Monday, June 19, 2000

Tristate digest

Clinton honors civic leaders

        WASHINGTON — President Clinton has honored two Cincinnati leaders for community service:

        Cleaster Whitehurst-Mims, aXavier University professor, who founded the Marva Collins Preparatory School, which mainly serves African-American students; and

        Dick Bere, a former president of The Kroger Co., for his work with Crayons to Computers, which provides free supplies to schools in the Tristate region.

        The president's service awards recognize people and organizations dedicated to volunteer service.

Man sought in attack on gas station clerk
        The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office is searching for a man who assaulted a Colerain Township gas station clerk during an attempted robbery early Sunday.

        The man entered the Shell gas station in the 3300 block of Compton Road about 2:18 a.m., and attacked the clerk with a blunt object, the sheriff's office said.

        He could not get the cash register open and he fled.

        The suspect is described as a white male, 5-foot-8 to 5-foot-10, 240 to 250 pounds, with blond crew cut hair. He fled in a small 2-door, black foreign vehicle, possible a Honda Civic or Prelude, with a female passenger.

Man accused of firing at two police officers
        A 22-year-old North Fairmount man was arrested Saturday and charged with firing six shots at two police officers on June 12 on Sutter Avenue.

        Police charged James Roberts, of the 1700 block of Bleecker Lane, with two counts of felonious assault in the incident. According to police, Mr. Roberts fired the shots from a 9mm gun at 1:56 a.m. in the 2000 block of Sutter Avenue in North Fairmount.

        The shots did not hit the officers.

Car show to benefit DARE
        HAMILTON — The Rumblers Inc. of Cincinnati and the Hamilton Police Division's anti-drug abuse officers are presenting “Shake, Rattle & Rumble,” a car show, on June 24.

        The event will be held 3 to 7 p.m. at the Hamilton Meadows Shopping Center on Ohio 177, with music provided by a radio station.

        Registration will be from 1:30 p.m. until show time; the fee is $5. Proceeds will go to the Hamilton Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program.

        The DARE program's cars also will be on display.

        Information: Officer Dave Crawford, 868-5811, ext. 1156, or Sgt. Tom Kilgour, 868-5811, ext. 1306; or Rumblers organization members Butch or Paula Noll, 868-1333, or Wayne Nelson, 745-0806.

Columbia Tusculum fire called "suspicious'
        A Sunday morning fire caused $20,000 damage to a Columbia Tusculum home.

        The fire started on a rear porch of the home in the 3700 block of Mead Avenue, fire officials said. It was reported at 2:45 a.m. and spread up the exterior wall of the two-story home before it was contained. There were no injuries.The cause is being investigated.

$2.3M science wing for Beechwood High
        FORT MITCHELL — A $2.3 million science wing is being built at Beechwood High. It is expected to be complete in November.

        Rising three stories on Ashton Road is the steel frame of a building that will include four classrooms, two labs and storage and office space.

        The centerpiece of the new building will be an angular greenhouse on the third floor, centered between the two labs.

        The new labs will include animal study centers, climate-controlled stations to house fruit flies or gerbils, and handicapped-accessible lab desks equipped with sinks and computers. All lab tables will also house laptop computers and audio/video connections tied into a central display terminal.

Boy says he started fatal fire with firework
        COLUMBUS — A 17-year-old boy told police he threw a firework into the duplex where a fire killed three children and critically injured their mother.

        Mitchell Sexton Jr. was arrested Saturday night and charged with three counts of involuntary manslaughter and one count of felonious assault.

        Police think the fire that killed Christine Grennell, 4, her brother Christopher, 2, and sister Cassie, 11 months, started from sparks from a firework that Mitchell threw into the home.

        “He admitted to us he threw a firework into the house,” homicide detective Robert Viduya said Sunday.

        The children's mother, 38-year-old Cynthia Campbell, received second-degree burns over about half of her body, according to an Ohio State University Medical Center spokesman. She remained in critical condition Sunday.

        Neighbors told police that Mitchell was upset with someone who had been staying at the house and threatened to set it on fire.

Man arrested for businessman's death
        A man wanted for the murder of a Porter County, Ind., businessman has been arrested in Prescott, Ariz.

        Authorities are expected to file charges against Christopher Matson, 35, a self-employed landscaper, in connection with the murder of Rick Pinkerton, 56, who was shot dead at the front door of his home on May 28.

        Investigators think the killer had posed as a pizza deliveryman.

        Mr. Matson served 12 years of a 20-year sentence for robbery at the Indiana Youth Center at Plainfield, and is currently wanted for parole violations in connection with other, drugs and drunk-driving related crimes.

Interest in corrective eye surgery growing
        COLUMBUS — As prices for corrective eye surgery plummet, consumer interest has risen in the fountain-of-youth procedure that allows patients to throw away glasses or contact lenses.

        The cheaper prices are important because few insurance plans cover the laser surgery, which corrects nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. Driving the price war is the growing number of corporations attempting to capture the market.

        In central Ohio, prices range from $749 per eye to $2,600. The higher price was the standard until ads with lower prices began appearing around Christmas.

        Dr. Tom Mauger, a corneal surgeon at the Ohio State University Medical Center, said one reason the surgery is getting cheaper is because the surgical-equipment manufacturer has lowered the fees they charge surgeons to use the laser.

        Icon Laser Eye Centers Inc. recently offered an introductory price of $749 per eye. At the high end of the market is TLC Laser Eye Centers at $5,200 for both eyes.

        But many surgeons warn that price should not be a consumer's first concern.

        “I'm not sure laser-vision correction is where you want to bargain,” Dr. Joe Barr, an assistant dean at Ohio State University's College of Optometry, told the Columbus Dispatch. “Things don't go wrong very often, but when they do, you want an experienced person.”


'Darling of the arts' gives and gives
Aquarium baby comes out of its shell
Track owner promises to make it up to fans
Speedway gives town some hopes and doubts
Still stuck in the muck
DJ not the man he used to be - and more
New heat warning possible lifesaver
A devotion to children, families
Age doesn't stop painter
Fernald report will get hearing
Miami offers minor in Jewish studies
On Father's Day, dads reflect on children, times
DogFest honors our best friends
Fans soak up music at Indy JazzFest
Latest Bad Company good imitation of band in heyday
Lebanon has improvements planned for city parkland
Pig Parade: Pig-ture Perfect Smiles
Results of our news poll
- Tristate digest