Wednesday, February 21, 2001

Tristate A.M. Report

Letter-writers urge decision on moving school

        A campaign to push administrators at Cincinnati Public Schools to decide the future location of Sands Montessori School took the form of a letter-writing campaign this week.

        Superintendent Steven Adamowski received letters from the head of the school's local school decision-making council, a grandmother and parents who removed their child from Sands because of the negative effects of the school's location.

[photo] FIRE STARTS ON STOVE : A firefighter tosses debris from a house on the 100 block of Van Voast Avenue in Bellevue Tuesday afternoon. The fire started in a pan of grease on the stove. There were no injuries. Firefighters from Bellevue and Dayton responded.
(Glenn Hartong photo)
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        The school, on Poplar Street in the West End, is housed in a building that needs millions in repairs. Parents say the building's location — in the fourth quadrant of the school district — makes it difficult to maintain a racial and economic balance among the student body.

        The letters — from Tim DeLong, Dorothea Kennedy, and Frank and Teresa O'Farrell — urge Mr. Adamowski and the Board of Education to decide soon where Sands Montessori will move.

        Several options are being considered, including putting the school in another building, such as the Academy of World Languages.

        Parents and staff at the school would like to see a new building. That desire drove groups of parents and staff to conduct studies and explore options for new locations and the costs of a new building.

        The fate of Sands Montessori will be decided as the Board of Education plans for how to renovate, remodel or rebuild the district's facilities over the next decade.

        Sands supporters say a new building is what they want — and it's what they plan to fight for.

Luken wants forum on faith-based aid

        Cincinnati Mayor Charlie Luken wants to know whether the city can learn something from President Bush's plan to give faith-based organizations federal funds to perform social work.

        So he is asking one of the newest advisers in the White House to come to Cincinnati.

        In a letter Tuesday to former Indianapolis Mayor Stephen Goldsmith, who has been appointed to oversee faith-based initiatives, Mr. Luken said cities are in a dire need of new plans.

        “I have spoken with numerous city officials and community leaders who would be very interested in hearing your thoughts,” Mr. Luken said. “We would be pleased to hold a luncheon in order to provide a forum for you to share your ideas.”

        Mr. Goldsmith has estimated that, under Mr. Bush's plan, $10 billion in government-funded services — such as after-school and charter school programs, domestic violence shelters and drug treatment — would be opened to participation by religious providers.

Police seeking info on assault victim

        A 39-year-old downtown woman was in critical condition Tuesday after being assaulted on the street in University Heights.

        A police officer on routine patrol discovered Arletha Lamb seated on the ground in the rear of the 600 block of De Votie Avenue at about 10:50 a.m., police said. The woman, who had suffered severe head injuries, is being treated at University Hospital.

        Anyone with information on the assault or the woman's activities before the assault is asked to call the Cincinnati Police Division's homicide unit at 352-3542 or Crime Stoppers at 352-3040. Callers may remain anonymous and may receive compensation for their information.

Lebanon schools put bond issue up

        LEBANON — The Lebanon Board of Education voted Tuesday to place a $50 million bond issue on the May 8 ballot.

        The bond issue, estimated to be about 5.8 mills, is to build new school facilities for the district, which is growing by about 100 students a year.

        The bond issue would cost the owner of a $100,000 house about $170 to $180 annually in new property taxes.

University disputes student's resignation

        COLUMBUS — A former student body president at Ohio State University said he resigned amid allegations that student leaders misspent $2,250 and then destroyed 10,000 copies of a campus newspaper that reported it.

        But the university said student government leaders who were disciplined over the spending were removed from their posts. “These students were not given the option of resigning,” said university spokeswoman Elizabeth Conlisk.

        The university is not naming the students involved.

[photo] The 18-year-old driver of this Honda Civic was taken to University Hospital on Tuesday morning after it crashed on the Ronald Reagan Highway about 8 a.m. Emergency workers prepare to right the car after it flipped end-over-end several times in Springfield Township. The driver suffered minor injuries.
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        Robert Schuerger, 21, told the Akron Beacon Journal that he has stepped down from the Undergraduate Student Government to avoid further controversy.

        “I will learn from these mistakes, and I will become a better person,” he said.

        The school put the student leaders on disciplinary probation, which prohibits them from holding elected positions at the campus.

        At issue was money spent on limousines, champagne and steak dinners for 12 people in December.

Guardianship sought for lottery winner

        COLUMBUS — A lawyer has asked a probate court judge to name him guardian of a 76-year-old lottery winner who married evangelist the Rev. Leroy Jenkins nine days after her husband's funeral.

        Brewster Randall II also was a court-appointed guardian for Eloise Thomas' husband, Roy, until he died Dec. 27.

        The woman's sister, Mary Drakeford of Cincinnati, claims Mr. Jenkins is after some of the $8.9 million the Thomases won in the Ohio Lottery in 1992.

        The Rev. Mr. Jenkins, 64, denied he is after her money and said Mrs. Thomas asked him to marry her.

        Franklin County Probate Judge Lawrence Belskis earlier issued an order freezing Mrs. Thomas' assets at the request of Mr. Randall.

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- Tristate A.M. Report