Monday, January 10, 2000


OSU sponsors forum on diversity plan

        COLUMBUS — Supporters of Ohio State University's latest plan to encourage more diversity say it is designed to promote more action than discussion.

        The proposal was finished last year and has been circulating on campus. The university will sponsor a forum Tuesday for views from students, faculty members and others on the plan.

        Its proposals include offering employment benefits to unmarried domestic partners and starting faculty exchange programs with historically black colleges.

        One of the plan's co-authors, Carole Anderson, dean of the university's nursing school, said the plan should at least try to make the student and faculty population mirror that of the state.

        In 1997, the most recent year for which the Ohio Board of Regents reports racial data, about 7 percent of Ohio State's 48,000 students were African-American, fewer than 2 percent were Hispanic and fewer than 1 percent were American Indian.

        In 1998, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated Ohio's population was 11.5 percent African-American, 1.6 percent Hispanic and fewer than 1 percent American Indian.

Ohio Pike shooting was suicide, police say
        UNION TOWNSHIP — An Anderson Township man who was fatally shot in the Ohio Pike BW3 parking lot Saturday appears to have committed suicide, the Union Township police said Sunday.

        Police in this Clermont County community did not identify the 47-year-old man pending notification of his family.

Girlfriend charged in Erlanger stabbing
        ERLANGER — A 37-year-old woman faces a charge of first-degree assault after police said she stabbed her live-in boyfriend in the leg Saturday afternoon.

        Jennifer Ray and Patrick Stone, 37, were in the midst of a dispute when the stabbing happened at their 26 Kentaboo Drive residence, Sgt. Kevin Gilpin said.

        On Sunday evening, Ms. Ray was in Kenton County Jail. Mr. Stone was in fair condition at St. Luke Hospital West in Florence.

Fire kills man, 40, in Beavercreek
        BEAVERCREEK, Ohio — A house fire early Sunday killed a man in this suburb east of Dayton, firefighters said.

        Michael Fabian, 40, was found dead in the house. Firefighters said the preliminary cause of death was smoke inhalation.

        The fire was reported shortly before 5 a.m. The cause had not been determined.

New flood warning device not in Ohio yet
        COLUMBUS — New flood-monitoring tools that can help forecast the kind of deadly floods that struck Appalachian Ohio in 1997 are being installed along three major tributaries of the Ohio River.

        But don't look for the equipment to arrive soon in Ohio. The $1 million committed for the first phase of the Ohio River basin project by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is not enough to bring it to the state yet.

        The system, called the Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service, enables river forecast centers to predict weeks or months in advance where floods might strike.

        In 1997, floods swept through six states along the 12-state Ohio River basin that drains 172,000 square miles, killing 33 people — five in Ohio — destroying 14,000 homes and causing $500 million in damage, said Craig Hunter, hydrologist in charge of the Ohio River Basin Forecast Center in Wilmington, Ohio. Starting this year, the system is to be developed for the Monongahela River basin, the Big Sandy River that forms part of the border between West Virginia and Kentucky and the Cumberland River in eastern Kentucky.

Widow to collect $400,000 more in death
        COVINGTON — The widow awarded $2.7 million in 1996 because her husband's killer was prematurely and wrongfully discharged from the mental ward of a Chillicothe, Ohio, veterans hospital is to receive an additional $400,000 in damages.

        Last year, U.S. Magistrate Judge Gregory Wehrman recalculated that Barbara Palmer of Erlanger could be awarded an additional $464,917 for the lost earning power of her husband, Elsmere police Sgt. Bobby Palmer, their two children, who also were killed, and additional interest.

        The federal government appealed the amount but last week settled the case for $400,000. Mrs. Palmer's total award amounts to $3.1 million.

        On Labor Day 1990, her ex-husband, John Bundy, arrived at her Elsmere home and shot and killed her husband and their two young children. The youngsters were 2 and 3 years old. Mr. Bundy, a schizophrenic released from the Chillicothe facility seven months before, was fatally shot by Sgt. Palmer in gunfire exchange. Six years after their deaths, U.S. District Judge William O. Bertelsman ruled hospital officials had released Mr. Bundy prematurely and without the proper supervision.

Too loud to learn in a lot of classrooms
        COLUMBUS — An Ohio State University study says the problem with some classrooms is that even when students are quiet, it is still too loud to learn.

        The study of 32 randomly selected central Ohio classrooms released last month said in some rooms, the heating and air-conditioning system drowns out the teacher.

        In others, the sounds of classroom chatter, scraping chairs, voices in the hallway and passing cars reverberate off the walls, windows and floors, competing with the teacher's voice.

        In all, 30 of the 32 classrooms exceeded standards recommended by the American Speech and Hearing Association.

Alternative power meters suggested
        COLUMBUS — People who use alternative sources to produce their own power hope electricity deregulation will make money for them while helping reduce pollution.

        Deregulation will allow Ohio consumers to choose their power suppliers.

        The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio has until April 1 to determine regulations for power sales by people who produce their own electricity and sell the surplus to utilities. It is taking comment on a draft of those rules.

        The draft proposes that people who supply power companies with electricity from solar panels, windmills and other nonpolluting sources be given one meter. It would run forward when receiving power from an outside source and would rewind, reducing the monthly bill, when the customer transmits power.

Center to monitor plant after fish kill
        ANDERSON, Ind. — Criticized for responding slowly to a mysterious fish kill along the White River, state officials are setting up a joint response center to monitor Anderson's wastewater treatment plant.

        The center, which opens today, will keep close tabs on the sewage treatment plant and could help pinpoint what's killed more than 100,000 fish and devastated a 50-mile stretch of the river.

        So far, state officials can't say precisely what killed the fish or where the contamination came from, although a chemical discharged by Guide Corp., an Anderson auto parts maker, is suspected of starting the kill.


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