Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Priest won't return to duties after court

Around the Tristate

AKRON - A Roman Catholic priest accused of growing marijuana in his church living quarters won't be allowed to return to his duties in the parish after the case is resolved, church officials said.

The Rev. Richard A. Arko, 40, was charged last week with illegal cultivation of marijuana, a fifth-degree felony. He has been placed on paid leave, church officials said.

"We are confused and concerned that this man who has done so much good could allow marijuana to be growing in his church residence," said Bishop Martin J. Amos, auxiliary bishop for the southern portion of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland, on Sunday.

Jensen J. Powell, 24, who police said also lived at the Prince of Peace Church rectory, was charged with trafficking in marijuana, also a fifth-degree felony.

If convicted, each faces six months to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine. Both men were to appear in court Wednesday.

Norton police arrested Arko after they searched the living quarters in Barberton, about eight miles southwest of Akron. Church officials said they don't expect to have a new pastor until June. The parish is made up of more than 500 families.

Police said they found a marijuana growing system in a spare bedroom and confiscated about 35 potted marijuana plants ranging from 6 inches to 4 feet tall, along with grow lights, electric transformers, air purifiers and instruction books for growing marijuana.

Officer from Indiana killed in Iraq crash

EDINBURGH, Ind. - An Army pilot who grew up in central Indiana was killed when his helicopter crashed during a combat mission in northern Iraq, military officials said.

Chief Warrant Officer Brian D. Hazelgrove, 29, a pilot assigned to the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, N.Y., died Friday when his Kiowa Warrior helicopter crashed near Mosul in northern Iraq.

Hazelgrove, a graduate of Edinburgh High School, joined the Army in 1994 and had been in Iraq since November.

Survivors include his wife, Kimmi, and four children, Taylor, 11, Zachary, 10, Brandon, 3, and Katelyn, 7 months. The military reported his residence as Fort Rucker, Ala.

Hazelgrove and the other pilot on the helicopter crashed soon after takeoff, the military said. The cause of the crash was unclear. The military said the initial report from an accompanying helicopter did not mention any hostile activity.

Hazelgrove was the 19th person from Indiana to have died while serving in the Mideast during the war in Iraq.

Louisville faces order to upgrade sewers

LOUISVILLE - The Environmental Protection Agency is close to ordering the Louisville Metro Government to overhaul its sewer system, a process officials say could cost more than $1 billion.

The city and county's Metropolitan Sewer District has spent more than $250 million in recent years to keep raw sewage out of rivers and streams.

But MSD Executive Director Bud Schardein said that years of work on the system "won't likely be enough" to keep the EPA from mandating more changes.

The price tag will fall on MSD's customers, Schardein said, and those rates could increase by more than $100 a month in some cases.

In the past eight months, the EPA has requested thousands of documents and investigated dozens of locations in Jefferson County where untreated sewage pours into rivers and streams. The overflows occur largely during heavy rain when treatment facilities can't handle the combined volume of rain water and sewage.

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