Friday, October 10, 2003

Regional Report



Compiled from staff and wire reports

Former hospital now used for clinical trials

AVONDALE - Bethesda Oak Hospital may have closed, but the building still has activity.

On Thursday, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center announced completion of a $5 million renovation to convert part of the old hospital into a center for human clinical trials.

Healthy infants, children - even adult survivors of childhood diseases - will be brought to the center to test new medications and other treatments for a wide range of conditions.

The 53,500-square-foot facility includes an outpatient unit with 20 exam rooms and an inpatient wing with 18 rooms for extended stays.

Within two months, 16 studies will be active at the center. At full capacity, the center hopes to be involved in as many as 100 trials at a time.

10 arrested in sweep of two neighborhoods

MOUNT AUBURN - Problems with burglaries here and complaints about car break-ins led to an overtime sweep by police Wednesday that netted 10 arrests.

"The same criminals who are plying their trade down in Over-the-Rhine are coming up the hill," said Capt. Richard Schmalz, commander of District 4, which also includes Walnut Hills. "We're trying to stop that as much as we can."

His Violent Crime Squad and some uniform officers working overtime made the arrests, mostly for drugs and prostitution, in both neighborhoods.

Schmalz said he also wants to focus on Hartwell because of last weekend's vandalism of 13 cars in an armory parking lot. The cars were parked there while reservists were training out of town.

Man sentenced in child porn case

HAMILTON - A Butler County judge on Friday sent a Middletown man, convicted of dozens of child pornography-related charges, to prison for 91/2 years.

Common Pleas Judge Keith Spaeth sentenced Jonathan A. Steele, 36, whom a jury convicted in August on 52 charges.

The case was Butler County's largest child pornography case to date, the county prosecutor's office said. The charges stemmed from images found on his computer, which authorities confiscated. Some of the offenses dated to 1997.

Vietnam Memorial replica on display

MASON - A half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is on display in Warren County.

Thursday marked the opening ceremony of the wall, which is set up behind the Mason Municipal Center, 6000 Mason-Montgomery Road. It will be open 24 hours a day until the closing ceremony at 5 p.m. Sunday.

The replica is nearly 250 feet long and contains more than 58,000 names.

The traveling Wall That Heals exhibit also includes a display of memorabilia left at the original wall in Washington.

Fairfield festivities begin with parade

FAIRFIELD - Homecoming activities at Fairfield High School will kick off with a 6 p.m. parade today that begins on Magie Avenue near Redwood Drive, proceeds to the middle school and then on to the stadium.

This year's grand marshal is wrestling coach and social studies teacher Ron Masanek. Tonight's crowning of the Homecoming queen at 7:15 p.m. will precede the 7:30 p.m. varsity football game against Oak Hills.

The Homecoming dance is set for 9 p.m. to midnight Saturday, at the high school arena. Tickets are $10 at the door.

Sheriff not guilty of election charge

GEORGETOWN - The Brown County sheriff, accused of lying to election officials about his education, has been found not guilty of a criminal charge.

A Common Pleas jury on Wednesday acquitted Sheriff Dwayne Wenninger of one count of election falsification.

Wenninger was indicted Dec. 31. He faced a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a $7,500 fine if he had been convicted.

Wenninger, who was elected in November 2000 and continues as sheriff, said he believes the charges were motivated by political opponents.

Prosecutors had accused Wenninger of lying when he said the school that gave him a two-year diploma in 1987 was accredited.

Police find guns, bullet-proof vest

OVER-THE-RHINE - Cincinnati police officers checking out a report early Thursday about a person with a gun in a bar ended up finding two loaded handguns and a bullet-proof vest.

Officers heading to Martin's Bar just before 2:30 a.m. saw a man running outside and chased him. They arrested Germaine Evans, 22, of Over-the-Rhine, and Reco Terrell, 29, of Pleasant Ridge. Both were charged with carrying concealed weapons and having weapons under disability, meaning they have prior felony charges that prohibit them from carrying a gun.

Officers found a loaded .45-caliber semiautomatic and a loaded .40-caliber handgun in a car. They also found the vest, according to Evans' arrest report.




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