Thursday, May 23, 2002

Tristate A.M. Report

House approves drug database

        COLUMBUS — A proposal to create a statewide prescription drug database to help police fight drug abuse moved to the Senate on Wednesday after it passed the House in a 90-1 vote.

        House Bill 475, co-sponsored by Rep. Tom Raga, R-Mason, and Rep. Tom Brinkman, R-Mount Lookout, would be used to identify people who shop for doctors to acquire addictive painkillers for their own use or for sale.

        Such a database would be modeled after a 3-year-old program in Kentucky called the Kentucky All-Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting system, Mr. Raga said.

[photo] JUST ADD WATER: John Hans, a worker for the city, cleans the children's pool at South Fairmount Park on Wednesday. Cincinnati's public pools open beginning June 1.
(Ernest Coleman photo)
| ZOOM |
        Law enforcement officials said the Kentucky program was such a success that it pushed prescription abusers from Kentucky into Greater Cincinnati to buy powerful painkillers, such as OxyContin, as well as stimulants and tranquilizers.

Ohio man accused in Internet sex case

        A Hamersville, Ohio, man faces felony charges after authorities say he planned a sexual rendezvous with a 15-year-old girl he met in an Internet chat room.

        The teen turned out to be an undercover cop, and Johnny R. Higgins, 38, was charged with two counts of importuning.

        Mr. Higgins was arrested in Northgate Mall's parking lot about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday by Cincinnati police and Hamilton County sheriff's deputies.

        On May 17, task force detectives arrested John Dugan, 47, of Union in a similar operation. He also was charged with two counts of importuning.

10 pounds of pot found in garbage bag
        Two Cincinnati police officers found more than 10 pounds of pot in a garbage bag after a suspect tried to kick it during his arrest, police said.

        Officer Ryan Robertson and Spc. Mark Burns were sent to the 500 block of East 13th Street in Over-the-Rhine after someone called to report children throwing rocks at windows Monday about 7:30 p.m. As the officers drove up, they said they saw one man selling marijuana to another.

        Police said one officer followed one of the men, Ahmad Whipple, 21, into an apartment building, where he dropped the large garbage bag and kicked it down the stairs. When officers opened it, they found 10.6 pounds of pot in three bricks — an amount not uncommon for undercover drug agents who focus on larger operations, but a big hit for patrol officers, said Capt. Greg Snider, District 1 commander.

        Mr. Whipple was charged with drug possession, tampering with evidence and resisting arrest. The other man, Deon Jackson, 33, was charged with minor misdemeanor drug possession.

Concert will benefit memorial foundation

        DELHI TOWNSHIP — The Oak Hills High School String Quartet will hold a benefit classical concert today for the Daniel Pearl Foundation.

        The concert begins 7 p.m. at Rapid Run Middle School, 6345 Rapid Run Road.

        Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter kidnapped and killed this year by Islamic militants, was an accomplished violinist. The foundation was created by Mr. Pearl's family to further the ideals that inspired his life and work, including music.

        “They want to establish enough of a fund to give grants to people who are trying to keep music in the public schools,” said Mary Olson, quartet coach and a retired Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra violist.

        Members of the quartet are juniors Megan Smith and Allison Walton, violinists; Amber Thornes, violist; and Kameron Schlachter, cellist. Marie Schaffer is the string director at Oak Hills High School and Rapid Run Middle School.

        Donations will be accepted at the door.

Georgetown couple dead after crash

       ANDERSON TWP. — A two-vehicle crash Tuesday evening at Beechmont Avenue and Tallberry Drive left a Georgetown couple dead and sent another person to University Hospital.

        James M. Kuttler, 42, and his wife, Reita M. Kuttler, 29, were killed in the 6:20 p.m. crash. Robert Nash, 39, of Williamsburg was treated at University Hospital and released.

        Mr. Kuttler was driving a 1992 Ford Festiva east on Beechmont Avenue near the intersection when he went left of center and was hit head-on by a westbound Chevrolet S-10 pickup being driven by Mr. Nash, Hamilton County sheriff's deputies said.

        Everyone was wearing seat belts, and neither alcohol nor drugs is believed to be a factor in the crash.

Museum to display historic plane replica

        DAYTON — A replica of Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis plane will be displayed at the U.S. Air Force Museum from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

        It is scheduled to land at 10 a.m. Friday. Later, it will conduct flying demonstrations over the museum grounds.

        The aircraft will come from New York City, where it participated in re-enactment events marking the 75th anniversary of Mr. Lindbergh's historic solo flight from New York to Paris.

        The plane will return to the Experimental Aircraft Association Foundation in Oshkosh, Wis. The group owns the plane.

        The museum is on Springfield Pike, six miles northeast of downtown Dayton. Information: (937) 255-3286, Ext. 492.

Ex-Amelia teacher faces sex charges

        BATAVIA — A former Amelia High School teacher was indicted Wednesday, accused of having had sexual relations with a female student in 1997 and 1998.

        A Clermont County grand jury indicted Gregory Payne on two counts of sexual battery, a third degree felony that carries a penalty of up to five years in prison, said Prosecutor Donald White.

        Mr. Payne, now living in southern Indiana, is charged with having sexual relations with the same Amelia High School student on two occasions, Mr. White said.

Miami Township to hold safety fair

        MIAMI TOWNSHIP — The township's safety services — police, fire and emergency medical services — will stage a Safety Fair on Saturdayat Mulberry Square parking lot, 1093 Ohio 28.

        The Safety Fair will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

        In addition to information displays and entertainment, a life safety education center trailer will be set up to teach children how to leave a building that is on fire. There will be free child car-seat safety checks, as well as bicycle helmet fittings for anyone wanting to purchase a helmet. Emergency vehicles will be on display.

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Can Odd Fellows be saved?
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$1.2M cable barriers planned to make stretch safer
Councilman accused of discrimination
Former football player accuses city of coverup
Judge agrees to seal record of Wehrung
Loveland picks superintendent
New simulator no dummy
Police officers, citizens honored for teamwork
Roach: Seal old reports
Sabis audit stymied by missing documents
Seven schools win national honor
- Tristate A.M. Report
UC votes to renew NKU reciprocity
HOWARD: Some Good News
RADEL: Watered down?
Deerfield plans senior housing site
Defense to begin in cemetery case
Lebanon opens its own city phone service
Ohio Senate approves drug discounts for seniors
Six employees file lawsuits
State budget plan still elusive
Traficant hires lawyers to challenge jury selection
Worker tells of 'label stacking'
Wright-Pat privatizes base housing
Budget crunch squeezes teachers
Diocese defends accused bishop
Ft. Wright to settle suit over Wal-Mart
GOP seizes on land dispute as campaign issue
Hazmat funding awaits response
Mansion renovations to begin
Zoo opens gorilla exhibit today