Tuesday, August 22, 2000

Local Digest


Fernald shipment to train yard delayed

        A shipment of low-level radioactive scrap from the former Fernald uranium-processing plant that was scheduled to pass near downtown Cincinnati on Monday has been delayed until Thursday.

        The shipment is part of a pilot study to determine whether it would save money to haul waste via intermodal transportation, which involves trains carrying truck trailers over long distances.

        Two trucks were scheduled to arrive at Cincinnati's Queensgate train yard Monday, where a train would carry the containers west to Cisco, Utah. Then, trucks would haul the waste for burial at the Nevada Test Site, northwest of Las Vegas.

        The delay occurred because the rail car was delayed in Columbus, said Fernald spokesman Gary Stegner.
       

Bus riders will
get comment form

               Metro officials — including general manager Paul Jablonski — will take bus rides and distribute comment forms to commuters this morning as part of their public feedback program that began in May.

        Called MetroMoves, the program is seeking input from all areas served by the regional bus service and those that aren't but want to be.

        “We want to understand what the community's and public's issues are and what they want to do with mass transit,” said Mr. Jablonski, who will ride the bus from downtown to Kenwood.

        Officials have received 4,000 responses from an earlier form distribution campaign, e-mail and public forums. Metro officials said the responses have fallen into six main categories:

        • Linking transit services throughout the region.

        • Connecting people with jobs.

        • Providing services for people with few transportation options (the elderly or economically disadvantaged).

        • Improving services.

        • Providing service to areas not covered.

        • Making mass transit a more attractive option.

        Metro will present a regional transportation plan at the end of the year.
       

Man indicted in
shooting death

               A Cincinnati man was indicted Monday on charges of shooting to death Stanley Ruffin in the hallway of his Paddock Hills apartment.

        Lewis Frazier, 22, faces charges of aggravated murder, robbery, burglary and conspiracy. If convicted, he could be sentenced to 68 years in prison.

        Prosecutors say six men broke into Mr. Ruffin's apartment on March 7. They say the men robbed and shot the 22-year-old victim.
       

Machine problem
caused $1.5M fire

               HAMILTON — An Aug. 14 fire that did an estimated $1.5 million in damage to a business was caused by a malfunctioning plastic coating machine that overheated, Hamilton fire investigators have determined.

        The blaze, which destroyed the second floor and roof of Hamilton Industrial Knife & Machine, has been ruled accidental, Hamilton Deputy Fire Chief Steve Dawson said. A team of agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms helped with the investigation.

        There were no injuries.

        Hamilton Knife owner Alan Ashbrook has said he hopes to have the business reopened within weeks.

        The company, which has been housed in the B Street building since the late 1960s, makes and services industrial knives.
       

Ex-con faces rape
and drug charges

               HAMILTON — Six months after he was released from prison on two sex offenses, a 31-year-old Hamilton man has been charged with rape.

        Eric Bernard Brister was being held Monday in the Butler County Jail. His bond was set at $15,000 and he was scheduled for an Aug. 28 preliminary hearing in Hamilton Municipal Court.

        He is accused of raping a 40-year-old woman in the 1100 block of Ludlow Street about 2:30 a.m. Saturday.

        The woman was threatened with a knife and raped in her home, a police report says.

        He also was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia after jail officials found a crack pipe inside a pack of cigarettes among his personal property, a police report says.

        Mr. Brister had been charged with rape last year, but pleaded guilty to reduced charges of attempted sexual battery and gross sexual imposition, according to Butler County Common Pleas Court records.

        He was sentenced to a year in prison and was released in February, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction said.
       

Man disappears
after swim in river

               MONROE TOWNSHIP — An Ohio River search continued Monday for a Brown County man who officials fear drowned late Saturday or early Sunday.

        Clermont County Sheriff A.J. ""Tim” Rodenberg said Marvin Gardner, about 50, of Pike Township, attended the Jimmy Buffett concert Saturday night at Riverbend with three other men. The group of friends decided to camp out along the river after the concert.

        The men stopped at Boat Run Landing along U.S. 52 near Clermontville Road east of New Richmond, where there is a campground and boat launch.

        The sheriff said Mr. Gardner decided to take a swim in the river and did not return. Mr. Gardner's friends launched a boat to try to find him. They called the Campbell County Sheriff's Office for help. Officers from Campbell County and Silver Grove firefighters were continuing the search with boats and dogs, Sheriff Rodenberg said.

        Mr. Gardner's clothing was found along the riverbank, the sheriff said.
       

Ohio State Fair
saw record crowd

               COLUMBUS — A record number of people went to the Ohio State Fair this year.

        The fair reported attendance at 980,819, breaking the 1998 record by 5,003, and exceeding the 1999 figure by 9,711.

        “Last year was awfully hot; and certainly because we're an outdoor event, the weather is crucial. We had ideal weather conditions for the most part this year — cool, with low humidity and sunshine — literally picture perfect,” said Jill Rainey, the fair's spokeswoman.

        Attendance was figured by adding the number of tickets sold and those given away, she said.

Drownings spur
safety task force

               CLEVELAND — A task force will study safety issues in a nightclub district where three people have drowned in five weeks.

        The 20-member task force will look at structural, environmental, business and law enforcement issues in the Flats near downtown, Mayor Michael White said Monday. The task force includes business representatives, politicians and law enforcement officials.

        “While we have bolstered the presence of policemen, firefighters, building inspectors, liquor control agents and sobriety checkpoints, we also have to take a comprehensive look at how to sustain the success of that area in a safe and comprehensive way,” Mr. White said.

        The latest victim was Andrea Kacludis, 25, of suburban Fairview Park. Police said Ms. Kacludis either jumped or fell into the Cuyahoga River early Saturday.

        Michael Dubrovich, 20, of Sagamore Hills, died July 21 when he fell into the river during a fight. Paul C. Kirchner, 20, of Strongsville, fell into the water Aug. 6.

       



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