Evidence taken from gunman's home
        After spending several hours in the home of Robert W. Pickett, federal authorities late Wednesday night left with a computer, answering machine and written materials.
Gunmen's letter to Enquirer described his despair
Text of Pickett's letter

Blackwell may join Bush team
        Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell is talking to high-level Bush administration officials about a possible job in the state, commerce or treasury departments.
Physician caught up in OxyContin scheme

Foundation lands ex-education chief
        Cincinnati's KnowledgeWorks Foundation pulled off a coup Wednesday when it voted former U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley onto its board of trustees.

Local Headlines for  Thursday, February 08, 2001

Gap opts out of deal with county
        Gap Inc. has shelved plans to build a distribution center in Harrison Township, a move that would have brought nearly 1,000 jobs to western Hamilton County.

Drugs send six students to hospital
        HAMILTON TWP. — Six Little Miami High School freshmen were hospitalized Wednesday after at least two took prescription sleeping pills.

Edgewood teachers fear for jobs, fret about students
        TRENTON — When Caroline Austin looks around the Edgewood High School gymnasium and sees 63 freshmen in one physical education class, she worries about next year.

Hamilton man guilty of woman's murder
        HAMILTON — After less than an hour of deliberation, a Butler County jury on Wednesday afternoon found a 35-year-old Hamilton man guilty of murdering a woman who was stabbed dozens of times.

Suspect's statement describes slaying of girl, police say
        Thirteen-year-old Mary Hall lost her life in a bloody, violent attack police say left her pleading for her life and trying to run from her teen-aged attacker in an abandoned building.

Bacterial infection kills nine dogs in pound
        LEBANON — Warren County's animal shelter will likely be closed until Monday because of a bacterial infection that has left nine dogs dead, shelter officials said Wednesday.

Butler statue pays tribute
        HAMILTON — They are taken with the detail in the statue — the creases in the boot as the firefighter kneels with a rescued child, the twisted strap at his back, the tread on the bottom of his boots, all frozen in bronze.

Fairfield might double political-sign season
        FAIRFIELD — City Council will vote Monday on a proposal to more than double the amount of time candidates may post political signs before an election.

Fund aims to preserve school aid
        HAMILTON — Moving 3 mills of property tax into a permanent improvement fund will prevent Hamilton Schools from losing $1.5 million annually in state aid by 2006, but will accelerate a tax increase by three years.

Improve special ed, auditors urge CPS
        Cincinnati Public Schools can reduce the number of students in special-education classes if it more closely aligns special education to its overall education system, consultants say.

Teachers union warns schools not to retain Burton principal
        Cincinnati's Federation of Teachers threatened Wednesday to withdraw support for the school district's plan to redesign failing schools if a principal is allowed to reapply for his job.

Blessing wants job in Bush energy agency
        State Sen. Louis Blessing, a Colerain Township Republican facing the end of his 17-year career in the Ohio General Assembly, is seeking a post in the Bush administration's Energy Department.

Boone teachers might get $150
        FLORENCE — A compromise has been reached after a yearlong standstill over Boone County Schools teacher salaries. It comes just a month before negotiations are to begin for next year.

Campbell to hire planning director
        NEWPORT — Campbell County is starting a search for a planning director to work with local developers and planning agencies as the county deals with anticipated growth, especially in the Alexandria area.

Car hits officer; passenger dies after police fire on car
        LOUISVILLE — A passenger in a car was shot and killed by police after the car struck an officer as it sped away from a traffic stop, authorities said.

Council colleagues balk at new rules on donors
        A push to toughen rules for reporting political contributions met with resistance Wednesday from some of Cincinnati's lawmakers.

Downtown property tax increase floated
        Advocates are asking downtown Cincinnati property owners to help pay for a $2.6 million plan that emphasizes more housing, cleaner blocks and stepped-up marketing of downtown.

Eastern Ky. drug sweep casts light on area use
        As drug agents in Eastern Kentucky crack down on the illegal trade of painkiller OxyContin, law-enforcement officers in Northern Kentucky warned Wednesday that the potent painkiller has become the most abused pharmaceutical drug here, too.

Ex-gov. $300M in hole
        LEXINGTON — Former Gov. Wallace Wilkinson will seek bankruptcy protection to reorganize his finances after creditors, who claim he owes them more than $300 million, sought to have his financial empire liquidated, his attorneys said.

Family court plan clears Senate panel
        FRANKFORT — A proposed constitutional amendment that would give the Kentucky Supreme Court the authority to create family courts was approved Wednesday by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Federal grand jury indicts wife
        COVINGTON — A federal grand jury indicted a 39-year-old Gallatin County, Ky., woman on two counts of murder for hire in an alleged plot to have her 80- year-old husband of five months killed.

Heart transplant fails to save NKU student, 21
        LEXINGTON — Less than two weeks after receiving a heart transplant, 21-year-old Ryan Drake of Independence died Tuesday night at University of Kentucky Hospital.

High-risk insurance pool up, running
        FRANKFORT — Still in its infancy, a state-subsidized insurance program for those with high-cost medical conditions has reaped savings for the few signed up, Insurance Commissioner Janie Miller said Wednesday.

Ky. warns parents who owe support
        FRANKFORT — Parents who have run up large and long-overdue child support obligations will soon receive a warning from the Kentucky Revenue Cabinet.

State receipts short of expectations
        FRANKFORT — The numbers are in for January and, despite encouraging news, Patton administration officials said Wednesday the state is looking at revenue shortfalls in the General Fund and Road Fund.

Kentucky News Briefs

Tristate A.M. Report

S U N D A Y   S P O T L I G H T
Interest in death led photographer to morgue
        Thomas Condon may have gotten the idea to shoot bodies in the Hamilton County morgue from photographer Andres Serrano, whose controversial work includes a series of photos taken in a morgue in Italy.

Schedule of events
The Tristate marks Black History Month with art exhibits, lectures, concerts and special theater events.