Thursday, March 08, 2001

Tristate A.M. Report

County loses round in fight over stadium info

        COLUMBUS — The Ohio Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed Hamilton County's appeal of an order to release documents about cost overruns during construction of the Cincinnati Bengals football stadium.

        The dismissal leaves intact a ruling by the 1st Ohio District Court of Appeals that the documents are public record and must be given to The Cincinnati Enquirer because they involve a large public expense.

        Cost overruns at Paul Brown Stadium have reached about $51 million, putting the total cost at about $458 million.

        The high court dismissed the appeal without comment. The newspaper had argued that the appeal was premature because the appeals court had not ruled on all merits of the case.

        The appeals court still must decide whether Hamilton County must pay the newspaper's attorney fees, said John Greiner, the newspaper's attorney. Mr. Greiner said the county could reappeal to the Supreme Court after a decision is made on attorney fees.

        The county said the documents are not public record because they involved records from private firms hired to do work at the stadium. County officials also said they already had provided all documents in their possession.

City, county to honor Voinovich for help

        HAMILTON — U.S. Sen. George Voinovich, former Ohio governor, is being honored at a luncheon March 16 in Butler County.

        The luncheon, to be held in the Hamiltonian Hotel's grand ballroom, is being sponsored by the county commissioners and the county's Transportation Improvement District.

        “In his two terms as governor of Ohio, Sen. Voinovich supported key infrastructure measures, such as the enabling legislation and funding for the Michael A. Fox Regional Highway, that have fueled the tremendous growth of this region,” a news release says.

        Reservations are required. Cost is $15 a person.

        Information: Lu Horton at the Butler County Development Department, 887-3404.

Hamilton woman wins half of jackpot

        CLEVELAND — A Hamilton woman has claimed half of last weekend's $12 million Super Lotto jackpot, the Ohio Lottery said Wednesday.

        Sandra L. Patterson selected the cash option and will receive a single payment of $2,539,234 before taxes. The amount is what the lottery would have to put aside to pay half the jackpot in annual installments.

        Ms. Patterson declined a lottery offer to participate in a news conference.

        She bought the winning ticket by random computer draw at the Ameristop Food market in Sharonville. The store will share the $10,000 seller's bonus with the North End Marathon in Xenia, which sold the other winning ticket. The other winner hasn't claimed the second half of the jackpot from Saturday's drawing.

Park club invites walkers 55 and over

        The Hamilton County Park District's Walk Club 2001 is kicking off a new season for adults 55 and over.

        The park district has joined with the Hamilton County General Health District and the Health Alliance to sponsor walk clubs at four parks: Farbach-Werner Nature Preserve, Miami Whitewater Forest, Sharon Woods and Winton Woods. Participants will have the opportunity to walk with a park district volunteer and fellow members.

        The program will begin at 11 a.m. March 14 in the Winton Centre Auditorium at Winton Woods. A fitness expert will discuss the healthiest walking strategies. Attendees will receive a free club membership and information packet for the walks, which will follow at 8:30 a.m. every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

        The club is free and open to the public. Information: 521-PARK (521-7275), Ext. 240.

One of 2 sought in shooting death gives up

        One of two men sought in the Monday robbery and shooting death of a 36-year-old Westwood man surrendered to police Wednesday.

        The suspect known as “K.G.” has been identified as Demetrius Ferguson, 23, of the 3300 block of Moosewood Court, South Cumminsville.

        Mr. Ferguson is charged with aggravated robbery. Police said he and Joseph Watkins, who is still at large, robbed Gerald VonRissen at gunpoint in a third-floor apartment at 1317 Elam St. in Camp Washington.

        Police said Mr. Watkins shot the victim.

        Mr. Watkins, 22, of Bracken Woods Lane, Westwood, is wanted on aggravated robbery and aggravated murder charges. He is described as a black man, 5-feet-11 and 150 pounds.

        Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Mr. Watkins is asked to call the homicide unit at 352-3542 or Crime Stoppers at 352-3040. Callers may remain anonymous and may receive compensation for their information.

Fund memorializes boys killed in fire

        MIAMI TOWNSHIP — A fund has been established for the family of two boys killed in a mobile home fire Tuesday.

        Donations can be sent to the Joyce Memorial Fund, Miami Savings Bank, 8008 Ferry St., Miamitown, OH 45041.

        Ricky Joyce, 12, and Zachary Joyce, 9, died when they were unable to escape their burning home.

        The family had no insurance.

United Way seeks youths to volunteer

        United Way's Youth Action Council is recruiting members from grades 9 to 12 for the 2001-02 school year.

        Members develop organizational skills and leadership abilities while working as a team to develop and implement volunteer projects throughout the Tristate.

        Students interested in participating should be friendly, responsible, energetic, eager to be involved, and have a desire to give back to their communities.

        Applications will be accepted until April 6.

        For an application or for more information, call Kate Black, 762-7109, or e-mail

Xavier is site of free college fair

        Xavier University will host a two-hour national college fair at the Cintas Center on Sunday.

        From 2 to 4 p.m. 150 schools, including the universities of Cincinnati and Notre Dame, will be represented at the free event.

        “When it comes to choosing a college, we want Xavier to be the first place area students look,” admissions dean Marc Camille said, “but realizing that no single college or university can be the right place for all students, we want to help students in our community find the college or university that's right for them.”

        Mr. Camille said he expects 10,000 Tristate high school students Sunday.

        No reservations are required. Details: 745-3301 or


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- Tristate A.M. Report