Saturday, October 18, 2003

Regional Report

Compiled from staff and wire reports

Sewer fix debated at public forum

BLUE ASH - It'll be up to the Hamilton County commissioners whether to pay for damages caused by sewage flooding before Jan. 1, Metropolitan Sewer District Director Patrick Karney said Friday.

He spoke at the first public hearing on a $1.5 billion proposal to fix Hamilton County's sewers and avoid a Sierra Club lawsuit.

A legal agreement unveiled last week calls for a new customer service program and reimbursement of damages caused when sewers back up into basements. Neither would take place until January, but commissioners could allow claims for earlier damages, Karney said.

The next hearing will be from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Monday in the cafeteria of North College Hill Junior/Senior High School, 1498 W. Galbraith Road. Residents can also express their opinion by sending an e-mail via MSD's Web site,, or calling 244-1313.

Packaging employees arrested for drugs

MASON - Five Portion Pac, Inc. employees have been arrested for drug trafficking at the manufacturing and packaging company.

Paul Hoffman III of Columbia Township was charged with trafficking OxyContin. Kenneth Lewis of Lebanon, Shawn Jackson of Middletown and Craig Burk of Hamilton were charged with trafficking marijuana. Sean Redman of Lebanon was charged with trafficking marijuana, Xanax and Vicodin.

The arrests, made Thursday, came after a four-month investigation by the Warren-Clinton Drug Task Force. Officials at Portion Pac had asked law enforcement to start the investigation.

Men sue archdiocese for allowing abuse

Five men claimed in a lawsuit Friday that the Archdiocese of Cincinnati failed to stop an abusive priest from repeatedly molesting them when they were altar boys in the 1950s and 1960s.

The suit, filed in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court, accuses Rev. John Berning of sexually abusing children at the Our Lady of Perpetual Help and Saint Margaret of Cartona parishes.

The archdiocese has acknowledged it recently received complaints about Berning's past behavior, but church officials have said they are not aware of abuse reports from the 1950s or 1960s.

The lawsuit, however, claims at least one of the alleged victims reported the abuse to his parents 40 years ago, and that his parents complained to the archdiocese.

Father faces charge of DUI after car chase

HILLSBORO, Ohio - A Hillsboro man is facing charges after police say he drove drunk and led them on a pursuit with his 2-year-old daughter in the car.

Jeffrey L. Garen, 35, is charged with driving under the influence, failure to comply with a police officer's order and child endangerment.

The incident began about 7:15 p.m. Tuesday when officials from a day-care center notified authorities that a man had picked up his child and was possibly drunk.

Deputies spotted the suspect's vehicle about 2 a.m. and a pursuit began. The suspect led officers on a chase through Pike and Highland counties, deputies said. Deputies finally stopped the vehicle by shooting out two of its tires.

The 2-year-old was found safe inside the vehicle and there were no injuries, deputies said.

Shawnee State faculty have new contract

PORTSMOUTH, Ohio - Shawnee State University's board of trustees on Friday ratified a three-year contract with the school's faculty, concluding a four-month effort to work out the new agreement.

The Shawnee Education Association, which represents faculty at the four-year school, ratified the contract on Oct. 9.

The deal gives faculty members pay increases of 4.5 percent or $1,300 in the first year, 4 percent or $1,300 in the second year and 4 percent or $1,300 in the third year. Faculty members are to receive the greater of the percentage increase or the $1,300 raise, university officials said.

The last contract expired at the end of August. A federal mediator sat in on the contract talks beginning in June.

Police search for car dealer's robbers

MONROE - Police are trying to find two men who robbed an auto dealership clerk, pistol-whipped her, then led her boyfriend and police on a chase Friday afternoon.

Around 2:45 p.m., two masked men dressed in black entered Auto Credit in the 5000 block of Hamilton-Middletown Road and demanded money. The frightened woman tried to flee, but the robbers grabbed her and wrapped duct tape around her eyes and wrists, said Sgt. Brian Curlis. The men also tried to disable the telephone, but inadvertently hit the redial button, placing a call to the woman's boyfriend.

The boyfriend followed the suspects' vehicle, but lost sight of the black Chevrolet Corsica or Lumina on Yankee Road.

Photo gallery
On the Delta Queen, history takes its time
Calliopes blast out that shrill, sweet song
Three boats boast authentic calliopes
Timeline of the early calliope
Tall Stacks hits high note with music performers, fans
Family troupe tells slaves' life
Daily schedule
Riverboat crowd swoons over Elvis
Civil War recruiters at work
Honeymooners revel in romance of river
Lavish ships with luscious edibles
NKU troupe dances below Newport levee
To artists, bridge just far enough
It's no easy ride for busy boat staff

Theft suspect dies in struggle with van owner
Coyne can run, but not serve
City's new riverfront becomes visible

Ballpark eatery falls silent
Sharonville pool to include flume slides
Montgomery event honors its international residents
Family agency votes to strike
Regional Report

Howard: Good Things Happening

Butler DUI force called success
Trustee candidates debate issues related to growth
Fairfield hears complaint: Too noisy
Candidates differ on Warren growth

Mickey Kaplan dedicated life to arts, giving

Ohio Moments

Chart House closes 'for renovations'
Father testifies against his son
Eliminating primary considered