Tuesday, April 18, 2000

TRISTATE DIGEST


Meeting to discuss emergency systems

        HAMILTON — The Butler County Local Emergency Planning Committee will hold a public meeting Wednesday to discuss emergency management and preparedness. The meeting will be at 2 p.m. at the Butler County Government Services Center. For more information, call 513-844-8020.

Mother accused in son's beating
        A West Liberty Street woman is accused of beating her 5-year-old son with a cane.

        Catherine Howell, 34, was charged late Sunday with child endangerment. The boy was hit repeatedly with a 3-foot wooden walking cane and had bruises on his ear, face, legs, arms and hands, police said.

        The boy was treated and placed in the care of relatives, officials said.

Nuclear plant finds pair of small leaks
        NORTH PERRY, Ohio — Operators of the Perry Nuclear Plant contained two pinpoint-size radioactive fuel leaks over the weekend, the plant's owner said Monday.

        The leaks do not pose any threat, said Todd Schneider, spokesman for FirstEnergy Corp., which owns the plant about 25 miles east of Cleveland. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission allows nuclear plants to operate with a limited amount of radioactive leakage.

        “There is no increase of radiation to the environment. We're still operating within NRC guidelines,” Mr. Schneider said.

        Employees detected the leaks about two weeks ago and cut the plant's power to about 65 percent over the weekend so they could locate them. The plant was expected to be back up to full power today, Mr. Schneider said.

        The leaks were in two of Perry's 64,406 pencil-thin fuel rods. Because workers were able to contain the leaks, the defective fuel rods probably won't be replaced until the next refueling, scheduled for February.

Cleveland officer faces gun charge
        JEFFERSON, Ohio — A Cleveland police officer was charged Monday with pointing his service revolver at the forehead of an Ashtabula County sheriff's deputy who was trying to break up a rowdy camping party.

        Patrolman Stephen Jones, a traffic officer, was being held on $250,000 bond. He was charged in Eastern County Court with felonious assault, assault on a police officer, brandishing a firearm while resisting arrest, aggravated disorderly conduct and possessing a weapon while intoxicated, said county Prosecutor Thomas Sartini.

        He faces at least three years in prison and could be fined up to $20,000 if convicted on all the charges, Mr. Sartini said.

        Cleveland Police Chief Martin Flask said Officer Jones probably will be suspended from duty without pay.

        Officer Jones is accused of threatening Deputy Joseph Niemi, who was investigating a report of rowdy behavior Saturday night at the Holiday Camp Lands in Andover Township. Officer Jones was at the campground with family members.

        Mr. Sartini said Officer Jones shoved Deputy Niemi, who then sprayed Mace at the officer. Offi cer Jones pointed his revolver at the deputy but dropped the gun at the urging of other campers, the prosecutor said.

        Officer Jones, who did not have an attorney present during his court appearance, was expected to enter pleas at a preliminary hearing to be held within 10 days.

Beer-party fracas leaves police injured
        COLUMBUS — Four people were arrested and three police officers injured when a bottle- and rock-throwing melee broke out as police tried to break up a huge beer party near the Ohio State University campus.

        Police had been called to the scene on a report of a rape about 1 a.m. Sunday and found an out-of-control party of college-aged people, police spokesman Sgt. Earl Smith said.

        Officers could not determine whether there was a rape, said Detective Craig Flaherty of the sexual abuse squad.

        Officers used tear gas to disperse 500 to 600 people who threw bottles and rocks at police, Sgt. Kenny Marcum said.

        At least four police cruisers and two emergency medical vehicles had damage, including broken windows and spray-painted graffiti, Sgt. Smith said.

Supporters rally in nude photo case
        OBERLIN, Ohio — A woman who made a deal with prosecutors to avoid trial for taking nude photos of her 8-year-old daughter isn't shying away from the national exposure the case received.

        Cynthia Stewart, 48, of Oberlin, spoke about her case and thank supporters at a rally Monday.

        People from all over the United States and elsewhere donated more than $40,000 so she could fight what they said was a violation of her free speech rights. Community members in this college town 30 miles southwest of Cleveland formed a legal defense fund, which organized the rally.

        Ms. Stewart was accused of taking lewd pictures last summer of her daughter rinsing herself in the bathtub with a shower spray. Ms. Stewart, who has taken more than 40,000 pictures of her daughter, maintained that the photos were simply an artistic documentation of the girl's life.

        But prosecutors and a grand jury disagreed, saying the two photos, turned over to police by a Mansfield photo lab, were lewd. She avoided trial and the possibility of 16 years in prison by signing an agreement April 4 to give up the two photos so they can be destroyed.

Directory identifies recycling needs
        HAMILTON — A directory of community service organizations that can use items that might otherwise go into the trash is available free of charge to Butler County residents.

        “The Reuse It Guide: A Resource-Full Guide to Donating Reusable Stuff” was published in January by the Butler County Department of Recycling and Litter Prevention.

        A materials index in the 52-page handbook provides quick reference on what items are needed by various organizations — everything from furniture and appliances to bicycles and building materials.

        For more information, or to obtain a copy of the guide, call: (513) 887-3406.

       



20-year murder mystery still mystery to suspect's relatives
Learning to ignore the Dow
UC gains home for biotech research
Butler County auditor arrested
Former homeless addict becomes chairman of lobby group
Secrecy about ballpark upsets council members
Stadium contract delayed
Tristate cadavers not used for profit
Bessie Thomas, 112, was oldest county resident
House blaze injures four firefighters
Last-minute dash taxing
Legislature had hits, misses
Local projects in new state budget
Norwood trip brings complaint
Queen City's moments to shine reflected in book
It's not easy to know who's in old photos
A conversation with Barney
Franks' chamber works excite, delight
GET TO IT
- TRISTATE DIGEST
WCET tops 'Action Auction' goal
You'll be 'Happy' with Todd Snider's new CD
AROUND THE COMMONWEALTH
2 more on Warren MRDD board resign
Airport hopes to expand
Benefit for burned-out cafe Saturday
Carnegie Center makes 2nd debut
Health focus of new center
Judge wants proof of liability in Mardi Gras claim
Letter delays murder trial
Meeting confronts racial, diversity issues
Municipal golf rates on agenda
Newspaper appeals privacy ruling
Schools audit reveals errors
Shooting deliberate, jury told
Students stay late for popular computer class
Suspect avoids capital case
United Way's Aft to end 13 years as director