News briefs

Mt. Vernon mayor gets out of jail on bond

Mount Vernon: Mayor Clarice Kirby, who faces bribery and fraud charges, was released on bond from the Rockcastle County detention center Saturday. Kirby was arrested late Friday after a daylong search by police. A grand jury indicted Kirby on charges of bribery of a public servant, committing fraudulent insurance acts, official misconduct and two counts of abuse of public trust. By Saturday she made the $35,000 bond, said Nathan Carter, deputy jailer. The charges stem from allegations that Kirby, 57, gave alcohol to a jail inmate on work release in exchange for money. Kirby has denied that, but an investigation into the episode uncovered other problems, police said.

School district says billboards could help with budget

Fort Mitchell: A Northern Kentucky school system wants to bring in millions of dollars in extra revenue by putting billboards on school property. Beechwood Independent Schools wants to install two standard-sized billboards on unused school property facing Interstate 75, The Kentucky Enquirer reported. School Board Chairman Mike Dammert has said the school system could bring in $3 million over 20 years by leasing the billboards. Dammert said his system — one of the top-performing districts in Kentucky — is attempting to offset a state funding formula that favors poorer districts. But the Kenton County Mayors Group last week sent a resolution to Fort Mitchell officials saying the proposed billboards would be "visual clutter" and would go against more than 30 years of county planning regulations prohibiting the construction and installation of new billboards. The proposal has been put on hold for at least a month because the Fort Mitchell City Council has to change local zoning laws before it can happen.

Union questions appointee

Frankfort: The United Mine Workers union is criticizing the appointment of a nurse to the Kentucky Mining Board, casting doubt on her qualifications and saying their preferred candidate wasn't interviewed. Gov. Steve Beshear appointed 37-year-old Kelly Jenkins as the eight-person board's "citizen member." Jenkins, wife of Union County Judge-Executive Jody Jenkins, is a nursing supervisor at Methodist Hospital in Henderson. She was appointed late last month. Kelly Jenkins told The Courier-Journal that members of her family have been miners, that she has treated injured miners and considers herself knowledgeable about mine-safety and mining practices. She also said she has been in an underground mine once, as part of a tour. Steve Earle, a UMW official in western Kentucky, said none of the experience cited by Jenkins qualifies her for service on the mining board.

Ft. Campbell sees baby boom

Fort Campbell: Blanchfield Army Community Hospital is in the early stages of another baby boom, but doctors there say the temporary increase in births will probably become more consistent. "We're populating the world," said Lt. Col. Maryann Masone, the chief of Department of Women's Health, who on Wednesday was winding down after a 12-hour, eight-birth blitz the night before. Masone said planning for the expected increase began in late 2008, when thousands of young soldiers were returning from Iraq and Afghanistan after at least a year in combat. But what Masone didn't expect was the consistency, not to mention the number, of babies being born. "This particular year we had about six months of 180 to 190 deliveries," Masone said. "That's high."

Frank X Walker to teach at UK

Lexington: Noted writer Frank X Walker, a co-founder of the Affrilachian Poets, has joined the University of Kentucky department of English faculty to teach creative writing starting in January. Walker is credited with coining the term "Affrilachia" to describe the culture of African-Americans from the Appalachian region. A 1966 UK graduate, Walker has taught at the University of Louisville, Eastern Kentucky University and Transylvania University and was most recently the Writer-in-Residence at Northern Kentucky University. While at UK, Walker, who has written five books, will continue publishing the journal he founded in 2007 called, "Pluck! The Journal of Affilachian Arts and Culture."

staff, wire reports