Each Monday, we publish a few highlights from the previous week's Kentucky News Review, a roundup of news about Kentucky and of interest to Kentuckians. Read the News Review each weekday at Kentucky.com.
■ University of Kentucky College of Agriculture professor Joe Chappell is leading a team that is investigating "being able to genetically create a replacement for oil and coal shale deposits," according to Energy-Daily.com, a trade publication.
The research centers on a prehistoric algae called Botryococcus braunii, which over time has turned into oil and coal shale deposits. The organism, which still exists, is extremely slow-growing so it's not necessarily a source of biofuels. But studying its genetic makeup might lead to advances in generating alternative production platforms.
Chappell said, "This represents the culmination of an outstanding effort to understand a fundamental process that has direct ramifications for a real-world problem — how are we going to generate a truly renewable biofuel supply?"
■ Hazard Mayor Nan Gorman traveled to New Brunswick, Canada, to replace the gravestone of her great-great-grandfather, Lauchlan Donaldson, reports the Telegraph-Journal of New Brunswick.
Donaldson was the fifth and 13th mayor of St. John, New Brunswick, during the 19th century. Donaldson died in 1873 and was buried next to his wife, Alexandrina Sophia Gilbert Donaldson, in St. John.
Some time in the 1950s, his grave was destroyed by a falling tree. With funding from Gorman, the St. Andrew's Society of St. John had the gravestone replaced. The replica of the original was unveiled at a recent ceremony, attended by members of the society, many of them in kilts.
■ R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. has developed a pellet of finely cured tobacco, binders and flavoring that dissolves in the mouth in 10 minutes, reports the Los Angeles Times.
The tobacco industry says these dissolvable tobacco products contain fewer cancer-causing chemicals and are part of a smoking-cessation strategy. Public health officials and anti-smoking advocates fear that the products will help initiate a new generation of smokers. The flavoring and packaging appeal to children, they argue, and teenagers will gravitate toward a product they can easily hide.
■ Terry Lanni, CEO of MGM Mirage and owner of 2006 Kentucky Derby contender Sinister Minister, died in Las Vegas on Thursday, reports The Wall Street Journal.
Lanni oversaw MGM's mergers with Mirage Resorts and the Mandalay Resort Group to become a dominant gambling company now known as MGM Resorts International.
Playing the horses was his main form of gambling, he told The Journal in 2006. He said he "never put a nickel in a slot machine."
Sinister Minister finished 16th in the 2006 Derby, won that year by Barbaro.
■ On Capitol Hill in Washington, suits are still the uniform, regardless of the recent sweltering heat, reports The National Journal.
Dry cleaner Beatrice Faulkins' shop in the basement of Longworth House Office Building is quiet when she arrives at 6:30 a.m. But that all changes at 8 a.m., "when she opened her doors and the flood began," the Journal reports. "Members of Congress, chiefs of staff and interns lined up behind Faulkins' counter, each with an armful of sweat-stained wools and linens.
"To them, she is 'Bee.'"
Among her clients is Rep. Ben Chandler of Kentucky, who affectionately calls Faulkins "an institution."