Thursday, October 12, 2000

Tristate A.M. Report

Van crash leaves one dead, 15 hurt

        WILMINGTON — Mechanical problems may have led to a crash on Ohio 73 Wednesday that killed one man and injured 15 workers from a Columbus temporary service, state patrol officials in Clinton County said.

        The crash occurred at 9:40 a.m. when the 1998 Dodge full-size van lost control about a quarter-mile from Airborne Drive near Wilmington, veered off the road and overturned.

        Three passengers were ejected from the van, including Clarence D. Freeman, 58, who died at the scene, said Trooper Roger Pohlman of the state patrol's Wilmington post.

        The crash remains under investigation. However, the driver of the van, Inez Brooks, 51, of Columbus told investigators that the van experienced equipment problems before crashing, Trooper Pohlman said.

        Thirteen of the injured were taken to Clinton Memorial Hospital. Two were flown by helicopter to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio. Their names were not available Wednesday.

        Patrol officials said many of the passengers were not wearing seat belts.

Firefighter of the year honored

        Cincinnati Fire Assistant Chief Mike Kroeger was honored Wednesday as firefighter of the year by the Cincinnati Exchange Club.

        The group chose Assistant Chief Kroeger, 51, for its award because he started the Safe Summer Nights program, the fire division's plan to put smoke detectors in as many houses as possible.

        During Safe Summer Nights this year, firefighters visited more than 8,000 homes. They installed 2,933 smoke detectors and replaced 1,189 smoke-detector batteries.

        Fire officials say the reduction in city fire deaths — from 10 in 1998 to six last year and four so far in 2000 — also shows the value of the smoke-detector program.

        A city ordinance requires that residents have smoke detectors on every level of their homes. Firefighters also recommend that smoke detectors be replaced if they are 10 years old.

        Residents who need a detector installed can call 357-7593. Smoke detectors for people who are hearing impaired can be obtained through the American Red Cross at 579-3988.

Groundbreaking set for Saturday

        FAIRFIELD — People are invited to a 9 a.m. Saturday groundbreaking for the first phase of the Pleasant Run Creek Improvement Project at May Avenue and Nilles Road.

        In August, City Council hired contractor SK Construction Co. of Middletown and approved spending $1.8 million for the project, which is aimed at stopping flooding and erosion along Pleasant Run Creek. The first phase comprises a master plan for 12,000 linear feet of channel improvements. The project will consist of reconstruction of the earthen levees and installing erosion control walls using H-piles and concrete panels for 2,300 linear feet from Nilles Road to Pleasant Avenue.

        Fairfield will be reimbursed $1.25 million from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Nature Works Grant. Work is expected to take about a year to complete.

Father indicted on assault charges

        Already convicted of murdering his 12-week-old son, Kenneth Hughes was indicted Wednesday on new charges of assaulting the boy.

        Mr. Hughes, 27, will be sen tenced later this month in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court for beating to death his son, Joshua, Sept. 23. Prosecutors had sought a conviction for aggravated murder, which would have made a death sentence possible.

        The jury, however, convicted the West End man of murder. He faces 15 years to life.

        The new charges are based on comments Mr. Hughes made during his trial. While testifying about his son's death, Mr. Hughes admitted to striking the child on previous occasions.

        Prosecutors say an autopsy found evidence of older injuries, including a fractured skull. If convicted of the new charges, Mr. Hughes would face an additional eight years in prison.

Woman escapes from burning house

        A 91-year-old Oakley woman walked through broken glass Tuesday afternoon to escape a fire in her house.

        Pasque Cippolone was leaving her house in the 4000 block of Paxton Avenue as firefighters arrived about 5:30 p.m. She cut the bottoms of her feet and was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital.

        The fire caused $50,000 damage to the house. Mrs. Cippolone moved in with relatives.

Workshop to deal with HIV, churches

        A free workshop Friday aims to bring together two groups often on opposite sides, evangelical churches and the HIV and AIDS-infected community.

        The workshop is intended to debunk myths about the disease and provide information how churches can minister to those infected. The workshop, “Bridging the Gap Between the Church and the HIV Community,” runs from 9 a.m. to noon at the Vernon Manor Hotel, 400 Oak St. Information: 542-9730.

Coach charged with soliciting

        An amateur baseball coach who was assistant athletic director at Roger Bacon High School is accused of soliciting a police officer over the weekend in Mount Airy Forest.

        According to police reports, James L. Kindt Jr., 60, was charged Saturday with soliciting. Police said $25 was offered to a plainclothes officer, Albert Werner, by a man who offered to perform oral sex.

        Mr. Kindt was hired in 1996 as a fund-raiser at Roger Bacon High School and was later elevated to assistant athletic director at the beginning of 1997-98 school year.

        Mr. Kindt also coaches and funds the Storm Club, an amateur baseball team.

        The athletic director at Roger Bacon had no comment on the incident. Neither the principal nor the spokesman for the Cincinnati Archdiocese could be reached.

Schools' poster honors 12 accident victims

        ST. PARIS, Ohio — A poster at the Graham Local Schools office honors the students or graduates who have died in recent traffic accidents.

        Since December 1998, traffic accidents have killed 12 students or recent graduates from the 700-student school.

        The latest victim was 17-year-old James Organ, a junior who died Tuesday when the pickup truck he was driving collided with a tractor-trailer hauling frozen meat.

        St. Paris is about 25 miles northeast of Dayton.


Pilarczyk to visit abortion opponents
Teen, toddler die in house fire
Another lane of FWW to open
Grants sow change, hope
PULFER: A big idea
Race-hate signs put on roads in Amelia
Stadium bonds get county OK
Abuse plea entered
Audition at park may be big break
Children learning about work early
Levy suggested for parks
Council orders landfill shut down
Couple found dead in pool
Covington's school problems draw candidates
Event to benefit volunteer searchers
Ex-police officer held in break-in
Exploring nature's lab
Freedom Center to get $16M from U.S.
Hooters' harassment settlement reduced
Kentucky National Guard units changing places
Nader vows an end to two-party debates
Ohio's state taxes lighter, but payers burdened locally
Panel: Civility helped discourse
Police seek robber of Ky. savings bank
Repair costs vary across Newport
Two sides argue gun lawsuit
Victim's kindness cited in her killing
Wal-Mart hearing draws crowd
Waste-site process criticized by mayor
In the schools
- Tristate A.M. Report