Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Public safety briefs

Some rooms closed at Fairfield motel

HAMILTON - Fairfield officials who wanted a court to shut down the crime-plagued Capri Motel have agreed to a compromise that will close just some of its rooms.

In an agreement reached Tuesday in Butler County Common Pleas Court, the Capri's owners promised to lock up 11 rooms for up to a year. Those rooms are on a secluded side of the motel, where many prostitution- and drug-related problems have been occurring, officials said.

The agreement also requires motel staff to:

• Require photo ID cards from patrons.

• Ban patrons who are arrested for certain offenses on the premises.

• Help authorities prosecute banned patrons who trespass.

• Tell Fairfield police about any illegal activity at the hotel immediately upon its discovery.

• Cooperate with a team of Fairfield officers who are assigned to enforce laws at hotels and motels.

City officials may request a hearing if they think the terms are being broken.

In a suit filed March 29, city leaders had sought to have the motel at 3256 Dixie Highway (Ohio 4) declared a nuisance and shut down.

Officials cited more than two dozen arrests at the motel over the last two years. They also said Fairfield police had been called to the establishment 170 times during the last six months of 2003.

Underground lines spark fire, evacuation

DOWNTOWN - A malfunction of below-ground electrical transmission lines on Walnut Street between Third and Fourth streets Tuesday afternoon resulted in a fire and two blown manhole covers.

When firefighters arrived about 3:30 p.m. green flames were shooting from one manhole, said District Fire Chief Steve Kluesener said. The greenish color was "most probably" an indication of copper burning, he said.

Buildings at 312 Walnut St. and 49 E. Fourth St. were evacuated while firefighters extinguished the blaze. There were no injuries. The all-clear was given about 4:30 p.m.

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