Wednesday, October 31, 2001

Halloween is on, with care

By Richelle Thompson
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Jennifer Adams will check her son's candy a bit more closely tonight, but she'll still dress 2-year-old Nigel as a Dalmatian puppy and let him trick-or-treat in their Kings Mill neighborhood.

Clermont County
All cities and townships reporting trick-or-treat times have set them for 6-8 p.m.
Hamilton County
Addyston, Amberley Village, Anderson Township, Arlington Heights, Blue Ash, Cheviot, Cincinnati, Cleves, Deer Park, Delhi Township, Evendale, Forest Park, Glendale, Golf Manor, Greenhills, Green Township, Harrison, Indian Hill, Madeira, Mariemont, Miami Township, Montgomery, Mount Healthy, Newtown, North Bend, North College Hill, Northgate Mall, Norwood, Reading, Sharonville, Silverton, Springfield Township, Springdale, Sycamore Township, Symmes Township, Terrace Park, Woodlawn and Wyoming: 6-8 p.m. Colerain Township: 6-8:30 p.m.
    Elmwood Place: 6-8 p.m., preceded by parade starting at Highland Baptist Church at 5:15 p.m.
    Lockland: 6-8 p.m., followed by costume contest at Firemen's Hall
    Loveland: 6-7:30 p.m.
    St. Bernard: 6-8 p.m., preceded by costume judging at Vine Street Park, 5:30 p.m.
   Kentucky trick-or-treat hours:
Boone County
Florence: 6-8 p.m.
   Burlington: 6-8 p.m.
   Hebron: 6-8 p.m.
   Richwood: 6-8 p.m.
   Union: 6-8 p.m.
   Walton: 6-8 p.m.
Campbell County
Alexandria: 6-8 p.m.
   Cold Spring: 5:30-7:30 p.m.
   Fort Thomas: 6-8 p.m.
   Highland Heights: 6-8 p.m.
   Newport: 6-8 p.m.
Kenton County
Covington: 6-8 p.m.
   Crescent Springs: 6-8 p.m.
   Crestview Hills: 6-8 p.m. Goody bags available at city office, 739 Buttermilk Pike, prior to trick-or-treating.
   Edgewood: 6-8 p.m.
   Erlanger: 6-8 p.m.
   Fort Mitchell: 6-8 p.m.
   Fort Wright: 6-8 p.m.
   Independence: 6-8 p.m.
   Ludlow: 6-8 p.m.
   Park Hills: 6-8 p.m.
   Taylor Mill: 6-8 p.m.
   Villa Hills: 6:30-8:30 p.m.
        “We have to have our guard up, but we can't crawl into our shell and hide like a turtle,” said Mrs. Adams, 31.

        Tonight, in most Tristate communities, Halloween will go on as usual.

        Despite national anthrax scares and an international war on terrorism, most areas have encouraged parents to let their children continue with traditional Halloween activities. Some cities, including Fairfield and Covington, will have increased patrols, but otherwise, officials are asking residents to use common sense.

        “If it seems suspicious, don't open it and don't eat it,” said Ken Knipper, director of Campbell County Disaster and Emergency Services.

        Telling children they can't trick-or-treat sends a bad message, said Steve Barnett, spokesman for the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office. “It would create unnecessary fears in them at a time when we should be reassuring our children.”

        Some have said the spooky holiday shouldn't be business as usual. The Rev. Jesse Jackson called for parents to keep their children indoors, and the city of Monroe in Butler County canceled official Beggar's Night hours and asked parents instead to bring their kids to a supervised Halloween party at Lemon-Monroe High School.

        But some Monroe residents are sticking with tradition.

        “The president has told us, pleaded with us, to get back to normal,” said Russ Westmeier of Monroe, whose grandchildren will go door-to-door, as usual.

        “(Monroe's decision) is a knee-jerk reaction,” he said. “It's going against what's normal. It's giving children the impression of fear when there's no real threat.”

        Hamilton County Health Commissioner Tim Ingram said he expects increased calls this year about suspicious candy. Questions can be directed to the Hamilton County General Health District at 946-7808.

        The rule of thumb is the same as it's always been, he said. When in doubt, throw it out. Residents should not give homemade food, homemade candy or fruit, Mr. Ingram said.

        Parents concerned about terrorism threats should know that most candy was produced and shipped to stores before Sept. 11, he said.

        Other safety measures:

        • Stay in familiar neighborhoods.

        • Parents should accompany young children.

        • Don't run in the streets.

        • Carry a flashlight.

       Sue Kiesewetter and Chris Mayhew contributed to this report.


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