Tuesday, July 31, 2001

Local Digest


Man surrenders in fatal shooting

        An Evanston man wanted in a fatal Saturday shooting was arrested without incident Monday.

        Antonio Huggins Jr., 19, of Lavinia Avenue, surrendered to Cincinnati police investigators at the department's criminal investigations section downtown about 1:45 a.m.

        He is charged with murder in the shooting of Emmanuel Battles, 20, during an argument Saturday afternoon at the View Point Apartment complex in Columbia Township.

        Mr. Battles, who lived in the apartment complex, died early Sunday at University Hospital.

        Witnesses told police the two men were arguing Saturday about 5:20 p.m. when the altercation turned physical. Mr. Huggins is accused of retrieving a handgun from his vehicle and shooting Mr. Battles in the face.
       

Police: 2 meth raids yield two arrests

               HILLSBORO — Two Highland County men are facing felony charges after police broke up what they say were two methamphetamine labs in the county over the weekend.

        Harry R. Smith, 38, of Clay Township was arrested Friday and charged with manufacturing methamphetamine. He is being held in the Highland County Jail on $26,000 bond.

        Charles L. Hulsey, 42, of Mowrystown was arrested early Monday and is charged with manufacturing methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine, both felonies. He is being held on $30,000 bond.

        In the first case, an off-duty sheriff's detective was driving by a mobile home in the 2200 block of West New Market Road near Buford in the southwestern part of the county when he noticed a strong smell of ether, Highland County Sheriff's Detective Daniel Croy said.

        After being allowed into the home, officers found items used to make methamphetamine, Detective Croy said.

        The second arrest happened about 1 a.m. Monday when police were called to a West Main Street address in Mowrystown after a neighbor noticed a strange odor, Detective Croy said. Mowrystown is about 15 miles south of Hillsboro.
       

Ohio EPA trying to catch up on cases

               COLUMBUS — The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is making progress on resolving its backlog of cases, but must bring state lawyers joining the EPA team up to speed, state officials said Monday.

        According to an internal EPA report, the environmental section of Attorney General Betty Montgomery's office had 17 vacancies during 1999-2000. But no more than five occurred at any time, said Joe Case, a Montgomery spokesman. The section has three vacancies now out of 30 job positions, he said.

        Ms. Montgomery's office ended 2000 with a total of 71 environmental cases that were at least 3 years old, the report said. That was down by 21 cases, or 22 percent, from the end of 1999.

        Many attorneys left the environmental section, going either to Gov. Bob Taft's administration or to the private sector when Mr. Taft took office in January 1999, Mr. Case said. Those leaving included environmental section chief Christopher Jones, chosen by Mr. Taft to be the EPA's director.

        “You see a lot of institutional knowledge leave the office. ...” Mr. Case said. “We've had to get attorneys up to speed on these cases. It takes time.”

        The EPA has come under fire from some environmental groups that accuse the agency of dragging its feet over clean air rules.

       



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