Weak contracts waste tax money
Lax controls and casually administered contracts are common when public agencies do business with private firms, an Enquirer investigation shows. Since 2000, private government contractors misspent $97.7 million in tax money.
Sunday story: Money's gone, Ohio gets little back

Transit center dedication today
Today's dedication of the Riverfront Transit Center is more about what the $23 million facility helped do before it was even built and what it can do many years from now.

Problems at jail preceded Kellam
WILLIAMSTOWN - Retired Kentucky State Police Detective Steve Kellam took the helm of the Grant County jail in August 2001 with a dictate to clean up the troubled operation. But less than two years later, the jail has been rocked with claims of prisoner abuse that have left some to wonder if anything has changed.
Alleged assaults and lawsuits

Strip club focus for law fight
UNION TOWNSHIP - A few years ago, protesters lined both sides of the street to try to stop people from entering the Deja Vu. But the fight over such clubs has moved to the courts and could soon land in the General Assembly.

Water, water everywhere
Eye of the beholder
Song before the flood

Check 'no' for stupid questions
Filling out stupid forms is one of the few things from high school that you actually use the rest of your life. Like the forms Cincinnati cops fill out.

Brutal killer seeks parole
The brutal killing of 17-year-old Lonni "Kathy" Mahone shocked Cincinnati in December of 1978.

Determination helps woman reach 100
COLLEGE HILL - Elizabeth Chambers, who had lived alone and cared for herself until just after her 99th birthday, celebrates birthday No. 100 today.
Flashover training done here
Colerain Township firefighters spent last week training in a simulator that creates fire flashovers, a phenomenon in which so much heat builds up in a room that superheated gases ignite simultaneously.
West siders invited to meeting
A town-hall meeting - featuring Enquirer reporters, columnists, editors and other staff - will begin at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Trustees Room of Seton Center at the College of Mount St. Joseph.

Tristate A.M. Report
MONROE - A 25-year-old Mason man was killed and nine others were injured in a three-car accident early Sunday morning on northbound Interstate 75 near here.

Good News: Delhi man given medal for service
Charles G. Edwards of Delhi Township was awarded the Patriot Medal and certificate last week by the Ohio Society of the Sons of the American Revolution at its 114th annual conference in Springfield.
Hometown Heroes: Politics isn't only way to make a difference
Todd Ward was disappointed when his second bid for City Council in 2001was unsuccessful. He wanted to help make a difference in his community. But that loss made him realize he didn't have to be in politics to achieve that goal.
Obituary: Ewald Bauknecht made others happy
Ewald Bauknecht spent his life trying to make the lives of his family and friends happier. He enjoyed taking loved ones out to dinner - reveling in their company over good food and wine.

Hospital prime site for ballpark
HAMILTON - Now that the proposal to convert the old Mercy Hospital Hamilton into a social services center has died, the site is receiving more interest as the possible location of a baseball stadium.

School compromises on prayer
WEST CHESTER TWP. - Instead of a student-led prayer at Lakota West High School's graduation, there will be a moment of reflection.

Ohio Moments: Explorers from Ohio Company settled state
On May 19, 1749, King George II of Britain chartered the Ohio Company. It was formed by Virginia and London merchants to colonize the American West.

National Guard to merge administrations
COLUMBUS - Combining Air National Guard and Army National Guard headquarters nationwide will create needed flexibility as the nature of threats keeps changing, the chief of the reserve force told state Guard leaders Sunday.

Husband returned to face murder charge
COVINGTON - A 41-year-old Lakeside Park man charged in the May 5 shooting death of his math teacher wife was returned to Northern Kentucky Sunday and is scheduled to be arraigned on a murder charge this morning in Kenton County District Court.

Ho-hum: Ky. primary Tuesday
NEWPORT - At least Northern Kentucky voters won't be standing in long lines at the polls during Tuesday's statewide primary.
Teachers arrested but stay on job
LEXINGTON - Parents in Elliott County are angry that schools superintendent Eugene Binion is allowing two teachers to continue working while they're facing drug charges.
Traffic woes snarl Powerball drawing
DES MOINES, Iowa - The Powerball drawing on Saturday night was delayed when a security official couldn't get to a computer site in New Jersey - and his backup was on active military duty, according to the Multi-State Lottery Association.
Refugees from Sudan celebrate uprising
LOUISVILLE - Hundreds of refugees from Sudan who settled in Louisville more than two years ago celebrated the anniversary of their uprising against the African nation's fundamentalist Islamic government this weekend.
Skaggs returns to roots in bluegrass
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Dressed in jeans and a Hawaiian shirt, bluegrass picker Ricky Skaggs still has the youthful air of the prodigy who played with heroes Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs.

Elusive murder suspect captured
Roger Dale Holbrook, on the run since November when his ex-wife Barbara was found slain at her Dearborn County home, was behind bars just hours after his story appeared on America's Most Wanted.

Pinnacle gets $10M bonus for Ind. casinos
LAKE CHARLES, La. - Banks are giving Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. $10 million more credit than the company had asked for to build a $325 million casino resort here and expand one in Indiana.

SUNDAY SPOTLIGHT   (Index of Sunday's local stories)
Ohio's lost money
State audits since 2000 say that government contractors and public agencies misspent more than $346.5 million in tax dollars. Worse, government officials rarely chase after lost money.
Lawsuits, new laws might help crackdown
Wasted money? It all depends
Who's accountable?

Slain soldier mourned
Army Pfc. Marlin T. Rockhold received a hero's funeral in his hometown nine days after being shot by a sniper in Iraq.

Cincinnati Wing spreads smiles
The Cincinnati Art Museum opened its newly renovated, 18,000-square-foot Cincinnati Wing with free admission and a festival that continues today.
More on The Cincinnati Wing

"Great Neighborhoods" Guide to Florence
Farmland and suburban businesses abut new subdivisions, taxes are low, and public schools are top-notch. The airport's takeoff has been a growth engine for the area, along with development around the Florence Mall. In the ninth installment of our "Great Neighborhoods" series, we tell you about everything that makes Florence a Great Neighborhood.
Previous "Great Neighborhood" reports:
AndersonBlue AshColerainFairfield
HamiltonLebanonMason & Deerfield Twp.West Chester

Priests and Sexual Misconduct
Four priests in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and two priests who formerly served in the Diocese of Covington have been suspended and/or accused of sexual misconduct in a scandal that has swept across the country. Click here for an archive of Enquirer reports.

Erpenbeck Investigation
Bill Erpenbeck was one of the Tristate's biggest home builders before his company crumbled in a bank fraud scandal that affected lenders, subcontractors and home owners. Click here for links to all Enquirer reports.