Thursday, August 02, 2001

Tristate A.M. Report

CG&E worker badly burned in explosion

        Crossed electrical wires exploded Wednesday, seriously burning a utility worker and temporarily killing power for about 1,000 homes in the Evanston area.

        CG&E Co. officials said Eric Klein was working at covering power lines with protective rubber material at 2045 Hewitt Ave., when the bucket of his cherry picker moved one power line into another at about 2:30 p.m.

        The resulting 13,200-volt explosion and fire flash knocked Mr. Klein, a veteran lineman for the electrical utility, unconscious and burned his upper arms and back, said CG&E Co. Manager Terry Eibel.

[photo] NOT EVEN A PENNY: Theardis Ishmon of Over-the-Rhine gets a free cup of cold lemonade Wednesday from Gabriela Burkey, 7. Members of the Little Flower Girls, from Old St. Mary's Church on East 13th Street, were giving away lemonade in front of the church.
(Tony Jones photo)
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        Elaine Larkin lives on Hewitt Avenue in Evanston, near the intersection of Evanston Avenue, next to the accident site. Ms. Larkin saw the explosive flash and then heard a loud boom that had her, and other neighbors, rushing to aid Mr. Klein.

        Mr. Klein was taken to University Hospital, where he was in fair condition with second-degree burns late Wednesday.

        Steve Brash, spokesman for CG&E, said the explosion knocked out power for almost two hours for about 1,000 residences.

County sets levies for health, children

        Hamilton County voters will decide a five-year, $264 million issue when they vote on the health and hospitalization tax levy in November.

        County commissioners decided Wednesday to place the levy on the ballot at a larger amount than the $256 million recommended by the Tax Levy Review Committee.

        The levy will pay for health care for poor people, along with some county services such as health care for jail inmates and tuberculosis control. It would cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $70 per year.

        The health and hospitalization levy will go to the ballot as a 4.73-mill renewal with an increase of 0.66 mills.

        “This levy has not increased in 10 years,” Commission President John Dowlin said. “It seems right to have an increase to take care of inflation.”

        A second issue, whether to share the levy proceeds with other hospitals, will be worked out when a contract is negotiated between the county and the two levy recipients: University and Children's hospitals.

        Commissioners also decided to place the children's services levy on the November ballot. That levy — a straight renewal of 2.77 mills — would generate $40 million a year for five years and cost the owner of a $100,000 home $64 per year.

Killer of Atlanta man still at large

        Police were still searching Wednesday for the person who killed a 22-year-old Atlanta man and wounded his companion on a Mount Auburn street Tuesday night before driving off in their rental car.

        Michael Balogun was pronounced dead at University Hospital at about 10 p.m. shortly after his arrival, police said. The name of the wounded man, who was released from University Hospital, was not released until relatives could be told.

        Both victims are from the Atlanta area and were in Cincinnati visiting friends, police said.

        The shooting occurred shortly after 9 p.m. in the 2200 block of Rice Street, police said. When officers arrived, they found the dead man lying in the street, shot in the back of his head. The wounded man was found nearby at Thill and Vine streets.

        The killer drove off in the victim's rented car, which was found abandoned nearby.

UC, faculty decide to have more meetings

        University of Cincinnati faculty negotiators and administrators discussed mostly non-monetary issues and added meeting dates during their sixth bargaining session Wednesday.

        The Association of American University Professors (AAUP) presented proposals aimed to prevent gender inequity, strengthen mediation between faculty and administrators, and study issues that part-time faculty face, said John Cuppoletti, chief negotiator for the AAUP.

        Mediation is an internal process used to settle disputes during which two faculty members are appointed as mediators.

        The current faculty contract expires Aug. 31. AAUP represents 1,990 full-time faculty.

        The next meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday.


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