Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Tristate A.M. Report

Compiled from staff and wire reports

Bush to stop in Ohio for Labor Day speech

WASHINGTON - President Bush will visit northeast Ohio on Labor Day, the White House announced Tuesday.

The president will give a morning speech in Richfield, s south of Cleveland, said White House spokesman Scott Stanzel.

The president plans to travel back to Washington, D.C., in the afternoon, Stanzel said.

The exact location of the speech and the topic have not been released, but Stanzel said the theme likely will be similar to his past Labor Day speeches.

"The president, on past Labor Days, has spoken about the contributions that working Americans have made to this country," Stanzel said.

The Sept. 1 visit will be the president's 11th trip to the state since taking office a year and a half ago. Bush was last in Ohio on July 4 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Wright brothers' first flight.

Accused firefighter put on limited duty

A veteran Cincinnati firefighter is not fighting fires as he waits for a grand jury to hear the crack cocaine case against him.

Next week, jurors will consider the felony drug-possession charge filed against David Kavanaugh, 42, of Forest Park. He was arrested July 19 after police officers found crack under the driver's seat of the car he was driving. He also was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia after officers found a pipe used to smoke crack.

Kavanaugh, in the department 10 years and assigned to Engine 23 in Walnut Hills, was released from jail on his own recognizance, meaning he didn't have to post bail.

Authorities were immediately notified of Kavanaugh's arrest, which is standard procedure. Fire officials were told that the firefighter would likely not get out of jail until the next day - his next scheduled day of work. But because Kavanaugh was released earlier than anticipated, he worked on a fire rig, Chief Robert Wright said, but then was put on limited duty.

Under limited duty, Kavanaugh can perform inspections and perform other office-type work but he can't fight fires, said fire union president Joe Diebold. An internal investigation will begin after the court cases end, he said, and the union will "make sure firefighter Kavanaugh receives due process."

Pollution controls added on Mill Creek

The Army Corps of Engineers has agreed to add pollution controls to its project on Mill Creek at Salway Park.

After an Ohio Environmental Protection Agency visit Monday, Corps officials agreed to add matting along the creek bank designed to prevent soil from being washed into the water during heavy rains. Rocks will also be placed in the stream in an effort to keep any soil knocked into the water during construction from washing downstream.

Robin Corathers, executive director of an environmental group interested in protecting the creek, said she is relieved.

"We're glad OEPA is enforcing the law, but there were 18 days of construction there without any controls," said Corathers, who had complained about the lack of pollution controls to the state agency.

Peter Clingan, an environmental specialist with the OEPA and one of the inspectors who visited the construction site Tuesday, said he will review the Corps' state permit to determine if there was a violation.

Health concerns halt 'miracle water' sales

COLUMBUS - Evangelist Leroy Jenkins has agreed stop distributing his "miracle water," which he claims heals people.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture says the bottled water is contaminated and can make people sick.

Jenkins told the department he will remove the pump from the well on his former Healing Waters Cathedral property in Delaware. Water already bottled from the well will be disposed of under the department's supervision.

The Agriculture Department said the water contained coliform bacteria. Coliform, which comes from human and animal waste, can cause serious illnesses.

Jenkins claimed tests conducted by independent laboratories all found the water safe for drinking. He said the state ignored his findings.

"(If the water was dangerous), don't you think that after 30 years we would have one complaint out of our congregation?" Jenkins asked.

He settled with the state because, he said, "I'm just tired of being hassled about it."

Two gay men seek seat on same council

LAKEWOOD, Ohio - Two candidates for City Council are thought to be the first openly gay people to appear on the same ballot in Ohio.

Republican John Farina and Democrat Jeremy Elliott are among 14 candidates for three council seats in the nonpartisan primary election Sept. 30.

Jason Young of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund of Washington, D.C., also said the two, if elected, would become the first openly gay elected officials in the Cleveland area and two of five in Ohio. The group tracks candidates and reports 250 openly gay officeholders nationwide.

Lakewood, a western suburb of Cleveland, has about 56,000 residents and a significant gay population.

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Picture of the day: Acoustic Lunch
Tristate A.M. Report

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Prof: Resistance transcends Saddam
State stalls plans for BMV locations

William Groll, mechanic who loved boating

Dance party swings for record
Injured-workers bill fine-tuned
Hearing today for seat on court
Ohio Moments

N.Ky. bishop's first year marked by crisis, grace
Dead wife's ex-lover testifies in day two of murder trial
Residents speak out on riverfront
Therapy program to host rodeo
Mall project alarms mobile home residents
New YMCA under way
Kentucky obituaries