Tuesday, December 9, 2003

Around the Tristate

Police ask help finding links to I-270 shootings

Cincinnati Enquirer

COLUMBUS - Police want people to compare the times and dates of 14 shootings along a stretch of highway with the habits of individuals they suspect may be involved, investigators said Monday.

Police noted potential suspects would be able to come and go at all hours with little supervision and without drawing attention of family or friends.

"It's sort of all over the page as far as times are concerned," Franklin County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Steve Martin said, referring to the shootings' timeline.

At least two shootings along Interstate 270 have happened since Nov. 25, when Gail Knisley, 62, was killed as she was being driven to a doctor's appointment, authorities said.

No evidence of beating found on man's body

DAYTON - A man who died hours after struggling with police had no bruising to suggest he was beaten, a coroner's official said Monday.

Kirkland Smith, 44, of suburban Trotwood, died at a hospital Friday night after being arrested and handcuffed by several officers on the porch of a home on the city's west side. Police said they were investigating reports of a man trying to break into a house and a car.

Ken Betz, director of the Montgomery County coroner's office, said Smith had a small scrape on his nose and on the right side of his head, consistent with someone being held down on outdoor carpeting.

Betz said Smith had a history of heart problems, and coroner's investigators are checking to see if that may have been a factor.

Tobacco growers may see more quota cuts

LOUISVILLE - Tobacco growers could be hit by another double-digit cut in production quotas next year, an ag economist said Monday.

Will Snell, a University of Kentucky tobacco economist, predicted that the quota for flue-cured tobacco could drop by nearly 22 percent.

Farmers in the burley tobacco belt won't likely face such a drastic cut, but their quota could fall by 10 percent to 15 percent, Snell said.

Quotas are government allotments that dictate how much leaf farmers can grow under a program that also sets price controls. This year, tobacco income will dip below $500 million, despite high prices, Snell said.

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