Friday, October 27, 2000

Tristate A.M. Report

18-month-old pulled from apartment pool

        SPRINGFIELD TWP. — An 18-month-old boy was pulled safely out of a shallow pool of standing water in an apartment complex swimming pool shortly after noon Thursday, Springfield Township police said.

        The toddler, Austin Baker, was to be admitted to Children's Hospital Medical Center in fair to serious condition pending doctors' review of test results. Austin was pulled from the pool at the Caldwell Slopes Apartments off Caldwell Drive at 12:09 p.m.

        Police said Junior Marsh, an apartment custodian, was painting nearby and saw the toddler kicking and bobbing in the pool. He was conscious when pulled from the water.

        Mr. Marsh told police he was helping Austin's mother, Kristina Breakall, 20, look for the boy, who had wandered off moments before he was discovered.

        Springfield Township Assistant Fire Chief Rick Browe said Austin was semiconscious and breathing on arrival at the hospital.

        Police said Austin apparently squeezed through a small opening between a post and a fence.

        There was a small amount of water in the pool — accumulated rainwater and a small amount left after draining.

Fort Washington Way ramp could open tonight

        The ramp linking Second Street to Pete Rose Way and Broadway should open this evening, officials overseeing the Fort Washington Way reconstruction said Thursday.

        The ramp was originally scheduled to open early Monday, along with a fully connected Second Street. But officials said someone walked through the final concrete pour, forcing the material to be ripped up and replaced.

        The ramp provides a connection to the surface streets, as well as Eggleston Avenue, U.S. 52 eastbound and creates another access to Columbia Parkway (U.S. 50).

18-year police veteran to take over District 4

        An 18-year veteran of the Cincinnati Police Division takes command of District 4 this weekend.

        Capt. David Ratliff, now commander of the youth services section, takes over the Reading Road station Sunday. He replaces Capt. Michael Cotton, who retired. District 4 covers Cincinnati neighborhoods including Mount Auburn, Corryville, Avondale, Bond Hill and Roselawn.

        A captain since 1998, Capt. Ratliff joined the force in 1972.

Auditor says reduction would ease schools tax

        On Thursday, Hamilton County Auditor Dusty Rhodes explained homeowners would actually pay $9 less per year than previously stated if a levy for Cincinnati Public Schools passes, because of a stadium-tax reduction.

        CPS will ask voters to approve a 6-mill levy that would generate $35.8 million a year.

        If the levy passes, it would mean $184 a year in new taxes on a house with a market value of $100,000.

        When the reduction is taken, the effective tax on a 6-mill levy is $175.

Light your pumpkin and compete Saturday

        Greenhills' annual Pumpkin Light Up and Contest will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday in front of the community building on the Commons.

        Children of all ages are invited to bring their pumpkins for lighting and the contest. The event is sponsored by the Greenhills Community Development Committee.

        Prizes will be given in several categories, including the scariest, funniest, and most artistic. Sign-ups begin at 7 p.m., with the judging at 7:20.

        The “town witch” will tell Halloween stories, and cookies and cider will be provided. For information, call Fred Murrell at 634-9921.

Conservation district tops in 8-state region

        The Hamilton County Soil & Water Conservation District has been named the top district in an eight-state region. The prestigious award places Hamilton County's district among the top seven of more than 3,000 such districts in the country.

        The award is given based on a comprehensive rating system, which looks at how districts operate in fulfilling their mission of stewardship of soil and water resources.

        In Hamilton County, the district has been credited with an ability to meet the needs of agriculture and the rapidly changing urban environment. The district works closely with farmers implementing U.S. Department of Agriculture programs, provides development-related regulation and conducts a broad-based community education program.

        Larry Vance, chief of soil and water conservation for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, said the award marks Hamilton County's program as one of the best in the nation.

        Hamilton County is one of the first urban counties in the nation to receive the award, which dates to 1947. Other states in Ohio's region include: Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Missouri.

Fund will aid family of boy killed by train

        FAIRFIELD — A fund has been established to help the family of 10-year-old Vincent “Vinny” Fugate, who was killed Tuesday when he lost control of his go-kart and was struck by a train near his Ivy Lane home.

        Checks can be made out to the Vincent “Vinny” Fugate Memorial Fund and brought to any First National Bank of Southwestern Ohio branch. Cash collections also will be taken through today at Fairfield Intermediate and Middle schools. Vinny's older brother, Jesse, is a seventh-grader at the middle school.

        Visitation for Vinny is 1-2 p.m. Saturday at Brown & Dawson Funeral Home, 330 Pershing Ave, Hamilton. The funeral will follow at 2 p.m. at the same location. Burial will be at Rose Hill Burial Park and Crematory.

Two Dobermans help woman injured in fall

        LIMA, Ohio — Chrissie Bowman was cleaning gutters at her home when she fell and broke her back. No one was around to help except two dogs she was watching.

        The Doberman pinschers, named Prince and Charity, stayed with her, said Deb Neal, who owns the two dogs and was lending them to Ms. Bowman.

        “Prince let her grab hold of his collar,” said her sister, Wendy Ritson. “She would push with one hand and he would walk a couple of steps and then let her rest.

        “When they got to the edge of the fence, she told Prince to open the gate and he nudged the gate latch open with his nose.”

        Ms. Bowman, 30, was found after neighbors heard her yelling for help and the dogs barking.

        “I don't know what it is about those dogs. They must have sensed something was wrong,” Ms. Ritson said.

        Mr. Bowman was taken to Ohio State University Hospital in Columbus. She was in fair condition Thursday, said hospital spokesman David Crawford.


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- Tristate A.M. Report