Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Tristate A.M. Report

Meetings planned to discuss I-75 project

The Ohio Department of Transportation will hold a series of public meeting to discuss the upcoming Interstate 75 widening project.

The department is planning to add another lane to I-75 in each direction between Tylersville Road in West Chester and Kemper Road in Sharonville starting in March.

ODOT will close the far right lane of the interstate between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. during construction, which is expected to take until the end of the year.

The first meeting is scheduled for Friday at 8 a.m. in the West Chester Township Hall, 9100 Centre Point, Suite 150. Subsequent meetings will be held at the same location at 8 a.m. on March 14 and March 28. Additional meetings will be held at the same location at the same time on the last Friday of each month.

For more information, call (800) 831-2142, ext. 279.

Fatal fire started by child with matches

NEWTOWNSVILLE - Investigators have determined that a child playing with matches started last week's fatal fire in this eastern Clermont County village.

Michael Coogan, 34, and his 4-year-old son, Shane, died when noxious fumes from the blaze - started in some blankets and bed linens - spread through their Wright Street home.

The Ohio State Fire Marshal determined the cause, officials said.

Woman indicted in fatal shooting case

A 72-year-old Walnut Hills woman was indicted Monday, accused of killing a family friend after she mistakenly thought he was an intruder.

Odessa Lee had been drinking at the time, according to the indictment.

A Hamilton County grand jury indicted Lee on felony charges of reckless homicide and involuntary manslaughter in the fatal shooting of Randall Montgomery Feb. 13. She also was indicted on a misdemeanor charge of using weapon while intoxicated.

Lee told authorities she thought Montgomery was an intruder entering her Wayne Street home just before 2:30 a.m. and shot him in fear. The 44-year-old Madisonville man knew Lee and her niece.

If convicted, Lee faces up to 10 1/2 years in prison.

Board votes today on English Woods

The Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority's board will decide today whether to endorse a plan to raze the 700-unit English Woods public housing complex in North Fairmount.

The housing authority board must approve the plan before it sends a demolition application to the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, which must agree the complex is obsolete and too costly to fix.

Residents of the World War II-era public housing complex could be relocated by November or December, and crews would begin the $5.1 million demolition in early 2004.

The board's controversial vote follows a yearlong political battle with Cincinnati City Council members and neighborhood leaders urging the complex be saved.

Even federal lawmakers have joined the debate. U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot, who lives in Westwood, pulled $450,000 in federal funding from the housing authority because of its refusal to stop the demolition.

The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at 1635 Western Ave.

School board OKs purchase of land

The Cincinnati school board on Monday authorized the purchase of a half-acre of land adjacent to Carson Elementary School so a new elementary school can be built at the school's current 2.2-acre site.

The land, at the southwest corner of Glenway and Sunset avenues in Price Hill, is the site of the vacant Glenway Chevrolet showroom and will cost the district $575,000 plus closing costs.

District administration said the cost of the land is higher per acre than other recent purchases but added that consultants advised that the price is fair because the site is high-profile commercial corner property.

Millvale man, 18, found shot to death

An 18-year-old Millvale man was shot to death early Monday morning in Over-the-Rhine.

Christopher Wynn, of the 3000 block of Beekman Street, was found dead about 3:30 a.m. after a 911 call for help at 1411 Pleasant St.

Wynn is Cincinnati's 12th homicide victim this year. Five people had been killed as of this time in 2002.

89 arrests made during Phish concerts

Cincinnati police made 89 arrests at last weekend's Phish concerts.

Most of the Friday and Saturday arrests were drug-related and done by undercover officers, Lt. Kurt Byrd said Monday.

A wide variety of drugs was confiscated, he said, including heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, prescription medications and chocolate-covered hallucinogenic mushrooms.

- Compiled from staff and wire reports

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