LOCAL NEWS FOR THURSDAY, MAY 16, 2002
Killings up 87% over last year
        Every five days, someone is slain in Cincinnati. The city is in the midst of a surge in homicides, an 87 percent increase over last year.
28 slain in Cincinnati neighborhoods

Fernald milestone reached
        The last truckload of usable uranium pulled out of Fernald Wednesday, marking the end of a major stage in the cleanup of the former uranium-processing plant.

Mega-mall now just big
        Developers have scaled back a controversial “megamall” project to put a Monroe site back into the race to build shopping meccas.

Conese guilty of soliciting
        A former judge and elections board member was convicted Wednesday of soliciting an improper contribution to the Butler County Democratic party.

IN THE TRISTATE
Charter school to open downtown
        The local affiliate of Volunteers of America is opening a charter school this fall to serve children in Cincinnati's most disadvantaged neighborhoods. It's the organization's first charter school in the country.

Commissioners pave way for Sabin expansion process
        Hamilton County commissioners on Wednesday created the structure for an organization — called the Convention Facilities Authority (CFA) — that would collect $198 million and spend it on expanding the Albert B. Sabin Cincinnati Convention Center.

Curbing take-home cars saves the city $204,000
        The crackdown on employees who take city-owned cars home with them will save Cincinnati taxpayers $204,000, according to a report Wednesday by City Manager Valerie Lemmie.

Norwood to unveil schools' revamping
        NORWOOD — Keeping an elementary school in each of Norwood's four quadrants is key to a master facilities plan put together by a committee that included architects, residents and educators.

Obituary: Dr. Mikio Suo, GE Engines engineer
        MONTGOMERY — Dr. Mikio “Mike” Suo went from making gliders out of balsa wood as a boy to a career designing engines used in the Boeing 747 and the Joint Strike Fighter warplane.

Presbytery addresses gay issue
        The 16 members of the Presbytery of Cincinnati council will meet next week to start shaping a new administrative commission, which will be charged with looking at church law and the issue of ordaining gays and lesbians as deacons and elders. The council is to submit a draft at the July 9 meeting to the Presbytery of Cincinnati that outlines the commission's authority and could give a timeline for completion.

Ride your bike to bus stop, take a bus to work
        Metro, Hamilton County's public transit service, will have a lunchtime rally Monday to introduce new bike racks on its buses.

Robbers strip man's clothes
        Cincinnati police are searching for two black males who stole another man's clothes at gunpoint just after midnight Wednesday in the 2600 block of Melrose Avenue in Walnut Hills.

Search goes on for two boaters
        FALMOUTH — In the stores and on the front porches of this small Northern Kentucky town, the talk is of Danny Eaton and Robert Wood, two local men who have been missing since Monday, presumed drowned in the Ohio River.

Teachers begin voting on merit plan
        About 1,200 members of Cincinnati Public Schools' teachers union — more than a third of its 3,300 members — voted Wednesday on whether to tie their pay to their evaluations.

ENQUIRER COLUMNISTS
HOWARD: Some Good News
        Students at St. Bartholomew Consolidated School in Springfield Township have to defend their honor Friday in the Northwest High School Relay for Life Celebration, a national fund-raiser to benefit the American Cancer Society.

PULFER: A child's tale
        For some reason, I noticed the child's teeth. Big and square, a little rough, the way second teeth are before they've been polished by use.

RADEL: Ultimate good cop
        In uniform, he stood tall walking his beat, swinging his nightstick and practicing the Golden Rule.

BUTLER, WARREN, CLERMONT
Diplomas honor service to country
        MILFORD — Michael Pangallo held his high school diploma in his hand following the graduation ceremony at Milford High School.

Fairfield mayor admits open meeting violation
        FAIRFIELD — Mayor Erick Cook conceded this week he violated the state's open meeting laws by holding a weekend meeting with council members without issuing the required 24-hour public notice.

Milford to get places to sip, sup
        MILFORD — The former city building and a building behind it are being sold to a Dayton restaurateur who plans to open a restaurant and coffee shop at the location at High and Main streets downtown.

Relay for Life gets bigger every year
        LEBANON — Six members of Beth Deckard's family lost battles with cancer; two young cousins are cancer survivors, and an aunt is battling the disease.

Teens find contest fun, but grueling
        MIDDLETOWN — First, Ryan Jarrett frantically swung a giant hammer, repeatedly smacking a heavy weight to inch it along a horizontal track.

Troupe provides inspiration
        LIBERTY TOWNSHIP — Heath Stephens walked onto the stage last week at Lakota East High School's theater, took a deep breath and told students the group that was about to perform had changed his life.

OHIO
Brownfield cleanup eases liability rule
        COLUMBUS, Ohio — Businesses now can choose to decontaminate former industrial sites through a new part of a brownfield cleanup program that will give them both the state's promise of no future lawsuits and the federal government's stamp of approval.

Business group in Toledo wants new arena downtown
        TOLEDO — A group of business leaders is proposing that an arena be built next to the city's new downtown ballpark instead of along the Maumee River.

Cigarette tax hike falters in Capitol
        COLUMBUS — A Senate Republican plan to balance the state's budget by increasing taxes on cigarettes and some businesses fell apart in the General Assembly on Wednesday.

Essay contest promotes Ohio learning program
        COLUMBUS — Gov. Bob Taft has announced a statewide summer essay contest for students in grades 1 to 8 as part of the Great Ohio Adventures in Learning (GOAL) program.

Mental-retardation director urges training
        COLUMBUS — Officials who oversee care for the mentally retarded need more training in how to remove abused or neglected people from their homes or other facilities, the director of the Ohio Department of Mental Retardation testified Wednesday.

Ohio high court strikes down same-sex solicitation law
        COLUMBUS — A unanimous Ohio Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down a state law prohibiting same-sex solicitation.

Prison riot leader's sentence of death upheld by high court
        COLUMBUS — The Ohio Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the death sentence of a man convicted of killing five fellow inmates as the leader of a “death squad” that targeted prison snitches during the 1993 prison riot near Lucasville.

Selling dorms proposed
        COLUMBUS, Ohio — State universities are criticizing a proposal to sell dormitories to for-profit groups to raise as much as $750 million for the state budget, saying the plan doesn't make financial sense and would penalize students.

Victim rights endorsed
        COLUMBUS — U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft on Wednesday pushed for a victims' rights amendment to the Constitution, telling advocates in Ohio that the nation must “balance the scales of justice.”

KENTUCKY
Flasher gets time in jail
        BURLINGTON — A Morehead chiropractor who advertises he is “kid friendly” was sentenced earlier this week to 90 days in jail for stalking and exposing himself to adolescent girls in Boone County.

Foal losses decrease from 2001
        LEXINGTON — Duncan Taylor watched helplessly last spring as a mysterious illness killed dozens of foals on his family's thoroughbred farm.

Human cloning predicted this year
        WASHINGTON — A Kentucky doctor said he expects to have made a woman pregnant with a cloned embryo by the end of the year even as lawmakers scramble to prevent scientists from cloning humans.

Kentucky News Briefs
        ELSMERE — Police have identified a young man killed by a train here this week as Markcus Sturgeon of Madisonville.

Lights to be installed on Pendery Park playing fields
        MELBOURNE — Calling a Knothole game because of darkness just got a little more difficult in Campbell County.

Patton's daughter to leave leadership of state Democrats
        FRANKFORT — Nicki Patton, the daughter of Gov. Paul Patton, said Wednesday she will leave her position as chairwoman of the state Democratic Party to return to her interest in early childhood development.

Principal openings abundant
        At least 17 Tristate public schools are searching for principals during a nationwide principal shortage that is expected to worsen as more school chiefs approach retirement and the applicant pool dwindles.

Six more sue Louisville church
        LOUISVILLE — The number of recent lawsuits against the Archdiocese of Louisville reached 60 Wednesday, after six more men alleged that church officials ignored their complaints of sexual abuse.

Study: Minority youths charged, detained more
        FRANKFORT — Kentucky's minority youths are charged, detained and committed to juvenile centers in disproportionately high rates, according to a study by University of Louisville researchers.

SPECIAL
O H I O ' S   S E C R E T   S H A M E
Abuse, neglect go unpunished
Instead of keeping people healthy and safe, Ohio's mental retardation system is so chaotic it routinely fails to prevent deaths, correct problems or enforce minimum standards of care, The Cincinnati Enquirer has found.
Statewide abuse registry lists no one
Part 1 of the report - Many deaths of mentally retarded avoidable