Wednesday, January 23, 2002

Tristate A.M. Report

Lemmie to get comp package of $193,000

        A committee of Cincinnati City Council unanimously approved a compensation package worth about $193,000 a year to city manager nominee Valerie Lemmie.

        The action sets up a vote Thursday to confirm Ms. Lemmie, the 49-year-old city manager of Dayton, Ohio, as the first female city manager in Cincinnati's history.

        Mayor Charlie Luken tapped Ms. Lemmie as his choice for city manager last week. He has lined up support from all nine council members after the last holdout, Vice Mayor Alicia Reece, committed to vote for Ms. Lemmie over the weekend.

        The pay package Mr. Luken has proposed for Ms. Lemmie includes a $176,000 salary, a $11,000 pension contribution and a $550-a-month car allowance.

Winton Hills waste station on hold

        The Cincinnati Board of Health voted Tuesday to postpone its decision to license a waste transfer station in Winton Hills to give City Council a chance to hear community concerns about the project.

        Councilmen Chris Monzel, Paul Booth and David Pepper — all members of council's Neighborhood and Public Works Committee — requested the delay in a letter delivered Tuesday to the Board of Health. The neighborhood committee will likely hear citizens' concerns early next week, Mr. Monzel said.

Springfield Twp. bank hit by armed robber

        SPRINGFIELD TWP. — Police are searching for a man who robbed the Firstar Bank in the 9100 block of Winton Road on Tuesday morning.

        No one was injured in the 11:15 a.m. robbery.

        Township police said the man entered the bank, showed a handgun to a teller and demanded money. After leaving with an undisclosed amount of cash, the robber left in a stolen red Chrysler LeBaron, which was recovered.

        It was the second time in three months the bank was robbed.

West Chester fire volunteer retires

        WEST CHESTER TWP. — A volunteer firefighter who was an unsuccessful township trustee candidate has retired from the fire department, effective Feb. 1, Fire Chief James Detherage said Tuesday.

        In a letter delivered Friday to the chief, Scott Owens said he is leaving to devote more time to increased responsibilities at his full-time job with a bank.

        Mr. Owens, a volunteer firefighter for 10 years, was assigned to Station 4 on Beckett Road.

        He has been on a leave of absence since August, when he was running unsuccessfully for township trustee.

Butler sales tax petition submitted

       HAMILTON — Opponents of the Butler County sales tax increase collected more than 13,000 signatures on petitions seeking to place the issue on the ballot, county Auditor Kay Rogers said Tuesday.

        Her office, which counted the signatures, will forward the petitions to the county board of elections Monday. The board will determine how many of the signatures are valid.

        The referendum drive, led by Democrats Catherine Stoker and Terry Bridge, needs at least 8,842 valid signatures to place the issue on the May primary ballot.

        The county commissioners voted in two separate resolutions last month to raise the county sales tax by a half-cent for six years and then to drop it quarter-cent for four years.

        Petitions regarding the resolution raising the sales tax a quarter-cent for 10 years had 13,452 signatures, and the one pertaining to a quarter-cent raise for six years had 13,332 signatures, Ms. Rogers said.

McConnell seeking fourth Senate term

        HEBRON — U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, seeking to become the longest-serving Republican senator from Kentucky, stopped here and in six other cities Tuesday as he announced his re-election campaign.

        If Mr. McConnell completes the fourth term he hopes to win in November, he would tie with former U.S. Sen. Wendell Ford, an Owensboro Democrat who retired in 1998, as the longest-serving senator from Kentucky.

OxyContin taken in pharmacy robbery

        FAIRFIELD — A gunman robbed a pharmacy Monday evening of $8,000 worth of OxyContin, a powerful painkiller and popular illicit drug.

        An employee of Fairfield Pharmacy in the 5700 block of David Place told police a man brandishing a handgun entered the pharmacy at 5:43 p.m., demanded all their OxyContin, then ran out the front door.

        No arrests have been made.

Bank teller charged after $1,800 shortage

        A 35-year-old Fifth Third bank teller was arrested Tuesday and charged with stealing $1,800 from the teller drawer. The Hamilton County Sherriff's Office charged Treva Steinkoenig of Lockland with felony theft.

        Ms. Steinkoenig was arrested after bank fraud investigators conducted a spot audit of her teller drawer and determined it was short, the sheriff's office said.

Armed robber hits Check'N Go store

        FAIRFIELD — A man armed with a silver-colored handgun robbed aCheck'N Go store Tuesday afternoon.

        The robber entered the 6505 Dixie Highway business at 2:45 p.m. and demanded money, then fled on foot, police said.

        The suspect was described as a dark-skinned black male, possibly in his 30s, 5-foot-5 to 5-foot-7, 130 to 170 pounds, wearing an oversize suit jacket and a cloth dress hat.

        Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to contact the Fairfield Police Department at 639-7820.

Prison to be shut on renovation list

        COLUMBUS — A state prison that is to be closed to save $19 million a year is getting a $4.4 million renovation.

        Improvements at the Orient Correctional Institution include replacing sidewalks and fixing utility tunnels, a $149,800 project.

        The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction on Monday will ask the state Controlling Board to release the money.

        “We didn't want to leave the work half-done because we're mothballing it. So, down the road if we need to reopen it, it will be ready,” Andrea Dean, a department spokeswoman, said Tuesday.


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