The Richmond Register

Local News

April 15, 2009

Probe ends in no depot indictments

A federal grand jury probe into alleged wrongdoing at the Blue Grass Army Depot’s chemical weapons stockpile has ended with no indictments, according to a depot news release.

The depot and the chemical stockpile, managed by a separate Army command, were recently advised no indictments would be forthcoming, a the news release stated.

Investigators found insufficient evidence to support allegations of criminal misconduct by stockpile employees, according to the release.

The grand jury probe was launched in late 2006 after some former employees accused stockpile managers of failing to follow accepted safety standards, according to a 2007 press release from Public Employees for Environmental Responsibilities (PEER).

Shortcuts allegedly taken in monitoring the air for potential chemical agent release and in the handling of waste water from stockpile operations were among the allegations. The grand jury looked into whether documents were falsified to hide improper practices, PEER officials said at the time.

Both the Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection and the Army inspector general’s office looked into the allegations.

Two “whistle blowers” who said they were wrongfully dismissed from their stockpile jobs after complaining of compromised safety failed to win cases heard by a U.S. Department of Labor administrative law judge.

The case of one whistle blower, Kim Schafermeyer, a physical scientist at the stockpile, was dismissed after it was rejected on appeal.

Another whistle blower case, filed by Donald VanWinkle, who operated a mobile air monitor at the stockpile, remains under appeal after it was rejected by Administrative Law Judge Thomas F. Phalen.

Both VanWinkle and Schafermeyer were represented by PEER attorneys.

Both Col. Joseph Tirone, who commands the military compound that sits between Richmond, Berea and Waco, and Lt. Col. David Musgrave, directly responsible for the chemical stockpile, said they were gratified the investigation had concluded with no finding of criminal misconduct.

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Local News
  • Legislature passes road-spending plan

    Kentucky House and Senate lawmakers agreed Tuesday to a $4.1 billion road-spending plan on the legislature’s final day, avoiding an expensive special session.
    The plan includes $5.2 billion worth of projects throughout the state. But as much as 25 percent of that money will not be spent. Lawmakers said they would like to include a cushion in case some projects are delayed because of environmental concerns or problems acquiring land.

    April 16, 2014

  • 4-16 CMMShealthfair5.jpg Health fairs cover contemporary teenage topics

    Berea Community High School health students coordinated their first all-day health fair in November that was catered to elementary students.

    But their spring fair Monday handled more mature issues that targeted the middle and high school crowd, said health teacher Cathy Jones.

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  • 4-16 Lisa Begley.jpg Police: Woman drove through storage business gate

    Richmond police arrested a Lexington woman Monday night after the property manager at Main Street Storage said she repeatedly drove her vehicle into a gate and fence at the 455 E. Main St. business.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local jobless rate for 2013 same as 2012

    Madison was one of 12 Kentucky counties with a 2013 jobless rate unchanged from the previous year, according to statistics released Tuesday.

    Still, only four counties – Woodford, 6.1; Fayette and Oldham, 6.5; and Scott, 6.7 – had jobless rates better than Madison’s 6.8 percent.

    April 16, 2014

  • Danville officials table fairness ordinance

    City officials in Danville have tabled an anti-discrimination proposal.
    The Advocate-Messenger reports that the move on Monday came after questions were raised about its legality and suggestions were made for changes.

    April 15, 2014

  • Grimes outpaces McConnell in first quarter

    Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes has again outpaced her likely Republican general election opponent, incumbent Mitch McConnell, in fundraising during the first quarter — but she remains well behind McConnell in total fundraising and cash on hand.

    April 15, 2014

  • $250,000 wrecker stolen

    A representative of Barger’s Wrecking Service, North Porter Drive, reported to Richmond police Sunday that a black, 1996 Peterbilt wrecker with company logos on it was stolen from the business’ parking lot. The wrecker is valued at $250,000, according to the police report.

    April 15, 2014

  • Owner requests business zoning for corner of West Main and Tates Creek

    The owner of three lots at the corner of West Main Street and Tates Creek Avenue wants the property rezoned from R-1B (Single-family Residential) to B-1 (Neighborhood Business).

    April 14, 2014

  • Regents approve smoke-free campus policy

    The Eastern Kentucky University Board of Regents on Monday approved a tobacco-free campus policy and set 2014-15 rates for tuition, housing and meal plans.

    Effective June 1, the use of tobacco on all property that is owned, leased, occupied or controlled by the university will be prohibited.

    April 14, 2014

  • 4.15 Eggstravaganza 1.jpg Easter bunny's ‛eggbeater’ will fly eggs to Richmond

    Who knew the Easter bunny could fly?

    Skeptics can come to the Easter Eggstravaganza in Richmond’s Irvine-McDowell Park on Saturday to see for themselves. However, the bunny still doesn’t fly in bad weather. But on Monday, temperatures in the 60s with partly cloudy skies were predicted for Saturday.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

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