Thursday, January 30, 2003

Tristate A.M. Report



Compiled from staff and wire reports

Metro may lose $2M to Butler, Warren

Metro, Greater Cincinnati's public bus agency, says that it could be losing as much as $2 million a year in federal funding because of shifts in the area's population.

Both Butler and Warren counties have been redesignated because of their growth, and could be in line to receive the federal transit funding once allocated to Metro.

Metro officials say the $2 million figure is an estimate, and that the final number won't be known until the federal budget is completed.

But the agency is already facing shrinking finances.

Metro officials in November said they were eliminating eight administrative positions to keep their budget to $35.82 million for 2003, saying both the share of the Cincinnati earnings tax and the funding the agency receives from Ohio were drastically smaller.

Metro's budget won't be final until the agency completes its labor contract with 800 or so unionized employees. The contract expires Friday.

FOP files grievance over rejected contract

Cincinnati's police union filed a grievance against the city, alleging that City Council's rejection last month of the supervisors' contract violates a contract council approved for police officers.

The Fraternal Order of Police filed the grievance Monday, President Roger Webster said.

It alleges the officers' contract is being violated because it includes a clause that says supervisors get a 16 percent rank differential in pay.

That's not true now because the supervisors' contract wasn't approved and they're working without a pay raise, so the differential is less than 16 percent.

Seven of nine council members voted to reject the supervisors contract because they said it violated Issue 5, a charter amendment voters passed in 2001 that took civil-service protection away from the positions of chief and assistant chief.

Newport man indicted in Clermont slaying

BATAVIA - A Clermont County grand jury indicted a 31-year-old Newport man Wednesday on charges of aggravated murder, felonious assault and tampering with evidence.

Jeffrey M. Haney is accused of stabbing to death William G. Brittain, 41, of Union Township early Sunday.

Haney, who was arrested by Union Township police, is also accused of wounding his wife, Robin.

Inmate recaptured after brief escape

A Hamilton County Justice Center inmate escaped following a court appearance Wednesday afternoon, but was captured shortly afterward at a relative's house.

Donique Philpot (also known as Domonick Philpot), 19, of Westwood, was charged with escape, the Hamilton County criminal bailiff's office said.

Philpot was being escorted to jail by bailiffs when he slipped from handcuffs while in a tunnel leading from the courthouse to the Justice Center and ran. He fled out of the building through exit doors to Central Parkway.

County sheriff's deputies and Cincinnati police officers apprehended Philpot without incident.

In his court appearance, Philpot had been sentenced to two 180-day terms on charges of aggravated menacing and assault.

Driver charged with heading wrong way

SPRINGFIELD TWP. - A 79-year-old College Hill man injured Tuesday in a two-vehicle crash on Ronald Reagan Cross County Highway was charged Wednesday with driving the wrong way.

James Williams of Lynnebrook Drive was driving east in the westbound lanes when he struck another vehicle head on, police said.

Williams was in serious condition at University Hospital late Wednesday. A passenger in his vehicle and a 2-year-old passenger in the other vehicle were treated and released.

Cops seek people who shot man, stole car

Cincinnati police were searching Wednesday night for several people who shot a 31-year-old man in Avondale and stole his car.

The victim was in serious condition at University Hospital, where he was being treated for multiple wounds following the 8:45 p.m. shooting near the intersection of Blair Avenue and Drexel Place.

The victim was getting out of his late 1980s model light-blue Chevrolet Suburban and had two grocery bags in his hands when he was approached by two or three people, police said.

The victim was shot four times in the leg and lower torso, police and a hospital spokesman said. At least two people fled in the victim's vehicle, which has a wide gray strip around it.

The name of the victim was withheld pending notification of relatives.




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