Tuesday, September 2, 2003

Regional Report

West Chester barn destroyed by fire

Compiled from staff and wire reports

WEST CHESTER TWP. - A barn near busy Tylersville Road burned down Sunday night. No one was injured, and no other buildings were damaged.

"I was in bed and the neighbor woke me up," said Jim Dudley, who sold the land under the barn to developer Midland-Atlantic but still lives on adjacent property.

"It scared me to death because it was such a big flame," he said. "People five miles away said they saw it."

Dudley said he'd been trying to find a buyer to take the barn off the property.

It was one of several barns that remained on the Dudley dairy farm, which used to total 400 acres between Interstate 75 and Cox Road, next to the former Voice of America site.

The West Chester Township Fire Department responded at about 10:35 p.m. Sunday. Fire officials are investigating the cause.

$68,312 collected for muscular dystrophy

Firefighters holding their boots at intersections collected $68,312 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association in three days over the weekend, according to Cincinnati Fire Fighters Union Local 48.

"People all around the city - east, west and the business district - showed their support," union official Doug Stern said.

The downtown firehouse that's home to Engine 14, Truck 14 and Squad 52 collected the most money - $6,916 - Thursday through Saturday, Stern said.

It was the union's first fill-the-boot fund-raiser, but firefighters plan to do it again next year.

Police: Boy choked by window cord

LIBERTY TOWNSHIP - Police investigators have determined that a 4-year-old boy choked to death Sunday in Liberty Township after getting entangled in a cord hanging from a window blind.

Police said the boy was playing in a playroom at the time of the accident.

Liberty Township life squads arrived at a home on Winter Hazel Drive at about 2 p.m. on reports of a child not breathing. The child was flown to Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.

Cranley urges special housing prosecutor

Cincinnati Councilman John Cranley will propose this week that the city assign a full-time prosecutor to Price Hill housing cases.

Cranley, responding to two reports in The Cincinnati Enquirer about housing speculators targeting the west side neighborhood, said Monday that he would ask City Manager Valerie Lemmie to assign a team of police officers, prosecutors, building inspectors and litter officers to the neighborhood.

Cranley lives in East Price Hill, but said he would make no apologies for singling out his own neighborhood for special attention. "It's the leader in foreclosures in the city. It's a bellwether neighborhood. It's diverse, it's middle class," he said. "We don't have much we can do about predatory lending, but we can go after blighted properties and bring landlords into court."

Apartment fire displaces 20 residents

About 20 people were displaced after a fire Sunday in a Walnut Hills apartment complex.

Firefighters responded to the fire at 10:12 p.m. at 2338 Kemper Lane.

They found heavy smoke and fire coming from the second floor of the 12-unit building and rescued two people from the third floor. The other occupants escaped safely. Cincinnati crews battled the fire for three hours.

Investigators said the fire started from electrical wiring in a second-floor apartment.

Wendy's worker dies after robbery attempt

COLUMBUS - A fast-food worker shot by a would-be robber through a pickup window has died of a chest wound.

Police said the shooting occurred Saturday night after the Wendy's dining room had closed and the drive-through window remained open.

The gunman was unable to climb into the restaurant through the pickup window and shot Scott Knouf, 27, a shift supervisor in training, police said. He died on Sunday at Riverside Methodist Hospitals.

The robber fled without any money.

Another employee was grazed on the head by a bullet and was treated at the scene.

Pulfer: Billions for cars, cheap cup holder in return
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Howard: Good things happening

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