Thursday, May 1, 2003

Tristate A.M. Report



Compiled from staff and wire reports

City withdraws suit against gun makers

Cincinnati City Council voted 8-0 Wednesday to withdraw its four-year-old lawsuit against the gun industry.

The action came the day after class-action lawyer Stanley M. Chesley, who represented the city in the lawsuit, said he could no longer justify the escalating expenses as dozens of police officers were being dragged into day-long depositions about gun violence.

Council voted to dismiss the lawsuit "without prejudice," meaning it can be filed again within a year. The city had argued that gun makers leave out safety devices, market guns to criminals and distribute guns in such a way that they often fall into the hands of criminals and children.

City Council also voted 8-0 to object to a liquor license for the Next Level, an Over-the-Rhine nightclub with a history of violent incidents.

Man jailed as possible drug lab uncovered

LEBANON - A Salem Township man remained jailed Wednesday after police said they found a methamphetamine lab in a shed behind the house he shared with his 75-year-old mother.

John Henderson was held in the Warren County Jail in lieu of a $12,500 bond on charges of possession of methamphetamine and illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for the manufacture of drugs.

Agents with the Warren-Clinton Drug and Strategic Operations Task Force raided the shed at 4960 Salem Road with a warrant Tuesday afternoon. The task force began an investigation after sheriff's deputies received neighbors' complaints about odors coming from the shed, said John Burke, commander of the task force.

He said agents found about 3 grams of methamphetamine and various chemicals. Investigators do not think Henderson's mother was aware that the shed was being used for drug manufacturing, Burke said.

The discovery was the 20th methamphetamine lab in Warren County in the past two years.

U.S. sends $23 million for runway project

The Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport has received its first installment of $132 million guaranteed from the federal government for construction of a runway.

The Federal Aviation Administration released $23.4 million for the construction Wednesday, the largest single grant ever given to the local airport.

Construction on the new 8,000-foot north/south runway has begun, and the new landing strip is to open in December 2005. The airport is also extending the western end of the 10,000-foot east/west runway by 2,000 feet.

Meeting to target 'predatory drugs'

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration will hold a public meeting in Cincinnati tonight to warn against the growing threat of club and "predatory drugs" that are popular with teenagers and college students.

The meeting is part of a nationwide campaign, dubbed Operation X-Out, that targets drugs such as ecstasy, "Special K" and GHB. Those drugs have grown in popularity in recent years, primarily among young people who use them at dance clubs, bars and parties.

Some of the drugs are described as predatory drugs because they have been linked to date rape and sexual assaults. Others have caused serious injury and death.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. tonight at the Event Pavilion at the University of Cincinnati. Law enforcement officers and experts on drug abuse will be on hand to answer questions.

Blue Ash parade applications due

BLUE ASH - Applications to participate in the 2003 Memorial Day Parade May 26 are due Friday.

Neighborhood associations, sports teams and veterans, business and community groups can pick up the applications at the Municipal and Safety Center, 4343 Cooper Road, or the Recreation Center, 4433 Cooper Road.

The parade will begin at 10:15 a.m. and follow the normal route - from Reed Hartman Highway near Cooper Road, then east on Cooper to Kenwood Road, south on Kenwood to Hunt Road and east on Hunt to the Veterans Memorial, where ceremonies will be held.

There is no fee to participate. For more information, call 745-8500 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

UC officials tour Waynesville High

LEBANON - University of Cincinnati officials toured Waynesville High School this week as talks continue on UC possibly establishing a branch campus in the area, county officials said Wednesday.

UC could partner with a proposed Warren County Community College that may emerge if a pilot program to bring college-credit courses to the county are approved by the Ohio Senate this year.

UC has been offering classes in Warren County for eight years at various centers and now operates out of a storefront in Lebanon.




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