Saturday, October 21, 2000

Tristate A.M. Report

Probe nears cause of fire that killed boy

        Fire investigators are narrowing down the cause of Thursday's fire that killed an 11-year-old Hartwell boy.

        Renovation in the Curazon Avenue house affected only the kitchen and not a lot of the house was missing drywall, fire investigator Capt. Dan Rottmueller said Friday. Initially, firefighters thought a widespread lack of drywall in the two-story house might have helped the fire spread so quickly.

        Investigators have ruled out any suspicious activity as a cause, he said, as well as a problem with the gas meter. The meter did not explode, he said, it just caught fire.

        Experts were back on the scene Friday, picking through the rubble again.

        The fire killed Matthew Timothy Rodgers, a sixth-grade student at nearby Hartwell Elementary School. Firefighters were unable to get to him because the house was completely engulfed in flames. It collapsed within five minutes of their arrival.

        The boy's grandfather and guardian, Rick Caudill, 47, remained in University Hospital on Friday. His condition was upgraded from serious to fair, but stable.

        Capt. Rottmueller said he hoped to pinpoint the cause next week.

United Way drive at 72.1% of goal

        With less than a week to go in its 2000 campaign, the United Way has raised $42,967,676 or 72.1 percent of its goal.

        The United Way of Greater Cincinnati, which includes Northern Kentucky, set a $59.6 million goal for its 2000 campaign, which ends Oct. 26. Last year's campaign raised $58.1 million.

        It is not too late for companies or individuals to donate, said Carol Aquino, a local spokeswoman for the organization.

        The campaign's finale, hosted by Cincinnati Bell, at which the total donation amount will be announced, will start at 4:30 p.m. Oct. 26 at Music Hall. The announcement will be made at 5:30 p.m. Businesses wishing to participate in the campaign can call (513) 762-7210, and individuals can call 762-7195. Those who need help can call the United Way help line at 721-7900.

Korean War outfits gathered at Holiday Inn

        Former members of the 155th Aircraft Control and Warning Group and its assisted units, 110th, 114th, 121st and 123rd squadrons and the 105th radar cal flight are holding their annual reunion through Sundayat the Holiday Inn in downtown Cincinnati. All former members are invited to attend.

        It has been almost 50 years since the group was called to active duty for the Korean War.

        For information, call Fred Moser at (614) 457-7708; Norm Hanners at (614) 235-8550 or Clarence Neumann at (513) 451-2791.

Retirement center official arrested

        A retirement center's activities director was arrested Friday for allegedly stealing patients' drugs.

        Kathy Elam of Mount Washington was charged with theft for allegedly taking hydrocodone, a painkiller. She is accused of tak ing the drugs between Sept. 27 and Friday, according to the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office.

        Ms. Elam is activities director for the New England Club Retirement Center in Anderson Township, deputies said.

Final series today for Black Family Days

        Today is the final series of Black Family Days, created as a grass-roots way of reaching people who do not attend the annual Midwest Black Family Reunion, said Bob Carter, one of the organizers.

        Mr. Carter is associate director for assistance for Drug Abuse Prevention, one of the sponsors.

        “After the Midwest Black Family Reunion grew so big, many people felt they were left out,” Mr. Carter said. “At the black days, we try to make it as casual as we can. People can come in jeans and sneakers.”

        A series of workshops for youth and adults will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Findlay Street Neighborhood Houses, 901 Findlay Street, West End.

        Mr. Carter said workshop topics will include: “Why Were So Many Families So Successful in the Past as Opposed to Today?” “Old School Youth Vs. Today's Youth,” “Relationships for Adults,” “What Is Family,” and “Too Young To Be High.”

Fifth Third branch at Kroger store robbed

        The Hamilton County Sheriff's office is investigating the county's 44th bank robbery of the year.

        Officials say a lone white man passed a note to a teller at the Fifth Third Bank inside the Kroger store, 7545 Beechmont Ave., in Anderson Township on Friday.

        He did not display a weapon or indicate he had one.

        The man was last seen leaving the Kroger building just after 11 a.m. on foot near Forest Avenue, which is adjacent to the grocery store.

        He is described as a white male, 30 to 40 years old, 175 pounds with brown hair.

        He was wearing a white ball cap, blue jeans, a hooded, green sweatshirt and mirrored sunglasses.

        No injuries were reported in the robbery.

Youth found guilty in fatal car crash

        HAMILTON — A 17-year-old Madison High School student was convicted Friday in Butler County Juvenile Court of charges connected with a May 18 car crash that killed one of his classmates and injured two others.

        Judge David Niehaus found the boy guilty of juvenile charges of aggravated vehicular homicide and two counts of aggravated vehicular assault.

        The boy was immediately taken into custody by authorities and will be held at the juvenile detention center until his Nov. 3 sentencing hearing.

        He was driving three classmates on Trenton-Franklin Road, north of Ohio 122 just west of Middletown.

        All four were members of Madison's junior varsity and varsity basketball teams.

        While passing a car carrying three teammates, the boy lost control of the car, went off the road and hit a small concrete bridge, police said.


Drinking water along Ohio River safe for now
Ashland officials prepare for worst
Older towns losing people
A statesman, a dad laid to rest
County race: Battle of the ads
Judges ask drug court expansion
At Lakota, the twain meet
Debate resumes on issuing Tasers to police officers
RAMSEY: Education
Abuser's freedom raises questions
Crackdown on teen drugs, drinking urged
Dems see 1st district as vital
Fates of 2 old schools undecided
Father guilty of killing baby
Fugitive must pay for crash
He's perfect on ACT and SAT
Hooters decision appealed
HOWARD: Neighborhoods
Is it art or garbage? Both
Lucas, 3 foes trade views without heat
MCNUTT: Fond look back
Paducah plant gets $90M for cleanup
Patton-Williams fight gets personal
Schools lose stalwart
Suspect in wife's death remains in jail
Teen home skirts laws on licensing
Traffic deal to bring down Cintas gate
Xenia gets anti-twister aid
Kentucky News Briefs
- Tristate A.M. Report