Friday, June 15, 2001

British warning targets Cincinnati

'Stay off the streets' after workday

By Dan Klepal
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Cincinnati is on the same level as Libya or Afghanistan, as far as the government of Great Britain is concerned.

        The United Kingdom has issued a warning to its citizens traveling to Cincinnati, saying they should “stay off the streets after the close of the normal working day.”

        The warning from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Consular Division refers to the days of rioting and unrest that happened in April, after a Cincinnati police officer shot and killed a young, unarmed African-American man. All of the protests since then have been peaceful.

        “The overnight curfew has been lifted but a state of emergency exists. Tensions therefore remain high ...” the warning says. “Anyone intending to visit Cincinnati in the immediate future and who remains unsure of the situation can contact the City of Cincinnati press office.”

        “At least I can still get a great steak here,” quipped Ray “Buzz” Buse, spokesman for the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce.

        “With all of their problems with mad cow disease, they shouldn't be worried about Cincinnati.”

        Anastasia Mileham, a spokeswoman for Downtown Cincinnati Inc., said its marketing efforts have been aimed at getting local people to return downtown for shopping and partying.

        Mr. Buse said he's never heard of such a warning for Cincinnati, which has built an international reputation as a safe and friendly town.

        The UK government has issued a similar warning to its residents traveling to Florida, saying they should be “vigilant about their personal safety.”


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