Sunday, April 22, 2001

Tristate A.M. Report

Columbus police quell rowdy crowd

        COLUMBUS — Officers fired tear gas and wooden projectiles known as knee-knockers into a crowd near the Ohio State University campus early Saturday to control party-goers, a police spokesman said.

        Two people were arrested, Sgt. Earl Smith said.

        “We could have made hundreds of arrests, but with only a couple dozen officers to control the crowd, you can't do that because if you start making too many arrests, you have to take officers out of circulation,” he said.

        Sgt. Smith said those arrested assaulted police or other students. He estimated that 1,500 to 2,000 people were involved in the disturbance, which centered on Chittenden Avenue between Indianola Avenue and High Street, just east of campus.

        He said the disturbance, which started about 1:30 a.m. and lasted about two hours, also spread briefly across High Street and onto university property, with campus police helping bring it under control.

        Sgt. Smith blamed it on “a combination of alcohol, warm weather and stupidity.”

        A group of students pulled a driver out of his car and assaulted him, another group drove a vehicle into a group of officers, and others threw bottles at police, Sgt. Smith said.

[photo] ALL THE ELEMENTS: A breezy Saturday in April. A cute kid (Ellen Remley of Fort Thomas). Mirror Lake in Eden Park. A kite. Hey, it's a tradition!
(Ernest Coleman photo)
| ZOOM |
        In addition, two cars were destroyed and had to be towed away, an undetermined number of other cars were damaged, and several trash bins were set on fire.

Colerain officer hurt in car crash

        COLERAIN TOWNSHIP — A Colerain Township police officer was injured Saturday in an auto accident in Colerain Township.

        According to the Hamilton County sheriff's office, officer Steven Karwisch had parked his cruiser on the right shoulder of southbound Colerain Avenue with its headlights on when a 1999 Ford F-150 veered into it. The accident occurred about 12:40 a.m., just south of W. Kemper Road.

        Officer Karwisch, 32, was treated at Good Samaritan Hospital and has been released. The sheriff's office said the driver of the truck, Adam Hartmann, 20, Cincinnati, was uninjured.

        The sheriff's Traffic Safety Unit is investigating.

Crash on Ohio 32 kills Springdale man

        A Springdale man was killed on Ohio 32 in Union Township Saturday morning when his 1997 Nissan was rear-ended.

        James T. Howard, 30, had stopped at a red light eastbound at the intersection of Glen Este and Withamsville Road about 5:10 a.m.

        The Ohio Highway Patrol said Willie L. Ellis, 28, of Cincinnati, was driving a 1996 Nissan eastbound and failed to stop, striking Mr. Howard's car.

        Mr. Howard was pronounced dead at the scene. Mr. Ellis suffered minor injuries and declined treatment. Both men were wearing seat belts.

        The crash remains under investigation.

Patients win fight to remain at facility

        CHARDON, Ohio — Paralyzed nursing home residents who rely on ventilators won a fight to stay at a Geauga County facility.

        Heather Hill Hospital and Health Partnership decided this month to end its long-term care for ventilator patients. On Friday, the facility reversed its stance and said no one would be discharged from its long-term ventilator care program.

        “Our prayers were answered,” said John Palladino, one of four residents who had appealed the facility's decision requiring them to move out by May 3.

        Greg Storer, the nursing home's chief operating officer, had said losses of more than $500,000 a year prompted the decision to end the care. He said the facility could no longer afford extensive around-the-clock care for residents, nearly all of whom are paralyzed from the neck down and depend on ventilators.

        But Heather Freemont, the home's vice president of marketing, said Friday that administrators had not calculated the expense of keeping the program.

        “Maybe a little compassion kicked in,” said Mr. Palladino's mother, Sherlee.

Ohio officials support tougher arsenic rules

        COLUMBUS — Ohio officials say they support stricter federal standards for arsenic in drinking water.

        Todd Kelleher, supervisor of chemical monitoring and compliance for the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, said his agency is urging that the Bush administration adopt the standard of 10 parts per billion that the Clinton administration had ordered to take effect in 2006.

        President Bush withdrew that order, but U.S. EPA Director Christie Whitman said this week that the current standard of 50 parts per billion, which has been in effect since 1942, would be tightened after a review by the National Academy of Sciences.

        Ms. Whitman said she wanted a panel at the academy to examine a standard in the range of three to 20 parts per billion.

        “We felt that the 10-part standard was appropriate because it falls within the appropriate range of risk,” Mr. Kelleher said. That would be slightly more than one additional cancer case among each 10,000 people using public water supplies.

        He said 41 Ohio community water systems and 100 or so single-customer water systems operated by businesses or schools exceed the Clinton standard.

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- Tristate A.M. Report