Thursday, July 10, 2003

Tristate A.M. Report



Compiled from staff and wire reports

Hamilton County cuts property taxes a bit

Property taxes in Hamilton County will drop by about 0.055 mills next year - or $1.90 for the owner of a $100,000 home - commissioners decided Wednesday.

John Dowlin cast the only vote against the cut, saying the county might need the $858,220 it'll cost.

The commissioners also sparred Wednesday over the possibility of hiring an outside law firm to investigate whether the county has a case against the Bengals. Dowlin asked whether Commissioner Todd Portune has a conflict of interest because he has filed a taxpayer lawsuit against the team.

Portune disagreed, accusing Dowlin of trying to derail the effort against the Bengals. The county leased Paul Brown Stadium to the perennially losing team.

"If I'm knocked off, then there aren't two votes for moving forward in this direction," Portune said.

After an executive session, Commissioner Phil Heimlich said the board hopes to decide next week which firm to hire.

Identity released of girl killed in car crash

OXFORD TWP. - Butler County authorities on Wednesday released the identity of an 11-year-old girl who was killed in a two-vehicle head-on traffic crash Tuesday afternoon.

Lori Barton of Brookville, Ind., was pronounced dead at the scene in the 7300 block of Brookville Road. She was a passenger in a vehicle driven by her mother, Pamela Barton, 43.

Mrs. Barton and three other people in the vehicle that collided with hers were injured. All were taken to McCullough-Hyde Hospital. The others injured were identified as Kent Grider, 41, of Brookville, and his two passengers, Janice Grider, 45, and Morgan Grider, 12. No further information on their conditions was available Wednesday.

A preliminary investigation suggests Mrs. Barton lost control as she was negotiating a curve on a wet roadway.

Liberty trustees to vote on budget Friday

LIBERTY TWP. - Township trustees will vote on the 2004 tax budget at a special 7:30 a.m. meeting Friday.

Trustees held a public hearing on the proposed budget Monday, when the $9.4 million tax budget proposal was received from the township clerk. The budget includes general fund expenditures of $1,216,841, a nearly 3 percent decrease from estimated 2003 expenditures.

Township officials expect to amend the draft budget during a more detailed examination later in the year. Trustees must approve the tax budget by July 15, the deadline to file it with county auditors.

Two inmates, deputy hurt as truck hits van

WASHINGTON TWP. - Two jail inmates and a deputy sustained minor injuries Wednesday when a Hamilton County sheriff's van was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer in a construction zone on Interstate 71.

The crash temporarily shut down the southbound interstate near the Jeremiah Morrow Bridge because road had already been reduced to a single lane to accommodate construction.

Ohio State Hihway Patrol officials in Warren County said that truck driver, David Rhoton, 55, of Murray, Utah was cited for following too closely.

They said Deputy Ray Knight was slowing in the construction zone when Rhoton's truck hit the sheriff's van, sending it into another tractor-trailer about 11:20 a.m.

Knight, and inmates Anthony Browner, 21, of Cincinnati, and Ronald Lee Mosely, 23, of Cincinnati, were treated at Bethesda Warren County urgent care center. Another deputy in the van was not injured.

Spending down $1M in West Chester budget

WEST CHESTER TWP. - Township officials are preparing for decreases in revenue and expenditures for the 2004 general fund budget.

Trustees approved the township's 2004 tax budget Tuesday, estimating $3.8 million in general fund expenditures next year, down from an estimated $4.5 million for 2003. Expenditures are estimated at $32.4 million, a decrease of more than $1 million from 2003.

Officials cite declining revenues and state aid as the reasons to cut costs.

Christ Hospital wall allows for memorials

Christ Hospital unveiled its "Beacons of Light" wall Wednesday, which displays names and messages from people who have donated to the hospital.

The wall and cascading fountain, presented by the hospital's auxiliary, allows people to honor the memory of loved ones, commemorate special occasions or recognize people for their special services. Entries cost $100 per line, with each line containing 20 characters. A larger section of the wall can be purchased for $2,500.

All proceeds go to the auxiliary, the hospital's volunteer organization.




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