Wednesday, November 27, 2002

Tristate A.M. Report

Compiled from staff and wire reports

TriHealth extends deadline to county

The TriHealth hospital group has extended its deadline for filing a lawsuit to force Hamilton County officials to put the proceeds of an indigent care tax levy up for competitive bid.

TriHealth wants Hamilton County Prosecutor Mike Allen to stop the distribution of tax levy proceeds to University Hospital until a bidding process can be conducted. Initially, TriHealth threatened to sue the county by last Friday if Mr. Allen did not act.

[photo] TWO FATAL SHOOTINGS: Cincinnati Police officers look over the area where 49-year-old Charles Barfield Sr. was shot and killed about 3 p.m. on Sutter Avenue in English Woods Tuesday. Witnesses said they saw a black male - about 5-foot-5 with a medium build dressed in black clothing - running with a gun shortly after the shooting. Detectives are also investigating another fatal shooting Tuesday in Over-the-Rhine. Just before 4 a.m. Tuesday, a caller in Over-the-Rhine told police he heard gunshots and saw a victim lying on the ground bleeding. Officers found Kareem Brogdenv near the intersection of East Clifton and Frintz streets. He had been shot multiple times.
(Ernest Coleman photo)
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Now, after receiving a request for an extension, the deadline is Tuesday .

"We agreed because they indicated that they are taking a serious look at this matter," said Tim Burke, a Cincinnati attorney representing TriHealth.

For years, University Hospital has been the county's only adult hospital receiving tax levy support. TriHealth contends other hospitals that provide uncompensated care to the poor also deserve levy support.

No charges planned against shooter, 10

WILMINGTON - Sheriff's officers don't plan to file charges against a 10-year-old who fatally shot his father's friend during a hunting outing, saying it was an accident.

The case will be turned over to the Clinton County Prosecutor's Office to see if that office wants to file charges, sheriff's Col. Ralph Fizer said Tuesday.

The 10-year-old boy, of Franklin, was trying to shoot a pheasant that flew up but instead hit Mike Kirnec in the face and chest Sunday afternoon, authorities said.

Mr. Kirnec, 38, of Franklin, was flown by helicopter to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, where he died on Monday, sheriff's officers said.

Witnesses to the shooting told officers it was clearly an accident, Col. Fizer said. Officers declined to identify the boy.

Two arrested in Internet sex case

Two men were arrested Tuesday after making arrangements over the Internet to meet with what they thought were underage girls for sexual encounters.

The Regional Electronic and Computer Investigations task force arrested Johnathon P. Wichert, 26, of Owensville, and Eugene Hardesty, 32, of Sycamore Township, in separate incidents.

Mr. Wichert is charged with attempted unlawful sexual contact with a minor and two counts of importuning (solicitation for sex). His arrest followed a one-day investigation by RECI Detective Rick Sweeney, who posed as a 15-year-old girl while chatting on the Internet.

During those conversations, the task force said, the suspect discussed specific sexual conduct and arranged to meet at the arrest location in Blue Ash.

Mr. Hardesty is charged with attempted unlawful conduct with a minor and two counts of importuning. Detective Sweeney chatted with the suspect on the Internet and Detective Cheryl Hart talked to him on the telephone, officials said.

They said, Mr. Hardesty believed he was talking to a 15-year-old and requested to meet for sex. He was also arrested in Blue Ash.

RECI is a computer crimes task force employing the combined resources of the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office and the Cincinnati Police Department.

Anthem changing referral policy

People covered by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield managed care health plans in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana soon will no longer need a primary care physician referral to see specialists.

The policy change, which affects about 390,000 members in Anthem HMOs and point-of-service plans, takes effect Jan. 1.

Plans include Blue Preferred Primary, Blue Preferred Primary Plus, Blue Priority and Blue HMO.

Officials say they expect the change to increase satisfaction among consumers while reducing paperwork for doctors and the insurer. The change does not apply to mental health benefits, or to retirees covered by Anthem Senior Advantage plans.

Tree-lighting celebration is Friday

Light Up the Square, the annual holiday tree-lighting celebration on Fountain Square, will be at 6:50 p.m. Friday when Mayor Charlie Luken counts down the seconds until thousands of lights illuminate the Christmas Tree.

Entertainment begins at 4:25 p.m. with the City Hall Renaissance Orchestra, followed by the School for Creative and Performing Arts at 5 p.m., The Mistics at 5:45 p.m. and the Cincinnati Young People's Theatre at 6:25 p.m.

After the lighting, the Queen City Figure Skating Club will perform, followed by public skating on the Fountain Square ice rink at 7:15 p.m., weather permitting.

The city's Christmas tree, a 25-foot black spruce, was donated by Vera Wright of Oakley.

Former boyfriend questioned in death

HAMILTON - A man arrested on a fugitive warrant issued in Columbus is being held for questioning in connection with the death of his former girlfriend, authorities said.

Hamilton police and SWAT team members, acting on a tip, arrested Delindness Earl Perry, 30, on Friday. When he learned he was surrounded, Mr. Perry called 911 and surrendered, said Dave Crawford, police spokesman.

He is being held in the Butler County jail for the Franklin County authorities, Mr. Crawford said.

The body of Lonna Cianciola, 22, of Columbus, was discovered May 18 in a van that had been parked in a Cincinnati neighborhood for several days.

"From there it became a joint investigation with the Franklin County and Columbus police," said Detective Bob Randolph of Cincinnati's homicide unit.

"We passed on the information that we had, and they were able to develop some additional leads. It was determined that the offense occurred in Franklin County."

Detective Randolph said Ms. Cianciola and Mr. Perry had a long-standing relationship but had broken up shortly before her body was found.

Thanksgiving Day closings

Postal Service: No delivery

Libraries: Closed

Banks: Closed, except the Fifth Third Bank Terminal 3 Concourse B location in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. That location will be open from 1-9 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, but a plane ticket is required to get to bank because it is past security.

Trash collection

Cincinnati: One day delay

Rumpke: Regular collection

CSI: Regular collection

Metro and TANK: Holiday schedule

Parking meters: No coins required

Courts: Closed

Government offices:


Stock markets: Closed

Ohio E-Check: Closed

Northern Kentucky E-Check: Closed

Vaccine tests on kids raise ethics debate
Smallpox vaccine to be recommended for some
Public to see records on priests
Craven admits affair, denies role in slaying
Bundle up before you head off to Grandma's

City aides would get `living wage'
Judge refuses to make city turn over data in gun case
Loveland OKs deal for historic property
UC search group forms
Obituary: R.C. Vance
Norwood: No on blight study
Tristate A.M. Report

BRONSON: Hold the fries
GUTIERREZ: Boone schools
HOWARD: Some Good News

Traffic crackdown kicks off
Mason invests $3.1M in ATP
Newtown votes to cut fire dept.
Sludge appeal planned
Lakota offices to move
Butler County tax hike could happen, but not without fight

NKU offering more classes at airport
Confederate statue might get company
Lunsford may run for governor
Lucas decides: `I am a Democrat'
Pedestrian bridge set to open April 25
Sniper case reward will take a while