Monday, July 7, 2003

Tristate A.M. Report

Fire causes $20,000 damage to apartments

Compiled from staff and wire reports

An 11-floor apartment building in East Walnut Hills was evacuated Saturday evening after a fire broke out on the fifth floor, causing $20,000 in damage but injuring nobody.

Smoke detectors alerted residents of the blaze in an apartment that is home to a woman and three children, Cincinnati Fire District 4 Chief Dave Collini said. The family was not at home at the time of the fire.

Two invalids who live on the fifth floor of the building were not evacuated, but were sheltered by firefighters.

The fire's cause is under investigation.

Registration begins for river paddle event

River sports enthusiasts can begin registering for the Great Ohio River Paddle, an eight-day September adventure in which participants will paddle 140 miles from Portsmouth, Ohio, to Rising Sun, Ind.

The Sept. 20-27 event, sponsored by the Ohio River Foundation, aims to educate school children and the general public about Ohio River ecology. They also hope to promote the importance of conserving and protecting the waterway as well as to celebrate the heritage of riverside communities.

The main event involves 40 experienced paddlers, but there will be a variety of activities for the general public at host communities. Proceeds benefit the foundation's River Explorer program, which educates the public about the ecology and the importance of the Ohio River.

To register or to become a sponsor, call (513) 460-3365 or visit

Man armed with pistol robs gasoline station

SYMMES TWP. - A Montgomery Road gas station was robbed at gunpoint early Sunday, with the robber fleeing on foot with the cash, Hamilton County sheriff's deputies said.

About 2 a.m., a white man, estimated to be 27 to 30 years old, pulled a silver-colored semiautomatic pistol on a clerk at the Speedway station at 11050 Montgomery Road. He forced the clerk to give him cash from both cash registers, then ordered the clerk to the floor, police said.

The clerk was not injured. The robber was described as about 6 feet tall, 180 to 200 pounds, with short hair and wearing a ski mask. Anyone with information is asked to call sheriff's deputies at 825-1500 or Crime Stoppers at 352-3040.

County to run health services in Reading

READING - The Hamilton County General Health District has taken over public health services for this city of more than 11,000.

The city had run its own health department - a full-time nurse and five part-time employees who conducted inspections and dealt with some health care issues - until reaching an agreement with the county. The county took over services July 1.

City leaders cited new homeland security requirements as a chief reason for the change. Reading will pay the General Health District $12,000 a year for services.

The health district operates six divisions: community health information services, environmental health, nursing, plumbing, waste management and water quality.

Man shot twice in Lincoln Heights

LINCOLN HEIGHTS - A man was taken by ambulance to Jewish Hospital in Kenwood Sunday night after being shot in the head and stomach on Lindy Avenue.

The shooting happened about 6:15 p.m. in the 800 block of Lindy, police said.

The victim's name and medical condition were not available late Sunday.

Two arrested on DUI charges at checkpoint

FOREST PARK - A holiday weekend sobriety checkpoint here netted two driving under the influence arrests Saturday night and Sunday morning, police said.

Forest Park police stopped about 400 cars between 11 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 a.m. Sunday on Winton Road near the intersection with West Kemper Road, police said. At least seven drivers were tested; police said one registered a .255 blood alcohol content and the other 0.10. The legal limit is 0.08.

Police also arrested one person for a felony probation violation, driving under a suspended license and resisting a police officer. Two people were cited for seat belt violations.

Ohio ranked better in welfare performance

COLUMBUS - The state has considerably improved its performance for determining who is eligible for food stamp benefits and how much they should get.

Statistics released last week by federal regulators show Ohio ranked 18th among the states and territories for accuracy in calculating benefits with a 6.5 percent error rate, below the national average of 8.26 percent.

That represents a decrease of nearly 2 percent from last year and a drop from 1995, when the state's error rate peaked at 14.6 percent.

Since then, Ohio has worked hard to improve its system, said Neva Terry, who heads the research office of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

County caseworkers have undergone training to improve interviewing and the state has pushed for sanctions and criminal charges against food-stamp recipients who defraud the system.

Amos: Will new group let public in on downtown decisions?
Howard: Some good news
Radel: Locked exhibit leaves Peace Bell tourists glum

Ohio still has aviation pioneers
New city law tells litterbugs to can it
Cyclist gears up for trip over U.S.
Ohio cuts back local funding
Bridgetown man lends hand at home for nuns
Storms keeping linemen busy
Housing proposal opposed
Size of fire levy weighed
Monroe auditor report, tax vote delayed
Outdoor fees to increase
Tristate A.M. Report

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Plane crashes in Cumberland Gap
Around the Commonwealth