Friday, June 30, 2000

Local Digest

Trucker accused of offering officer $100

        A Kentucky truck driver was charged Thursday with trying to buy his way out of a speeding ticket with a $100 bill. His big mistake, prosecutors say, was offering the cash in full view of a video camera.

        John Brahm, 35, was indicted on a misdemeanor charge of obstructing official business and could face up to three months in jail.

        Mr. Brahm, of Loretto, is accused of making the offer April 25 to Cincinnati Police Officer Tim Pappas, who had stopped him on Interstate 71.

        Prosecutor Mike Allen said the transaction was recorded on audio and videotape from a camera mounted in the officer's cruiser.

        Mr. Allen said Mr. Brahm told the officer he could have the money if he would “lose the ticket.”

        Officer Pappas took the $100 bill as evidence and arrested Mr. Brahm.

Man faces prison on rape, assault charges
        A South Cumminsville man could face up to 80 years in prison if convicted of a June 21 sexual assault of a 34-year-old West End woman.

        Ernest A. Sims, 40, was indicted Thursday on eight counts stemming from the attack, which officials say occurred after Mr. Sims offered the woman a ride home from Over-the-Rhine.

        Police said the victim did not know Mr. Sims but accepted the ride anyway. She told police that her attacker drove very fast so she couldn't get out.

        Officials said Mr. Sims had stopped the car near Interstate 74 at the Colerain Avenue exit about 4 a.m. and allegedly forced the woman into the woods and raped her. When the woman escaped, Mr. Sims allegedly beat her with his fists and a tire iron.

        The eight counts include kidnapping, felonious assault and attempted murder.

        Hamilton County Prosecutor Mike Allen praised two Enquirer newspaper carriers who happened on the scene and helped rescue the woman.

        “By interrupting this brutal attack, they very likely saved the victim's life, and were instrumental in the removal of a violent predator from our streets,” Mr. Allen said of Pete and Marie Davis of Northside.

Blood donors sought for holiday crunch
        Holiday weekends have a way of driving up demand for blood at the same time that people are less likely to donate.

        In hopes of preventing a shortage over the July 4 weekend, Hoxworth Blood Center and several sponsoring groups are seeking donors for three community blood drives. Two are scheduled before the holiday and one after the holiday:

        • 9 to 11:15 a.m. and 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the Owensville Fire Department, 256 E. Main St., Owensville.

        • 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday at Eastgate Mall, sponsored by WMOJ-FM (94.9) and the mall. All donors will get free T-shirts.

        • 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 15 at Northgate Mall, sponsored by WLW-AM (700), the mall and United Dairy Farmers. All donors who give a pint will get a coupon for a free pint of Homemade brand ice cream.

        For information, call Hoxworth at 451-0910 or go to

Broader aid offered for health insurance
        Hamilton County officials are urging local families living without health insurance to double- check whether they qualify for an expanded statewide child health insurance program.

        “There's a misperception out there that leaving welfare totally disqualifies them from Medicaid and that's not the case,” said Mindy Good, spokeswoman for the Hamilton County Department of Human Services.

        With an expansion of benefits to take effect Saturday, a family of three can earn up to $28,296 (200 percent of the federal poverty level) and still enroll their children in Ohio's “Healthy Start” insurance program. Previously, the limit had been $21,225, or 150 percent of the poverty level.

        Until now, that program covered only children. But now, the adults in Healthy Start families may also qualify for coverage if they meet income qualifications.

        Officials hope this change eases the blow suffered by some people who ran out of Medicaid benefits after leaving welfare for jobs offering minimal or no health benefits. However, many people still do not realize that the child health insurance program applies to any lower- income family, regardless of whether they ever received welfare benefits, Ms. Good said.

        For information, call the Ohio Healthy Start program at (800) 324-8680.

Mother of zoo's new bear cubs euthanized
        DENVER — The mother of two polar bear cubs sold to the Cincinnati Zoo was euthanized because of a spinal lesion, Denver Zoo officials said Thursday.

        Ulu, who was 15 years old, was euthanized Wednesday.

        Her 11/2-year-old twin cubs, Ulaq and Berit, will arrive at the Cincinnati Zoo this week.

        Ulu also gave birth to another set of twins, Klondike and Snow, who now live at Sea World in Orlando, Fla.

        Zoo keepers had to take care of the first set of twins after Ulu abandoned them. She nurtured the second pair until they were independent.


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Batsakes casualty of city planning
Church members treat drivers to free gas
Aetna dropping 9,500 local seniors
Neighbors decry traffic on street where boy died
Thousands of truckers cited on Ft. Washington Way
Forgotten fort could live again
Inmates growing produce
Strategy outlined for riverfront development
Pig Parade: When We Win the Super Bowl
Egyptian native accepts where life takes him
One child no longer a lonely number
Who should be cast away?
A boost toward careers in science
Bowdens sue Saks, claiming costly injury
Brown County couple found dead at home
Butler County unveils '01 budget
Butler officials contest contract
Catholics to buy former grocery
County puts stamp on new Bengals deal
Democrat gears up Senate campaign
Deputy wounded; suspect shot dead
Drug program to aid offenders
Gunman gets five years
Hopes dim for convention center
Kentucky Digest
Landlord told to rid building of bats
Little hands busy at camp
- Local Digest
Pizza delivery driver found dead
Police arrest two men over teen-sex video
Sheriff loses tax collection duty
Sting recovers $105,000 in stolen items
Taft signs death tax bill, many estates to pay nothing
Third school adopts uniform
Welfare overhaul approaches next milestone