Tuesday, June 12, 2001

Local Digest

Portune ads to receive award

        The “action figure” commercials, which helped Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune become the first Democrat county commissioner since the 1960s, will be given the National Citation of Excellence at today's American Advertising Federation's award ceremony.

        The two commercials were written, produced and directed by Scott Seidewitz.

        “Scott's ads were incredibly creative,” Mr. Portune said.

        The two “Action Figure” ads used dolls modified to look like Commissioner Portune and his opponent, then-Commissioner Bob Bedinghaus, and Bengals' President Mike Brown.

        The ads lampooned Mr. Bedinghaus' voting record during the construction of Paul Brown Stadium, which ended up being $51 million over budget. Mr. Bedinghaus was criticized for the generous lease the Bengals received.

Lebanon teen dies in car accident

               UNION TOWNSHIP — A 16-year-old Lebanon teen-ager was killed Monday afternoon when he turned his car into the path of cement truck on Ohio 48 at Mason Morrow-Millgrove Road in Warren County.

        The victim, Curtis J. Withrow, of Yale Drive, was pronounced dead at the scene, the Ohio State Highway Patrol said. The victim's 17-year-old brother, James R. Withrow, of the same address, suffered life-threatening injuries and was transported to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, where he was undergoing surgery late Monday.

        The crash occurred about 3:25 p.m. when the victim, who was driving south on Ohio 48, turned into the path of the northbound cement truck as he attempted to turn on to Mason-Morrow-Millgrove, the highway patrol said.

        The victim, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected from the car. His brother was trapped in the wreckage.

        The truck driver, Carl Gross, 26, of Harveysburg, was not injured. The crash remains under investigation.

Cincinnati schools joins funding coalition

               The board of education of Cincinnati Public Schools voted Monday to rejoin a coalition seeking to change the way the state of Ohio funds public schools.

        The Ohio Coalition for Equity & Adequacy of School Funding sued the state in 1991, claiming the state has failed in its constitutional duty to provide an adequate education to every child in the state. The Supreme Court ruled in 1997 and 2000 that Ohio's school funding is unconstitutional.

        The state legislature faces a state Supreme Court deadline to find a new funding system by Friday that doesn't rely as heavily on property taxes.

        Gov. Bob Taft signed the state budget last week that included a $1.4 billion spending plan for schools that majority Republicans say solves the school funding dilemma. Cincinnati Public Schools' officials contend the 2 to 3 percent funding increase for the district is not enough and that CPS would be among districts hardest hit by the proposed funding levels.

W.Va. sues makers of OxyContin

               CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia became the first state Monday to file a suit against the makers of OxyContin, a prescription painkiller blamed for the deaths of at least 120 people nationwide.

        The suit filed by state Attorney General Darrell V. McGraw names Purdue Frederick Co., Purdue Pharma L.P. and Purdue Pharma Inc., all based in Stamford, Conn., and Abbott Laboratories Inc. and Abbott Laboratories, both based in Chicago.

        It accuses manufacturers and chief promoters of the drug of violating the Consumer Credit Protection Act by using “highly coercive and inappropriate tactics to attempt to get physicians and pharmacists to prescribe OxyContin and to fill prescriptions for OxyContin, often when it was not called for.”

Program to discuss inner-city development

               The Union Institute will present “Development Priorities for the 21st Century,” the second of a two-part program that examines the debates reflected in Cincinnati's Over-the-Rhine area over development or renewal of inner-city communities.

        The program will be 10 a.m.-noon June 23 at the Union Institute, 440 E. McMillan St., Walnut Hills.

        Jim Tarbell, Cincinnati City Council member, will lead the session.

        To register for the free program, contact Jean McKiernan, 487-1211, jmckiernan@tui.edu or visit www.tui.edu.

Columbus schools deputy gets top job

               COLUMBUS — The Columbus school board voted Monday to offer the district's top job to Gene Harris, a deputy superintendent in the district.

        Andrew Marcelain, spokesman for the district, confirmed that Ms. Harris would be offered the job. The decision was made Monday.

        Five board members voted in favor of Ms. Harris. Bill Moss voted against her and Loretta Heard said she abstained.

        If Ms. Harris accepts the position, she would succeed Superintendent Rosa Smith, who announced in February that she would be leaving in July to take a job in Boston.

Man dies after driving truck into lake

               PAINESVILLE, Ohio — A man drove his car off a cliff and plunged about 100 feet into Lake Erie.

        The Lake County Sheriff's Department confirmed early Monday that a 23-year-old man died in the Dodge Durango that overturned at a lake depth of about 6 feet.

        Sheriff's Sgt. Anthony Iliano said the man's name was not being released pending notification of pther relatives. Sgt. Iliano said the man's father and a witness tried to free him.

        Sgt. Iliano said the driver went over the cliff about 10 p.m. Sunday near Painesville Township.

        He said the driver was not wearing a seat belt.


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Kentucky Digest
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W.Va. sues Oxycontin maker
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