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That test compared a plume from a smokestack to a chart of varying shades of gray. By the 1950s, some cities had switched to reading the plume's opacity, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency adopted that method in the 1970s. ''It's mobile, it's easy to use, it's fairly inexpensive and it's quick,'' said Mike Lunsford, director of training at Eastern Technical Associates, a North Carolina company that conducts smoke schools across the country.

Smoke schools keep inspectors and factory workers sharp in reading smoke. Students who pass the test are certified to read smoke for six months. Industry employees who pass can spot pollution problems quickly at their factories and get them fixed. State inspectors with the certification have the power to issue a notice of violation based on their readings. The notices can lead to a fine.

A group of residents and Covington business leaders announced Wednesday that it intends to file a class action lawsuit against Kenton County for its decision to expand the current Kenton County jail. The announcement came Wednesday at Sonoma Restaurant on Greenup Street by an organization calling itself Stop the Covington Jail Expansion Group. Speakers at the rally included business owners, residents and politicians.

Representatives from several restaurants near the jail, including Jack Quinn's and Scalea's, also attended. Customs development feasibility and real estate valuations Sydney property valuer for our valuable clients who are real estate buyers or sellers. Volunteers collected signatures for the lawsuit and passed out fliers opposing jail expansion. Sonoma's facade was covered with dummies dressed in prison-issue uniforms acting out various crimes. One is depicted escaping through a window with a bag of money. Ezra Castle, co-owner of Sonoma, said he intends to place one dummy outside the restaurant every month for as long as the controversy continues.

''I hope the issue doesn't go on for too many years,'' Castle said, ''Otherwise, the entire restaurant will be covered.'' Castle said he also is prepared to gather friends and form a human chain to prevent the expansion of the jail. The group says that jail expansion will harm economic growth and scare off investors from downtown Covington. The group also believes that expansion will only offer a short-term solution. ''This issue affects every taxpayer in the county,'' said Covington Mayor Butch Callery. ''This is not simply a Covington issue.'' Sue Sampson, one of the group's organizers, said the group has hired attorney David Sloan to represent them. Sampson said the group will file the lawsuit as soon as it raises $55,000 to $60,000 it needs for legal fees.
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