Friday, February 01, 2002

Tristate A.M. Report




UC approval seals contract with faculty

        The University of Cincinnati Board of Trustees on Thursday ratified the collective bargaining agreement with the school's faculty union.

        “It's official now,” said UC President Joseph A. Steger.

        The approval confirmed the tentative agreement reached with the American Association of University Professors in December following months of negotiations and talk of a strike.

        The AAUP — which represents 1,988 full-time faculty in 17 colleges on UC's five campuses — voted last Friday to approve the contract. The old one expired Aug. 31.

        “It's been a long, hard grind,” said AAUP President Joe Fisher, a professor of mathematical science. “We started a year ago and it drug out longer than we anticipated. But we're certainly all relieved to have it over.”

        In the three-year contract, salaries will rise a total of 10 percent, including a 2 percent increase across the board that is retroactive to Sept. 1, and a mix of 1, 2 and 2 1/2 percent increases through the 2003-04 academic year.
       

Portune turns down offer for state race

        The Ohio Democratic Party has asked Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune to be its endorsed candidate for state auditor this fall.

        Mr. Portune, who became the first Democrat to win a seat on the County Commission since 1964, defeating incumbent Bob Bedinghaus in November 2000, declined after meeting with party officials in Wilmington last week.

        “I made a promise to voters in Hamilton County and I intend to fulfill it,” Mr. Portune said. “I'm humbled by the statewide attention, but I have a job to do here.”

        Mr. Portune is a father of 5-year-old twins and an 18-month-old child.

        “My kids need a dad at home,” he said.
       

Court dates set for suspect in death

        HAMILTON — A Butler County judge has set hearing and trial dates for Kevin Charles Miles, the 27-year-old Woodlawn man accused of murder and child endangering in the death of a 3-year-old Middletown girl.

        Common Pleas Judge H.J. Bressler on Thursday turned down some motions filed by Mr. Miles' attorney, James Cooper, but agreed to consider a motion to suppress evidence at a hearing March 7.


[photo] DAMAGE ESTIMATED TO EXCEED $100,000: A fire that apparently started in the basement spread upstairs shortly after noon Thursday at 9737 Crestfield Drive in West Chester Township. No one was reported injured; the home is occupied by a couple who were displaced.
(Gary Landers photo)
| ZOOM |
        After Mr. Miles waived his right to a speedy trial, which would require his case be heard within 90 days of his arrest, the judge set a trial date May 6.

        Courtney Centers bled to death Jan. 1 after her liver was injured. Police allege she was punched in the stomach.

        The child's mother, Tiana Centers, 20, is charged with permitting child abuse. Her case has been assigned to Judge Matthew Crehan. Prosecutors are seeking his removal from the case.
       

Middletown goals topic of public forum

        MIDDLETOWN — City Council members will hold a public meeting Saturday morning to discuss goals for Middletown in 2002.

        The meeting, 8 a.m. to noon at the community room of Midfirst Credit Union, 3600 Towne Blvd., will cover plans for the city in a variety of areas of concern to residents.

        No formal voting action is scheduled for the meeting.
       

Suit filed in death at Christ Hospital

        The death of a 42-year-old Maineville woman last year from an apparent anesthesia overdose has triggered a lawsuit against Christ Hospital and the doctors involved.

        Karen Roetenberger, of Maineville, died July 10, eight days after suffering cardiac arrest and slipping into a coma during what was expected to be a 20- to 30-minute, outpatient treatment to remove stones from her bile duct.

        The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court by Cincinnati attorney Stanley Chesley, alleges that operating room staff failed to monitor her vital signs until it was too late. The suit seeks damages in excess of $25,000.

        The lawsuit names Christ Hospital as the lead defendant. It also names Dr. Zahid Saeed, a gastroenterologist who was performing the procedure; his physician group Greater Cincinnati Gastroenterology Associates Inc.; and the Anesthesia Associates of Cincinnati Inc., a group based at Christ Hospital.

        “We usually do not comment on pending lawsuits,” said Health Alliance spokeswoman Gail Myers. Christ is a member of the Health Alliance.

        Dr. Saeed did not return calls made Wednesday and Thursday seeking comment.
       

Honorees boosted downtown vitality

        The Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce's Downtown Council and Downtown Cincinnati Inc. honored a flower shop owner, a longtime auctioneer, an Over-the-Rhine financial store and the organizer of a bid to bring the Olympics to Cincinnati Thursday for contributions to improve downtown.

        Honored were:

        • Phyllis and Jay Karp of Main Auction Galleries.

        • Smart Money Community Services.

        • Jay Korte, president of Flower Framers, and City Councilman Jim Tarbell for the “Miracle Mile” flower boxes on Over-the-Rhine buildings.

        • Nick Vehr, president of Cincinnati 2012 Inc.
       

Suit filed in death at Christ Hospital

        The death of a 42-year-old Maineville woman last year from an apparent anesthesia overdose has triggered a lawsuit against Christ Hospital and the doctors involved.

        Karen Roetenberger, of Maineville, died July 10, eight days after suffering cardiac arrest and slipping into a coma during what was expected to be a 20- to 30-minute, outpatient treatment to remove stones from her bile duct.

        The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court by Cincinnati attorney Stanley Chesley, alleges that operating room staff failed to monitor her vital signs until it was too late. The suit seeks damages in excess of $25,000.

        The lawsuit names Christ Hospital as the lead defendant. It also names Dr. Zahid Saeed, a gastroenterologist who was performing the procedure; his physician group, Greater Cincinnati Gastroenterology Associates Inc.; and the Anesthesia Associates of Cincinnati Inc., a group based at Christ Hospital.

        “We usually do not comment on pending lawsuits,” said Health Alliance spokeswoman Gail Myers. Christ is a member of the Health Alliance.

        Dr. Saeed did not return calls made Wednesday and Thursday seeking comment.
       

Jazz Fest could get $50,000 from county

        Jazz Fest will likely get a $50,000 grant from Hamilton County toward putting on the two-day festival this summer.

        Commissioners Tom Neyer and Todd Portune are in favor of awarding the grant. Commissioner John Dowlin said he wants one more week to think about it. They will vote Wednesday.

        Producer Joe Santangelo said public support is critical after April's riots, which caused Jazz Fest to lose $500,000 last year.

        “If the county wasn't willing to help, it would have made me reconsider” putting on the event, Mr. Santangelo said.

        The city of Cincinnati has committed $150,000. The festival will be held July 26-27 at Cinergy Field.

Springfield Twp. to fix retaining wall

        SPRINGFIELD TWP. — A failed storm sewer retaining wall on Mockingbird Lane in Finneytown sent township trustees into an emergency session Wednesday.

        “It's getting real close to the sidewalk and there's a possibility that it will affect the pavement if we waited until the next regular trustees meeting,” said John Musselman, township service director.

        The collapse, he said, has compromised storm water piping and the hillside, taking down trees and causing water to pool during recent heavy rains.

        Estimated cost to repair the damage is about $40,000. Construction could begin next week.
       



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- Tristate A.M. Report
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