Wednesday, December 31, 2003

2003: The year in review


Top stories that shaped our news

CLERGY ABUSE SCANDAL

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati became the first Catholic institution in the nation to be convicted of criminal charges for failing to report allegations of sexual abuse involving priests. And in Northern Kentucky, people who claim they were victims of abuse filed the nation's first class-action lawsuit against the Diocese of Covington.

TAX BREAKS FOR COMPANIES

Cincinnati City Council approved $52.2 million in tax incentives and grants for Convergys and another $12 million to build the Kroger Co. a new parking garage. Both deals were made after the companies threatened to leave downtown, and both raised questions about how far cities should go to subsidize businesses.

ELECTION DAY SURPRISES

Cincinnati City Council was transformed when incumbent Chris Monzel was voted out and newcomers Sam Malone and Christopher Smitherman were elected. Ohio voters rejected Gov. Bob Taft's $500 million plan to boost high-tech research, while Kentucky voters made Ernie Fletcher their first Republican governor in 32 years.

UC NAMES NEW PRESIDENT

Nancy Zimpher was hired in July as the first woman president in the school's 184-year history. The 56-year-old Zimpher became UC's 25th president after leaving her job as chancellor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She replaced Joseph Steger, who had led UC for 19 years.

OHIO'S BUDGET CRUNCH

Facing budget deficits and severe cuts to services, Ohio Gov. Bob Taft and state legislators pushed through a controversial 1-cent sales tax increase. Opponents, including Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, have launched a campaign to repeal the tax increase before it is scheduled to end June 30, 2005.

CINCINNATI SCHOOLS BOND

Voters in May approved a $480 million bond issue that will fund construction of 34 schools and the remodeling of 31 others in the largest public works project in Cincinnati history. Educators said the project is crucial to the future of the city's public schools. With money from the state and other sources, the total cost of the project will approach $1 billion.

LEAD CONTAMINATION

About 40 homeowners in a Liberty Township neighborhood became part of the biggest cleanup of lead contamination in Greater Cincinnati history. The heart of the contaminated area, the Lexington Manor subdivision, was once a skeet-shooting range. Excavation of the site is expected to begin in January. It should take up to six months to remove contaminated soil.

DEATH IN POLICE CUSTODY

The arrest of Nathaniel Jones, who died in police custody Nov. 30, heightened racial tensions that had never completely subsided following the 2001 riots in Cincinnati. Because Jones' arrest was videotaped, an international TV audience watched him lunge at police and continue to struggle as officers struck him multiple times with nightsticks. The coroner ruled Jones died as a result of the struggle, but not necessarily because officers did anything wrong.

TRUCKING COMPANY SHOOTING

The Watkins Motor Line trucking company in West Chester Township was the scene of a deadly shooting Nov. 6. Two people were killed and three wounded. Authorities say Tom West, 50, admitted the shootings, but his motives remain unclear. He faces a May 10 trial on charges of aggravated murder.

75 PEOPLE KILLED

Cincinnati saw its most deadly year in 26 years. In 2003, 75 people were slain in the city. Most of the killings were shootings, and the majority were tied to the drug culture. The mayor, a city council member and a former assistant police chief have vowed to tackle the problem in 2004 in part by working with community members.




TOP STORIES
Get out there and get down
2003: The year in review
Dowlin rolling out big guns of the GOP
Eat less, exercise more to lose weight safely
Lawsuits pending across country against diet aid

IN THE TRISTATE
Urban League CEO retires
Dispute could leave Anthem users in lurch
Deters fills in for Cunningham; Green Twp. trustee undecided
West Chester Twp. trustee to run for commissioner
Wyoming man says he was abducted, robbed
Fairfield's $50M budget hires more city workers
Killings at 26-year high
Swimming pools cut from city funding
Neighbors briefs
Ohio moments
Nuns' eatery faces eviction
Public safety
Around the Tristate
Today is deadline for donations to Wish List

ENQUIRER COLUMNISTS
Korte: Tarbell most efficient at wooing voters
From the State Capitals
Good Things Happening

LIVES REMEMBERED
A. Sweeney, Supreme Court justice

KENTUCKY STORIES
Charges dropped against traveler
Church revives Sunday night cafe
Traffic stops turn up drugs, too