Thursday, April 17, 2003

Tristate A.M. Report



Compiled from staff and wire reports

Police party raises money for memorial

Cincinnati police officers are hosting a party today to raise money for the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington.

The $6 entrance fee at Have a Nice Day Cafe, 1130 Main St., will go to the Police Unity Tour. The tour is an annual bicycle ride to Washington to raise money to maintain the memorial site that honors fallen officers from across the country.

The event starts at 8 p.m.

Investigation finds complaint unfounded

WEST CHESTER TWP. - The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights found no basis for a complaint filed last fall against Lakota Schools by a parent.


[IMAGE] THE EASTER GORILLA: A lowland gorilla eats her Easter treats from a basket Wednesday at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden. Every year, the gorillas at the zoo get healthy treats for the holiday.
(Gary Landers photo)
| ZOOM |
In the complaint, the parent alleged the district failed to take appropriate action when two male classmates sexually harassed his daughter during the 2001-'02 school year.

The girl was a second-grader at Freedom Elementary School. Parents said she and several female classmates were allegedly harassed by the boys on the playground more than once.

"I'm pleased with the decision. I didn't anticipate there would be a finding,'' said Lakota Superintendent Kathleen Klink.

Principal David Tobergte was disciplined for his handling of the situation.

Mistrial declared after juror rests

A juror fell asleep Monday during a drug trafficking trial, prompting Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Robert Ruehlman to declare a mistrial.

Ruehlman chastised the sleeping woman and dismissed her, then dismissed the rest of the jurors and declared a mistrial for James Toran.

In an Oct. 23 indictment, Toran, 27, of Woodlawn, was accused of possession of cocaine, drug trafficking and obstruction of official business. If convicted, he could face up to 21 years in prison. .

The case is to be retried June 5.

Check-cashing store loses cash to robber

COLERAIN TWP. - An armed man held up the Check N' Go store at 9405 Colerain Ave. Monday afternoon and got away with an undetermined amount of cash.

Hamilton County sheriff's deputies say the man, armed with a handgun, entered the store about 1:42 p.m. and demanded money.

The man is 5-feet-5, with a thin build and wore tan knee-length shorts, a white T-shirt, baseball cap and sunglasses.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Hamilton County sheriff's office at 825-1500 or Crime Stoppers at 352-3040.

County welfare unit opens Web site

The Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services opened a new Web site Wednesday to make information easier to find for job-seekers, foster parents, food stamp clients and others. The new site also includes links to community resources and contact information.

The address is www.hcjfs.hamilton-co.org.

County Commissionto undergo review

One of the first groups to go under the microscope in a new initiative to make Hamilton County government more efficient and customer-oriented will be the commissioners.

They voted 2-0 Wednesday to approve a $1.3 million contract with A.T. Hudson & Co. to evaluate their office and the departments of Building Inspections, Public Works, Environmental Services, and Job & Family Services.

"Obviously, we go under review every time we're up for election, but this is a little different," Commissioner Phil Heimlich said of his first major initiative.

The commissioners' and Building Inspections reviews are due to be finished Aug. 20, with the rest due shortly thereafter.

The commissioners' office has 11 employees, including the three of them, and an annual budget of about $780,000. Each has one aide and one administrative assistant. The clerk and assistant clerk are also part of the office.

All the other departments to be reviewed are much larger. Building Inspections, for instance, has a budget of $2 million, and Job & Family Services has a budget of about $320 million.

"We're not just cutting costs here; we're talking about improving customer service," Heimlich said.

Hudson is guaranteeing that the efficiency reviews will produce savings within one year that at least equals the contract fee.

Good Friday closings

Postal Service: Regular delivery

Library: Open (closed Easter Sunday)

Banks: Open

Trash collection

Cincinnati: Regular schedule

Rumpke: Regular schedule

CSI: Regular schedule

Metro: Regular schedule

Parking meters: Coins required

Courts: Open

Government offices

Federal: Open

City and county: Open

State: Open

Stock markets: Closed

Ohio E-Check: Open




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