Friday, March 7, 2003

Tristate A.M. Report

Compiled from staff and wire reports

Police seek four men spotted at post office

MIDDLETOWN - Four men who acted suspiciously Thursday afternoon at the post office on Verity Parkway are being sought for questioning by police.

A postal clerk observed four men of apparent Middle Eastern descent unloading a box out of the back of a tan Chevrolet Venture minivan with Georgia registration 8301AHN, police said.

When the men entered the post office at 320 N. Verity, postal employees approached them and asked them if they needed assistance, police said.

The men immediately turned around, walked quickly to their vehicle and drove away south on Verity Parkway, taking the package with them.

When officers arrived at the post office at 3:50, the van had left.

Anyone who sees the vehicle or has any information on the incident is asked to call the Middletown Police Department at (513) 425-7700.

Badges mark 200th year for police

Cincinnati police officers are marking the 200th anniversary of the department with bicentennial badges.

Chief Tom Streicher was the first to get one. He started wearing his gold shield last week. Officers have the option of buying them.

Cincinnati's earliest policing started in 1803 when a fire caused City Council to start a night watch. All male citizens over 21 were required to volunteer. They were first paid in 1818, granted arrest powers and required to light street lamps at dusk.

Weather won't delay deadline for testing

COLUMBUS - Proficiency testing will remain on schedule, despite snow and ice that forced many districts to miss two or three weeks of class time, the state said.

Superintendents in some rural, southeastern Ohio districts had asked to move the tests back after students missed as many as 15 days of school while snowed in.

"We're all for accountability, but we would appreciate it being held on a more level playing field when our results are going to be compared to other districts that have missed only a few days of school," said Jackson City School Superintendent Steven Anderson. He requested a month's delay for students who missed at least 10 days of school.

Test scores are the biggest factor in the report cards that rank districts on how they improve student achievement, with the state potentially intervening in low-achieving districts.

Jan Crandell, director of the Ohio Department of Education's office of assessment, said that schools can move back the tests for fourth-, sixth- and ninth-graders within the testing window, but that state law requires the tests to be finished by March 31. The testing period began Monday and runs through March 23.

Avondale man indicted in slaying

A 29-year-old Avondale man was indicted for murder Thursday in the Feb. 24 shooting death of Christopher Wynn in Over-the-Rhine.

A Hamilton County grand jury indicted Ricky Thompson of the 3500 block of Dick Street. Thompson was arrested by Cincinnati police the night of Feb. 24 and charged in Wynn's death.

Officers had found Wynn, 18, of the 3000 block of Beekman Street, South Cumminsville, dead about 3:30 a.m. in the 1400 block of Pleasant Street in the early morning of Feb. 24.

A 911 caller said he was shot after opening the door when someone knocked.

Agency to interview soon for new leader

LEBANON - Miami University's Center for Public Management and Regional Affairs is assisting the Mental Health Recovery Services of Warren and Clinton Counties in its search for a new executive director.

The alcohol, drug addiction and mental health services board must replace former executive Director Bill Harper. He resigned in November to take a similar position with the Lorain County Community Mental Health Board.

Brent Lawyer is the interim executive director.

The goal is to begin interviews soon and have a new leader by July 1, MHRS officials said Thursday.

Use of bonds approved for Freedom Center

The Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority's board on Thursday approved issuing up to $50 million in tax-exempt revenue bonds to help finance construction of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

The bonds will be backed by letters of credit from several yet-to-be-named banks and are expected to be repaid by the Freedom Center's earnings after it opens in mid-2004, according to the port authority.

So far, the Freedom Center has raised $90 million in donations and government funding and expects another $20 million by its opening.

The center is to anchor a mixed-use riverfront development called the Banks planned between Great American Ball Park and Paul Brown Stadium.

Pull-tab lottery tied to terror
Robotic surgery comes to TriHealth
Test-driving the da Vinci device
Tarbell floats idea of tax on water taxi
Convict given 'vacation' from jail

Grand jury hears Deters testimony in theft case
Fights, taunts led up to shooting
Bullying among 4 factors for youth violence, expert says
Churches target Cincinnati in campaign to help blacks
County report looks at trends, points to problems needing fix
Edward Dinerman, 94, longtime advertising exec
Catherine 'Kit' Nicholas oversaw labs at hospitals
Tristate A.M. Report

BRONSON: Blame game
HOWARD: Some Good News

Green Beer Day somewhat flat; fewer revelers
Shed giant sign, county tells Hustler
Deal struck for Metro routes
Clermont adopts clean water plan
Admirers help out a champ
Realtors protest Butler tax plan

State's school districts told to brace for even deeper cuts
No clemency advised for man on Ohio death row
Panelists disagree on how to select Ohio's judiciary
Ohio Moments

Industrial Road to gain girth
N.Ky. shelter to close for the season
Kentucky obituaries
Ky. trucker killed when 3 semis collide
Doctor accused of pushing painkillers
Ten Commandments challenge awaits ruling
Epling-inspired bill gets House OK
Attorney: Confessed killer's testimony wasn't perjury
KET names Oklahoma TV executive new CEO
Off the Beam, on your Mark
Martha Comer led Maysville paper