Tuesday, June 4, 2013

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News,Science and Technology

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Anglers won their fight Monday to preserve access to prime fishing spots below dams along the Cumberland River in Kentucky and Tennessee, catching the attention of Congress and now President Barack Obama.

Obama signed into law a bill imposing a two-year moratorium on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from erecting barriers to prevent fishing in the popular tailwaters near dams along the Cumberland and its tributaries. The legislation, called the Freedom to Fish Act, was sponsored by lawmakers from both states.

"It's a winning day for all those who love to fish in those areas," Livingston County Judge-Executive Chris Lasher said.

The measure was seen as a short-term solution while lawmakers from both states push for a permanent ban on putting up barriers in those areas. Legislation that includes the permanent moratorium on such fishing restrictions along the Cumberland is pending in the U.S. House.

Fishing enthusiasts, backed by local officials, attended rallies and meetings and contacted members of Congress to express outrage at the Corps' proposal to add restrictions near the dams. The Corps said the purpose was to enhance boating safety. It looked at placing steel cable anchored with buoys across the water to seal off access near the dams.

The restrictions would have cut off places where anglers have reeled in big catches for decades in a region known as a recreational haven.

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A senior judge is facing a possible suspension over allegations of misbehavior and open displays of bias while on the bench, including an accusation that he threatened to strangle a defense attorney because of a phone call during a death penalty appeal.

The Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission has scheduled a hearing for Tuesday in Paducah for Judge Martin McDonald of Louisville, who faces two counts of violating the rules of judicial conduct. Commission attorney George Rabe, in a memo recommending McDonald's suspension from the bench, noted that the judge had a stroke about 18 months ago that limited his ability to filter what he says. Rabe also said McDonald missed two opportunities to meet with the commission about the allegations.

"Indeed, Judge McDonald's continued performance of his duties under these circumstances may jeopardize the legality of cases he presides over," Rabe wrote.

McDonald's lawyer, Timothy Denison, said the judge denies any allegations of wrongdoing. Denison also noted that McDonald completed his term as a senior judge on Friday, depriving the commission of the ability to discipline him. Senior judges are retired jurists who take on appointments to hear cases in special circumstances.

"He will not return to the bench nor will he adjudicate any further pending legal issues, disputes or rulings in any cases that were formerly pending before him," Denison wrote.

The allegations against McDonald stem from two separate, unrelated cases in Jefferson Circuit Court.

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Monday to step into a long-running dispute between printer maker Lexmark International and a company that refurbishes and resells ink cartridges.

The legal battle between Lexington, Ky.-based Lexmark and Static Control Components of Sanford, N.C., centers on microchips placed inside toner cartridges by Lexmark. The high court's decision to take the case keeps alive efforts by Lexmark to have a challenge to its patent on the microchips tossed out.

"We believe that the original dismissal of Static Control's claim by the Lexington Federal District Court was correct and are pleased to have the U.S. Supreme Court address this important legal question," Bob Patton, Lexmark's vice president, general counsel and secretary, said in a statement.

A message left for a spokesman for Static Control was not immediately returned Monday afternoon.

The two companies have been battling for more than a decade over Lexmark's use of microchips in ink toner cartridges. Lexmark began placing the chips in toner cartridges in 2002 in an effort to stop companies such as Static Control from refilling the cartridges and reselling them to Lexmark customers.

Lexmark eventually changed its chips in an effort to thwart other companies from refurbishing the toner cartridges. The chips were assigned to certain cartridges and printers, preventing for a while refurbished cartridges from working with some printers. Static Control modified its methods and kept selling refurbished toner cartridges to Lexmark customers.

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LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) — Conservative Amish groups have larger families than other Amish and their children are far less likely to leave the church, a trend that is expected to bring dramatic changes for them in the coming years, according to a book on the distinctive religious group being published this week.

"The Amish," a 500-page overview of the Christian followers known for traditional dress and the use of horse-and-buggy transportation, identified 40 distinct groups and a variety of permitted practices.

"They may all look alike on the outside from an external perspective, but the fact of the matter is there are over 2,000 different ways of expressing Amishness in terms of daily practice," said co-author Don Kraybill, senior fellow at Elizabethtown College's Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies.

The researchers found that more traditional Amish have families of nine or 10 children, while comparatively progressive families are just over half that size, suggesting some are using birth control.

"Couples in more liberal communities, shaped by the modern impulse to control the circumstances of one's life, are more likely to practice family planning, whether by natural or artificial methods," according to the book.

While many outsiders may view the Amish as monolithic, the study found sharp differences in such matters as civic engagement, farming practices and the use of modern technology.

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