Monday, December 03, 2001

Local Digest

Two-car accident shuts down I-74

        At least six people were taken to hospitals from two cars involved in an accident Sunday night on westbound Interstate 74 just east of the Route 128 exit in Whitewater Township.

        A witness told officials that the accident occurred when a car traveling east on I-74 crossed into the westbound lane at 6:43 p.m. The wreck closed down the interstate for more than two hours, backing up traffic for miles.

        Four people involved in the accident were taken to University Hospital; their injuries were not life-threatening, authorities said. Two women taken to Good Samaritan Hospital were listed in good condition.

Two men injured in Westwood crash

               Two brothers were injured in a Sunday morning crash in Westwood.

        Thomas Eveslage, 42, of Cheviot was driving west in the 2500 block of Queen City Avenue at 2:23 a.m. when he lost control of his vehicle and struck a utility pole, police said.

        Mr. Eveslage was treated at University Hospital Medical Center and released. His brother and passenger, Michael Eveslage, 45, also of Cheviot, is listed in fair condition at University, a hospital spokesman said Sunday night. The traffic unit continues to investigate.

Man, 21, charged with safecracking, theft

               OXFORD — A 21-year-old man is accused of safecracking, breaking and entering and grand theft.

        Christopher A. Clark was indicted this week on charges involving the Sept. 23 theft of a safe from Jimmy John's restaurant here. The safe, which contained more than $5,000 but less than $100,000, was removed from the restaurant, pried open and discarded in a trash bin, said Joe Statzer, spokesman for the Butler County Prosecutor's Office.

        Mr. Clark is scheduled for arraignment Dec. 12 before Common Pleas Judge Michael J. Sage in Hamilton.

Zoning restrictions limit adult club

               COVINGTON — City officials say Howard Donnelly cannot reopen his “gentlemen's club” after a planned relocation sets the club in a historic preservation area.

        Mr. Donnelly's club became endangered when his lease expired this year, and had to close June 23. He obtained a license to run a tavern at a different location. However, Mr. Donnelly says his club likely will be shut out in attempts to make it a bar featuring women dancing semi-nude on stage.

        “I can open up I guess as a straight bar,” said Mr. Donnelly, 84. “I just don't understand how they can steal my ... license (for an adult-oriented establishment).”

        Last week, Mr. Donnelly learned the city's zoning specialist, Dennis Uchtman, had determined Mr. Donnelly could not create a go-go bar in his second proposed location. Had the business been located within the city's “central business district” zone, just two properties away, the owners could have asked Covington's Board of Adjustment to allow the club as a “conditional use.”

        The city does not allow adult businesses in historic preservation areas.

        Debora Henges, who filed the paperwork with the city, said she believes the city's zoning is un constitutional.

        In fact, she said, city officials themselves have said existing zoning is vulnerable to a court challenge.

        Mr. Donnelly has not yet decided whether to pursue legal action because of the costs involved in a court battle.

Attorney general urges communication

               HAMILTON — Ohio Attorney General Betty Montgomery reminded Butler County police that her office has lots of high-tech tools to use against terrorism and other crimes.

        But one of the best tools, she says, is communication.

        Mrs. Montgomery called sharing information “probably the biggest challenge we have” in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

        If someone has a small but potentially important piece of information, “How do we ensure that thatlittle piece of information gets to the right person — and who is the right person?” she asked.

        Mrs. Montgomery's public remarks followed a closed session last week with more than 50 police, prosecutors and judges at the Hamiltonian Hotel.

        Her talk to the Butler County Association of Chiefs of Police focused on terrorism and bioterrorism, but authorities said the information was being kept confidential because of its sensitive nature.
        Mrs. Montgomery's agency provides local police with access to fingerprint and DNA databases as well as crime-scene investigators and crime laboratories.

TWA makes last flight from Port Columbus

               COLUMBUS — Trans World Airlines, which was mainly responsible for the creation of Port Columbus International Airport, was to make its final departure from there Saturday after 72 years.

        “It's the end of an airline that put Port Columbus on the map and got it built,” said area aviation historian Jim Thompson.

        “I think we're all a little bit sorry about it, but these things happen,” said Clarence Potter, who grew up watching TWA flights from Port Columbus and went on to work for the airline as a mechanic for 40 years.

        Airport officials commemorated TWA's last Columbus departure at 6:59 p.m. Saturday with a water-cannon salute by airport fire trucks. The airplane — Flight 181 to St. Louis — passed through an arch of water before taking off.

        The final TWA flight into Columbus landed at 8:44 p.m., also from St. Louis.

        American Airlines, which acquired TWA this year, will assume all six of TWA's daily flights from Port Columbus.

        TWA was Transcontinental Air Transport in 1928 when it created the first air route from New York to California.


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