Saturday, October 4, 2003

Regional Report

Compiled from staff and wire reports

Race relations tops list of local concerns

Greater Cincinnati residents believe race relations and the economy are the most important issues facing the region, according to a University of Cincinnati survey released Friday.

Almost 22 percent of Greater Cincinnati residents surveyed in the telephone poll said race relations - including the aftermath of the 2001 riots and the boycott of downtown - was the most important issue locally.

Other top responses included the economy (19 percent), crime and safety (16 percent), education and schools (8 percent), police relations (6 percent), health care (3 percent), traffic and transportation (3 percent) and a lack of political leadership (2 percent).

The Greater Cincinnati Survey of 1,565 adults in the eight-county region was conducted in May and June and has a margin of error of 2.5 percentage points.

Indian Hill to pick designers of preserve

INDIAN HILL - Plans are moving ahead on development of a 340-acre former gravel pit into a nature preserve near Camp Dennison.

Three design teams are in the running for the job to plan the park, which is likely to include non-motorized boating, walking trails, fishing and a wildlife area for migrating birds.

Council should make a selection in about 10 days, Village Administrator Michael Burns said.

The village bought the land for $7.5 million last year to protect it from development.

Police hunters to solve cemetery deer issue

MONTGOMERY - Gate of Heaven Cemetery won't be a safe haven for deer anymore.

Two police bow hunters will be permitted to hunt beginning today after council passed an emergency ordinance this week to amend its year-old hunting ban in the city.

Cemetery officials, complaining that deer were destroying landscaping and raiding the flowers families left on graves, lobbied the city to grant an exclusion for Gate of Heaven each bow season. The season runs today through Jan. 31.

Two police officers had hunted the property for three years before the ban in order to help control the deer population. Cemetery officials said the two will be the only hunters permitted on the property.

Police find body of Hamilton man

MILFORD TWP. - A man who had been reported missing was found dead Friday.

The Butler County Sheriff's Office conducted a search and discovered the body of Roger Buscher, 46. He had been missing from his Hamilton home since Sept. 17. Buscher's body was found in a thicket along Harris Road, sheriff's officials said.

There was no obvious sign of trauma to the body. The county coroner's office will conduct an autopsy.

More water needed for Kings Island park

MASON - Paramount's Kings Island has turned to Cincinnati for additional water for Boomerang Bay, its new Australian-themed water park.

The theme park had asked Warren County for an extra 500,000 gallons of water a day and an extra 500,000 gallons of sewer capacity a day, but county officials were concerned it would take up all the current capabilities.

Park spokesman Jeffrey Siebert said Kings Island will use the county as a service provider, but Greater Cincinnati Water Works is actually going to sell the water.

Police work to ID body found by river

NEW RICHMOND - Officials Friday were using dental records to try to identify a body found earlier this week along the banks of the Ohio River here.

As of 5 p.m. Friday the body, that of a male white in his 50s, had yet to be identified.

Police Chief Karl Hassebrock said authorities are looking into the possibility that the death was accidental.

"There were no visible signs of foul play," Hassebrock said. "We're assuming that he may have slipped or fallen."

New Richmond firefighters searching the river Thursday night found the body about 1,000 yards west of one of New Richmond's two boat docks.

Hassebrock said they were searching for a man who hadn't been seen since Sept. 27. He added that officials are "90 percent sure" the body is that person.

The missing man owned a boat that he docked at one of the marinas.

Death penalty sought in double homicide

SHARONVILLE - Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for James "Pat" Dick, the Arlington Heights man accused of barging into the Sharonville home of Sandra Ross with a shotgun and killing the 31-year-old divorced mother of three and a friend, Carl Shivener, 57, of Oakley Sept. 23.

A Hamilton County grand jury on Friday indicted Dick on four counts of aggravated murder - all with a death penalty specification - and charges of aggravated burglary and unlawful possession of dangerous ordnance.

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