Wednesday, June 21, 2000

Tristate A.M. Report

A Tristate first in heart surgery
        A heart specialist at Christ Hospital has performed the Tristate's first tissue reduction surgeries for an enlarged heart — from the inside.

        The procedure, called a nonsurgical septal reduction, was used Monday to treat two patients at Christ Hospital with hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy. The condition occurs when heart muscles that separate the ventricles become so enlarged they interfere with the heart's pumping ability.

        About 50,000 Americans a year are diagnosed with this type of cardiomyopathy, including some young athletes. Until recently, surgeons treated the condition by removing excess heart tissue during an open-chest operation.

        In the new procedure, Dr. Dean Kereiakes, a member of the Ohio Heart Health Center, threaded a balloon catheter filled with pure alcohol through internal blood vessels to the heart. There, the alcohol was injected into the offending tissue, which kills the tissue and causes it to shrink.

        By avoiding an open-heart surgery, the procedure allows patients to go home within two or three days instead of spending a week or more in the hospital and even longer periods of home recovery.

        The two patients, a 78-year-old woman and a 58-year-old man, fared well and were expected to go home today.

Pa. fugitive gives up to FBI agents here
        A fugitive accused of shooting two men in Pennsylvania turned himself in Tuesday to Cincinnati FBI agents.

        Robbie Gordon Payne, 34, was taken to the Hamilton County Justice Center after surrendering to members of the FBI's Safe Streets Task Force.

        Agents and Cincinnati police officers tried Monday to catch Mr. Payne, who had been living on Kirby Road in Northside. He led them on a short car chase, then fled on foot.

        Mr. Payne will return to Pennsylvania, where he faces charges of assault and criminal attempt to commit robbery. He allegedly shot a man he tried to rob June 2 in Meadville, Pa., then shot another man who tried to help the first victim.

        A tip from the FBI's Pittsburgh division led local authorities to Mr. Payne.

Sierra Club: Region fails tougher air standards
        Greater Cincinnati complies with federal air quality rules, but it would be a different story if new standards blocked by court challenges were in place.

        Updated pollution data, collected by Hamilton County but assembled and released today by the Sierra Club, shows air quality would have failed to meet new standards several times this year.

        If the rules were in place, Cincinnati air would have been officially unhealthy for people in sensitive groups (elderly people, children and people with respiratory disorders) on eight days this spring: May 31 and June 1, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13. The air would have been unhealthy for the general population on June 1 and 9.

        “These spring toxic air figures highlight the scandal of EPA's recent decision to bring the Tristate into attainment for ozone,” Sierra Club spokesman Glen Brand said.

        The standards were adopted in 1997 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, but have faced challenges from business groups and several states including Ohio, which consider the rules excessive and expensive. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule on the issue next year.

New director named at Hoxworth Blood Center
        Hoxworth Blood Center, the Tristate's primary blood bank, has named a new director — Dr. Ronald Sacher, formerly chairman of laboratory medicine at the Georgetown University Med ical Center.

        Dr. Sacher will assume the post Nov. 1. He replaces longtime director Dr. Thomas Zuck, who retired in December.

        Hoxworth collects more than 70,000 units of blood per year, which get used in various forms for trauma victims, leukemia patients, organ transplant recipients and many other surgical procedures.

        Dr. Sacher will be Hoxworth's fourth director since the blood bank started 61 years ago.

        For information about donating blood, call 451-0910.

Old hand grenade disrupts neighborhood
        Volunteers cleaning out a house left to their church had to call for help Tuesday when they found a hand grenade.

        Police officers and firefighters responded to the house on Detzel Place in Clifton Heights about 11 a.m. The bomb squad determined the grenade to be one that had been used in training, not one that could have exploded.

        The house's owner died recently, police said, and left the house to St. Monica-St. George parish in Clifton Heights. Neighbors on both sides of the house were evacuated temporarily.

Woman indicted for setting boyfriend ablaze
        A Kennedy Heights woman was indicted Tuesday on charges of dousing her boyfriend with gasoline and setting him on fire.

        Prosecutors say Vernessa Houston, 39, ignited him with a cigarette lighter and then shouted “the chicken is done.”

        Ms. Houston faces up to 18 years in prison if convicted of aggravated arson and felonious assault. She is accused of pouring gasoline on her boyfriend, 45-year-old Jimmy Kelly, as he sat June 10 on the steps of his mother's house in Kennedy Heights.

        After igniting him with a cigarette lighter, prosecutors say, Ms. Houston began to mock and shout at Mr. Kelly.

        Mr. Kelly remains in critical condition at University Hospital.

Needs assessed in Warren County
        MASON — A study of Warren County residents' top 10 needs will be unveiled Thursday.

        The 2000 Community Needs Assessment, sponsored by the county United Way, is a follow-up to similar studies in 1987 and 1994. Residents and community leaders were interviewed.

        A meeting open to the public will be at 9 a.m. at Kings Island Resort & Conference Center.

Man sought for robbery in custody in Ala.
        Traced phone calls from Ohio to Selma, Ala., led detectives to arrest a man Tuesday morning wanted in a Wyoming bank robbery.

        Detectives in Selma caught up with Timothy Mills, 21, in a mobile home just outside the city limits, said Capt. Joe Harrell, chief of the detective unit for the Selma Police Department.

        The Wyoming Police Department and the FBI have been looking for Mr. Mills since a Fifth Third Bank on Wyoming Avenue was robbed by three men May 31.

        Derrick Mitchell and Franklin Thomas, of Evanston, were charged with two counts each of aggravated robbery the day of the robbery.

        Capt. Harrell said phone calls, which may have been made by one of Mr. Mills' relatives in Ohio, were traced to several homes in Selma.

        Mr. Mills was charged with aggravated robbery and is being held in the Dallas County Jail in Alabama pending extradition.


Indiana suspends gas tax
Mason-Montgomery Road: 'Can't stop the development'
U.S. ranks 37th in health care
Voucher appeal could be decisive
Ad helps arrest 20 offenders
RADEL: Lunch with Cliff
Juvenile status again sought
Lawsuit may not save house
Relief from heat in short supply
Gore promotes retirement plan during Ky. stop
   Voters take Gore's measure
- Tristate A.M. Report
Alley to be renamed
Appeal by UC raises issues
Bunning, others want Richardson out
Changes afoot at Monroe Elementary School
KIESEWETTER: Channel 9's Joe Webb captures our 'Hometown'
City faces lawsuit
Council's meeting changed for more public involvement
Court could leave Middletown
Decision on trial of teen delayed
Delhi's floral history on video
Developer is stalled once again
Gannett: Suit dodges blame
Get to it
GOP has hopes for Bush's visit
Hamilton Co. delves into the arts
Kidnap suspect faces trial on impersonation charge
Rains ease Kentucky drought
Sentencing closes in 1983 slaying
Society organizes cleanup
Swine salutes summer in fair fashion
Whalen picked for state board