Sunday, December 24, 2000

Tristate A.M. Report

Blaze destroys Harrison building

        Four families were left homeless early Saturday after fire destroyed a two-story, wood-frame building at 114 S. Walnut St. in downtown Harrison.

        Fire officials were trying to determine late Saturday what caused the fire, which started about 7 a.m. and swept through the building that was the original home of the Harrison phone company.

        The fire was discovered by one of the residents when she got out of bed to get a drink of water. No one was hurt, but firefighters declared the building a total loss.

Firefighters rescue dog trapped on ice

        A dog trapped on thin ice in the middle of Mill Creek got a new leash on life Saturday thanks to a rescue from Cincinnati firefighters.

        While driving south on Interstate 75 Saturday morning the crew of Squad 52, the city's heavy rescue unit, spotted a shivering dog on Mill Creek near Mitchell Avenue. Its brown and black fur was caked with ice after it slipped at least once through the ice.

        Unable to help the dog find its way back to shore, firefighter William Lustenberger donned a dry suit, attached a safety line and slid across the unstable ice to lasso the 40-pound dog with a pole-and-rope device used by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

        Mr. Lustenberger's hands became wet and cold, but he and the dog avoided falling through the ice.

        The dog was wearing a collar but had no tags. It was taken to an SPCA animal shelter, where officials promised to keep it until the owner claims it or someone else adopts it.

Harlan Twp. home gutted by garage fire

        A fire Saturday afternoon that gutted a home in rural Harlan Township caused no injuries, but required assistance from seven fire departments to extinguish.

        The fire at the Penewit family home, 8731 Layman Road, started in an attached garage at about 4:20 p.m. Terry and Paige Penewit escaped unharmed.

       A teen-age son was not home at the time, said Jamie Whitacre, assistant chief of Harlan Township Fire and Rescue.

       Getting water to the wooded lot required tanker trucks, called in from seven departments. The house and at least 90 percent of its contents were destroyed. Fire officials said the family was spending the night with friends.

Institute offers course about jazz

        The Union Institute will offer a four-part cultural studies series on jazz beginning Jan. 6 from 10 a.m. until noon.

       The class will be taught by R. Kumasi Hampton, an institute professor, who will focus on the nature, unique beauty and historical evolution of jazz. The seminar, held at the institute, 440 E. McMillan St. in Walnut Hills, will draw upon a PBS series by Ken Burns called Jazz.

       Remaining sessions of the course will take place from 10 a.m. to noon Jan. 20, Feb. 3 and Feb. 17.

       For more information, please contact Jean McKiernan at (513) 487-1211 or e-mail You may also visit the institute's Web site at www.


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- Tristate A.M. Report