Monday, April 19, 2004

Pavilion opened in Friendship Park

Local news briefs

Staff/Wire reports

About 200 people attended the dedication Sunday of a new park pavilion, a gift to Cincinnati from Munich, Germany.

The pavilion, titled "Castle of Air" and patterned after a structure in Munich, is in Theodore M. Berry International Friendship Park, 1101 Eastern Ave. Mayor Charlie Luken, Munich's Mayor Hep Monatzeder and other Munich officials attended the ceremony. Munich and Cincinnati have been sister cities since 1989.

Sculpture display begins in July

Courthouse square will be filled with people hugging, looking through binoculars, eating ice cream cones and reading a newspaper this summer - and they won't move for three months. Twenty life-size sculptures by J. Seward Johnson Jr. will be on display in downtown Hamilton during "Sculpture on High" from July through September, said Trudy Marcum, president of Hamilton's nonprofit City of Sculpture committee.

The internationally known sculptor made "First Ride," showing a father helping a young girl riding a bicycle, on display in front of the Fitton Center for Creative Arts downtown. All 20 statues are listed on the Internet at

Friars Club seeks money for trip

The Friars Club wants to raise $10,000 to send the Friars Golden Bears youth basketball team to a national AAU tournament in Orlando, Fla., this summer. The nonprofit social service agency is asking for donations to help cover the cost of the trip, which is about $1,000 per child. The Friars Club would like to raise the money by July 23.

The Friars Golden Bears is a team of 9-year-old boys playing in their first AAU season. For more information: 381-5432.

You can connect online to help

Millions across the country who regularly donate their time and energy will be honored during National Volunteer Week through Saturday. But even more can join their ranks through the United Way of Greater Cincinnati's Volunteer Solutions, an online way to connect with hundreds of local agencies looking for help. Click "volunteer now" at to choose from many volunteer opportunities.

House, vehicles burn as fuel line ignites

COLERAIN TOWNSHIP - Thirty-five firefighters battled a house fire Saturday that injured one person and left a family homeless.

The blaze began about 11:45 p.m. in an attached garage in the 11100 block of Elbow Drive after a fuel line in a sports car caught fire, according to Colerain Fire Capt. Steve Conn.

The homeowner, William Schwegman, and his family escaped safely. Fire Capt. Dave Witherby received a minor neck injury when part of the first-floor ceiling fell in, Conn said.

The fire, which took nearly two hours to extinguish, collapsed about a third of the home's roof and destroyed furniture, the sports car, a motorcycle and two all-terrain vehicles, Conn said. He estimated damage at about $200,000.

Mt. Orab man dies in head-on collision

GEORGETOWN - A Mount Orab man was killed when his car crossed the center line and hit a van head-on on Ohio 774 Saturday afternoon. Mark A. Hall, 44, was driving a 1991 Ford Explorer north on Ohio 774 near Yankeetown Road when the crash occurred at 3:15 p.m., according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Hall struck a 1979 Ford Econoline van driven by Marion F. Preston, 47, of Feesburg, Ohio, the highway patrol said.

Preston was flown by helicopter to University Hospital, where he remained in intensive care Sunday.

Preston's wife, Tammie S. Preston, 39, and their 10-year-old daughter and 8- and 9-year-old sons were passengers. They were taken to other hospitals, where they were treated and released.

Rape suspect accused of impersonation

A 33-year-old Price Hill man who posed as a probation officer before raping a woman Tuesday in Eden Park was arrested Saturday at his residence, police said.

Police charged Ray Cobia, of the 900 block of Grand Avenue, with rape, abduction and impersonation of certain officers in the incident.

Police said Cobia identified himself as a probation officer and told the victim she was under arrest. He then forced the victim to ride in his vehicle from Ezzard Charles Drive to Eden Park where he raped her, police said.

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