Monday, July 14, 2003

Tristate A.M. Report

Liberty Twp. woman dies in vehicle crash

Compiled from staff and wire reports

WEST CHESTER - A 41-year-old Liberty Township woman was pronounced dead at the scene of a one-vehicle accident on Tylersville Road early Sunday, West Chester police and Butler County coroner's officials said.

Rhonda Merritt lost control of her vehicle about 3:55 a.m. on Tylersville near the corner of Lesourdsville-West Chester Road, slid off the road and rolled the vehicle into a field, where she was ejected, police said.

Police are investigating whether speed or alcohol were involved.

Hospital, tech college pair for RN program

LAWRENCEBURG, Ind. - Dearborn County Hospital and Ivy Tech State College-Lawrenceburg are partnering to start an associate degree program for registered nurses.

Classes will start with 10 students, but could be expanded. The hospital will give the college $50,000 a year for 10 years to support faculty costs.

The program is one of the latest efforts to combat an industry-wide nursing shortage. In Greater Cincinnati, about 17 percent of hospital nursing jobs remain unfilled, despite a variety of signing bonuses, scholarship programs and other incentives, according to the Greater Cincinnati Health Council.

Fire destroys vacant Northside duplex

An unoccupied two-family house in Northside burned to the ground Sunday morning.

The cause of the two-alarm fire at 3724 Dirr St. is under investigation, Cincinnati Fire District 3 Chief Randy Freel said. "The building is pretty much destroyed," Freel said. "It's probably going to be turned into a parking lot now."

Freel said the duplex was valued at about $65,000.

Proposal sets rules for bans from Ind. casinos

INDIANAPOLIS - Addicted gamblers who want to be stopped from wagering at Indiana casinos could choose one-year, five-year or lifetime bans under a proposal state regulators are reviewing.

But the draft rules provide gamblers who choose the one- or five-year bans with a significant obstacle if ever they try to get off the list.

Gamblers would need a letter from a mental health professional certifying that they are not suffering from an addiction to gambling.

Under the proposed rules, a lifetime ban could not be lifted.

The rules are being implemented under a law approved earlier this year by the Indiana General Assembly that creates a statewide self-exclusion program

A commission attorney said the agency plans hearingsin October.

SUV crashes through front of White Castle

MONROE - We've all been there - zipping through White Castle's drive-through at 5 a.m.

But Judah Ben Watsongave new meaning to drive-through when he lost control of his SUV just before dawn Sunday and smashed through the front of the White Castle on Hamilton-Lebanon Road, striking shelving before coming to a halt, Monroe police said.

The 31-year-old Middletown man was not injured in the 5 a.m. accident, but he was arrested for driving under a suspended license. Police said alcohol was not a factor.

The eatery was closed Sunday, but should reopen today, police said. White Castle officials could not be reached for comment.

Tractor rolls into pond, drowning man

TURTLECREEK TOWNSHIP - A man drowned when a tractor he was driving rolled over into a farm pond and trapped him, police said.

John J. Sommer, 74, was mowing his lawn shortly before 8 p.m. Saturday when his wife, Ann, heard the tractor hit something. She looked up and saw the tractor in the pond, she told police.

Sommer's head was above water and he told his wife he was hurt and to call for help, police said. Ann Sommer called 911 from their barn. She returned to the pond two or three minutes later and found her husband unconscious.

A police officer was unable to remove Sommer from the pond until firefighters arrived to help. Sommer was pronounced dead at Bethesda Care medical center in Lebanon.

Church to investigate alleged child abuse

LOUISVILLE - The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) will appoint a committee to investigate allegations of abuse against the children of missionaries.

The new committee will start by investigating abuse allegations in two African countries between the 1950s and 1980s. The three-member Independent Abuse Review Panel is to be appointed by Oct. 1, according to a staffer for the denomination's Worldwide Ministries Division, based in Louisville.

The panel will have authority to hear any other allegations from the worldwide mission field that may surface. .

The committee will investigate allegations of physical and sexual abuse of children at a boarding school at the American Presbyterian Mission in Alexandria, Egypt, between the 1950s and the 1980s. It also will investigate allegations of sexual abuse of children who boarded at Hope School in Elat, Cameroon, in the 1960s.

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Badin addition for music, weights
Teen to be sentenced in crash
Minister gathers resolve to go on
Underdogs paddle to top in lifeguard competition
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