$6.6 million face lift for Saks?
        Taxpayers should give Saks Fifth Avenue $6.6 million to dress up its store at Fifth and Race streets rather than face a downtown retailing meltdown, Cincinnati City Manager John Shirey said Thursday.

Muggles line up for Harry Potter
        Harry Potter, the kid wizard who has cast a spell over children's book sales, tries his wand at making money disappear at movie theaters today.

Warmth near final breath
        A giant decorated Christmas tree and holiday songs over a loudspeaker were a strong contrast Thursday to the Indian summer people were enjoying at MainStrasse Village in Covington.

Belafonte initiated peace forum
        Harry Belafonte — singer, actor and tireless activist — was the driving force behind a summit today to address the caustic issues that have led to violence and rioting in the city in recent months.

9-11 fund saying thanks
        Cincinnati firefighters collected $613,000 for the families of New York firefighters, but now they're starting what might be an even bigger job: Figuring out how to thank everyone.

Downtown board selected
        Downtown property owners Thursday elected a new board of directors to oversee the downtown special-improvement district.

Judge says cop must be rehired
        The city of Cincinnati must reinstate a fired police officer who admitted planting drugs on a suspect and smoking marijuana himself, a judge has ruled.

'Other' groups have their say
        A session to gather input on how to improve police-community relations in Cincinnati represented a wide mix of minority communities from across the city on Thursday.

SAT exams taken here hostages to anthrax
        MADEIRA — Anthrax has stalled college planning for about 300 local high school students. Their unscored SAT exams are apparently locked in a New Jersey post office that's closed because of contamination.

Shirey's last budget balanced via cuts
        The 2002 budget that City Manager John Shirey sent to Cincinnati City Council on Thursday is just barely balanced.

Tristate A.M. Report
        CLEVES — Three businessmen are giving youths the opportunity to start a Christmas tree business, which opens Monday.

HOWARD: Some Good News
        Believe it or not, the Cincinnati Bengals actually have a quarterback who's been a winner for years.

RADEL: Morrow teen-ager sews her patriotism
        Thirteen-year-old Sarah Pullem could match Betsy Ross stitch for stitch. And tale for tale.

WELLS: Coroner's office
        It is amazing to me that an organization that works with human remains so intimately can have so little understanding of their connection to the living.

Dead girl's blood alcohol level: .08
        LEBANON — A 14-year-old girl who was killed crossing Interstate 75 after attending a teen-age drinking party Oct. 20 had a blood alcohol content of .084, Ohio State Highway Patrol officials said Thursday.

Father facing felony assault
        LEBANON — Authorities upgraded a charge Thursday against a Lebanon father accused of using a baseball bat and gun to threaten boys he believed were bullying his son.

Forest Park hits big 4-0
        FOREST PARK — The city's old master plan, police patches and pictures of firetrucks looking more equipped to deliver mail than life-saving equipment were in a 1966 time capsule that's been opened as part of Forest Park's 40th anniversary.

Pleasant Plain man killed while trying to evade officer
        SALEM TOWNSHIP — A 58-year-old Pleasant Plain man was killed Thursday afternoon when his car struck a culvert while attempting to elude a pursuing Warren County deputy sheriff.

Riders plead to save Blast
        HAMILTON — Dozens of people — many of them disabled — crammed into the Butler County commissioners' meeting room Thursday to try to persuade them to bail out the county's public transit system.

Ohio defender won't resign over Byrd case
        NEWARK, Ohio — The Ohio public defender said Thursday that he will not resign despite criticism of how his office has handled the death penalty appeal of a convicted killer who is trying to prove he's innocent.

Tax-hike battle stalls Ohio budget
        COLUMBUS — Lawmakers must find compromises in two vastly different budget deficit fixes after the Senate approved its version of the budget bill and the House refused to accept the changes.

Church reopens on Dec. 8
        COVINGTON — The reopening and rededication of the richly refurbished Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption will take place Dec. 8 — right on schedule.

Decision dooms tobacco auctions
        CARROLLTON — The Burley Tobacco Growers Cooperative won't take steps to prop up auction warehouses, which means the time-honored Kentucky tradition will crumble.

Holmes students on college track
        COVINGTON — Ryan Luster needs just a few seconds to tell you his career choice.

Land taking fought
        BURLINGTON — Officials with the Northern Kentucky sewer district must answer questions under oath about their decision to take private property in western Boone County, a judge said on Thursday.

Murgatroyd socks away more cash than Hughes
        COVINGTON — Republican Kenton County Judge-executive Dick Murgatroyd has an edge in fund-raising over Democrat Patrick Hughes as the candidates head into the 2002 election year.

NewCath students hurt in collision
        NEWPORT — A wreck on Monmouth Street sent seven people to the hospital Thursday at noon, including Newport Central Catholic High School students riding in the bed of a pickup truck.

Targets triggered fire
        NEWPORT — Exploding targets are the focus of a federal investigation after a box of the devices apparently caused an explosion that destroyed a military surplus store, sending four people to the hospital.

Driving drunk, again and again
        Ohio's worst repeat drunken driver sits in jail awaiting trial on his 19th DUI charge after being convicted 18 times. Authorities say he's a prime example of the difficulty in keeping hard-core drinkers off the road.
Laws get tougher on drunken drivers

Gas under $1 coming
        Less than 1 1/2 years after flirting with $2 for a gallon of gas, the Tristate could soon be seeing the lowest average prices for the holidays in three years.

Adult escorts required at Levee
        Newport on the Levee bans kids under 16 from the new entertainment complex after 8 p.m. without an accompanying adult, making it the first Tristate shopping area to have such an explicit policy, but not the first in the nation.

Complete Election 2001 coverage
        Charlie Luken beat Courtis Fuller to win the city's first "strong mayor" election. Click here for complete, searchable results from Hamilton, Butler, Warren and Clermont counties and reports from the Enquirer and WCPO.

Race: Let's talk
        We want to hold a conversation in nearly every neighborhood, village, township and city in the region. Won't you join us?