Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Tristate A.M. Report



Compiled from staff and wire reports

Teen struck by car in critical condition

ANDERSON TWP. - An Anderson High School junior was in critical condition Friday at University Hospital after being struck by a car as he crossed Five Mile Road early in the day.

Hamilton County sheriff's deputies said Kevin Rea, 18, walked onto the road in front of a stopped commercial box truck about 7:30 a.m., and was hit when he walked into the next lane by a 2002 Pontiac Aztek traveling north on Five Mile south of Beechmont Avenue.

Mr. Rae was thrown into the air by the impact and landed on the trunk of a third vehicle, a 1989 Buick Skylark that was stopped in a left-turn lane on Five Mile, deputies said.

Mr. Rae was crossing the road in an area not designated for crossing, deputies said. None of the drivers was injured.

The incident remains under investigation, but neither alcohol or drugs were a factor, deputies said.

Sycamore schools to resume labor talks

Sycamore teachers and school board members will return to the bargaining table Monday for a session with a federal mediator. The two sides have not met since Nov. 18.

"We are going there with the intent to stay as long as we have to or can to try to get things resolved or get to a point where we may know that things are not resolvable," said Charles Wilfong, school board president.

Susan Sauer, president of the Sycamore Education Association, said the teachers' negotiating team doesn't intend to stay for another marathon session like the last one, which lasted until the early hours of a weekday morning. "We're prepared to stay a reasonable amount of time. We need to be in shape for our students the next day," she said.

Sycamore teachers, who have been working without a contract since July 31, last month turned down the board's latest proposal and voted their intent to strike. The vote doesn't mean the teachers will strike, but it empowers the teachers' bargaining team to call for a strike vote if a stalemate continues.

Of Sycamore's 500 teachers, 440 are SEA members.

Loveland approves development standard

LOVELAND - Council has agreed to the concept of a special planning district for the historic, 85-acre White Pillars property along Ohio 48.

At a special Saturday session, they approved a document that gives the city a greater sense of control regarding how two developers - Hines-Griffin Joint Venture and Parrott & Strawser - develop the property.

It establishes that the district will complement Loveland's other businesses and sets guidelines for signs, parking, building materials, landscaping and other matters.

The city will retain ownership of 10 acres, including a colonial-style home once inhabited by the city's founder, Col. Thomas Paxton. Developers plan to build homes, town houses and commercial space on the other 75 acres.

Forest Park unveils street repair plan

FOREST PARK - The city has announced its $2.4 million, 2003 street improvement program.

City Manager Ray Hodges said the city aims ever year to fix neighborhood streets mainly traveled by those living in the neighborhood as well as busy streets that feel the brunt of thousands of cars every day.

Next year, the city will spend:

$1 million for road and sidewalk improvements, curb and gutter work and catch basin repairs along Ironstone Drive, Holyoke Drive and Kristen Place. Similar work will be done on Halesworth Drive from Smiley Avenue to Hamden Drive; Hitchcock Drive from Smiley Avenue to end of the cul-de-sac; and Havensport Drive from Hitchcock Drive to Hamden Drive.

$1.4 million to put new asphalt, traffic signals, turn lanes and landscaping along Mill Road from Waycross to Kemper Road. The city will use about $800,000 in grant money to finance the project. All work is to begin in the spring.

The city also is waiting to hear if it will receive a $165,000 matching grant through the state's county-administered SCIP program. City administrators want to replane and repave the intersections along Winton Road between Sharon and Kemper Meadows road.

Airport alters security procedure

Aviation security officials Tuesday confirmed that secondary random checks of passengers, being done at the gate before boarding, would be moved to the security checkpoint at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.

But while the airport is among several in a second group to make the switch, the Transportation Security Administration probably won't change the procedure until at least January.

The new procedure will require that all passengers have a boarding pass when arriving at the main checkpoint, where they go through metal detectors and have carry-on bags X-rayed.

Terry Burgess, the TSA's local federal security director, said that a firm date has not been set for the switch, but that it would be at least after the end of the year.

Weather agency thanks rescuers

VAN WERT, Ohio - The National Weather Service paid thanks Tuesday to several people who helped save lives during the tornadoes that swept through Van Wert County a month ago.

Officials from the federal agency presented awards to Rick McCoy, director of the county's emergency management agency and Gary Adams, president of the county commissioners.

The group also honored Van Wert Mayor Steve Gehres and Scott Schaffer, a movie theater manager who helped herd moviegoers into restrooms and a hallway. The storm ripped away part of the steel-framed theater's walls and roof and tossed three cars into it.

Two people in Van Wert County died in the tornadoes that had winds topping 200 mph.

Charges dropped in arson case

DELAWARE, Ohio - Charges have been dropped against a second volunteer firefighter suspected along with a co-worker of setting barn fires in the township where they worked.

Prosecutors asked on Monday that the seven arson charges and one attempted arson charge be dropped against David Jeremy Miller, 21.

Mr. Miller's trial was supposed to begin on Monday. Prosecutors asked for a continuance, but visiting Judge Richard Parrott of Union County refused.

Prosecutors then decided to drop the charges because time was running out on Mr. Miller's right to a speedy trial. Those charges could still be reinstated.

Last week, two arson charges were dismissed against Brandon Dilley, 20.

Prosecutor W. Duncan Whitney said then that Mr. Dilley could be a potential witness in the case.

The two men were indicted in March in the fires that destroyed six barns in western Delaware County between March and August 2001.




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