Thursday, November 30, 2000

Tristate A.M. Report

Clerk's office moves to avoid bacteria

        BATAVIA — The Clermont County Clerk of Courts office will be relocated amid concerns that the bacteria Legionella pneumophila — found in the cooling tower at a county office building across the street — might also be present in the clerk's office.

        The bacteria causes Legionnaires' disease, for which the symptoms range from mild respiratory illness to pneumonia.

        Clerk of Court David Caudill told county commissioners Wednesday that one employee in his office tested positive for the bacteria and several others expressed health concerns.

        Clermont County commissioners approved the immediate relocation.

        The office will be moved from the basement of the old county courthouse to an attached first-floor office in the new county courthouse, the commissioners' office said. Both buildings are at 270 E. Main St.

        Legionnaires' disease is treated with antibiotics. It was first identified in 1976 following an outbreak in a Philadelphia hotel where a convention of the American Legion was being held.

        It has been found in the cooling tower at the Kahle Building on East Main Street.

Charity gambling games investigated

        A year-long investigation by a state task force into charitable gambling resulted in 26 search warrants and inspection of 41 liquor permit premises Wednesday in Hamilton, Butler, Clermont, Brown, Richland and Summit counties.

        Millions of dollars supposedly earmarked for charities that never made it to them are involved, according to the Ohio Department of Public safety.

        The investigation to date has resulted in 117 citations, totaling 163 charges against both liquor and non-liquor permit holders.

        The investigation resulted from numerous complaints that an Akron-based charitable organization called Child Care Foundation Inc., and several liquor permit premises were allegedly engaged in illegal gambling and other criminal activities.

        Proceeds from tip ticket games — tickets often found at church festivals where purchasers peel off stickers to reveal a possible monetary prize, usually $1 to $5 — were earmarked for charity, but allegations suggest some permit holders were splitting the profits with the foundation, the public safety department said.

        The ongoing investigation will be reviewed by the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office. Administrative citations issued against liquor permits for gambling-related charges will be heard before the Ohio Liquor Control Commission.

Man with gun robs dry-cleaning store

        COLUMBIA TOWNSHIP — A man armed with a handgun and wearing a ski mask robbed the Dutch Girl Cleaners in Columbia Township Wednesday.

        The suspect entered the store in the 5300 block of Ridge Road at 6:23. p.m., displayed the handgun and demanded that the clerk open the cash register, the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office reported.

        The robber grabbed an undetermined amount of cash from the register and fled on foot toward the rear of Bigg's Plaza, the sheriff's office said.

        He was described as a black male, 5 foot 8, 190 pounds, in his late 30s. He was wearing a black flannel shirt, dark pants and a dark hooded sweat shirt.

13,000 left without power

        A defective cable on a transmission line knocked out electricity for a short time to about 13,000 Cinergy customers in the Tricounty area Wednesday morning.

        Power was kicked off at 11:25 a.m., and all customers were back online by 12:37 p.m., said Cinergy spokesman Steve Brash. The affected areas included Tricounty, Woodlawn and Glendale.

County contracts for finished network

        Hamilton County commissioners approved an $18.7 million contract Wednesday that will allow Motorola to finish building a new emergency communication system.

        The first phase of the project, which has allowed fire and Emergency Management Services to go on line, has been completed. This second phase of the project is to provide the infrastructure to support police and mobile radio communication.

        It will be ready in about 2 years.

        The new radio system operates on the 800-megahertz frequency and will provide better communication during emergencies because it will not get jammed with radio traffic and will penetrate areas of the county the current system cannot.

        The county's estimate for the system was $23.8 million. The savings will be used to buy portable radios.

Hamilton man hurt in crash

        WEST CHESTER TWP. — A Hamilton man was taken by Care Flight helicopter to a Dayton hospital after crashing his car into a utility pole early Wednesday.

        James Mize, 23, of the 6300 block of Hollyberry Lane, was listed in serious condition at Miami Valley Hospital. West Chester Township Police said Mr. Mize was driving north on Ohio 747 about 2:42 a.m., near Hamilton Mason Road, when he failed to negotiate a curve.

        Police said that Mr. Mize was speeding. Police are continuing their investigation.

West Chester OKs a wetland park

        WEST CHESTER TWP. — A new, 18.5-acre wetland park was approved Tuesday evening by West Chester Township trustees.

        The park area, just north of Port Union Road and west of Ohio 747, is designed to preserve some of the township's bird migration wetlands and to accommodate hikers and bikers along proposed trailways.

        Trustees unanimously approved the creation of the Port Union Park. No schedule for the park's development has been announced.

County moves $2M into stadium fund

        Hamilton County commissioners on Wednesday approved moving $2 million of sales tax revenue into a Paul Brown Stadium fund to pay for maintenance of the new stadium through the end of the year.

        It will cost nearly $5 million annually for upkeep at the stadium, which opened in August.

Crash kills mom, traps daughter, 4

        ATHENS, Ohio — A 4-year-old girl was in a wrecked car about six hours before she was found alive Wednesday by a passer-by, the Ohio State Highway Patrol estimated.

        Marah Williams was listed in critical condition at Children's Hospital in Columbus with head injuries suffered in the crash. Her mother, Tina Seehafer, 26, of Chauncey, died at the scene.

        The two were headed home from a friend's house when Ms. Seehafer likely crashed about 1:30 a.m., Sgt. Shawn Davis said.

        Her car apparently struck the end of a guardrail and was airborne for about 100 feet before landing upside down in a ravine, he said.

        A truck driver spotted the car about 8 a.m.


Organizers display vision for Freedom Center
Probation officers to be disciplined
Panel considers half grades
Free Store nearing record
Group explores regional unity
PULFER: 'Daily battle'
Arts patrons reach out to neighborhood
SAMPLES: Quaint tradition crashes, burns
Sycamore to build school on college campus
Consultant to lead manager search
Judge's plea on new court sign overruled
Lebanon may buy more land
School grows year at a time
Activist observed, knows his chad
Car hits bus; driver hurt
Contributors testify about Norwood gifts
Councilman pushes tax break
Green Twp. to wait on park levy
Hamilton Co. budget has some cushion
Land Between the Lakes changes camp policy
Man arrested in twice-robbed bank case
Officers cleared in '99 shooting
Police shy away from drug roadblock
Portune's resignation dependent on successor
- Tristate A.M. Report