TRISTATE DIGEST
Block of Central Ave. to close for demolition

Wednesday, December 16, 1998

BY The Cincinnati Enquirer

Central Avenue between Third and Fourth streets will close overnight today, Thursday and Fridayso parts of old Fort Washington Way structures can be torn down.

The street will close from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. each day, starting tonight.

Drivers can use these detours:

  • From southbound Central Avenue or the Fifth Street exit ramp, take Fifth Street to Plum Street, then east on Third Street to Central Avenue.

  • From Fourth Street westbound, use Plum Street south to Third Street, then west to Central Avenue.

  • Third Street traffic headed in either direction can take Elm Street to Fourth Street, then west to Central Avenue.

  • From Central Avenue northbound, use Third Street east to Elm Street, then north on Fourth Street to Central Avenue.

Council voting on 3% pay raise for police

Cincinnati City Council is expected to vote today on tentative police labor agreements that would give officers 3 percent salary increases in 1999 and 2000.

The agreements are the culmination of about 1 1-2 months of contract talks between the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) -- the police union -- and the city. The union represents the roughly 1,000 sworn officers in the Cincinnati

Police Division, excluding the police chief. City officials reported that the FOP membership ratified the tentative agreements. "We feel it's a fair and decent contract," said FOP President Keith Fangman.

Council is expected to act on the agreements during its weekly meeting at 2 p.m. today at City Hall, 801 Plum St.

Pipe lands on road worker's legs

A worker at the Fort Washington Way reconstruction site was injured Tuesday afternoon when a large pipe fell on his legs.

The worker suffered a broken right leg and minor injuries to his left leg, firefighters said. He was treated at Christ Hospital. The man was working in a ditch when the pipe, standing about 50 feet tall, struck him and rolled off, firefighters said. The weight broke both lower bones in his right leg, they said. The victim's name was not available.

Man could get 20 years for fracas on airplane

DAYTON, Ohio -- A man has pleaded guilty to charges of interfering with a flight crew and forcing an emergency landing at Dayton International Airport in July.

Kirk Kuchukian, 39, of Royal Oak, Mich., entered the plea Monday in U.S. District Court. He could be sentenced to 20 years in prison, fined $250,000 and ordered to reimburse Spirit Airlines for costs related to the landing.

When attendants refused to serve Mr. Kuchukian alcohol on the July 28 flight, he threatened to use a laptop computer to interfere with the plane's communications, according to a statement read by Judge Walter Rice.

The pilot persuaded Mr. Kuchukian to put the computer away, but he later demanded to be let into the cockpit, Judge Rice said. When Mr. Kuchukian pounded on the wall and door separating the cockpit from the passenger area, the pilot declared an in-flight emergency and landed.

The plane was carrying 160 passengers from Tampa, Fla., to Detroit.

Freedom Center hire to help run Web site

Cincinnati's National Underground Railroad Freedom Center has named Ernest O. Britton as associate director of communications.

Mr. Britton joined the freedom center Dec. 1. He will help with the center's fund-raising efforts and Web site (undergroundrailroad.com), among other responsibilities. Before joining the Freedom Center, Mr. Britton worked as Northern Kentucky University's executive director for student programs.

The Freedom Center is to open in 2003 on Cincinnati's central riverfront. It will celebrate the courage and cooperation involved in the secret network of tunnels, homes and churches known as the Underground Railroad.

Owens Corning asbestos suit ends in $1.2B deal

TOLEDO, Ohio -- Owens Corning has agreed to pay $1.2 billion to settle lawsuits filed by people who said asbestos made them ill.

The settlement announced Tuesday puts the company within sight of freeing itself from the cost of defending against about 350,000 asbestos-related lawsuits.

Owens Corning, one of the world's largest suppliers of building and industrial materials, already had spent about $1.8 billion settling more than 208,000 asbestos lawsuits. The latest deal wipes away 176,000 cases -- nearly all of the existing asbestos lawsuits facing the company.



Local Headlines For Wednesday, December 16, 1998

Special Coverage: CLINTON UNDER FIRE
'Squeaks' drew rescuers to abandoned newborn
Cause of fire sought
Choir tumbles when risers collapse
Cincinnati's Dubious Achievements
Ex-coach pleads guilty to sex, drug charges
Flaky weather means snow is overdue
Insurance rate hearing held
Kenton chooses jail site
Long crusade makes U.S. 42 safer
Louie Nunn, 74, may run again for Ky. governor
Medicaid has weak HMOs
Nitric acid leak blamed on truck's failed gasket
Northside sees progress despite arson string
Plans to widen Ohio 747 shift slightly, expensively
Santa did it for the love
Schizophrenia: From helplessness to hope
Resources for information, support
Symptoms and treatment of schizophrenia
State investigates jail abuse complaints
Transplant brings sight
TRISTATE DIGEST
Verdict rebutted on use of semicolon
Young molesters sentenced to probation and counseling