Monday, September 22, 2003

Regional Report

Miamisburg plant blast injures worker

Compiled from staff and wire reports

MIAMISBURG, Ohio - An explosion at a chemical plant Sunday injured a worker, blew part of the roof off and forced the evacuation of about 2,000 nearby residents, authorities and witnesses said.

Firefighters were working with six employees at the Isotec plant to contain a nitric oxide leak when the "catastrophic explosion" happened about 10 a.m., Miami Township fire Chief David Fulmer said. No one else was in the plant at the time.

John DiPietro, spokesman for Miami Township police, said there was "a mad dash" to escape falling debris.

He was standing near the plant entrance when the explosion knocked him into a truck and the area was pelted with pieces of concrete and metal.

"I've never been this scared in my life," he said.

People living within a mile of the plant near this Dayton suburb were evacuated because firefighters feared a possible second explosion, Fulmer said.

Other chemicals were stored in the area where the explosion happened, including a large tank of carbon monoxide, he said.

15-year-old boy hit by baseball, dies

MELBOURNE - A 15-year-old Alexandria boy collapsed and died Sunday afternoon after he was struck in the chest with a baseball in Pendery Park.

Justin Saccone, a student at Campbell County High School, died at the hospital about 4:30 p.m. shortly after being struck trying to bunt a ball while playing in the local Knothole baseball league, Deputy County Coroner Al Garnick said.

Mike Combs, executive director of the league, said Saccone missed the bunt attempt and was struck in the chest. He fell down, got up and jogged to first base before collapsing and passing out.

The teen was unconscious when he arrived at the hospital and died shortly afterward, Garnick said.

AVOC seeks volunteers for AIDS programs

AIDS Volunteers of Cincinnati is seeking volunteers for two of its outreach programs.

AVOC's Language Bank initiative seeks to respond to the growing diversity in Greater Cincinnati by recruiting volunteers who can talk to people about HIV and AIDS in Spanish and other languages.

Meanwhile, in an effort to expand outreach in the African American community, AVOC is inviting volunteers to disseminate HIV/AIDS prevention information as part of an initiative modeled after Team Latino, which was launched recently to work specifically with the Hispanic community.

A meeting will be held Oct. 1 at 6 p.m. at AVOC's office at 220 Findlay Street, Over-the-Rhine.

Those interested in volunteering for either program, please contact Carrie at (513) 421-2437.

Columbus man dies after van hits barrels

A Columbus man died Saturday after a van in which he was riding hit some construction barrels on Interstate 71 and flipped.

Andrea L. Dean, 48, was driving a 2004 Pontiac Montana northbound near milepost 46 in Clinton County when she struck some orange barrels, drove into the median and overturned.

The vehicle flipped several times.

Front seat passenger John S. Dean, 50, who was not wearing a seat belt, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Andrea Dean and a 16-year-old girl in the back seat were taken to Clinton Memorial Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Ky. police investigate death of 7-month-old

DRY RIDGE - Kentucky State Police continued their investigation Sunday into the Saturday death of a 7-month old infant.

Zachary Hayes was found unresponsive at his Dry Ridge residence by his father, Christopher Hayes, state police said. The infant's mother, Amanda Gordy, transported the infant to St. Elizabeth Grant County Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

A cause of death had not been determined and police would not discuss further details.

Search is on for Fountain Square tree

Halloween and Thanksgiving have yet to arrive, but the Cincinnati Recreation Commission already is searching for the perfect tree to adorn Fountain Square during the Christmas holidays.

The tree must come from a Hamilton County resident and should be a 20 to 30-foot spruce or Douglas fir that is healthy, well-shaped and easily accessible.

The tree selected will be moved to Fountain Square by professional tree movers. After the holidays the tree will be replanted at one of Cincinnati's parks.

Those interested in donating their tree should call Harry Wood at (513) 352-3381.

Possible Franklin plant closing hits hard

FRANKLIN, Ind. - The possible closure of an ArvinMeritor automobile parts plant is sending shock waves through this central Indiana city, where the company is the largest employer.

ArvinMeritor, which employs 800 people in Franklin, will decide by Wednesday whether to close the plant, which makes automobile air and emissions products, said company spokeswoman Colleen Hanley.

Losing the 68-year-old Franklin plant would be a tremendous blow to the city, said Tom Thompson, of Fletcher Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep in Franklin.

Special bridge section
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City hires outsource expert from P&G
As students read brochures, parents bemoan college costs
Rainy weather restrains West Nile
Butler County grandmother touches lives big and small
Miami strike deadline nears
Sycamore district nurses fledgling superintendents
Forest Hills has College Night
Grads buy Stewart school for $1.6M
Attendance a record for Chamber's Butler Expo
Couple found dead in shooting
Priest's 75th brings surprise
Door-to-door permits studied
Regional Report
Sunday's local news section

Teen hit in chest by ball dies at hospital
17 million Americans receiving treatments
Bush to help Fletcher
Police investigating death of 7-month-old
Lawsuit challenges Legislature
Council tightens rules on endowments
Indiana Gov.'s death raises questions about candidates' health
Teens left notes on arms before deaths

Designer Tony LaFata, 89, made clothing for celebrities
William C. Oldfield, 60, practiced law through his battle with cancer