. The FCC says it will fine not only the networks, but also affiliates if the law is violated. Under the new Broadcast Decency Act the $325,000 per incident could run into millions of dollars not only for the network but also for local affiliates.

CBS could very easily bleep out the profanity, but they refuse. The goal of CBS is to be able to show whatever they want at anytime. The network wants no restraints on their programming. If they are allowed to get away with this, they will simply air even more profanity in the future.

Take Action

It is time to tell CBS and the other networks that enough is enough!.

Send an email, asking the FCC to enforce the law. Your email will go not only to the FCC, but also to CBS.

Contact your local CBS affiliate and ask them not to air "9/11." Click Here to find their contact information or use your local phone directory.

Please forward this to your friends and family. Share this information with members of your Sunday School class and church, and urge them to get involved.

If no changes are made and your CBS affiliate carries the program, AFA will provide you with information for filing a formal complaint with the FCC.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

"Fatal Error" as insensitive as the Emmy's?

I've been watching Channel 3's news coverage of the Lexington plane crash and I find they're need to give the disaster a title to be tasteless and tacky. To sum up a terrible tragedy with a constant graphic that says "Fatal Error" is horrible, especially when one of the people who may be responsible for that "Fatal Error" is fighting for life in the hospital.

Note to Channel 3.... Go back to "Investigating the Truth" and leave the ridiculous practice of giving titles for each news story to the networks.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Bush -- My Committment "Means Something"

From George's interview with Brian Williams: “When it’s all said and done, the people down here know that I stood in Jackson Square [a year ago] and said, ‘We’re going to help you,’ and we delivered,” he said. “What matters is that we help the good people here rebuild New Orleans and the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, and we’re going to do that.

“You know, commitments in politics sometimes mean nothing,” Bush added. “I made a commitment that means something.”

He should be committed. While he admits to Katrina being a mess, the fact is, he became contrite and made a "committment" days after he should have gone into action. Nobody pretends the President should be Superman, but when a city is suffering from a disaster of this magnitude and you're too busy honoring your committment to Mark Wills and his gift of a guitar, or to giving John McCain a birthday cake, you aren't a leader. You're the bonehead drunk college boy you've always been.

Funniest part, Bush saying I have an "ecelectic" reading list.

Alright Rumsfeld, let's go after them all.....

Okay, Rummy, all of us critics of your failed policy to eliminate terrorism by attacking a country that had next to nothing to do with it are wrong. We need to go after facists because they could lead to another Nazi Germany. Let me call your bluff.

Why don't you send troops to North Korea, Iran and Cuba? Or are you just a big pansy posturing for the cameras and grasping at any straw you can to defend the boneheaded psychotic moves of you and your bonehead bosses in pursuing a war that's made the region unstable.

Go ahead. If you're so damned smart, then take your policy to its ultimate conclusion. Surely if your right, invading the lands of all of these facist dictators that exist in the world will end in triumph for good for the entire planet.

How about it Rummy? And just to show how righteous we are, make sure that our invading troops have inadequate supplies and laugh about it if questioned.

You and your bosses are a joke, and the people finally realize, many years too late, unfortunately, that it's not a funny one.

Don't tell me I'm morally or intellectually confused. You are both immoral and stupid, as is your entire administration.

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Aug 29 (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld turned up the heat on critics of U.S. policy in Iraq and the war on terrorism in a speech on Tuesday recalling the world leaders who sought to appease Nazi Germany in the 1930s.

"With the growing lethality and the increasing availability of weapons, can we truly afford to believe that somehow, some way, vicious extremists can be appeased?" Rumsfeld asked the American Legion U.S. military veterans group.

"Can folks really continue to think that free countries can negotiate a separate peace with terrorists?"

The Bush administration is coming under increasing criticism from congressional Democrats and some Republicans over the direction of the Iraq war nearly 3-1/2 years after a U.S.-led invasion toppled President Saddam Hussein. Opinion polls show eroding U.S. public support for the war.

Rumsfeld said it was important to note that "any kind of moral or intellectual confusion about who and what is right or wrong can weaken the ability of free societies to persevere" in any long war.

In a speech heavy on condemnation of news coverage of the war, Rumsfeld told the American Legion that insurgents and terrorists are waging a campaign to demoralize the American public.

Rumsfeld, in his second speech in as many days to military veterans, tried to draw links between the current hostilities and World War Two.

Taking on the Bush administration's current critics, Rumsfeld referred to the period before the earlier war, and said that "some seem not to have learned history's lessons."

"It was a time when a certain amount of cynicism and moral confusion set in among Western democracies, when those who warned about a coming crisis -- the rise of fascism and Nazism -- they were ridiculed or ignored," Rumsfeld said.

"Indeed, in the decades before World War Two, a great many argued that the fascist threat was exaggerated or that it was someone else's problem. Some nations tried to negotiate a separate peace, even as the enemy made its deadly ambitions crystal clear."

"It was, as Winston Churchill observed, a bit like feeding a crocodile, hoping it would eat you last," Rumsfeld added.

"I recount that history because, once again, we face similar challenges in efforts to confront the rising threat of a new type of fascism," he said.


Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada took issue with Rumsfeld's comments.

"The Bush White House is more interested in lashing out at its political enemies and distracting from its failures than it is in winning the War on Terror and in bringing an end to the war in Iraq," Reid said in a written statement.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice also addressed the convention, telling veterans if the United States pulled out of Iraq too soon it would embolden extremists.

"We should not assume for one minute that those terrorists will not continue to come after the American homeland. That is why President (George W.) Bush calls Iraq a central front in the war on terror," said Rice.

Bush is scheduled to address the group on Thursday.

Rumsfeld's comments come as members of the Bush administration, ahead of November elections to determine control of the U.S. Congress, connect the Iraq war to the broader fight against terrorism.

Rumsfeld also condemned two news organizations, CNN and Newsweek magazine, for comments by some of their senior officials about the U.S. military.

In separate speeches on Monday to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, both Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney said pulling out of Iraq prematurely would be a sign of American weakness to terrorists and other foes. (Additional reporting by James Nelson)

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Does anyone watch the news on the left coast?

The Emmy's opened up with a spoof of Lost and Conan O'Brian going down on a plane. Whatever bonehead decided to go ahead with the opening deserves to be fired. I like Conan, but I can't believe he wouldn't have pulled the thing.

Awards’ plane-crash spoof intro
By Jamie Gumbrecht
LEX 18 News ended an evening recap of yesterday’s coverage of the Comair Flight 5191 crash for the live broadcast of the prime-time Emmy Awards. The annual TV awards show opened with shots of host Conan O’Brien bouncing inside a plane before it crashed on an island in a spoof of ABC’s hit show Lost.

WLEX’s president and general manager, Tim Gilbert, who was home watching the telecast with his family, was “stunned” by the intro; if station managers had known about the intro before the broadcast, Lexington viewers wouldn’t have seen it, he said.

“It was a live telecast — we were completely helpless,” Gilbert said of the Emmys. “By the time we began to react, it was over. At the station, we were as horrified as they were at home.”

Gilbert said he’ll complain to NBC, but he said an apology won’t make up for insensitivity.

“They could have killed the opening and it wouldn't have hurt the show at all,” Gilbert said. “We wish somebody had thought this through. It’s somewhere between ignorance and incompetence.”

Lexington Crash of Comair 5191

I'm watching Comair President Don Bornhorst talking about the crash of Comair 5191 that crashed this morning in Lexington, KY, about an hour away from Louisville. WHAS 11 is showing video of the crash site taken by Reed Yadon, who appears to be the only pilot who got decent footage of the site. The "intact" plane looks like it burned up rapidly. The roof missing. It's not clear if it burned off or was removed by rescuers. For lack of a better cliche, it's almost surreal to see an accident in this state.

The accident appears to have been caused by the unthinkable, going down the wrong runway.

It's an intriguing dance watching the airline and airport authorities having to give news conferences, but refusing to give much information, allegedly to not speculate or hinder the investigation, but certainly so that they can keep their legal impacts to a minimum.

With 49 people dead, I'm sure that this accident will impact someone I know. There have been reports that a UK baseball player was on board who was just married. That report disappeared later in the day.

My prayers and thoughts go out to everyone involved, including the victims, the rescuers, the responders, and the people at Comair.

Interesting fact, this is the first major crash in the US since a crash 10 days after 9/11.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Milner Hotel Implosion - 1995

Images of the implosion of the Milner hotel taken from the Fifth Third building.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Teacher pulled from classroom for flag burning

I've always found flag burning to be a waste of a good flag, but not offensive. To me, the real symbol of the United States is our Constituion, which guarantees your right to protest the government. If this guy is let go after 20+ years of service, it sounds like it will be an injustice.

Teacher's flag burning inflames many
A Stuart Middle School teacher has been removed from the classroom after he burned two American flags in class Friday as part of a civics lesson, according to Jefferson County Public Schools officials.

By Chris Kenning
The Courier-Journal

A Stuart Middle School teacher has been removed from the classroom after he burned two American flags in class during a lesson on freedom of speech, Jefferson County Public Schools officials said.

Dan Holden, who teaches seventh-grade social studies, burned small flags in two different classes Friday and asked students to write an opinion paper about it, district spokeswoman Lauren Roberts said.

A teacher in the school district since 1979, Holden has been temporarily reassigned to non-instructional duties pending a district investigation. The district also alerted city fire officials, who are conducting their own investigation.

“Certainly we’re concerned about the safety aspect,” Roberts said, along with “the judgment of using that type of demonstration in a class.”

Pat Summers, whose daughter was in Holden’s class, said he was among more than 20 parents who showed up at the school Monday upset about the incident. Holden apparently told the students to ask their parents what they thought about the lesson, he said.

“She said, ‘Our teacher burned a flag.’ I’m like, ‘What?’ ” Summers said. “When I was (at the school) at 8 a.m., the lobby was filled with probably 25 or 30 parents” who were upset, he said.

Holden could not be reached Monday for comment.

Roberts said the flag burning did not appear to be politically motivated, based on an interview with Holden.

Summers said no advance notice had been given to parents, nor were school administrators aware of Holden’s plans, Roberts said.

Stuart sixth-grader Kelsey Adwell, 11, said students were abuzz about the incident yesterday.

“They just can’t believe that a teacher would do that — burn two American flags in front of the class,” she said. “A teacher shouldn’t do that, even though it was an example.”

Kentucky has a statute last amended in 1992 making desecration of a national or state flag in a public place a misdemeanor, but the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that flag desecration is protected speech.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky said the federal ruling would trump the state statute.

Congress has tried unsuccessfully to prohibit flag burning with a constitutional amendment. The latest attempt failed in the Senate this year.

Beth Wilson, director of Kentucky’s ACLU, said the district is allowed to decide what’s instructionally appropriate.

But “if a school is masking their objections to flag burning under the guise of safety, it raises questions about freedom of speech and academic freedom,” she said. She said her group would monitor the case but did not plan to get involved at this point.

Regardless, school board member Pat O’Leary said the flag burning was unnecessary and could have offended some students, including those in military families.

“A teacher doesn’t do that,” he said. “It’s just disrespectful.”

Rebecca Creech, a Stuart sixth-grader, said she also thought it was “wrong.”

Ginny Adwell, Kelsey’s mother and the school’s PTA president, said some parents who called for Holden to be fired were “going a little bit overboard” and should remember that the teacher was trying to provoke thought.

Brent McKim, president of the Jefferson County Teachers Association, said Holden has “been teaching for many years, and has by all accounts a good teaching record. It was not a political statement and was meant to illustrate a controversial issue. To fire someone because of that would be inappropriate,” he said. “It wasn’t like he was taking one side or another.”

McKim said he was gathering facts that would determine whether the district was justified in removing Holden from the classroom.

In 2001, a teacher in Sacramento, Calif., faced suspension for using a lighter to singe a corner of an American flag in class.

The teacher later was fired, but district officials cited numerous acts of poor judgment and disregard for superiors.

Reporter Chris Kenning can be reached at (502) 582-4697.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Wanted -- Old Pictures

My wife and I grew up here and we often talk about how things used to be in the 70s and 80s when we were young. The old layout of Mall St. Matthews. The undeveloped stretches of Hurstbourne and Westport Road. Old stores, old landmarks, old newscasters, etc.

So help me and everyone else with those memories. I am looking for old pictures and video (pre 1990) of Louisville, it's celebrities, its landmarks, its events, and anything else you can provide. I'll post as many as I can on this blog for everyone to see.

Of particular interest to me:

Shots from the 70s and 80s of what malls, stores, the skyline and events were like.

Footage or pictures of anchors, weather people, and other local celebrities.

Scans of old newspaper clippings of interest.

E-mail these items to

Ford -- Their own fault

While watching coverage of work shutdowns at local Ford plants one worker summed up the situation perfectly. He said that Ford has relied too much on gas guzzling SUVs and Trucks at the expense of developing smaller and more fuel efficient money makers.

I've read that domestic car companies make little if any money on the small car segment. Indeed, the competition is brutal, with Toyota, Honda, and Nissan putting out nice small and midsize cars that are relatively cheap and reliable. Ford's Focus was introduced to great reviews, but Ford's bad habit of keeping the same sheet metal on cars year after year (Taurus anyone?) without a major redesign makes them look dated. Oddly Ford's Mazda has some very sharp looking cars that look fresh year after year.

While it is easy to blame unions and gas prices for domestic automaker's woes, the reality goes much deeper. Domestic models are still not as reliable as their foreign counterparts, their exteriors are often uninspired and their interiors often look, feel, and are cheap. Technology that comes standard on foreign models is optional or non-existant on domestic models. Heck, even something as simple as an interior opening fuel door is tough to find on domestic models.

While I hope Ford recovers, I don't think they'll do it by praying for a miracle or keeping their extensive model lines intact. And I certainly hope things work out for the people they employ and support.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Rolling Stones Opener -- Alice Cooper -- Is That It?

Alice Cooper's website says he's opening for the Stones on September 29th. One can only hope that the Stones make the most of the night and add a couple of more acts. They have three at their Halifax show, including Cooper, Kanye West, and Sloan. I'm not a big Cooper fan, but he would be entertaining to see once.

I'd love to see Van Morrison come along too. An odd triple bill, but so what?

Cricket Promotions Get Out Of Hand

I understand the need for companies to get the word out about their services in unique, buzz creating ways. And who am I to complain if the new to Louisville cellular phone provider Cricket Wireless wants to sell 99 cent gas at various spots around town. But I have to draw the line at their latest gimmick, releasing thousands of crickets around town.

As I was mowing the grass today, I saw swarms of them. Not surprising, since Cricket has an office not far from where I live. Little ones, bigger ones. All jumping everywhere I looked.

I guess what they're thinking is that the unceasing racket they create at night will cause you to look up that old buddy from college to help talk you through the evening.

Of course, dealing with Crickets is much better than the cockroaches I've been dealing with at Cingular.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Charlie's Barber Shop -- Great Haircuts for Guys

Charlie's Barber Shop, located near the Pizza Hut at the shopping center on Taylorsville and Six-Mile, is a great place to get a GUY haircut.

So many salons do a poor job of cutting men's hair. Granted, mine is easy these days since I basically get it shaved down to almost nothing. But Charlie gives you a good haircut for a reasonable price. The shop is clean, has plenty of parking, and Charlie's got a good sense of humor.

Give him a visit.

Visit his website and get a coupon at

Friday, August 11, 2006

Yung Joc -- Leader in The 'Hood ?????

While I am not for censorship, and believe anyone should be able to produce the "art" they want, I question the value of having a rap artist visit young people about being "leaders of the 'hood", when his lyrics are full of the things that keep people from being leaders of the 'hood.

Consider the song "It's Goin' Down", which he used as music for a dance contest for these young kids. From reading the lyrics, it appears to be your typical rap boast, which became tired about 1987, full of talk of hoes, cash, pistols, and the N word and a few MFs to boot.

I once heard a woman who ran a drug education organization asked why she didn't use celebrities as spokespeople. She mentioned that as soon as you do, that same person gets into trouble that basically obliterates the message they were trying to send. While it's admirable for anyone to want to help inner city youth, it's also naive to think that he's not sending a mixed message, and that his tossing of five dollar bills glamourizes a lifestyle that probably nobody there will obtain. Of course, 18 year old Jacinta Sloan says that much more elegantly than I can in the article below.

Rapper takes time out to meet with youth
By Jessie Halladay
The Courier-Journal

About 100 young people spent nearly two hours squirming on the bleachers of the Presbyterian Community Center as they waited for rap artist Yung Joc.

Finally, a high-pitched scream erupted as he entered the gym.

The rapper from Atlanta was in Louisville Thursday performing at Headliners Music Hall, but after stopping at several radio stations in the afternoon he took a few minutes to talk with young people at the community center on Hancock Street near the Sheppard Square public housing complex.

Yung Joc told the children about how he lost seven friends to violence in 2004. He warned the kids to stay off the streets.

“Y’all got to be the leaders of the ’hood,” Yung Joc told the excited crowd. “Life is too precious. You got one time to do it. Make the most of it.”

After speaking, he held a dance contest, handing out $5 bills to some of the children who danced to his hit song, “It’s Goin’ Down.”

Watching them, he said, “It brightens my day. It means love.”

He said several appearances and the rain kept him from getting to the gym earlier but said he thinks it’s important to get out and talk to young people.

She’nique Jackson, 11, waited patiently for the rapper to appear, hoping he would have a good message for youngsters.

She wasn’t disappointed when he walked through the door.

“He’s a good person who’s not only trying to make money but also trying to help kids,” She’nique said.

Jacinta Sloan, 18, waited for Yung Joc hoping to get a picture or an autograph but had to settle for a quick hug. While she said it was a big deal for a celebrity to come to a public housing neighborhood, she was disappointed.

“It’s just words,” she said. “You can’t make people change just by talking to them. People can relate to what he said, but I don’t know that it’s going to make a difference.”

Reporter Jessie Halladay can be reached at (502) 582-4081.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

8 Ways to Promote Your Student Film

When I was helping my friends Cord Douglas and Martin Doudoroff make their film New Sensations at Boston University, we had many misadventures. We set off a whole apartment building's smoke alarm with our smoke machine and had the Boston Fire Department show up. We went to the offices of the now defunct Bradlees and wound up breaking office equipment, spilling paint, and once again setting off another smoke detector (and calling the police). We locked ourselves IN an apartment. We even sent our building supplies flying down the highway because we didn't secure them well enough. But never did we think to strike fear in the hearts of Kentuckiana fisherman by dumping an octopus in the Ohio River.

So, Zachary Treitz.... a salute to you from a fellow BU Film School grad. (Class of '93).

How did the octopus wind up in the Ohio River this week?

Courier Journal

A 21-year-old college student from Louisville said in an interview Thursday that he put it there - after shooting videotape of the animal last Sunday for a film project.

He said he had purchased it - dead - from a local seafood shop.

The six-foot-wide octopus made headlines earlier this week when a Jeffersonville fisherman hooked the dead creature while angling for catfish below the dam at the Falls of the Ohio State Park, across from downtown Louisville.

Its discovery prompted officials to speculate that someone may have kept it as a pet and released it - dead or alive - into the river.

Octopuses are invertebrates that live only in salt water and cannot survive for long in fresh water.

Zachary Treitz, of Crescent Hill, told The Courier-Journal that he’s surprised at the interest in the octopus, which he said he had put in the river on Sunday morning after filming it for a picnic scene in a short film project he has been working on.

“I guess we didn’t think about the interest this would cause,” he said. “It was completely surprising.”

Treitz, a Boston University senior, said he’d purchased the octopus from a St. Matthews seafood store and considered eating it after using it in the film.

But it was too old, he said, so he and companions shoved it into the river. They were amazed, he said, to see it swirl life-like in the river’s eddies before disappearing from view.

Reporter Grace Schneider can be reached at (812) 949-4040.

Got my Rolling Stones Tickets

I'm in the dirt track section at Churchill Downs. Tickets were only $99 apiece. (Hahahahaha.... I said only). For the convenience of using a website and having my tickets mailed to me, I paid just shy of $40 in ticketmaster charges.

One day I'd love to know why this continues. Call me weird, but I wish they'd just bury the stinkin' charges in the price of the tickets, rather than rubbing it in my face.

The seats should be pretty good. By my estimation, I'm less than 200 feet from the stage (assuming the tracks are truly 160 feet wide combined.)

My wife said Terry Meiners said something funny yesterday. Instead of offering a student discount, the Rolling Stones should offer an AARP discount.

Joke all we want, these guys seem to have a better record of surviving their tours than the 20 somethings on American Idol.

And assuming they still make the show (and with 5 million to make, I bet they do). I'll finally get to knock one of my goals off my list at

Kroger Plus Card -- HELP

Can someone explain to me why the brilliant cashiers at Kroger come to a dead stop in scanning your groceries until you produce your "Kroger Plus Card"? This is the card that claims to provide you awesome savings, but often merely takes the price of an item down to what it really should be.

I know that the card works at any point in the transaction. Is it that they don't want you to see how inflated their prices are at the end? (You can knock 20 or 30 off a cart full of groceries if you wait until the end to scan it). Is it that the cashiers get in trouble if they don't ask for it and receive it in the beginning?

Friday, August 04, 2006

Discovering half million dollar error nets local couple $180

What a generous lot Caesars Indiana is. The one couple in a casino who doesn't want to screw the company out of its money, and they reward the uncovering of a $500,000 mistake with the equivalent of a couple of hours at the slot machines?

I've NEVER won in any visit to Caesars. I'm lucky if I get 20 minutes of play before the money I take is spent. In fact, I now have an arrangement where I just mail them a check for $50 and I save the gas money getting there. So I think I'd be one of the ones tempted to walk away with 10 times what I put in.

I love how they are going to try to track down the people who took the money and ran. I'd suggest going after the people internally who let $500,000 bleed out of the casino in 2 days without realizing the slot machine had problems.

Personally, I'm going to fly to the Philippines, where apparently the slots are all setup this way. I guess they make it up in volume.

Gamblers cash in on Caesars casino error
Slot machine paid out $487,000 over two-day period

By Harold J. Adams
The Courier-Journal

The Caesars Indiana casino lost nearly half a million dollars over two-days last month on one slot machine that had been incorrectly set to give players credit for 10 times the amount of money they put into it.

Caesars and Indiana Gaming Commission officials say the machine — named Extra Money — paid out $487,000 over the July 21 weekend before an honest gambler from Louisville brought the problem to their attention.

The commission is investigating the matter and might penalize Caesars for failing to follow procedures designed to prevent such a problem, said Jennifer Arnold, its deputy director.

But so far, at least, there’s no indication that criminal behavior was involved, according to casino management and the Indiana State Police.

Caesars, which is on the Ohio River in Harrison County, plans to try to track down the missing money.

But Ernest Yelton, executive director of the Indiana Gaming Commission, said he doesn’t know whether the players who benefited are under any legal obligation.

“I would suggest you consult an attorney,” he told a reporter

Friendly competition exposes problem
The problem came to Caesars’ attention after Kathryn Ford and her husband, David, sat down at two of the Extra Money slot machines on the night of July 23.

“We were going to have a race to see who could accumulate the most at one time on the same machine,” Kathryn Ford said Thursday.

But it soon became apparent that she had a very big advantage.

“He put a twenty in, and I put a twenty in, and my credits registered at 200 (dollars),” she said.

Confused, she tried a different $20 bill “and the same thing happened.”

Ford said she put eight $20 bills in the machine, and without playing even once she found herself with vouchers that could be redeemed for $1,600 in cash.

The extra cash put out by the Extra Money machine caught the attention of other gamblers, she said.

“There was even a young woman who jumped in while I was sitting there,” Ford said. “She … reached across me, popped a hundred in, popped out a thousand and then she took off.”

Ford said she and her husband flagged down a security officer to report the problem.

Machine set for use in Philippines

It turned out that the machine was one of a bank of eight slots in which new software had been installed on July 21, according to a gaming commission incident report.

The other seven machines checked out fine. But the one Ford was using had a switch set in a position for use in the Philippines instead of the United States, and it instructed the machine to multiply credits by 10, the report states.

Ed Garruto, general manager of the casino, said “our testing procedures before putting the game in place were not completely followed.”

Arnold said Caesars needed “to test a machine to make sure that if you put $10 in, you get $10 in credit, and then when you push cash out, that you get what you’re due.”

She added: “It appears that they failed to do that test. Had they done that they would have known that the machine was set to the wrong setting for currency.”

Arnold said the commission will “be looking at what occurred in their operation that allowed this type of breakdown.”

The results of the commission’s investigation will be sent to the agency’s compliance committee for review, she said.

Arnold said that Caesars’ management has been cooperative, but that the casino could still face sanctions, including a possible fine or a requirement for a plan to address any flaws that are found.

Technician suspended
The commission’s incident report said three technicians and one supervisor were involved in the installation and testing of the slot machine’s software.

The technician who set the machine “has been suspended pending investigation with others to follow,” the report stated.

Garruto said casino officials “have considered the possibility of collusion, but at this time we do not believe that it was deliberate or that there was collusion involved.”

He added, “It looks like it was a costly mistake.”

Garruto declined to comment on other possible disciplinary action or whether other employees might be affected.

Casino looks to get back money
Caesars, meanwhile, plans to try to get back its money.

“We are going to contact some of the patrons who may have benefited a great deal and see if we can effect a recovery,” Garruto said.

He said he isn’t sure whether the gamblers are legally required to return the money.

Some of those who benefited will be easy to track down. The incident report says that 24 patrons inserted their Player Cards — which allow the casino to track their gambling and reward them with perks — while getting vouchers out of the machine.

But Garruto said he thought “there were quite a few more” who did not use Player Cards and would thus require more effort to track down.

He said he was grateful that Ford alerted Caesars to the problem.

Ford said she thought about cashing her $1,600 in tickets but decided against it.

“Besides the guilt we would have for … sitting there putting money in the thing and knowing it wasn’t right, we are fully aware that they have cameras all over the place,” she said.

Ford said she and her husband go to the casino about once a week “on what we call date night.”

“We have four kids and a mom that lives with us and a dog, and we both work,” she said. “And one night a week we go and have some fun with young people … and everybody’s there to enjoy themselves and have a good time.”

Ford said Caesars was very nice to her when she reported the slot machine problem. And in the end officials told her she could keep one of those $200 vouchers.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Two more bridges to Indiana and a new Arena.... Is this what we have to look forward to?

I'm sure there's enough bridge building experience out there to make sure that most people will travel across both of the bridges safely. But when I read about the Big Dig, I have to wonder what Louisville is in store for with such massive public projects coming up, especially, given the fact we can't even PAINT a bridge properly. I do like how the East End Bridges are more pleasing to the eye. Maybe we can have a Bridgearama when it opens.

By BROOKE DONALD, Associated Press Writer
Tue Jul 25, 5:43 AM ET

BOSTON - Traffic was disrupted once again in a key Big Dig tunnel after inspectors found loose bolts in a ceiling panel — the same sort of problem that is believed to have killed a motorist earlier this month.

Three loose bolts — one had dislodged about a half inch — were found at the westbound entrance to the Ted Williams harbor tunnel Monday. Traffic was diverted around the questionable panel and it was shored up with a portable support device.

"This is a precautionary step. There was no sign of failure, but we are erring on the side of public safety," Jon Carlisle, a spokesman for the state Highway Department, said Monday night.

A connector tunnel system leading to the eastbound side of the Ted Williams Tunnel, as well as ramps leading from the Boston end of the westbound section, have been closed since several 3-ton concrete ceiling panels in the connector tunnel crushed a car on July 10, killing Milena Del Valle, 39, of Boston.

The bolt-and-epoxy system holding up the ceiling panels in those tunnels has been the focus of the subsequent investigation.

The Ted Williams Tunnel's panels are lighter and its suspension system considered more substantial, but the eastbound tunnel was closed for a day last week when two bolts were found to have slipped. Those areas are being reinforced with the same type of portable device as the westbound panel.

Gov. Mitt Romney has said the Ted Williams Tunnel, which extends Interstate 90 between downtown Boston and Logan International Airport, would get daily inspections until pull tests on the ceiling panels could be completed.

The latest problem was discovered hours after Massachusetts Turnpike Authority Chairman Matt Amorello, who has overseen the beleaguered Big Dig project, filed a lawsuit seeking to prevent the governor from holding a hearing on Thursday seeking to demote him from his $223,000-a-year post.

Romney has long criticized his management of the Big Dig, and renewed calls for his ouster as chairman since the fatal ceiling collapse. Amorello's lawyers contend that the governor does not have the authority to demote him.

"The governor has invented a power he does not have," according to the 12-page lawsuit. Amorello's spokeswoman, Mariellen Burns, said the governor's actions are "politically motivated."

Eric Fehrnstrom, a Romney spokesman, countered: "We are confident that we are acting within the law, and we will make our argument in court."

The $14.6 billion Big Dig project, the most expensive in U.S. history, buried much of the city's highway network in tunnels. It took over a decade to complete and has since been plagued by leaks, falling debris, cost overruns, delays and problems linked to faulty construction.


Associated Press reporters Glen Johnson and Denise Lavoie contributed to this report.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Terry Meiners -- FCC Poster Child?

Terry Meiners did one of his typically unfunny gay bashing bits yesterday, in which he read various news stories about gay people. One story he read was about a waiter filing a lawsuit for $150 million. He put a disclaimer in front of his statement that he was about to say something a bit rough, but Clear Channel's said he could say it.

Apparently the one of the comments made to the waiter was something about the harasser saying he wanted to "eat his ass."

I've always wondered why Mr. Ultra Conservative family values is so obsessed with gays and toilet humor.

That sounds like the type of think that would get Howard Stern and CC a huge fine.

I've already filed my complaint with the FCC.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Where can I get a retirement card for a criminal priest?

Archbishop Thomas Kelly announced his retirement this past week. I know I should be a good Catholic and forgive him, but I think he should have been permanently retired, either to a jail cell or a monestary on an isolated island years ago.

During his tenure as priest, he presided over several coverups of sexually abusive priests. Rather than deal with it as a crime, he decided to treat it like a mild confession. Their penance was moving somewhere else with the promise never to sin again. Among the accused abusers he didn't stop were priests at both my wife's church when she was a child, and mine. In other words, she or I could easily have been a victim.

But the victimization didn't stop with the kids these sicko priests abused with Kelly's tacit approval. It continued with the ginormous settlement that Kelly agreed to with the victims. Why not? It's not Kelly's money. It's the money of the very people he was supposed to be serving. So the victims become the GOOD people of the Catholic Church. The people who contribute their time, talent, and treasure, and the many good priests who try to make do with minimal funding.

If you think I'm being hard on Archbishop Kelly, or think maybe his problems with alcohol and pain killers may have affected his judgement, I want you to read the story below and know why I think he deserves to be in jail.

Priest's abuse of children was known for years
Courier-Journal, The (Louisville, KY)
May 4, 2003
Estimated printed pages: 13

Records paint a disturbing portrait of Daniel C. Clark's addiction to child sex and the church's response to it.


The Courier-Journal

As a seminary student at Cincinnati's Mount St. Mary's, the Rev. Daniel C. Clark ranked last in his class after his first year, and faculty later described him as ``very much of a loner.''

But Clark seemed to have one gift, according to his evaluations: He was great with children.

``His way with youths was really an asset to our parish,'' wrote Robert Sonntag, a church leader in Aurora, Ind., where Clark worked with Boy Scouts and other children in 1978, before he was ordained.

It was Clark's attraction to children, however, that ultimately destroyed his priesthood and damaged the lives of young parishioners, many of whom had turned to him for counsel.

In lawsuits filed against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville, Clark, 55, is accused of molesting 19 children ages 5 to 17.

Convicted in 1988 of sodomizing one boy and sexually abusing another, Clark also faces 60 years to life in prison if found guilty of new criminal charges alleging he abused two other boys from 1998 until last May.

He has pleaded innocent a trial is scheduled to begin June 24 in Bullitt Circuit Court. Clark, who now wears an orange jail jumpsuit instead of his clerical collar, has been held in the Bullitt County Detention Center since his arrest Aug. 7, unable to make his $500,000 bail.

Clark, who was removed from all ministry last summer but remains a priest, declined to talk with a reporter, as did his lawyer, David Lambertus.

But records surrendered by the archdiocese - including Clark's 373-page personnel file and 20 years of correspondence with Archbishop Thomas C. Kelly - paint a disturbing portrait of the priest's addiction to sex with children and the archdiocese's response to it. The records show that:

½ Archdiocesan officials twice talked with Clark about voluntarily leaving the priesthood - once before his 1988 conviction ``because of his past record'' of molesting children, and once after. But when Clark balked both times, Kelly declined to petition the Vatican to defrock him.

½ Despite knowing Clark had told his psychiatrist in 1986 that he wouldn't assign himself to a parish because ``the risk is too great,'' Kelly assigned him the next year to serve as a part-time pastor at SS Simon & Jude church. Clark also was allowed to fill in regularly as a weekend substitute at other parishes.

The archdiocese also assigned Clark in 1986 to live with the Holy Cross Brothers, despite concerns he might abuse students at Holy Cross High School, which shares the campus. ``We will make it quite clear that he is not to be involved with the high school in any way,'' the archdiocese's clergy personnel director wrote to Clark's psychiatrist. ``But is he capable of keeping such a commitment?''

½ Immediately after his 1988 conviction, Clark confided to Kelly that he was ``terrified of doing it again.'' But while Clark was removed from public ministry upon his arrest and never again assigned to a parish, over the next 14 years he was allowed to volunteer his services to numerous organizations.

The archdiocese said it relied on Clark to tell the groups he volunteered with about the restrictions on his ministry, including that he was barred from working with children.

But representatives of several groups, including volunteer fire departments, ham radio organizations and the local Department for Disaster and Emergency Services, said they didn't know of his record or the restrictions - they just knew him as ``Father Dan.''

Citing in part the pending litigation, the archdiocese's chancellor and chief administrative officer, Brian Reynolds, declined to respond to questions about Clark and how the church dealt with him. Other priests mentioned in the files declined to comment or didn't return a reporter's calls.

``In the past year we have all heard so many new reports from people telling they were abused by Fr. Clark,'' Reynolds said in a brief statement by e-mail. ``Their stories are tragic and painful.

``I wish no child ever had to experience any form of abuse, especially by a member of the clergy,'' Reynolds said. ``In hindsight it is easy to say the church should have seen more or acted sooner.''


Clark said his pastor

molested him as a child

Daniel Cooper Clark's mother was Catholic, his father was not, and he wasn't baptized in the faith until 12 years after he was born on a farm in Winchester, Ind., in 1948.

He would later tell one of his victims, according to court records, that ``there was just a lot of bad things going on in my childhood.'' The records also show Clark would later tell one of his victims, as well as Kelly, that he was molested in his childhood by his own pastor.

When Clark decided to pursue ministry as a young man, the Archdiocese of Indianapolis sponsored him, then dropped him for unexplained reasons while he was pursuing his undergraduate degree at St. Meinrad.

Later, at Mount St. Mary's, where he was sponsored by the Archdiocese of Louisville, Clark nearly flunked out. Scott Andrew, a classmate and longtime friend who eventually left the priesthood and is now a family therapist, said Clark wasn't ``bookwise'' and liked to drink and party more than study.

Clark would be diagnosed in the 1980s as ``cross-addicted to sex and alcohol.''

In 1980, the faculty at Mount St. Mary's refused to recommend him for ordination, but the Louisville archdiocese interceded on his behalf. ThenArchbishop Thomas McDonough had said in a 1978 memo that Clark ``meets people well, he is concerned, he is involved and he is interested.''

In 1979, the archdiocese's vocational director reminded seminary officials that the Vatican had ordered seminaries to cooperate with dioceses in producing priests, and said, ``This report is meant to suggest (Clark's) readiness to be approved for major orders.''

``They were desperate for bodies,'' said Monsignor Lawrence Breslin, the seminary's former rector, who said he remembered Clark as ``immature'' and unimpressive.

Eventually, the seminary allowed Clark to graduate, and he was ordained on May 24, 1980.

He was assigned to St. Rita on Preston Highway, and a month later began complaining in memos to the archdiocese that his $467 in salary and stipends left him unable to repay student loans or even leave the parish on his days off.

``As a result,'' he wrote five months after becoming a priest, ``I am experiencing a burned-out feeling.''

Within a year, he had molested his first victim at St. Rita, he admitted later in court. Thirteen plaintiffs contend in lawsuits against the archdiocese that they also were abused by Clark when he was at St. Rita.

They include Paul Barrett, who said he was 16 when he went to see Clark for counseling after his parents' divorce. ``I reached out my hand to him for help, and he bit me like an old dog,'' said Barrett, now 38.

Barrett alleges that Clark fondled and later masturbated him under the guise that girls were interested in him and would want to touch him, and that the priest could ``help me through it.''

Barrett says he tried to report Clark to the church's pastor, but another priest, now dead, told him to ``leave the church premises.''

Another plaintiff, Brian J. Weatherbee, said he told his mother in June 1981, when he was 13, that Clark, after luring him to his apartment, stuck his hand in Weatherbee's underpants while consoling him for breaking a vase.

Harriet Ann Weatherbee testified in a deposition last year that she reported her son's allegation to St. Rita's pastor, the Rev. Vincent Schweizer, on July 3, 1981, and that Schweizer assured her that it had been reported to the archdiocese.

At least one other parent reported Clark to Schweizer for allegedly molesting his son, Schweizer acknowledged in a deposition last year. Schweizer said he referred the man to the archdiocese, but never followed up, taking Clark's word that he had been referred for counseling.

Clark later pleaded guilty in Jefferson Circuit Court to molesting two children at St. Rita, including an 11year-old whom he called out of class about a week after the boy's brother was killed.

Other plaintiffs who have filed suit against the archdiocese allege that Clark molested them at St. Rita under the guise of helping expel their evil spirits, checking them for ``nerves'' and curing stomach aches.


Sex, marijuana use

reportedly continued

In June 1982, about a year after allegations about Clark reportedly were made to the archdiocese, Kelly - who had recently been installed as archbishop - transferred Clark to another parish, St. Dominic in Springfield, Ky.

``I know that you will bring great zeal and fidelity to this assignment,'' Kelly told Clark in a letter, ``and I am equally confident that you will be well-received by the people you are to serve.''

St. Dominic parishioner John Willis Grider, then 17, would later say the newly ordained Clark appealed to him because he drove a Jeep, drank at a local bar and was relatively young.

Grider was sent by his mother to Clark for counseling because, according to court papers, the boy had been drinking, smoking pot and having problems in school.

``We had a few beers, and Clark produced a green, tin lock box containing marijuana, rolling papers and pipes,' Grider said in court papers, describing his first counseling session in the summer of 1982.

``After a few hits of marijuana, Clark said he would teach me some relaxation exercises in his bedroom upstairs. . . . Clark massaged my chest and subsequently loosened my belt and unzipped my jeans.''

Grider said that after Clark fondled and sodomized him, he walked home and told his mother, who reported it to St. Dominic's pastor, the Rev. James T. Blandford. Blandford said in an interview that neither parishioners nor Kelly ever told him about any improper conduct involving Clark.

Clark, however, apologized to Grider, according to an Oct. 18, 1982, letter addressed ``Dear John'' that is now in Clark's personnel file:

``I ask for forgiveness for the anxiety I may have caused you,'' Clark wrote. ``John, I am most sincere when I say I beg your forgiveness - I trust now in the Lord.''

On April 6, 1983, Clark began seeing a psychiatrist, Dr. Robert O'Connor, for ``emotional illness,'' according to records from the archdiocese, which paid for the counseling.

Two months later, Kelly transferred Clark to St. John Vianney parish on Southside Drive, where over three years he allegedly abused four boys, according to suits pending against the archdiocese.

While at St. John Vianney, Clark also befriended a Bullitt County woman, Geraldine Henry, who had four children, two of them boys. Clark would take the family food, money and toys, and take the boys, John and Ralph, on fishing trips, recalled April Divine, one of Geraldine Henry's daughters.

``We looked at him as a father figure, because we didn't have one,'' Divine said in an interview.

She said Clark began a relationship with her mother, once promising to leave the church and marry her. But eventually, Ralph and John would confide in their mother that Clark had molested them, according to Divine and lawsuits both men have filed against the archdiocese.

Divine said her mother, who has lost her voice box to cancer and cannot talk, now believes Clark was only interested in her sons.

Divine said her mother told Clark to stay away after her sons' revelations, but after Clark apologized in writing and assured her that he'd undergone treatment, she allowed him to visit again.

``Everybody thought he was a changed man,'' Ralph Henry told a Shepherdsville Police Department detective last year. ``I mean he wears a collar of God.''


Pastor told archbishop

of ongoing problems

Clark's involvement with Geraldine Henry was no secret to the archdiocese, its records show. Nor was his interest in her sons. In a July 1985 letter to Kelly, St. John Vianney's pastor, the Rev. James J. Lichtefeld Sr., said: ``John Henry's mother's name is Geraldine and since he goes over there often it could be that she is the Gerri that he is infatuated with. However, the evening he talked about John Henry . . . he made it clear that it was not . . . John's mother, that he was interested in.''

Lichtefeld also wrote that Clark had mentioned his ``involvement with some high school boys when he was at St. Rita's.''

Lichtefeld complained that Clark was ``just going through the motions with Mass'' and ``not praying,'' and that he was drinking often and early in the day. Urging Kelly to grant Clark a leave of absence, Lichtefeld concluded: ``I do know that he doesn't and can't operate as a priest and he knows it too. If he stays here and continues as he is, he will be causing scandal.''

Kelly granted the leave, noting in a memo that he approved it because of Clark's relationship with Geraldine Henry, his lack of enthusiasm for preaching and his ``continued starving for attention.''

When Clark returned to the archdiocese, his psychiatrist offered a bleak prognosis to the Rev. William L. Fichteman, the archdiocese clergy personnel director.

``Dr. O'Connor has seen very little progress in Dan and believes that he is, for the most part, in a state of denial of his situation,'' Fichteman said in a May 1986 memo. ``Instead of relating priest to people, he still relates to people in categories such as son to parent, intimate friend, etc. Thus, he forms relationships with people which are inappropriate for a priest.''

Fichteman also expressed reservations about Clark's return to active ministry.

``We are concerned that he is simply ineffective as a priest and has nothing to offer a parish,'' Fichteman wrote. ``This perception is affirmed by the fact that three or four pastors who have been approached about Dan coming to their parishes have said, `Absolutely not!' ''

Fichteman added that Clark - when asked by his psychiatrist to reverse roles and say where he should be assigned - ``finally said he would not assign himself to a parish. . . . The risk would be too great.''

Fichteman said O'Connor rejected the idea that Clark request laicization, or removal from the priesthood. ``There is no way Dan could function as a lay person,'' O'Connor said, according to Fichteman's memo.

The records show Clark worked on Kelly to salvage his priesthood.

``Perhaps it sounds strange, but I would like to experience death as a priest of the Lord,'' Clark wrote the archbishop in June 1986.

After ``careful consideration,'' Kelly allowed Clark to work as chaplain at the old Highlands Baptist Hospital and in 1987 assigned him as a parttime pastor at SS Simon & Jude.

He was serving there and living at the Passionist Monastery on Newburg Road when one of his victims from St. Rita called him on June 14, 1988 - in a conversation recorded by detectives from the local Crimes Against Children Unit.

``Did you really care, or were you using me?'' asked the victim, then 18.

``No, I really cared and I still do,'' Clark said. ``I prayed for you a lot. I still do.''

``Then why did you do it?'' the teenager asked.

``Because I was sick - I was very mentally ill, which is obvious and no one in their right mind would do something like that.''

Clark was arrested nine days later. Kelly passed on that news to his fellow priests by letter.

``One of our brother priests has been arraigned on charges of child abuse,'' Kelly wrote. ``Our first concern must be with those who made these charges. . . . At the same time, I have offered to Father Dan Clark our prayerful and fraternal support.''

Kelly then removed Clark from public ministry.

Clark's friend, Scott Andrew, said that when he visited the priest while he was awaiting trial, Clark told him that he had molested ``numerous children in numerous Kentucky counties, and across state lines in Indiana.''

Clark eventually pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 15 years in prison but was required to serve only 90 days in a work-release program. He was ordered to have no contact with children during his probation, which was set at five years.

In 1989, the archdiocese paid one of the prosecuting witnesses, Michael Thomas Mudd, $207,000 to settle a lawsuit filed against it and Clark - with the stipulation that he never disclose the terms of the accord or that it was settled.


Clark stayed busy

with volunteer groups

It was about that time that Clark began sponsoring local Sex Addicts Anonymous groups and serving on the steering committee of a national council on the subject.

The Rev. William F. Medley, who succeeded Fichteman as the archdiocese's clergy personnel director, rejected Clark's proposal that he be appointed as the church's contact person for priests with sexual problems - problems that Clark predicted then would cause the church ``economic devastation.''

In a January 1990 memo addressing Clark's future as a priest, Medley wrote that Clark was ``shocked'' to learn that the church's lawyer had decided he could never be assigned a ministerial role because doing so ``implied a position of trust,'' even if it did not specifically involve children.

``An example would be that of chaplain to a nursing home,'' Medley wrote. ``There would, obviously, not be any direct ministry to minor children but his position there could obviously lead to contact with children and he would be viewed as holding a position of trust.''

Two years later, Kelly would assign another priest, the Rev. Louis Miller, to be chaplain at a nursing and retirement home, despite knowing that Miller had admitted in a mental health evaluation to fondling boys his entire adult life.

In his own memo about a conversation with Clark, Kelly said he told the priest it was so expensive keeping him on salary and housed in the Passionist Monastery that ``I planted the idea - which he loathed - of possible laicization.''

Clark rejected the idea in a Feb. 6, 1990, letter to Kelly: ``After a great deal of prayer, discussion with Dr. O'Connor, feedback from colleagues and brother clergy, a request for laicization is not an option I can or should embrace.''

For many of the next 12 years, Clark was listed in the official national Catholic directory as being on ``special assignment.'' He served on the archdiocese's Priest Council, and, according to annual memos he wrote to Kelly, was ghost-writing decisions for a priest appeal board, among other duties.

He also kept busy as a volunteer.

He was a storm spotter, for example, for the old Louisville-Jefferson County Department of Disaster and Emergency Services, becoming known as the ``Priest in the Bell Tower.'' As bad weather approached, Clark would climb to the highest perch at the Passionist Community.

``We always felt safer when the priest was in the tower watching the skies,'' said Curran Copeland, the agency's former hazard mitigation officer.

Copeland added that as the agency's informal chaplain, Clark ``would do whatever was needed, whether it was cleaning toilets or comforting someone who had just lost his spouse. . . . He really did care about people, and he had an undying, unlimited faith in God.''

Others praised Clark for his willingness to help addicts in the middle of the night.

Cecelia Price, the archdiocese's spokeswoman, said Clark was expected to inform the volunteer groups about his history.

But the Camp Taylor Fire Department, didn't know about Clark, where he was chaplain until last year, according to Chief Harold Adkins. Nor did Kentucky REACT, a group of private radio operators that Clark was involved with in the 1990s.

``If I had had that information, he wouldn't be on our board - we had teenagers in our program,'' said Ruby Gordon, retired program director of the Health Department's methadone program, which in 1994 invited Clark to serve as a director.

Copeland also said his organization didn't know. ``He seemed to have no sex at all. . . . He could crack a dirty joke now and then, but it came off kind of lame, like he had read the joke but was just repeating it.''


Ex-colleague tells Clark

to stay away from his children

In one of his last recorded letters to Kelly, in April 2000, Clark insisted he was in control of his urges, saying he could ``maintain strict boundaries in my ministry.''

And as recently as 1999, Kelly indicated that he thought Clark had successfully rehabilitated himself. ``I am very proud of you,'' Kelly wrote to him after he received an award from the National Council on Sexual Addictions: ``You have turned ultimate misfortune into the ground of a successful ministry, and we are all grateful for your generosity of spirit that prompts you to continue so faithful in this work.''

But according to his Bullitt County indictment, he was - at that very time - visiting the Henry home and sodomizing two additional boys, ages 11 and 12.

Clark's friend Andrew said he decided last year that he could no longer have the priest around his own two children, who once affectionately addressed him as ``Uncle Dan.''

Andrew called and left a message that Clark was no longer welcome in his home when his children were there.

``I told him, `the truth of it is you're a pedophile' and that there is no cure,'' Andrew recalled. ``It broke my heart that it ended our friendship. But I couldn't trust him.''

The Rev. Daniel C. Clark, convicted of sodomy in 1988, has pleaded innocent to abusing boys from 1998 until last May. He is jailed in Bullitt County.


Daniel C. Clark, shown with attorney David Lambertus, was arraigned in Bullitt County in August. Clark was removed from all ministry last summer but remains a priest in the Archdiocese of Louisville.

Archbishop Thomas C. Kelly, left, declined to petition the Vatican to defrock Clark, although church officials talked with Clark about leaving the priesthood.
Edition: MET;METRO
Section: NEWS
Page: 01A

Index Terms: RELIGION; CHURCH; CATHOLIC; Rev. Daniel C. Clark; Archbishop Thomas C. Kelly
Copyright (c) The Courier-Journal. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Gannett Co., Inc. by NewsBank, inc.
Record Number: lou2003061314541120

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Shane Ragland -- Can somebody actually make him stick to the conditions of his release?

Shane Ragland has a habit of violating whatever restrictions are in place for him, be it the laws of the commonwealth, conditions of sentencing, or conditions of his bond. His family likes to pretend that he's a fine guy caught up in a case where he's been framed by the Lexington Police. But his criminal history would suggest that, at the very least, he has the sense he is untouchable and that the laws you and I abide by every day are not important.

While I certainly hope this trial goes without incident and he is convicted again fair and square, my biggest hope is that the law is on him like white on rice every step of the way and that the slightest violation puts him back in jail.

Shane Ragland out of jail

By Jeffrey McMurray
Associated Press

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Shane Ragland, facing a second trial on charges that he murdered a University of Kentucky football player, was released from jail yesterday after his father posted $1 million bail.

Ragland left the Fayette County Detention Center about 3:30 p.m. EDT, said Lt. Darin Kelly, a jail spokesman. Ragland told reporters outside that complete vindication was his goal.

"This is the best for the case so that I can actually communicate with my attorneys and do what's right," Ragland said. "That's all I can ask for. I just want a fair trial."

Under conditions of his release, set by Judge Thomas Clark, Ragland was fitted for electronic monitoring and must stay within 100 feet of his father's Frankfort home, where he has decided to live during his trial. He also must pay for drug tests and is subject to global positioning tracking.

Ragland's father, Jerry, said yesterday he is confident his son will be exonerated.

"It's going to be a lot different result this time," Jerry Ragland told WKYT-TV in Lexington.

Ragland was convicted in 2002 and sentenced to 30 years in prison for the shooting death of Trent DiGiuro while DiGiuro was celebrating his 21st birthday in 1994. The state Supreme Court ordered a new trial in March based on inadmissible evidence concerning a bullet.

Ragland's arrest came years after DiGiuro's death when a former Ragland girlfriend contacted police. She told investigators Ragland told her some years earlier that he had shot DiGiuro as revenge for DiGiuro's keeping Ragland out of a fraternity. Police arranged for the woman to meet with Ragland again and get him to talk about the case.

Joshua Northup -- Rest in Peace

No matter how you feel about her politics, in my estimation, it is the worst thing in the world to have one of your children die. I can only imagine how it feels. Some of my wife's friends worked with Joshua and my understanding is that he was a really great guy. My sympathies go out to his family.

Rep. Northup's son Joshua, 30, dies at his home

By Kay Stewart
The Courier-Journal

U.S. Rep. Anne Northup's 30-year-old son, remembered yesterday as a beloved presence in a family of six children, suffered from a severe, undiagnosed heart problem that led to his death, a family spokesman said.

Friends and family of Joshua Northup grew worried about him yesterday after he didn't show up for work at Humana two days in a row.

His father, Robert "Woody" Northup, went to check on him at his apartment on South Galt Avenue in the Crescent Hill neighborhood.

EMS was called, and Joshua Northup was pronounced dead at his home just before noon by Gayle Norris, a deputy coroner.

She said the official cause of death was awaiting toxicology reports, but the death appeared to be the result of natural causes.

Terry Carmack, Northup's chief of staff, said the autopsy revealed a severe heart problem that led to his death, although not all the details are known.

Carmack said Joshua Northup had been diagnosed with high blood pressure about two months ago and was on medication for that, but a heart ailment had not been diagnosed. He said Northup had not been ill recently.

A statement from Anne and Woody Northup said: "He was a beloved member of the family. We are grieving his loss and have a hole in our hearts that will never go away."

Joshua, one of the Northups' two adopted children, was 2 months old when he joined the family at Christmas, Carmack said.

"He was brought out in a giant Christmas stocking," he said. "It is one of the family's fondest memories."

Joshua was the third-oldest among the six Northup children.

David Northup, 35, remembered his younger brother as "welcoming to everyone." He said he was gentle with an impish sense of humor and had a wide range of interests including books, movies, history and current events.

"He touched a lot of people," he said.

Anne Northup, R-3rd District, flew back from her Washington office when she received word of his death.

Carmack said Joshua Northup had worked for Humana for four years and had been a supervisor for more than a year. He was a 1994 graduate of St. Xavier High School and a 1998 graduate of St. Joseph College in Rensselaer, Ind.

In his spring semester of college in 1995, he studied in Tanzania, where he was also a volunteer in a leprosy colony, Carmack said. In Louisville, he was a volunteer for Wesley House Community Services.

His mother's campaign for a sixth term is suspended for now, said her campaign manager, Patrick Neely.

John Yarmuth, Northup's Democratic opponent in the fall election, issued a statement saying his family extends "heartfelt condolences and prayers to the Northup family. We ask our friends, supporters and the entire community to join us in prayer for the Northup family during this very difficult time."

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell's statement said, "Elaine joins me in offering Anne, Woody and the entire Northup family our loving prayers during this sad time. I have come to consider Anne and Woody close personal friends over the years and know their deep faith and close family will see them through the loss of their beloved Joshua."

Tom Simms, a teacher at St. Xavier, said Joshua Northup had been involved in the Kentucky Youth Assembly, which teaches students about government, while in high school.

"He was sharp, he was articulate and he loved the government process, maybe in part … because of his mother," Simms said. "He did really well debating bills and writing laws."

"He was such a nice kid," Simms added.

Humana's statement read: "Joshua was an exemplary Humana associate, beloved by his colleagues and held in high esteem by his supervisors. We are deeply saddened by his death and extend our thoughts, prayers and heartfelt sympathy to his family."