Friday, June 23, 2000

Local Digest

Pilarczyk to head theology committee


        Cincinnati Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk will head the committee designing procedures for American bishops who must decide which Catholics may teach theology in church colleges and universities.

        Their permission or mandate is a central fixture of the larger Vatican document on Catholic higher education, Ex corde Ecclesiae.

        A mandate granted by the local bishop acknowledges that a teacher is:

        • In full communion with the church.

        • Committed to teaching as Catholic doctrine only authentic Catholic doctrine.

        However, teachers may differ so long as they do not offer their opinions as authentic church doctrine.

        It's up to each teacher to seek a mandate and a bishop can grant, deny or later withdraw it.

        How that is to be done on American Catholic campuses is the task that Archbishop Pilarczyk and four fellow bishops are to complete by May 20.

        It was not clear what would happen if a teacher did not apply for a mandate.

Valley library changing locations
        READING — The Public Library has announced that the Valley Branch Library will be closing operations at its current location at 301 West Benson St. at 5:30 p.m. Saturday. The branch will reopen at a new location at 9001 Reading Road as soon as upgrades are completed.

        A book-drop is open at the current location until June 30; one will be operational at the new branch on July 1. Library officials expect the new facility to be ready by mid-July.

        The telephone number remains the same, 369-4465.

Library adds access to digital collection
        The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County is participating in a six-month trial of a digital library collection of eBooks from leading publishers.

        Anyone with a library card and Internet access may make a free selection from more than 1,500 electronic versions of published books through netLibrary. Readers may search, borrow, read, and return electronic books over the Internet 24 hours a day.

        Subject areas range from general reference, careers, business, and investing, to computers, health, travel and more.

        Sign on to the Library's web page at, then hot titles, then catalog or Internet resources. Patrons will need a library card number and a PIN number.

        For information, call the public service desk at any branch library.

Concert planned at Montgomery pool
        MONTGOMERY — The Pete Wagner Band will play from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Friday at the Montgomery Swimming Pool on Hopewell Road just off Montgomery Road.

        Cost: $10 per person, $15 per couple. Registration is available in advance at the pool. Information: 985-1640.

        The original date of June 16 was postponed because of bad weather.

Madeira to dedicate fountain plaza
        MADEIRA — The Madeira Millennium Plaza 2000 Celebration & Jazzfest will be from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday at the new fountain plaza at Miami Avenue and Dawson Road. Rain date is Saturday.

        The dedication of the new fountain plaza, time capsule, and fountain accessories will be followed by a jazzfest at the plaza.

        Information: 561-7228.

Canton reaches deal on racial profiling
        CANTON, Ohio — The mayor and the Rev. Al Sharpton's civil rights group agreed on a series of moves Thursday to address allegations of racial profiling by city police.

        Details of the agreement will be released today, according to Mayor Richard Watkins and Randy Faison, representing the Ohio chapter of the National Action Network based in New York.

        The two sides said the agreement, in general, called for a citizen board to review community complaints against police and a new police substation in a mostly black neighborhood.

        The agreement will avert protests in the city during the July 29 Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, according to the mayor, who said he had been working on police issues before protests were threatened.

        The 140-member Canton Police Patrolman's Association has denied racial profiling by officers and said the Rev. Sharpton was holding Canton hostage to a threat to disrupt its high-profile Hall of Fame activities.

        The Hall of Fame induction is the one moment each year when Canton is guaranteed to attract national attention. Protests at that time could lead to widespread media attention for the demonstrators and their cause.

Ohio men sentenced for Medicare fraud
        CONCORD, N.H. — Three Ohio men were sentenced and fined Thursday on their November convictions of defrauding Medicare of $14 million.

        Norman Lehrman, 56, of Cincinnati, was sentenced to six years in prison; John Conway, 67, of Loveland, received a four-year sentence; and Donnie Lawson, 41, of Loveland, got six months.

        U.S. District Court Judge Steven McAuliffe also ordered Mr. Conway and Mr. Lehrman to each pay $2.3 million in restitution and fined Mr. Lawson $5,000. The judge also fined the companies in New Hampshire and Massachusetts the men had owned.

        Heart Trace of Nashua was ordered to pay $2 million in restitution, while Samaritan Health Systems of Massachusetts was fined $193,000. Both of the companies are defunct.

        Prosecutors said Heart Trace, along with its Massachusetts affiliate, submitted fraudulent Medicare billings for electrocardiogram tests performed from February 1993 to February 1994.

        The tests were not medically necessary, not prescribed by doctors and triple billed, the U.S. attorney's office said,

        The defendants, acting through a multistate network of business dealerships, performed more than 160,000 tests on more than 6,000 nursing home patients in 12 states, prosecutors said.

Judge sets deadline in civil rights suit
        COLUMBUS — The U.S. Department of Justice has until 5 p.m. today to decide whether it wants to add an allegation of racial profiling to its civil-rights lawsuit against Columbus police.

        That's the deadline set by U.S. Magistrate Norah McCann King for amending the federal court suit filed Oct. 21.

        Assistant City Attorney Timothy Mangan said Wednesday government attorneys have discussed the possibility of such a racial profiling allegation during closed-door conferences with Mr. King.

        “We don't know if they'll do it, but they've talked about it,” Mr. Mangan told the Columbus Dispatch. Kara Peterman, a Justice Department spokeswoman, declined to comment.


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