Saturday, April 07, 2001

Tristate A.M. Report




Elementary school sex charges checked

        The personal crimes unit of the Cincinnati Police Division is investigating alleged sexual misconduct involving students at Mount Airy Elementary School.

        Janet Walsh, a spokeswoman for Cincinnati Public Schools, said a fifth-grader and her parents told the principal Monday that several students were engaging in sexual behavior with one another in exchange for money to buy soda and candy.

        Parents of the 10-year-old who came forward said their daughter told investigators that at least five other girls and 15 or 16 boys were involved in activity ranging from fondling to intercourse in closets and other secluded places at the school. In exchange, the girls received money for soda and snacks, and also received jewelry.

        Lt. Steve Luebbe, commander of the personal crimes unit, said a half-dozen or more students were interviewed Friday and have denied the allegations.
       

Capital University president to leave

        COLUMBUS — Capital University's president said Friday that he will leave the school May 20 to pursue other interests.

        Daniel Felicetti, Capital's president since August 1999, did not say what his plans were. The university said he may pursue a job in education on the East Coast.

        Mr. Felicetti, 59, was instrumental in helping make Capital, which has a small campus in suburban Bexley and a law school downtown, well-known across the state, said Robert Weiler, chairman of Capital's board of trustees.

        “I believe Dan accomplished more in his tenure at Capital than many university presidents achieve in 10 years,” Mr. Weiler said.

        The school, which has about 4,000 students, is building a 2,200-seat basketball arena and multipurpose center that also will include classrooms and a fitness center.

        Mr. Weiler said the board of trustees will begin the search for an interim president next week.
       

Car's driver hurt in wreck with prison bus

        DELAWARE, Ohio — A state prison bus carrying 14 inmates and three officers to Mansfield Correctional Institute collided with a car Friday afternoon.

        No one on the bus was hurt, the State Highway Patrol said. The driver of the car was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital.

        Patrol Sgt. Steve Click said the accident happened at about 1 p.m. on U.S. 42 southwest of Delaware, about 20 miles north of Columbus.

        The accident damaged the front of the bus, which had to be towed. The inmates remained on the bus until another bus could pick them up, Sgt. Click said.
       

Driving instructor denies fondling girls

        DELAWARE, Ohio — A driving-school instructor pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges that he fondled students.

        Jonathan Oddi, 29, of Columbus, is accused of sexual contact with three girls — a 15-year-old and two 16-year-olds — during driving lessons in August, December and January.

        Mr. Oddi was indicted March 9 by a Delaware County grand jury on three counts of gross sexual imposition. He faces up to 18 months in prison on each count if convicted.

        Mr. Oddi works for a private driving school and also is an elementary school teacher. He is on leave from both jobs.
       

Law aims to improve farm vehicle visibility

        FINDLAY, Ohio — Farm safety is taking to Ohio's highways.

        A new state law requires installing more lighting and reflectors on tractors. Better visibility is the goal.

        “More farmers today than ever before are forced to move equipment on public roads,” said Leroy Billman, director of safety programs for the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation.

        “This comes at the same time more people have moved to the country and are out on those roads. Our goal is to keep everyone as safe as possible,” he said after the bill was signed by Gov. Bob Taft.

        Both car and tractor drivers will be better protected by the improved lighting, Mr. Billman said.

        “The only question from farmers is what do we need to do to comply and how do we go about this,” he said Thursday.

        Among other requirements, the law requires that amber flashing lights be located on the left side and the right side of a tractor.

        Also, the new law calls for two red reflectors to the rear and two amber or yellow reflectors to the front of multiwheeled tractors.
       

Boy, 14, accused of bomb comments

        Hamilton County Sheriff's officials charged a 14-year-old with inducing panic Friday after he was heard making comments about bringing a bomb to school.

        Sheriff's deputies took the Colerain Middle School seventh-grader into custody about 10 a.m. The Enquirer is not naming the boy because he is a juvenile.

        He is being held in juvenile detention.
       

Toxic releases in Ind. rose in '99

        INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana manufacturers released 6.5 million more pounds of toxic chemicals into the environment in 1999 than the previous year, with nearly two-thirds of that increase coming from a newly opened steel mill in Spencer County, according to a new report.

        The Indiana Department of Environmental Management released data from its annual Toxic Release Inventory report Friday. The report found that Indiana ranks fifth in the country in total release of toxic chemicals.

        The report said 8.2 million pounds were released in Dearborn County.

        Applying the same parameters used in the report's baseline year — 1991 — Indiana has actually shown a decade-long decrease in the release of toxic chemicals.

       



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Kentucky News Briefs
- Tristate A.M. Report