Tuesday, August 15, 2000

Tristate digest

Reds park insurance proposal put off

        Hamilton County commissioners Monday delayed a controversial proposal that would assign one insurance company for all contractors working on the new Reds stadium.

        With a room full of contractors and insurance representatives on hand to oppose the plan, commissioners and county staff rescheduled the discussion for Sept. 11.

        At issue is the county's plan to choose a single insurance company to provide bonds for all contractors working on the $280 million Great American Ball Park. Normally, contractors pick their own bond insurer to provide a financial guarantee they will be able to finish a job.

        The county says using a single bond insurer for all construction could save money and increase efficiency.

        Construction trade groups and some insurance companies say the plan would increase costs, discourage contractors from bidding and inappropriately reveal private financial information.

        Five insurers have submitted proposals to provide bonding for the entire stadium, including Great American Insurance, a company controlled by Reds owner Carl Lindner Jr.

        Zurich U.S. Construction, Liberty Bond Services, CNA Surety and Chubb also have expressed interest in the job.

Woman sues city, cop,
alleges discrimination

               An Avondale woman filed a federal lawsuit Monday against Cincinnati, a city police officer and a store for allegedly discriminating against her because she's African-American.

        Yolanda Douglas says she stopped at the Dakota Watch Co. in Tower Place Mall downtown Aug. 8 to pick up her watch. A worker there, Constance Smart, allegedly repeatedly yelled racial slurs. She also tried to hit Ms. Douglas, the lawsuit says.

        Ms. Douglas' complaint says Ms. Smart should have been charged with ethnic intimidation and assault. She was charged with a lesser offense, disorderly conduct. Ms. Douglas refused to go through the private complaint process to which Officer Thomas Traine referred her, the suit said, because she wants more punishment than that.

        Her attorney, Kenneth Lawson, attached a statement to the lawsuit. In it, he wrote that Ms. Douglas' suit seeks to end “an apparent lack of civility” displayed by officers and business people. As alleged evidence of that, he listed, among other things, the closing of restaurants during the recent Coors Light Festival and Police Chief Thomas Streicher's use in May of a racial slur during training.

        He wrote that City Manager John Shirey's lack of sufficient discipline after Chief Streicher used the slur did not send to the ranks the message that white people should not call African-Americans the slur. The chief was counseled by his boss, Safety Director Kent Ryan.

        The police division had not seen the suit Monday and would not comment on it.

Winburn tries again
to halt gun lawsuit

               Cincinnati Councilman Charlie Winburn will ask a judge next month to stop the city from spending any more money on its lawsuit against gun manufacturers.

        Mr. Winburn, who already lost one court battle over the lawsuit, announced Monday he will try again in three weeks. Along with Ohio House candidate Joanne Kemmerer, Mr. Winburn is suing the city in an effort to block the suit.

        Mr. Winburn and Ms. Kemmerer contend the suit is a waste of money. The city's suit claims gun makers owe the city millions of dollars in damages for violence caused by guns.

        A Hamilton County judge and an appeals court already have rejected the city's lawsuit. Mr. Winburn argues those rulings prove the suit has no merit and should not continue.

        Judge Norbert Nadel ruled in March that City Council has a right to spend money on the lawsuit if it wants. Mr. Winburn wants the judge to reconsider.

        A hearing is set for Sept. 8 in Common Pleas Court.

Man trapped in well
dies from injuries

               LAWRENCEBURG — An Over-the-Rhine man died Monday at University Hospital of injuries suffered in a construction accident.

        Joe R. Hainey, 29, of the 200 block of 12th Street, died at 2 p.m. at University Hospital after he was brought there Monday morning by AirCare.

        The Dearborn County Sheriff's Office said the accident occurred about 10:10 p.m. Sunday near Lawrenceburg High School at Tiger Boulevard off U.S. 50.

        Mr. Hainey, a laborer for the Reynolds Corp. of Orleans, Ind., fell into a well screen the company was installing at the Seagram's Distilling Co. site behind the school.

        “Our information is that his head hit a pipe, which caused extensive injuries,” said Deana Haworth, public relations specialist for the company.

        The Lawrenceburg Fire Department Rescue Unit worked several hours to pull Mr. Hainey from the well.

Indictment alleges
man killed girlfriend

               An Evanston man was indicted Monday on charges of killing his girlfriend after she tried to break up with him.

        Stanley Waller, 50, faces life in prison if convicted of aggravated murder and aggravated robbery.

        He is accused of killing Marilyn Kendricks, 45. Her body was found July 2 at her home on Evanston Avenue.

        Mr. Waller was arrested a day later in Pinellas County, Fla., after someone spotted his gray Cadillac outside a convenience store.

        He is being held on $200,000 bail at the Hamilton County Justice Center.

Guilty pleas in
marijuana ring

               Four men admitted Monday they helped run a marijuana trafficking ring from their suburban homes.

        The four are Mark Kramer of Day Road in Colerain Township, Denver Baehr of Long Meadow Drive in West Chester Township, Todd Klein of Springdale and Carl Wesley of Eagleview Way in Reading.

        Prosecutors say the men were part of a drug ring that involved as many as nine participants. They say the group met regularly at their homes to prepare hundreds of pounds of marijuana for sale.

        Most of the accused had full- or part-time jobs.

        The four who pleaded guilty to drug charges Monday in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court will be sentenced Sept. 28 by Judge Thomas Nurre.

        All four pleaded to possession of marijuana. Messrs. Baehr, Klein and Wesley also pleaded guilty to trafficking in marijuana.

        Each charge carries a possible sentence of five years in prison.

12-year-old says
she was abducted

               SYCAMORE TWP. — An alleged abduction of a 12-year-old girl is being investigated by the Hamilton County sheriff's criminal investigation section.

        Spokesman Steve Barnett said the incident was reported just after 11:30 p.m. Sunday in the 10000 block of Sixth Street in the township.

        Mr. Barnett said police went to the Sixth Street address after receiving a call from the girl's guardian that she was not home.

        “While they were there talking with the girl's guardian, the girl showed up and said she had been abducted,” Mr. Barnett said.

        The girl told police she was abducted by a man wearing dark clothes and a ski mask. She said the man put tape over her mouth and took her to a neighborhood playground, where she escaped.


New stadium prepares for public 'open house'
Stadium shows sign of opening
'American Girl' doll has Cincinnati roots
Delegates say achievements trump scandal
Hyde Park woman for Bradley
Text of speech by Gov. Patton
Thank Clinton for centrism, Cuomo says
Kucinich defiantly liberal
Neighbors plead for city's help
Householder positioned for speaker of Ohio House
Motorists stick with old routes
School for arts approved by board
Shooting under investigation
They give them wings and prayers
Concourse could get upgrade
Murder suspects may go free if witnesses don't turn up
Pig Parade: Ms. Penciline
WLWT hires Rashid successor
City worker claims bias
- Tristate digest