Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Tristate A.M. Report

State expected to close charter school

The state on Friday is expected to ask a Hamilton County Common Pleas judge to halt operations of a Mount Auburn charter school.

The state says the school should not be open because it was not given approval to operate.

The Ohio Attorney General's Office is seeking a temporary restraining order against the school, formerly called Sabis International School. The school is now called Learning Opportunities of Greater Cincinnati Inc.

On Wednesday, an attorney for the school, asked that the case be moved to federal court. A federal court judge remanded the case to state court.

Madeira votes no on transit tax hike

MADEIRA - Council members unanimously approved a resolution Monday opposing a proposed half-cent county sales tax increase to help finance a $2.6 billion light-rail system.

Council members said that the tax, which will appear before Hamilton County voters on the Nov. 5 ballot, is unwise because state and federal financing remains in doubt.

Other communities - including Deer Park and Symmes and Sycamore townships - have passed similar resolutions.

Geriatric psychiatric center opens at St. E.

St. Elizabeth Medical Center has opened a geriatric psychiatric center to expand treatment for people over 65 who have depression, anxiety and other mental and emotional disorders.

The 20-bed Senior Adult Program is based at St. Elizabeth South in Edgewood. Dr. Alfredo Rivera, a geriatric psychiatrist, has been named medical director of a team including psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurses, therapists, social workers and nutritionists.

Only protesters mark Columbus Day

COLUMBUS - You could hardly tell it was Columbus Day in the largest city named for the Italian explorer - unless you happened to be in the vicinity of the Santa Maria replica on the downtown riverfront.

There, about 90 people gathered Monday to condemn Christopher Columbus and mourn the genocide they say he brought to America.

The protest has been held every October since the boat was docked on the Scioto River 10 years ago.

Meanwhile, festivities that once celebrated the city's namesake were nowhere to be found.

But even Barry Landeros-Thomas of the Native American Center of Central Ohio doubts that the decline of traditional Columbus Day celebrations was the result of protests by Indians.

"A few Indians getting together didn't do it," he said. "I would hope it's because of people getting educated."

Sixth Great Lake movement fizzles

CLEVELAND - A hometown effort in Michigan to have little Lake St. Clair designated as a sixth Great Lake stalled Tuesday amid opposition from other members of the Great Lakes Commission.

Backers withheld a proposed resolution, fearing commission members would defeat it, according to Douglas Martz, chairman of the Macomb County, Mich., water quality board.

Mr. Martz worked the annual meeting crowd, passing out bumper stickers and buttons.

"I'm pushing it as the heart, not necessarily as the sixth, Great Lake," he said, emphasizing the role a heart plays in a big body. Lake St. Clair, east of Detroit, lies between Lake Huron and Lake Erie. Its 430 square miles of surface area make it just 5 percent the size of 7,340 square miles of Lake Ontario, the smallest of the Great Lakes.

Backers think Great Lakes status could bring more federal funding to the long-polluted Lake St. Clair and help the shipping industry. Opponents think the move is unnecessary and that the number of lakes should remain at the traditional five.

Ohio had signaled before the meeting that it would oppose the measure. Mr. Martz said he couldn't name a Lake St. Clair backer among the seven other states and two Canadian provinces on the commission.

A similar push is pending before the Michigan Legislature.

The final decision would be up to Congress, which in 1998 voted to designate Lake Champlain along the New York-Vermont line as a Great Lake. Congress revoked the designation weeks later.

Man who confessed to killing not suspect

FAIRVIEW PARK, Ohio - A psychiatric patient who interrupted a Mass to say he had killed a girl 13 years ago has been ruled out by police as a suspect in the unsolved case.

Richard Allen Folbert, 41, who lives in this Cleveland suburb, was jailed to await a court hearing on a charge of inducing panic in the disturbance Sunday at St. Angela Merici Roman Catholic Church.

Police in nearby Bay Village, where Amy Mihaljevic disappeared as a 10-year-old, said Mr. Folbert, a psychiatric patient, was questioned Monday and was not considered a suspect in the girl's death.

Fairview Park police said Mr. Folbert had threatened parishioners, saying, "I'm going to kill you all." Three off-duty officers arrested him.

Vice squad starts impounding cars

New city ordinances intended to get tough on prostitution haven't taken effect yet, but Cincinnati's vice squad has already started cracking down.

In a report to City Council's Law and Public Safety Committee on Tuesday, vice officers said they started impounding cars of suspected johns over the weekend after making 23 arrests in Over-the-Rhine and Bond Hill.

"We have the ability any time we make a physical arrest. We can impound the car for safekeeping," said Lt. John Gallespie. "We'll keep up the pressure."

A new ordinance passed last week allows the city to permanently seize the cars of those convicted of soliciting prostitutes. That law takes effect next month.

Adopt an animal or plant, zoo asks

The Cincinnati Zoological and Botanical Garden is looking for individuals, families, schools and businesses to help provide food for the animals and aid for the plants through its Animals Depend on People Too program.

Donations can be made at the $30, $50, $100, $250, $599 or $1,000 level with ascending benefits, including a private zoo tour for donors at the $250 level.

Donors are allowed to choose the species they want to adopt. New plant ADOPT options are also available with similar benefits.

An example of what it takes to feed an animal: two bales of hay, 14 pounds of grain, 13 bananas, 13 apples and 11 carrots to feed an Asian elephant for half a day.

Information: 559-7716.

- Compiled from staff and wire reportsTristate A.M. Report

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