Erpenbeck figure pleads guilty
Standing before a judge and fighting back tears, former Erpenbeck Co. employee Michelle Marksberry pleaded guilty to a single federal criminal charge Monday for her pivotal role in what started as a $1 million check floating scheme by the Erpenbeck Co. but ended up as a $33 million fraud.

Officials battle over camps
Rounding the tight southbound curve off Interstate 71 into downtown Cincinnati, the first thing drivers see are camps of homeless people. Mayor Charlie Luken and downtown boosters want them out - if they can get state approval.

Tristate Africans call for U.S. aid
There's hope in David Howard's voice. Hope that has survived 14 years of self-imposed exile from a homeland plagued by conflict. Hope that endured after the death of a 32-year-old son, who too had fled but was never able to escape refugee camps to join his father, mother and two sisters in America.
Rock star Bono praises Bush for AIDS plans

Great Neighborhoods
Welcome to Norwood-Evanston-Oakley, one of the Tristate's Great Neighborhoods. In the 11th installment of our series, we showcase the people, schools, businesses and cultures that make these communities special.
Previous "Great Neighborhood" reports:
AndersonBlue AshColerainFairfieldFlorence
HamiltonLebanonMason & Deerfield Twp.West ChesterWest side

Howard: Some good news
John Cerniglia, who coordinated the development of houses for low-income residents as director of Cincinnati Habitat for Humanity, started his new position Monday as senior director of campaigns for Habitat for Humanity International in Americus, Ga.

Korte: Inside City Hall
When Cincinnati City Council adopted the panhandling registration ordinance in May, Councilman John Cranley said it would go down "as one of the dumbest ideas ever to come out of City Council."

Pulfer: Our chance to hang up gently on telemarketers
Goodbye, Tricia. Maybe you had my best interests at heart when you telephoned asking to consolidate my debts. I don't hate you, but I am cutting you off.

Web cutoff causes Butler backlash
HAMILTON - When a pair of Butler County judges shut off Internet access to their courts' records, they opened the floodgates, says Cindy Carpenter, the county's clerk of courts.

Cultural groups reach out to expand kids' knowledge
From multimillion-dollar education centers to distance-learning initiatives, museums and fine arts organizations in the Tristate are providing students and teachers with more learning opportunities than ever.

Pianists' forte is supporting each other
A group of students from the School for Creative and Performing Arts huddled before the awards ceremony for the World Piano Competition at the Aronoff Center for the Arts on Monday.

Finance reports foreshadow upcoming City Council race
If money alone decided who gets elected to Cincinnati City Council - and past experience shows it certainly doesn't hurt - Republican Barbara W. Trauth will be taking the oath of office in December.

Talbert House guard guilty
One of two Hamilton County corrections officers accused of having a party with inmates in a county lockup last August will spend the next two years in prison, according to a plea agreement on Monday.

Cable-access talk show lets residents' voices be heard
Move over, Dr. Phil and Dr. Laura. There's a new Ph.D. on the airwaves: "Dr. Dawn."

Urban renewal plan critical of Norwood neighborhood
NORWOOD - The possibility of commercial development seemed more likely Monday for the neighborhood targeted for Rookwood Exchange, a proposed $125 million complex of offices, shops, condos, apartments, restaurants and a parking garage.

Colerain plans riverfront park
COLERAIN TWP. - Near the western edge of Ohio's largest township, you can drive along East Miami River Road as the wide but calm Great Miami River flows a few hundred feet to the west.

Credit-union robber sought, 2 charged
GREEN TWP. - Two men are facing charges and officers are looking for a third in connection with the robbery of the Cincinnati Central Credit Union at 3636 Werk Road on Monday.

Still early to gauge bite of new DUI law
Ohio's stricter driving under-the-influence law is a week old, too soon to tell how many people may be snared under the new 0.08 blood-alcohol threshold.

Flood victims can still apply for help
HAMILTON - Some Butler County victims of the June 14-15 flood might find out this week whether they will receive low-interest federal loans for uninsured damages.

Storm knocks out power in nearly 6,000 homes
A brief but severe storm that swept through Greater Cincinnati on Monday morning caused power failures for about 5,900 Cinergy customers.

Boycotter wants board to resign
Board members of the Citizen Complaint Authority were called on to resign Monday by a Cincinnati boycott proponent who charged the group has been ineffective in it mission to oversee police actions.

Slots, guns still hot-button topics as Legislature breaks for summer
COLUMBUS - When legislation gets pulled from a committee schedule or the House and Senate cannot agree on a bill, that usually is the end of the line.

Ohio bill might restrict rights of protesters
COLUMBUS - Ohio is one of only ten states without a law allowing police to arrest people who fail to disperse during a riot. That could change under a proposed law that civil libertarians and student activists in Ohio say that would violate their First Amendment rights.

OSU takes tobacco grant, but at cost
COLUMBUS - Ohio State University has lost a $540,000 state grant for reducing tobacco use after accepting a research grant of similar size from tobacco company Philip Morris.

Rival crashes Dayton's Wright party
DAYTON - Ohio's rival in claiming the honor of being the birthplace of aviation is not keeping a low profile at the city's celebration of the 100th anniversary of powered flight.

Tristate A.M. Report
A short but severe storm swept through Greater Cincinnati on Monday morning and caused power failures for about 5,900 Cinergy customers.

Patty Wildman loved church and gardening
Patty Wildman, former president of the Greater Cincinnati Civic Garden Center and vice president of the Cincinnati Woman's Club, died June 27 of cancer.

Dishon denies killing teen
COVINGTON - Aaron Dishon showed no emotion in his first court appearance since learning prosecutors will try to send him to death row for the rape and strangulation of a 13-year-old Independence girl.

Fletcher releases federal tax return
FRANKFORT - Republican Ernie Fletcher reported $132,652 in total income and paid $28,152 in federal income taxes last year, according to tax documents his gubernatorial campaign released late Monday.

Trip to Japan educates teachers
Terri Schatzman said Tokyo is a lot like New York City - very concrete with lots of neon lights - but with one difference.

Double homicide, suicide at Moose Lodge investigated
BRANDENBURG, Ky. - State police were investigating a double homicide and suicide at a downtown lodge in this Ohio River community.

Patton book to recall 'some of the good things'
FRANKFORT - Some top aides to Gov. Paul Patton have commissioned a book about his administration to "try to be remembered for some of the good things."

Around the Commonwealth
FLORENCE - Beginning July 16, Fifth Third Bank will hold six Home Buyers Training Classes from 6-9 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month through December.
SUNDAY SPOTLIGHT   (Index of Sunday's local stories)
Suburbs close in on historic farm
At Turpin Farms, less than 10 miles from downtown Cincinnati in Anderson Township, pickup trucks raise clouds of dust on dirt roads, children play barefoot and chickens roam around fresh daisies and herbs. It's a bit of country in a whole lot of city.
Growth changes everything

Storm turns deadly; thousands still in dark
Thousands of Greater Cincinnatians remain without power this morning, and one family is coping with the deaths of two family members caused by an accident following Friday night's powerful thunderstorms.

Child support fix leaves holes
Ohio is collecting more child support than ever and getting it out quicker to single parents who need the money to feed and clothe their children.
County's child support undergoing changes

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.