Tuesday, March 20, 2001

Local Digest

Driver killed, 3 hurt in West Chester crash

        WEST CHESTER TWP. — A head-on collision between a van and car killed one man Monday and injured three others.

        The accident, on Ohio 747 just south of Union Centre Boulevard occurred at 4:18 p.m.

        West Chester Police said Curtis Linner, of the 3000 block of Elman Court in Middletown, the driver of the car, died at the scene. His two passengers were taken in two Air Care helicopters to University Hospital. One was identified as Carl Harris Jr., 38, of Lincoln Heights, and the other was not immediately identified. Both were in critical condition Monday night.

        The driver of the van was Bryan Sparks, 40, of the 6000 block of Summerville Lane in Hamilton. He was taken to Mercy Fairfield Hospital, where his condition was not available. Hospital officials said he was to undergo surgery.

        The accident closed Ohio 747 between Port Union Road and Union Centre Boulevard for more than two hours.

        No charges have been filed, but police said a preliminary investigation showed the southbound car went left of center, striking the northbound van. A container of alcohol was in the car, but police did not know whether alcohol played a role in the accident.

Fire at new house under investigation

               MIAMI TOWNSHIP — Fire investigators are searching for the cause of a blaze that heavily damaged a home under construction in the Aston Woods subdivision early Sunday in western Hamilton County.

        There were no injuries.

        Firefighters were called to Aston Woods Drive shortly after 1 a.m. Sunday to find smoke and fire coming through a roof. Fire crews could not enter the unoccupied home — which officials say was close to being completed — because of heavy fire, said Miami Township Assistant Fire Chief Steve Ober.

        No damage estimate has been determined, but the house would have been worth about $400,000 when finished, Assistant Chief Ober said. The blaze started in the foyer.

        Miami Township firefighters were assisted by Cleves and Whitewater Township firefighters. Crews were on the scene about five hours.

School board lets principal keep job

               ST. BERNARD — A four-hour school board meeting Monday ended with John Estep's keeping his principal's job.

        The St. Bernard-Elmwood Place school board voted 5-0 to reject the superintendent's recommendation not to renew Mr. Estep's contract as principal of the Educational Advancement Center, the district's alternative school.

        The board then approved a one-year contract for Mr. Estep. Board Vice President Joe Wheeler voted no on that measure.

        Superintendent James Thomas had recommended that Mr. Estep's contract not be renewed, but the board has not divulged the issues that led to that recommendation.

        The board did receive correspondence from the public and from staff members regarding Mr. Estep's discipline and supervision of students.

        About 150 people attended Monday's meeting. Most of the speakers spoke in favor of re taining Mr. Estep.

Ambulance service answers Butler need

               HAMILTON — The Health Alliance of Greater Cincinnati has launched a “mobile intensive care” ambulance service in Butler County at Fort Hamilton Hospital.

        The ambulance is staffed by a registered nurse, a paramedic and an emergency medicine technician. Unlike life squads that respond to 911 calls, this service is intended for transporting severely ill patients between facilities, such as from a nursing home to a hospital.

        The service was launched in response to growing demand in northern parts of the Tristate.
       head Business apparel donations needed

        Dress for Success Cincinnati, a nonprofit group that helps poor women seeking better paying jobs to look the part, is having a clothing drive.

        Street signs this week urge patrons to “clean out your closets” for the cause. Donations of suits and dresses are especially welcome. The more suits and dresses people donate, the better the agency can serve women trying to get on their feet financially, volunteers said.

        The store on Fourth Street is taking donations today and Thursday, but anyone wishing to shop, donate or volunteer can call 651-3372 on those days.

Colerain eatery held up at closing

               COLERAIN TOWNSHIP — Police are searching for two men who held up the Burger King restaurant in the 6600 block of Colerain Avenue late Sunday.

        There were no injuries, but the robbers got away with an undetermined amount of cash, said Hamilton County Sheriff's spokesman Steve Barnett.

        Mark Davis, 37, a manager of the restaurant, told deputies he was leaving the store about 11:20 p.m. when two masked men forced him back inside. One of the men indicated he had a gun, and forced Mr. Davis to open the safe. The robbers emptied the safe, tied up Mr. Davis with rope and fled.

        The manager went to a nearby Kroger store, where an employee freed his hands and called for help, police said.

Pilarczyk pleads against execution

               Cincinnati Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk, the leader of Roman Catholic bishops in Ohio, has asked Gov. Bob Taft to spare the life of a prisoner scheduled to be executed April 17 for the 1983 murder of a Cleveland delicatessen owner.

        The archbishop said Jay D. Scott's killing of 74-year-old Vinnie Prince was an “outrageous and horrifying crime.” But the state would only be expanding the cycle of violence by executing Mr. Scott, Archbishop Pilarczyk wrote to Mr. Taft.

        “The choice before you is grave and awesome — life or death,” Archbishop Pilarczyk wrote as chairman of the Catholic Conference of Ohio. “We ask you to choose life, not based on Mr. Scott's guilt or innocence, but because his death is unnecessary. You have an option — that of commuting his sentence to life without parole.”

        The Archdiocese of Cincinnati said on Monday that the letter was sent March 12.

        Taft spokesman Kevin Kellems did not immediately return a telephone call Monday for a response to the letter.


Metro plans $100M-plus expansion
Mayor faces ethical bind in house deal
Many embrace new racial descriptions
Reds ballpark behind schedule
Few minority bids on ballpark
Funding plans for schools debated
PULFER: Principal shuts down newspaper
Racial profiling ban sought
Avondale, police plan crime crackdown
Burglar accused in Warren Co. rape
Donations, road work unrelated
Kids lobby lawmaker: We need database
School board lets principal keep job
Schools' fix-up at top of list
Teaching degree approved for NKU
Thomas More announces its new president
Tristate's senators split on reform issues
Dispute focuses on farm value
Farm's owner battles agency
Hamilton addresses bias issue
Hamilton schools claim property
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