Thursday, November 15, 2001

Tristate A.M. Report

No anthrax found at local facilities

        The U.S. Postal Service announced Wednesday that the main mail processing and distribution centers in Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio, tested negative for anthrax.

        The random tests were conducted Oct. 7, local postal officials said.

[photo] EARLY-MORNING BLAZE: A Cincinnati firefighter works at the scene of a five-alarm fire Wednesday in an abandoned apartment building at 1721-25 Vine Street, near Elder Street, in Over-the-Rhine. Fire Capt. Dan Rottmueller determined the 5 a.m. fire had been deliberately set. The property incurred severe damage in a fire two years ago, and structural damage from that blaze made it unsafe for firefighters to battle the flames from inside the building. No one was injured. Anyone with information about the fire is asked to call the fire-investigation unit at 352-4994 or Crime Stoppers at 352-3040.
(Glenn Hartong photo)
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        Prompted by cases of anthrax exposure among postal workers in New Jersey and Washington, D.C. — several of them fatal — Cincinnati's facility was one of 264 nationwide selected for random testing.

        Kim Kane, a spokeswoman for the Cincinnati postal district, said employees are relieved.

        “They're not scared. They're just going to continue on with their heightened state of awareness,” she said. “That's the good news.”

        The testing was performed by IT Corp.

        Two samples were taken from a number of areas in the mail room and offices at the Queensgate facility and sent to separate labs for testing.

        Since Oct. 8, the Cincinnati district — which includes parts of Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana — has investigated 162 anthrax scares.

Norwood pair hurt in apartment fire

        NORWOOD — An elderly couple rescued from their smoke-filled Carthage Avenue apartment by firefighters Wednesday evening were in critical condition.

        Fred Roberts, 74, and his wife, Kathleen Roberts, 75, were unconscious when firefighters pulled them from their first-floor apartment in the 5100 block of Carthage Avenue about 6:40 p.m., said Fire Capt. Craig Williamson.

        Both were taken to University Hospital. Mr. Roberts suffered burns on 40 percent of his body, and his wife was being treated for smoke inhalation, Capt. Williamson said.

        Light smoke was coming from their apartment in the three-story wood-frame house when firefighters arrived. Neighbors alerted firefighters that an elderly couple lived on the first floor.

        Thick black smoke billowed out when firefighters knocked open the front door. Firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze.

        “He was found at the front door. She was found at the rear entrance,” Capt. Williamson said. The fire began on a foam couch in the living room, Capt. Williamson said. The cause was under investigation.

        The fire damage was estimated at $75,000.

Glendale has forum on historic status

        GLENDALE — A town hall meeting tonight will detail efforts to ensure that Glendale retains its status as a historic landmark.

        The task of modifying the 1993 Historic District zoning overlay was given to Beth Sullebarger, executive director of the Cincinnati Preservation Association. Ms. Sullebarger, along with representatives of the National Park Service, will be guests at the Glendale Heritage Preservation annual meeting at 7 p.m. at Glendale Town Hall.

        The village project to update the 1944 Master Plan is nearing completion, and key points of the plan were presented to residents Nov. 8. The updated plan covers all aspects of life in the village, from recreation to traffic to education.

More bar patrons diagnosed with TB

        MIDDLETOWN — A tavern will remain closed until further notice, the city's medical director said Wednesday, after a regular patron there was confirmed to have tuberculosis.

        Dr. Matthew Stone said that since the Hillbilly Heaven bar on Nelbar Street was ordered closed last week, several other patrons have tested positive for the bacterial infection. He urged anyone who had been in the bar during the past 60 days to undergo a skin test.

        Although many people had thought TB was eradicated, “it's still hanging around, and there's been a bit of a resurgence of tuberculosis in Butler County,” Dr. Stone said. Prior to the Hillbilly Heaven patron's diagnosis, one other person was confirmed to have TB in Middletown this year, he said.

        Dr. Stone said TB can lie dormant and undetected for months following exposure.

Hospital updates cardiac imaging unit

        Mercy Health Partners has completed a $3.5 million project to consolidate and upgrade its cardiac imaging services at Mercy Franciscan Hospital-Mount Airy.

[photo] ACCIDENT ON I-75: A police officer checks an overturned car underneath the Hopple Street overpass on southbound Interstate 75 Wednesday afternoon. The driver was taken to University Hospital with minor injuries. The car hit a guardrail and flipped.
(Glenn Hartong photo)
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        Its new 5,800-square-foot diagnostic suite includes an all-digital cardiovascular X-ray machine and a new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) device. A dedication ceremony is today.

Medical training on germ warfare

        Greater Cincinnati hospitals are stepping up efforts to teach medical professionals how to diagnose and treat victims of biological or chemical attack.

        On Saturday, the University of Cincinnati will host its second forum for medical professionals on bioweapons such as anthrax, smallpox and plague and chemical agents such as sarin and soman. The meeting is not open to the public.

        On Nov. 29, the Northern Kentucky Medical Society, St. Elizabeth Medical Center and the St. Luke hospitals also will host a bioterrorism workshop for medical experts.

Rape trial jury told of injuries

        HAMILTON — A Butler County jury on Wednesday heard testimony about severe injuries a Middletown girl, aged 2 at the time, suffered after an alleged rape in 1999.

        Joshua Edward Hale, now 19, could get life in prison if convicted of raping the child at the Middletown apartment he shared with the girl's mother. A jury began hearing the case Tuesday before Judge Keith Spaeth.

        Dr. Elena Duma of Children's Hospital Medical Center testified that the girl suffered deep tearing, swelling and bleeding in her vaginal area, along with a bruise on her right arm that “looked like a bite mark.”

        Dr. Duma said, in her opinion, force was used to inflict the injuries.

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Museum's goal: Applying history
Poison ruling: guilty
Coroner considers notification policy
Luken asks to use firm in search
Committee chairs named
Ball park under budget
'Christmas in the Village' returns to Cleves
CPS meets with state on plan to fix schools
Olympics bid shuts down
Opinion gatherers go to final groups
Postal workers get city thanks
Students celebrate culture of India
whooping cough cases reported
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