Friday, March 14, 2003

City's 15th victim killed along troubled street

By Jane Prendergast
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Cincinnati's latest homicide happened early Thursday in Avondale.

Michael Owens, 23, became victim No. 15 when he was shot just after 2 a.m. near Burnet and Rockdale avenues. There had been 10 killings in the city at this time last year.

The shooting came hours after City Council got a new report Wednesday about Burnet Avenue, specifically the 3400 block. Police last year made arrests after informants and undercover officers bought cocaine inside Uncle Milt's bar at 3420 Burnet.

Officials of the city, the Avondale Public Safety Task Force and the Ronald McDonald House shelter for parents of sick children objected to the renewal of the bar's liquor license. The bar - its new manager, Fulton Jefferson is an officer of the Avondale Community Council - is appealing.

The report showed a significant decrease in calls for police service to the 3400 block of Burnet. From March to December last year, police were called there 232 times.

That number dropped to 18 for the first two months this year.

Burnet Avenue was the most popular place for felony arrests made by District 4's Violent Crime Squad between January and September of last year. All but two of the arrests were for drugs.

Officers worked overtime along the strip for several months last spring and summer, paid in part with $10,000 chipped in by businesses.


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