Sunday, April 15, 2001

Tristate A.M. Report

Wetland change OK'd, makes way for runway

        CLEVELAND — The Ohio EPA has issued a waiver that will allow the city to go forward with plans to open a new runway at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.

        The proposed 9,000-foot runway is intended to allow expanded flights at the city-owned airport. Environmental permits were delayed because of violations at prior Hopkins construction projects.

        The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency issued a waiver Friday allowing the city to run a mile of a nearby creek through a pipe, fill in the ravine through which it runs and destroy surrounding wetlands.

        In an unusual step, rather than certify the plan as meeting the clean water guidelines, the Ohio EPA ruled that the social and economic benefits of an airport expansion outweigh the environmental damage.

        To compensate, the city has agreed to spend millions of dollars on wetlands and streams in Cuyahoga, Lorain, Geauga and Medina counties.

        The city needs only a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to start construction of the runway over the filled-in ravine. Another runway would be lengthened to 11,250 feet over the ravine.

Teens can apply for
art class scholarship

        Summerfair Inc. is accepting applications from high school sophomores and juniors for the 2001 High School Scholarship competition.

        Two local students will be selected by a jury of artists and art educators to attend, tuition free, the 2001 summer Portfolio Preparation Class at the Art Academy.

        Students should submit an application along with a sample of their best work and an essay explaining why they are pursuing a career in art.

        For applications, contact the Summerfair office at (513) 531-0050 or by e-mail at The deadline for entries is April 27.

Buckeye Egg cited as air polluter

        COLUMBUS, Ohio — Neighbors of Buckeye Egg Farm have long complained about the stench coming from its massive barns. Now the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is complaining, too.

        The EPA filed a notice on Jan. 19 that accuses Buckeye Egg of violating the federal Clean Air Act at its operations in Croton in Licking County and Marseilles in Wyandot County.

        The agency is threatening civil and criminal penalties if the company does not reduce emissions from such things as manure and dust.

        Buckeye Egg has until the end of May to produce results of tests conducted to rebut research that bases air pollution levels on the number of animals confined in a particular facility and the amount of manure they create.

        Bill Glass, the company's chief operating officer, said on Friday that he had no idea the agency was investigating until it received the notice.

        He said Buckeye Egg's operations are similar to other egg farms across the country and that it has obtained the necessary permits to build and operate its barns.

        Air pollution was not a part of the lawsuit that Buckeye Egg settled with the state earlier in January in which it agreed to pay a $1 million fine and dramatically change its business practices.

        The state sued Buckeye Egg in December 1999, accusing the company of dumping dead chickens in a field, polluting creeks by improperly handling manure and causing infestations of flies, beetles and other insects.

Interim federal prosecutor named

        U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft has appointed Assistant U.S. Attorney Salvador Dominguez as the interim chief federal prosecutor for the southern district of Ohio. The prosecutor works out of Cincinnati.

        The appointment is effective today.

        Mr. Dominguez has served as first assistant to U.S. Attorney Sharon Zealey since July 1997. Ms. Zealey, 41, is resigning to become a lawyer in the Cincinnati office of Blank, Rome, Comisky and McCauley, a Philadelphia-based law firm.

Accused of sex crime, officer resigns

        INDIANAPOLIS — A police officer has resigned after being accused of having sex with a 14-year-old girl in the back of his patrol car while he was on duty.

        Officer Wilbur Braxton resigned Friday after being informed of departmental charges against him stemming from the Feb. 12 incident, the Indianapolis Police Department said. Mr. Braxton had been removed from street duty Feb. 26.

        Mr. Braxton, 30, allegedly had sex with a girl who was later determined to be a minor while he was investigating a case involving a runaway teen-ager, according to the IPD.

Teacher in candy incident is out

        CROWN POINT, Ind. — A history teacher accused of giving a student a candy Valentine heart with a homosexual slur written on it will not return to the classroom prior to his planned retirement.

        Superintendent H. Steve Sprunger said Friday that Donald E. Miller has ended his teaching duties and will not be returning to Taft Middle School. Mr. Miller, a 34-year teaching veteran, was placed on administrative leave with pay in mid-March after a lawsuit was filed against him by the eighth-grade boy's family.

        The family claims that Mr. Miller wrote the word “Fag” on a candy heart before giving it to the boy in front of his fellow students.


His greatest sermon
Mold gains notice as growing health hazard
Mold is everywhere, but can be danger when found indoors
Trails planned near old farm
Newborn drop-offs considered
PULFER: Resurrection
Former air-quality official sentenced
Gift has kept on giving
Graham crusade is eagerly awaited
Iron ore company wants import curbs
Mountain towns shedding people
Ohio EPA allows runway
Truancy policy making strides
Kentucky News Briefs
- Tristate A.M. Report