Monday, June 26, 2000

Tristate digest

Condition upgraded for Mason neighbor

        Gary Kretzer, the 38-year-old Mason man who suffered head injuries after a neighborhood dispute, was upgraded from critical to serious condition, a University Hospital spokesman said Sunday.

        A witness told police that Dennis Rock hit Mr. Kretzer “multiple times” after Mr. Kretzer complained that patrons of Mr. Rock's home business were parking in front of his house. Mr. Kretzer staggered back and hit the back of his head on the street.

        Mr. Rock, a 45-year-old former minor league pitcher, is charged with felonious assault. He says he was defending himself. The Warren County prosecutor is expected to present the case to a grand jury within weeks.

        The Kretzer family has filed a $5 million civil suit against Mr. Rock. Mr. Kretzer, an auto worker, is a father of six.

Price Hill man charged in stabbing
        A Price Hill man was charged with felonious assault Sunday in connection with a stabbing on Main Street downtown, Cincinnati District 1 police said.

        Edward Ferguson, 53, of the 900 block of Elberon Street, was apprehended in the 600 block of Main Street. A person had stopped an officer and told him that there had been a stabbing on the sidewalk and that the suspect was chasing the victim down the street, according to the arrest report. Police said Mr. Ferguson had a knife and sheath inside his waistband when he was taken into custody.

        The identity and condition of the victim was not available. Felonious assault is a second-degree felony.

Man charged with robbery and assault
        A 43-year-old man was charged Sunday with felonious assault and aggravated robbery, one week after he stole a man's gun and struck him in the head with it, Cincinnati police said.

        Derald Lynn Terry, no address available, was arrsted at 11 a.m. in the 1300 block of Main Street in Over-the-Rhine. He is accused of striking a man in the head with a screwdriver at a home in the 2200 block of Burnet Avenue on June 18. After the assault, police say, he took a gun from the resident's dresser and struck him in the head with it, before fleeing out a window.

Butler's sheriff holding online chat
        HAMILTON — Butler County Sheriff Harold Don Gabbard will hold his second online chat session 7-8 p.m. Tuesday.

        Sheriff Gabbard's first chat session was in April.

        The chat room will open at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday at; admittance is limited. A transcript of the chat will be available Wednesday.

        Among the topics to be discussed is the addition of a list of sexual predators on the Web site.

        The sheriff has said the sessions could become monthly.

Cleveland officer shot in the face
        CLEVELAND — A city police officer was critically wounded Sunday when he was shot in the face after pulling over a car, police said.

        The officer, whose name was not released, was in critical con dition at MetroHealth Medical Center, a nursing supervisor said.

        The six-year member of the city police department was shot about 11 a.m. when he pulled over a car a few miles from downtown, said police spokeswoman Sharon MacKay. She did not know why the officer pulled over the car.

        Witnesses told police that the gunman appeared to surprise the officer, who didn't draw his gun.

        The suspect drove away and his car hit several vehicles before he abandoned it and fled on foot. Police still were looking for the gunman Sunday night.

School segregation is back, statistics show
        COLUMBUS — The end of busing to desegregate Columbus public schools has led to some of the conditions that caused busing to begin with: schools divided by race, income and academic achievement, the Columbus Dispatch reported Sunday.

        The minority student population has reached at least 90 percent in 19 of the district's 88 elementary schools, compared with two in 1995-96, the last year busing was in place, the newspaper reported. Three grade schools have white enrollment at the 90 percent level. None did in the last year of busing.

        Some schools also have reported a significant change in the number of low-income students, although the number of schools with poverty rates above 80 percent remains about the same — 30 in 1998-99 and 31 three years earlier.

        When the district ended forced busing in fall 1996, the school board promised that inequities would not be permitted.

        The board has created an equity fund to give more money to schools with more low-income students. But board President David Dobos acknowledged that aside from that, little has been to help children with the greatest needs.

Family of hiker sues OSU over his death
        COLUMBUS — The family of an Ohio State University graduate student who died after getting sick while climbing a Himalayan glacier in 1997 is suing OSU for $21 million, claiming it was negligent in emergency planning and evacuation.

        Shawn Wight, 26, was one of three OSU graduate students in the expedition to recover ancient ice cores from the glacier as part of a research project on global warming.

        Mr. Wight had been on the trail nearly a month before reaching the 23,000-foot-high summit of Dasuopu Glacier on the Tibetan Plateau in western China.

        He reportedly had suffered headaches and nausea en route. During his third day on the glacier he became seriously disoriented, unable to recall his colleagues' names or make sense of his journal.

        Mr. Wight died two months later in a Cleveland hospital from a lung infection and other complications possibly linked to high-altitude sickness.

        Shawn's father, Brad Wight of Ashtabula, said that his son was not properly trained for high-altitude work and that expedition planning was deficient.

        Beginning today, the Ohio Court of Claims will hear testimony from Shawn Wight through his journal.


Chance of accidents escalating
Safety upgrades urged
Blue Jacket wasn't white man, DNA suggests
Gas prices drop a bit
Family, the best medicine
Who should be cast away?
La Salle grads die in auto collision
Watchmen at zoo a different species of guard
Western Row's rezoning debated
Art students honored as top sculptors
Auditor search resumes
Board cooperation the key
'Demand' service boosts bus ridership
A soccer coach's legacy continues
Butler's Union Twp. moving to new offices
Enquirer wins seven first-place AP Ohio awards
Fireman's Festival showcases cars, fireworks
Little earns big laughs
Making a kosher commitment
Pig Parade: The Arts Make Your Pig Fly
Pups strut their stuff at Dogfest
Results of our news poll
- Tristate digest