Sunday, May 21, 2000

Tristate Digest


Suspicious package found not to be bomb

        The Cincinnati Fire Division's Bomb Squad was dispatched Saturday evening after a passerby found a suspicious-looking package on a loading dock near the Pendleton Art Center.

        The 1-by-2-foot box was wrapped in polka-dot paper and a card on the top read “Boom,” said District 1 Fire Chief Steve Kluesener.

        A bomb squad specialist X-rayed the package and determined it contained only mechanical pieces.

        The incident was reported shortly before 8 p.m. The building, at 13th and Pendleton streets, was evacuated.

        The box was removed and no injuries were reported.

UC-Clermont gets grant for computers
        Rep. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Clermont County Commissioner Robert Proud awarded a $150,000 grant Saturday to the University of Cincinnati-Clermont College in Batavia.

        The money will help pay for computer equipment at two new computer labs and a learning center, a $10.3 million expansion doubling the size of the Clermont campus.

        The grant is from the Ohio Valley Regional Development Corporation's Appalachian Regional Committee to provide training and help develop the work force in Clermont and Brown counties.

Spiritual conference aims to unite races
        StrongWoman Ministries Inc. is working to combat racial division among Christians and invites all races and denominations to participate in its first-ever regional Spiritual Warfare Conference. The two-day event starts 7 p.m. June 2 at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center, 1 W. RiverCenter Blvd., Covington. Registration deadline is Friday. Information: 852-9688.

Gilligan to speak at public forum
        Former Ohio Gov. John J. Gilligan, a member of the Cincinnati School Board, will speak at a public forum 7:30 p.m. May 30 at the First Unitarian Church, 536 Linton St., at Reading Road, Avondale.

        Mr. Gilligan will discuss charter schools, urban school funding inequities, tax levy defeats and religion in public education.

        The forum is sponsored by the Interfaith Alliance of Greater Cincinnati. Parking is free, and the church is handicapped-accessible. Information: 541-6518.

Adopt a pet, get a year's care
        SPRINGFIELD TWP. — The College Hill Pet Clinic, 957 North Bend Road, will host a Pet Fair and Open House from noon to 4 p.m. today.Adopt a companion animal from the Hamilton County S.P.C.A. mobile adoption van and receive routine health care for your new pet for one year from the clinic.

        Proceeds benefit the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. For information, call 681-9223.

May 31 blood drive to fight holiday dip
        In hopes of limiting the usual dip in blood supplies over the Memorial Day weekend, Hoxworth Blood Center and the Colerain Township Fire Department are sponsoring a May 31 blood drive at Northgate Mall.

        The drive will be held 1:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. in a space along the Lazarus wing of the mall. Donors must be at least 17, weigh at least 100 pounds and be in generally good health.

        For information, call Hoxworth at 451-0910.

Fishing derby coming to Smith Park
        MIDDLETOWN — The Middletown Parks and Recreation Department's All-American Fishing Derby takes place from 7:30 a.m.-noon June 3 at Smith Park at the corner of Verity Parkway and South Main Street.

        The event is for children ages 5-16. There is no cost.

        Information: 425-7840.

Truck driver wins $800,000 in bias case
        AKRON, Ohio — A truck driver who claimed he was subjected to racial graffiti and slurs was awarded $800,000 in a discrimination lawsuit against a trucking company.

        A U.S. District Court jury found that Consolidated Freightways in Richfield discriminated against James Hall, 56, because he is black.

        Consolidated Freightways plans to appeal, said corporate spokesman Mike Brown.

        Mr. Hall said during the trial that racial graffiti was written in the men's room and on his locker and that a manager said he would send him “back to the cotton fields.”

        Mr. Hall was fired in March 1998 for a minor infraction, according to testimony in the two-week trial that ended Thursday.

        Mr. Hall won back his job after filing a union grievance.

Officer faces prison for off-duty work
        CLEVELAND — A North Randall police officer faces up to 21 years in prison after he was convicted of misconduct while trying to recover money for a private employer while he was off-duty.

        Brad DiBacco, 44, was found guilty Friday of abduction, burglary, extortion and coercion. He was acquitted of aggravated robbery. Sentencing in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court was set for June 28.

        Erie County Prosecutor Kevin Baxter said Mr. DiBacco was a hired thug who used his police badge, gun and uniform illicitly. Mr. Baxter said Mr. DiBacco was summoned by grocery store owner Michel Abboud to help recover money allegedly stolen by his housekeeper.

        Mr. Abboud, 44, awaits trial on charges of aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, extortion and coercion.

       



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- Tristate Digest
Waynesville market more than fresh produce