News Briefs 01.16.2003 Smoking or non-smoking? The debate over a smoking ban is still burning, after the city council committee called for more research and public discussion on the issue. Along with members of the health board, the committee agreed to schedule public meetings and study national examples of smoking bans in restaurants. One of the main points of interest, is whether this is a public health issue? In esse, is this a public health issue in which the government needs to intervene into the operation of private businesses? Should it be deemed that it is a public health issue, then the health board could draft rules and regulations. Until then, a health board regulation would be more susceptible to legal challenges than a council ordinance. Mayor Teresa Isaac, a new board member, said as mayor she'd consider the business arguments and as a health board member weigh the public health arguments. Pointing the finger In a fashion similar to the article below, Jacques Wigginton, who had been accused of harrasment a week ago, has been cleared of any wrongdoing by the County Attorney. The County Attorney had looked into the matter after Vice Mayor Mike Scanlon wrote a letter to the Ethics Commission in December. Scanlon wanted the Commission to investigate claims of Wigginton misusing travel funds and violating the law regarding sexual harassment. No one left behind In a move that will place an emphasis on academic excellence, the Kentucky Board of Education says it will not lower its standard for measuring "proficient" school work. This is in light of the federal government allowing states themselves decide exactly what "proficient" means. The fear, is that some states are setting standards low to ensure success. The issue at hand is how to implement the new education law known as "No Child Left Behind." States have until January 31st to submit plans. The law expects all students, including those in the sub-groups, to reach the state's proficiency goal by 2014.