Friday, August 11, 2000

Local Digest


Fire burns out six families

        At least six families were displaced by a two-alarm fire Thursday night at an apartment building at 2 E. McMicken Ave. in Over-the-Rhine.

        The fire broke out at about 11:40 p.m. and was quickly brought under control. Extra units were called to the scene because of reports of people possibly trapped inside, but there were no injuries.

        A fire investigator and the American Red Cross were also dispatched.

        No other details were available.

Missing teen may be disoriented
        Cincinnati police and the Athens County, Ohio, Sheriff's Department are searching for a 17-year-old Athens boy who was last seen in Hyde Park on Monday and who may be disoriented.

        Missing is James David Gilmore, who may have also used the name Tim Jensen.

        Police said he is white, 6-feet, 2-inches tall, 170 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a gray soccer T-shirt, baggy khaki shorts and blue-and-white tennis shoes. He has a tracheotomy scar the size of a dime at the base of his throat.

        He may also have cuts and abrasions from a recent accident.

        Melinda Zemper of West Chester, his aunt, said he suffered a brain injury months ago and may have reinjured himself. Police and his family believe he hitchhiked from Athens to Cincinnati and was seen in Hyde Park on Monday.

        Anyone with information can call Cincinnati Police District 2 at 765-1212, the Athens County Sheriff's Department at (740) 593-6633 or Ms. Zemper at 777-3975.

Family shifts tactics to keep boy in U.S.
        An Ohio family is trying a different legal approach in its effort to prevent U.S. authorities from deporting a Sri Lankan boy who relatives say could be killed if returned to his native country.

        The attorney for Senthan Mahendrarajah said Thursday he has asked the Immigration and Naturalization Service to grant special immigrant status because the state court awarded custody to the Ohio relatives. That would allow the boy to permanently remain in this country and eventually apply for U.S. citizenship.

        Franklin County Juvenile Court in February awarded custody of the 12-year-old boy to his aunt and uncle, Vasanthy and Ambalavanar Thavendrarajah of suburban Columbus. He and his family are Tamils, an ethnic minority in a country controlled by the Sinhalese majority.

        The family originally had asked the INS to grant the boy asylum.

        The boy's father is dead and the mother's location is unknown, family members say.

Elections board firing 20 workers
        CLEVELAND — The Cuyahoga County elections board, which ran out of ballots and lost some votes in the March primary, fired 20 employees Wednesday and announced plans to demote about 15.

        In addition, the board announced the hiring of 14 newcomers.

        The board had previously announced plans to trim its 123-member staff to 105 but decided on a 115-member staff in view of the number of employees who are handicapped or approaching retirement.

        “We are not laying people off because we believe that they did something wrong,” said board Chairman John Hairston, but because structural changes required a smaller staff.

        “It was clear that we needed to reduce our staff and increase the skill levels of our employees,” said board member Thomas Coyne, mayor of suburban Brook Park.

        In the past two years, four employees were disciplined when ballots cast by 385 unregistered voters were counted, and 6,400 voters were never notified that their polling places had been moved. In March, some precincts ran out of ballots and lost votes were found weeks later.

Search suspended for man lost in lake
        MARBLEHEAD, Ohio — The Coast Guard has suspended its search for a 55-year-old man who fell from a boat into Lake Erie.

        Steve Stumph, of Virginia, fell off a 37-foot pleasure boat 9:30 p.m. Wednesday near Kelleys Island, Coast Guard Petty Officer Paul Calvey said. Mr. Stumph was not wearing a life jacket.

        The Coast Guard stopped searching just before noon Thursday.

        Petty Officer Calvey was not sure of Mr. Stumph's hometown, but said the Coast Guard believes it is in the Newport News area.

Woman sues man on sex-for-truck deal
        AKRON — A woman who says she made a deal with a man to give him money and sex in exchange for a used truck is now suing in small claims court for her money back. Karen Kershaw, 44, is suing Rick Remmy of Barberton for $132 in compensatory damages and $14,700 in punitive damages.

        Her lawsuit accuses Mr. Remmy of “misrepresentation, sexual harassment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, compelling prostitution and theft.”

        Akron Municipal Judge John Holcomb is expected to rule in the next week on whether the deal between the two was valid.

       



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