Sunday, June 22, 2003

Tristate A.M. Report



Compiled from staff and wire reports

Search continues for men swept over dam

The search continued Saturday for the bodies of two men who were swept into the Great Miami River Friday when their boat went over a low-level dam.

Butler County Sheriff's deputies used helicopters, boats and divers to search the river Saturday but were unable to find the bodies of Kevin Lodder, 24, of Hamilton, and Danny Brodnick, 49, of Miamisburg, Ohio.

Friday afternoon, Brodnick and Lodder were on a test ride of a 26-foot cabin cruiser when the boat stalled, the sheriff's officials said.

The boat drifted over the dam, flipped over and tossed the men out, witnesses said.

A third person was able to escape the boat and swim to safety, officials said. None of those in the boat appeared to be wearing life vests, the sheriff's office said.

Skating Club suspends coach for sex charges

The Queen City Skating Club suspended its figure skating coach after he was indicted Friday on a charge of gross sexual imposition.

Following an emergency meeting, the club's executive board suspended David Lowery's coaching privileges until his criminal case is concluded.

No final action will be taken against Lowery until a verdict is reached in his case, club officials said.

Hamliton County town meeting wins award

A town meeting that drew 1,300 Hamilton County residents in early 2002 has received a national award.

The Regional Planning Commission held the town meeting as part of Community Compass, an initiative to create a comprehensive plan for Hamilton County.

The National Association of Counties chose the town meeting as best of the planning category. The association also gave the Regional Planning Commission an achievement award for a program to educate the community about stormwater issues.

Funeral home has had past regulation issues

TOLEDO, Ohio - A funeral home where the decomposing bodies of eight people were found has had problems with regulators going back as far as 1994, officials say.

Investigators acting on at least two anonymous tips continued their investigation over the weekend of Sherrill-Harden Funeral Home after finding the bodies on Friday.

Two bodies were found in a garage and six were in a back room. All had been embalmed and apparently were left in the old, two-story house over the past few months, officials said.

In June, the local health department sent owner Henry Harden a letter that he was in violation of state law because he had not filed five death certificates within five days of the date of the deaths.

No charges have been filed.

Commission: No water a discrimination act

ZANESVILLE, Ohio - A group of mostly black residents who do not have access to public water service are victims of discrimination, the Ohio Civil Rights Commission has ruled.

Waterlines connect to 30 of the 34 white households in the neighborhood. Only four of the 27 nonwhite households in the same area along Zanesville's eastern edge are connected to waterlines. The commission said the city, county and others were guilty of "unlawful discriminatory practice."

If a solution can't be reached, commission attorney Matthew Miko said, the attorney general's office could file a lawsuit alleging civil rights violations.

County and township officials said lack of public water is based on cost and low water pressure.




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