Tuesday, October 31, 2000

Local Digest

Suspect arrested in Fifth Third robbery

        Good witnesses and quick police work Monday apparently solved Cincinnati's 21st bank robbery of 2000 in about a half-hour.

        When a man went into the Fifth Third branch at 705 Central Ave., downtown, just before 11 a.m., people in the bank got a good description of him, right down to a problem with one of his eyes and the red bicycle he rode away. That helped lead District 1 officers and Cincinnati Police Division detectives to Franklin Branham, who was charged with one count of robbery.

        They tracked Mr. Branham to his mother's house on Clark Street in the West End, where officers found him and the money, said Sgt. John Newsom. Officers at first were not sure which house Mattie Branham lived in, but neighbors identified it.

        “We have to give a lot of credit to the citizens who want to get involved and do the right thing,” he said.

        Investigators do not think Mr. Branham, 41, is responsible for any of the other bank robberies that have taken place in the city this year. His arrest, however, means people have been taken into custody in seven of the 21 robberies in Cincinnati so far this year, Sgt. Newsom said. Twelve people have been charged in the seven robberies.

Oakley fire causes
$70,000 in damage

               A Monday afternoon fire caused an estimated $70,000 damage to an Oakley residence, but no one was injured, Cincinnati fire officials said.

        Firefighters found heavy smoke and flames coming from the roof and attic of a two-story house in the 3700 block of Drake Avenue when they responded to the 12:45 p.m. alarm.

        A resident and two dogs escaped safely, fire officials said.

        The cause of the blaze, which did extensive damage to the attic and roof, has not been determined.

Device simplifies
aneurysm surgery

               Surgeons at St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Northern Kentucky have joined a growing number of doctors nationwide using stent grafts to repair abdominal aortic aneurysms.

        Oliver Berry, 70, a semiretired equipment operator from Glencoe, Ky., was successfully treated Oct. 6 by a team led by Dr. E. Douglas Baldridge, a general and vascular surgeon. He was released the next day.

        An aneurysm is a bulge from a weak or damaged blood vessel that can cause fatal bleeding if it bursts. In fact, about 15,000 people die yearly from aortic aneurysms.

        Before the stent device, treatment required a large incision and seven to 10 days of hospital care plus two to three months of home recovery.

        However, the stent seals off the bulging aneurysm from the inside, without a big incision. Patients can go home in one or two days and be back at work within a week or two.

        Since the Food and Drug Administration approved a stent graft device for aeotic aneurysms in September 1999, several Tristate surgeons have begun performing this procedure and various designs have emerged. The first local case was reported in December 1999 at Christ Hospital.

Elementary school
celebrates reading

               Windsor Elementary students, with help from their parents, will pledge to read 25 books throughout the school year with a kickoff event today.

        Adults will read to children from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. A book character parade with students and faculty will celebrate reading as students prepare to start their yearlong reading campaign.

        The event highlights the school's new education model, American's Choice, which emphasizes early literacy. Students will keep a reading journal and will write reviews of the books they read.

        Windsor is one of Cincinnati Public Schools' “redesigned” schools. The entire school staff was reconstituted at the end of the last year after the school failed to improve its performance.

        At the same time, Windsor is working to build a library of books students can borrow. Principal Leniese Fuqua said the school is accepting donations of money and books. For information call 872-7210.

Choirs to perform
free joint concert

               MONTGOMERY — The Cincinnati Boychoir and the Choir of St. Margaret's Church, Westminster Abbey, will perform a joint concert at 8 p.m. Friday at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, 10345 Montgomery Road.

        St. Margaret's is known as the parish church of the British House of Commons. All 16 adult members of the choir are professional musicians. They will be in Cincinnati in connection with the visit of the Most Rev. and Rt. Hon. Dr. George Leonard Carey, archbishop of Canterbury.

        The concert is open to the public. The concert is free but an offering will be accepted. Information: 396-7664.

Lebanon engineer
resigns for new job

               LEBANON — The city engineer of four years quit Friday to take a higher position in Springboro. Barry Conway will be director of public works for the northwestern Warren County city. Before coming to Lebanon, he was assistant city engineer in Springboro.

        Mr. Conway's departure date has not been decided, he said.

        That will leave two city departments without a leader; the electric department director quit in August, after just four months on the job.

Inclusion Network
receives honor

               Cincinnati's Inclusion Network was recently honored by the National Rehabilitation Association as the National Organization of the Year.

        The nonprofit network is a local volunteer group, founded in 1993, that has helped thousands of area residents with advice on voting, worshipping, attending school, participating in local events and dining.

        For information call 287-6530 or visit the Web site www.inclusion.org.

Displaced students
return to school

               CLEVELAND — East High School students, who were forced to have classes at five temporary locations after their gymnasium roof collapsed, were back together Monday.

        The school's gym collapsed Oct. 6. For the past two weeks, 850 students have been taking classes in another school, two churches and two community centers.

        The school district demolished the gymnasium.

Student guilty
of poisoning attempt

               WADSWORTH, Ohio — A Wadsworth High School student Monday was found guilty of assault for putting rodent killer into powdered coffee creamer used by teachers.

        Gillian Zuchniak, 19, faces up to a year in jail at her Dec. 1 sentencing.

        There was circumstantial evidence that Ms. Zuchniak put the poison into the creamer because she was angry that her confrontation with a teacher resulted in a three-day suspension, said Judge James Kimbler, who heard evidence at an Oct. 9 trial.


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Kentucky Digest
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- Local Digest
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