Tuesday, October 24, 2000

Local Digest


3 political parties endorse school levy

        Cincinnati Public Schools celebrated endorsements from three political parties Monday with a rally at the Chamber of Commerce.

        Representatives from the Democratic, Republican and Charter parties spoke about their support for the 6-mill, $35.8 million levy on the ballot Nov. 7.

        The event also kicked off the first of two TV ads, created by Cincinnatians Active to Support Education, that will run on four network-affiliated stations and cable channels.

        Campaign chairman Brewster Rhoads said the event was historic.

        “Temporarily the three political parties declared a truce,” Mr. Rhoads said. “It's rare that people who are working hard to elect different folks around the county will stand up together for schools.”
       

Concealed-weapons
trial postponed

               The fate of Ohio's concealed-weapons law will remain in limbo for at least another six weeks.

        A judge postponed a trial Monday that was supposed to determine whether the law could be enforced in Hamilton County. Four Cincinnatians are challenging the law, arguing it is unfair because they are not allowed to get permits to carry concealed guns.

        Common Pleas Judge Robert Ruehlman delayed the trial because attorneys for the city of Cincinnati are asking the Ohio Supreme Court to intervene in the case.

        The city lawyers want the Supreme Court to allow them to bring in additional lawyers from out of state. Judge Ruehlman rejected the request, but the city is appealing his decision to the Supreme Court.

        Judge Ruehlman set a new trial date of Dec. 4.
       

Police brass don't
want more Tasers

               Debate continues about buying more Tasers for Cincinnati police officers.

        At a public hearing Monday, City Council's Law and Public Safety Committee discussed Councilman Charlie Winburn's motion to spend $125,000 in the 2001-02 budget for more of the stun-type devices. The police division has 46 Tasers, but Mr. Winburn and the Fraternal Order of Police want every cruiser on the street to have one.

        Lt. Col. Richard Janke, an assistant chief, testified on behalf of Chief Thomas Streicher and the police division's command staff. He said more Tasers aren't needed and that they're not used much anyway — only 17 times since 1996.

        Though Mr. Winburn asked the administration to write a report in response to his motion to buy more of the devices, Col. Janke said the police division's opinion won't change. He also said he didn't think such a public forum was the appropriate place for the weapons discussion, that the chief and police division's other top officers should have been consulted about their opinions first.

        Mr. Winburn hopes to have the issued voted on by council before Thanksgiving.
       

Contract ready for
new Reds stadium

               Hamilton County commissioners are expected to approve a contract Wednesday with Parsons Brinckerhoff Ohio that will outline the company's fees for building Great American Ball Park, parking garages and demolition of Cinergy Field.

        The contract says Parsons Brinckerhoff can be compensated for direct personnel expense not to exceed $3.33 million, and for third-party contract fees and expenses for consultants not to exceed $2.48 million.

        In addition, the project manager can be reimbursed for setting up a site office — including furniture, furnishings and equipment — along with other office- related expenses, transportation, permit fees, special testing and more.
       

Last-minute plea
in slaying case

               A College Hill man pleaded guilty to a lesser charge Monday just as a jury was about to hear final arguments in his murder trial.

        Keith Harris, 30, pleaded to voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced immediately to 10 years in prison. He had faced murder charges and could have been sentenced to life in prison if the jury had convicted him.

        Just before prosecutors were slated to begin their final arguments to the jury, Mr. Harris decided to accept a plea offer to the lesser charge. The plea took the case out of the jurors' hands.

        The plea ended a weeklong trial in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court. Mr. Harris was sentenced by Judge Melba Marsh.

        Prosecutors say Mr. Harris beat Kerwin Banks to death in Clifton in August.
       

Gas leak cancels
class for 1,000

               Students will return to classes today at Dater Junior High School and Carson Neighborhood School after a gas leak shut the building down Monday.

        An early-morning leak outside the Boudinot Avenue building sent home 438 elementary students who take classes on the second floor and 608 seventh- 10th graders, who use the rest of the building.

        A district spokeswoman said a metal grate within a gas line fell out of place at the spot where the gas line enters the building.

        The dislodged grate created a leak, causing gas fumes to enter the building.

        School cancellation notices went out over radio and TV early Monday, and school employees called parents. Carson students who did come to school were taken to Midway Elementary for the day. Dater students were sent home.
       

Judge puts off
murderer's sentence

               HAMILTON — The sentencing of Jimmy D. Sudberry, convicted of murder in the death of his uncle, was postponed Monday because his attorney was ill and could not attend the hearing.

        Judge Patricia Oney of Butler County Common Pleas Court rescheduled the sentencing for Friday after learning attorney Ron Morgan was ill.

        Mr. Sudberry, 27, of Hamilton, was convicted of murder Oct. 6. During his trial, he said he killed his 37-year-old uncle, James L. Sudberry, in self-defense. The slaying occurred Jan. 25, 1999, near a house the two men briefly shared in Hamilton.
       

Streets closed for
UC homecoming

               Three streets near the main campus will be closed Saturday for the University of Cincinnati homecoming parade.

        Clifton Avenue will close about 10 a.m. and Calhoun Street and Martin Luther King Drive about 10:30 a.m.

        All three are to reopen after the parade, about 12:30 p.m.
       

West Chester seeks
resident for job

               WEST CHESTER TWP. — Residents interested in serving on the five-member Board of Zoning Appeals have until Nov. 17 to apply to fill an open position on the board.

        The term for the volunteer position is four years. The board meets to review requests for zoning variances, use and exceptions the second Tuesday of each month.

        Board members are chosen by township trustees. Applicants should submit a letter of interest, including qualification information, to: Assistant Township Administrator, West Chester Planning and Zoning Department, 9100 Centre Pointe Drive, Suite 290, West Chester, OH 45069.

       



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