Tuesday, January 29, 2002

Local Digest

Board considers technical school

        Cincinnati Public Schools' board of education on Monday heard a proposal for a new career and technical school to be implemented at Woodward High School by the 2003-04 school year.

        Recommendations included breaking the school into four learning centers. One center would be for ninth-grade students to study primarily core academic subjects.

        The other three centers, for students in grades 10-12, would allow students to pursue career paths in health occupations, advanced manufacturing or construction sciences.

        The recommendations will be forwarded to the board's program committee for possible changes. Board members said they would like to have the proposal ready for consideration by March 4.

Colerain man killed on Fifth St. ramp

               A Colerain Township man was killed Monday morning in a car accident in downtown Cincinnati.

        Police said Christopher L. Taylor, 39, was driving his car about 7:15 a.m. on the exit ramp at Fifth Street from northbound Interstate 75 when he failed to stop and hit a van stopped in traffic. After hitting the van, Mr. Taylor's car struck a utility pole at Plum Street.

        Mr. Taylor was taken to University Hospital, where he died. Cincinnati police say alcohol and excessive speed were factors in the crash.

        The van was driven by Shawn Craft, 42, who was driving for the Geiler Co. He was not hurt.

Police officer indicted in sexual battery case

               A Norwood police officer was named Monday in a three-count indictment alleging rape, sexual battery and gross sexual imposition of a 17-year-old female.

        Bobby Smith, 38, is accused of assaulting the teen-ager Jan. 13 inside his home, where she was visiting. She is a member of the Explorer Scout unit Mr. Smith led, authorities said.

        He was indicted by a Hamilton County grand jury under a section of the sexual-battery law that prohibits sexual conduct between authority figures, such as scout leaders, and those persons under their “temporary or occasional control,” said Hamilton County Prosecutor Mike Allen.

        If convicted, Mr. Smith could receive up to 16 1/2 years in prison.

Hamilton Co. levy would support parks

               Hamilton County voters will be asked to tax themselves on the May ballot to maintain the county's park system.

        If approved by a majority of voters, the 15-year, 1-mill tax would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $12.54 per year. The park levy was last approved in 1988.

        Levy funds would be used to preserve hillsides and flood plains; continue providing outdoor recreation and nature education; and establish cooperative agreements and partnerships with public authorities to preserve greenspace.

Jamaican tourist sought by police

               Cincinnati police are still looking for a Jamaican tourist who has been missing since a home-invasion robbery Sunday morning in Bond Hill.

        Mario Wando LueFoung, 23, of Kingston, Jamaica, had been in Cincinnati three days when he disappeared from an apartment on Portman Avenue. Police don't know if he was part of the incident in which four men stormed into the house and fired shots, or if he was kidnapped during it.

        Police found two pounds of marijuana and more than $12,000 in the house, and then searched a storage unit in South Fairmount, where they found 75 more pounds.

        The renter of the storage unit, Maudland Williams, 36, who lived at the Portman Avenue apartment, was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana.

        Investigators ask that anyone with information about Mr. LueFoung call Crime Stoppers at 352-3040. They say he does not speak English well.

Columbus woman is Hagan's running mate

               COLUMBUS — Democrat Tim Hagan selected former state Rep. Charleta Tavares on Monday as his running mate for the governor's race this year.

        Ms. Tavares is a Columbus City Council member who was defeated in a run for secretary of state in 1998.

        Ms. Tavares has been on City Council since 1999 and was a state representative for 5 1/2 years. Ms. Tavares, 47, is the first black woman to appear on a major-party gubernatorial ticket in Ohio.

        Cincinnati Vice Mayor Alicia Reece had been under consideration by Mr. Hagan, a former Cuyahoga County commissioner.

        Gov. Bob Taft, a Republican serving his first term, has not announced his running mate. The current lieutenant governor, Maureen O'Connor, is running for a seat on the Ohio Supreme Court.

        Saturday, the Ohio Democratic Party executive committee unanimously endorsed Mr. Hagan as the party's gubernatorial candidate.

Study would target Ft. Washington Way

               Cincinnati may ask the Ohio Department of Transportation to study speed limits on Fort Washington Way.

        The study likely would result in lower speed limits for sections of the recently completed project, said John F. Deatrick, the city's transportation director.

        Particularly problematic has been the tendency of tractor-trailers to overturn at the Lytle Tunnel on Interstate 71, he said.

        City Council's intergovernmental affairs committee approved a resolution Monday asking for the state study.

Convicted killer makes plea to Taft

               COLUMBUS — Convicted killer John W. Byrd Jr., facing execution in three weeks, has asked Gov. Bob Taft to delay or commute his death sentence.

        “I am more innocent than anyone consciously wants to believe or realize,” Mr. Byrd wrote Friday in a letter to Mr. Taft and the Ohio Parole Board. “What I am requesting is that you take on the leadership role to grant a reprieve and request for a federal investigation into my conviction.”

        Mr. Byrd cites several allegations of misconduct and mistakes leading to his conviction.

        The Ohio Supreme Court has set Feb. 19 as the new execution date for Mr. Byrd. Mr. Byrd was convicted of murder in the stabbing death of 40-year-old Monte Tewksbury during a convenience-store robbery in Colerain Township in 1983.

City may raise fees on nursing home checks

               Cincinnati City Council could vote this week to increase nursing home inspection fees from $10 to $37.53 per bed.

        The increase would restore the inspection program by making it self-sufficient. City Council cut funding for the program in budget negotiations in December.

        The Finance Committee voted 6-1 Monday to increase the fees, with Councilman Pat DeWine dissenting. He said the fee increase will be passed on to consumers, and he's not convinced the city's program is necessary because the state already inspects nursing homes.


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City lost money when Enron fell
Crackdown on speeding under way
PULFER: Poverty is not for sissies
School mourns teacher
Hamilton Co. levy would support parks
Hamilton Co. put to the test
New anti-cancer tool promising, UC doctors report
Officer indicted in sexual battery case
Portman creates fund for GOP
Schools put new focus on kids' 'assets'
Good News: Giovanni to lecture at library
- Local Digest
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Convicted killer makes plea to Taft
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