Police recruit shot in training out of hospital

Wednesday, December 2, 1998

A Cincinnati police recruit who was shot by her police instructor last month was released from University Hospital on Sunday and is recuperating at home.

Rebecca Hopkins, 25, was shot Nov. 18 with a blank round at close range during a training exercise. Ms. Hopkins had surgery to remove her spleen and one kidney after the shooting. Keith Fangman, Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) president, said Ms. Hopkins is unavailable for comment due in part to her post-operative condition.

A statement from her parents, Gail and Larry Hopkins, thanked all those who have supported their daughter since the shooting. "Your outpouring of concern and love to her and our family clearly demonstrated we were neither forgotten nor abandoned," read the statement.

Doctor diversity task force's issue

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, the city of Cincinnati's health insurance carrier, has established a task force to study the issue of diversity in managed-care health plans, city officials reported Tuesday.

The city will use that task force to examine whether current city health plans include a diverse panel of doctors, according to a report issued by City Finance Director Tim Riordan.

Councilwoman Minette Cooper, who has taken a lead on the issue, has been appointed to the task force as well as the city's risk manager, Charles F. Haas. In October, council approved a motion to contract only with health plans that have diverse health-care providers. The issue arose out of concerns nationwide that black doctors have been excluded from managed care plans.

Third Street traffic to be diverted at night

Third Street between John Street and Central Avenue will close over night tonight and Thursday to remove steel bridge beams from the former Fort Washington Way.

Drivers will have to detour around the area from:

  • 11 p.m. today until 5 a.m. Thursday.

  • 9 p.m. Thursday until 5 a.m. Friday.

Drivers can use Pete Rose Way and Gest Street to get to the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge. Westbound traffic can use Sixth Street and Ninth Street from Central Avenue.

Computers may delay child-support checks

Child-support checks may be late for as many as 50,000 Hamilton County parents because of computer problems.

Hamilton County is in the process of switching from its own computer system to a state system known as Support Enforcement Tracking System. More than 6,000 of the county's 70,000 cases have been converted to the system, and others are in the process.

But glitches in the conversion will cause some payments to be as much as four days late. The county is sending out letters to parents to explain the conversion and possible delays.

Officer injured as cruiser hits pole

Cincinnati Police Officer Brian Norris, 30, suffered minor injuries Monday night when the cruiser he was driving struck a utility pole. Officer Norris was responding to a police radio call about a mental patient who had run away from University Hospital. He was not operating his emergency lights and siren when the accident happened at 11:41 p.m., police said.

The officer hit the utility pole and a car in the 700 block of Ludlow Avenue in Clifton Heights. No one else was hurt. The mental patient was arrested by other officers. The police division's traffic unit is investigating Officer Norris' accident.

Columbus mayor won't run again

COLUMBUS -- Greg Lashutka, mayor of Columbus for the past seven years, said Tuesday that he will not seek a third term.

"It is time to recognize maybe that I should do something else," he told reporters during a news conference at City Hall.

Mr. Lashutka, flanked by his wife, Catherine Adams, and son, Nick, said he will finish the final year of his term in 1999 and then consider opportunities in the private sector. He said he would not rule out an elected or appointed position in government.

"I have no idea what I'm going to do," the 54-year-old Republican said.

Mr. Lashutka defeated now state Sen. Ben Espy in 1991 and easily defeated Bill Moss for a second term in 1995. He said if he had decided to run for a third term he likely would have won.

Opera singer commits suicide in hospital

CLEVELAND -- An opera singer suffering from depression and upset after a bad rehearsal hanged himself in a psychiatric ward at a hospital, police said.

Edward Russell White, a 6-foot, 6-inch bass-baritone, was upset after a rehearsal Friday for the Cleveland Opera's upcoming production of Lucia di Lammermoor, said David Bamberger, general director of the opera.

Later that night, Mr. White took 80 pills of a medication to treat seizures or panic attacks while at his room at the Embassy Suites Hotel, said police spokesman Sgt. Mark Hastings. He was taken to the Cleveland Clinic about 9:30 a.m. Saturday after he told ambulance personnel he wanted to die.

A doctor diagnosed Mr. White as being severely depressed, and he was admitted to the hospital's psychiatric ward, according to the police report.

Local Headlines For Wednesday, December 2, 1998

Special Coverage: CLINTON UNDER FIRE
1 dead in 3-truck crash on I-275
Cable rates going up for Time Warner subscribers
Christmas? Hanukkah? Both?
Day off to cheer on football team brings some boos
DUI suspect faces new charges
Flynts lose first round
Glenn admits nausea during re-entry
Kenton Co., jailer deny blame in inmate's death
KKK cross dumped in trash bin
Lucas takes oath before campaign supporters
McConnell retains GOP post
No holiday for compulsive buyers
Ohio Senate supports teaching abstinence
Ohio's outlook on Y2K: not OK
Parkinson's ignores age
Promise Keepers didn't keep promises
Residents want ripped-off funds recouped
Reviewer thought courthouse bids in public record
Transport hub for riverfront wins state aid
Two boys, a boxcar and beer
Warm and wonderful