Friday, October 3, 2003

Regional Report



Compiled from staff and wire reports

Talawanda students honor Farthing

OXFORD - Jason Farthing wasn't with his classmates at Thursday's homecoming parade and bonfire, but he was there in spirit.

The Talawanda High School senior, killed in an early morning car crash Wednesday, was remembered as part of the senior class float. Today his family will receive a collection of the art projects Farthing, 18, was working on in his digital photo class.

Banners and cards prepared by students in the high school will be delivered today with his work by Principal David Isaacs.

Classmates have begun planning for a memorial program.

Before today's 7:30 p.m. kickoff against Bishop Fenwick High School, fans will be asked to pause for a moment of silence. Visitation is set for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Smith & Ogle Funeral Home, 101 W. Church St., Oxford.

Former 'homes' for homeless cleaned

DOWNTOWN - Sanitation workers and Hamilton County jail inmates cleaned out several downtown Cincinnati spots Thursday under highway overpasses where homeless people had been living.

No one was arrested - in fact, no one was found to still be occupying any of the spots, said Capt. James Whalen, District 1 commander. The city posted no-trespassing signs last month, and officers had been visiting the encampments for about the last week, he said, reminding people that it would soon be time to go.

Mostly, the workers picked up garbage Thursday, Whalen said. Some items that looked like they might be people's belongings were taken to be stored at the Police Department.

Whalen said officers did find some homeless people Thursday living in spots where no one lived before. Signs will be posted in those spots next, he said - "this will be a step-by-step process.''

Fiber-optic network for Butler on target

HAMILTON - Those involved with building Butler County's 100-mile fiber-optic network told county commissioners Thursday that the project is in financially good shape.

Chuck Underwood, strategic account manager for Cincinnati Bell, said the system, which provides high-speed Internet access with top-quality transmission of video, voice and data, already has been a valuable addition to Miami University. Robert Schuler, president of NORMAP Inc., which owns 75 percent of the network, announced Thursday that he will soon donate 12 fiber-optic strands from the 96-strand system to the county. The 12 strands have a retail value of $2.4 million, he said.

Police ask for help finding missing man

HAMILTON - Authorities are asking the public to help find a man who has been missing more than two weeks.

Roger Buscher, 46, was last seen Sept. 17. A day later, his car, a blue Oldsmobile Delta 88, was found abandoned along a private drive in the 2700 block of Harris Road, Milford Township.

Buscher is white, 6-foot-1, weighs 180 pounds and has gray hair and brown eyes.

He lived on Central Avenue and also sometimes stayed with his mother on Northwest Washington Boulevard. The Butler County Sheriff's Office asks anyone with information to call Lt. Mike Craft at 785-1231 or Detective Monte Mayer at 785-1018.

Children Services levy called crucial

HAMILTON - Butler County commissioners declared their support Thursday for the proposed 2-mill replacement levy for the county's Children Services agency on the Nov. 4 ballot.

"If this levy does not pass, the difficulties will be insurmountable," Commissioner Courtney Combs said. "We'll see a much reduced level of service for the children of this county."

The five-year levy would generate $6 million a year in additional revenue and would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $29.62 more per year in taxes. The number of children and families assisted each year by Children Services has doubled since 1987, when the original levy received voter approval, said Johnny Wade Sloan, the agency's board chairman.

The agency has cut $5 million from its budget in the past year.

Man found not guilty of arson, rioting

Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Norbert Nadel found Brandon Ruby, 19, not guilty Thursday on charges that accuse him of rioting during the second annual Cinco de Mayo party on Stratford Avenue this past May.

Nadel found Ruby not guilty on charges of attempted arson and aggravated rioting. A similar case against his roommate, Joseph Himmelstein, 19, is pending.




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