Sunday, July 18, 2004

Ohio news in brief



Computer recycling program offered

With 250 million computers in the United States on the road to oblivion by next year, several movements abound to keep the devices - and the mercury, lead and other harmful chemicals inside them - from being scrapped in landfills.

Office Depot stores recently announced a free in-store electronics recycling program that will run through Sept. 6.

The Hamilton County Department of Environmental Services has offered computer recycling since 2002.

Individuals and companies from Northern Kentucky and surrounding Ohio counties also are welcome to drop off old computers at the agency's next recycling event scheduled for Aug. 26-28 at the Hamilton County Fairgrounds.

Information about how to package materials can be found at Web site.

NASA launches student-built rocket

A group of University of Cincinnati students proved Saturday that they really are rocket scientists when NASA successfully launched a 20-foot rocket they had built from scratch.

The rocket, named Pathfinder, was launched from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility off the eastern shore of Virginia just south of Maryland. It was designed to soar nearly 30,000 feet into the air at a top speed of 1,400 mph.

The students had planned to recover the rocket after launch, but disabled its parachutes because of pre-flight concerns with the computer system.

Roger Rovekamp, 24, a project founder, said the group collected data about the motor and said the rocket likely sank into the ocean.

Farmers consider tobacco alternative

A dramatic drop in the value of tobacco and a possible buyout being mulled by Congress are factors in Ohio farmers' decisions to find alternatives to the crop.

The U.S. Senate approved a plan Thursday that would pay tobacco farmers nationwide $12 billion to give up federal quotas limiting how much tobacco they can sell. That also would effectively end price controls.

Ohio produced nearly 10 million pounds of tobacco worth about $17.2 million in 2002, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The state is the eighth-largest producer in the country. In 1997, the state's crop was worth $34.3 million.

Much of Ohio's tobacco is grown in southern counties along the Ohio River. The decrease in production already is being felt there. Brown County, for example, grew 2.8 million pounds in 2000 compared with 7.96 million three years earlier.

Mason may disband municipal court

MASON - Monday's city council work session, originally slated to discuss capital improvement projects, also will be the first forum for the entire city council to discuss disbanding the city municipal court.

Council's court liaison committee decided Wednesday to investigate replacing municipal court with a mayor's court or becoming part of the county court system. Calls for change emerged after complaints and controversy about Municipal Court Judge George Parker.

Since taking office in 2002, Parker has repeatedly clashed with police, including having Mason's police chief arrested last year after a dispute over transporting a prisoner.

Parker maintains that he is only doing his job and has done nothing wrong.




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IN THE TRISTATE
Norwood battle puts life on hold
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ENQUIRER COLUMNISTS
Crowley: Candidates use poverty as leverage
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Good Things Happening in Kentucky

LIVES REMEMBERED
Phyllis Schmitt, 66, was nurse with St. E.
Jack McClure, 82, was a teacher and built homes
Pat Reams was face of 'Five Star Service'

KENTUCKY STORIES
Northup puts down car-sticker campaign
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Campbell Co. parents form district's first booster club
Prescription-drug bills stinging state residents, study determines
N.Ky. gay-union battle brewing
Lexington Hustler opens after struggle
Library considers Web policy
Y'all come: Florence Council takes government to the streets
Visitors (furry and not) sniff out Kenton County's new Paw Park
The Thing Shop closes a door on 'Sin City' era
Northern Kentucky Week in Review
Northern Kentucky News in Brief
Kentucky news briefs