Thursday, July 29, 2004

Pendleton drug drive-through blocked

By Jane Prendergast
Enquirer staff writer

An entrance to East 13th Street in Over-the-Rhine has been closed to traffic in an effort to curb drug traffic coming from Northern Kentucky off Interstate 471.
Call it the off-the-interstate drug drive-through.

In just minutes, people from Northern Kenrucky looking to buy illegal drugs zip over the Interstate 471 bridge, hop off in Cincinnati, buy drugs and head back.

The routine and route is all too familiar to police officers and residents of the Pendleton neighborhood. Residents have been working for more than a year to get authorities to block off an entrance to East 13th Street so drug buyers can't come off the interstate and turn directly into Pendleton.

Wednesday, police did just that.

"I hope it works,'' said Spec. Frank McGraw, neighborhood officer. "Just as long as we can make them go around the block a little bit, make them a little bit uncomfortable.''

The barricades will stay up six months, during which police, the city and the neighborhood will evaluate whether it has curbed drug purchases.

Not everyone is pleased, though.

One business on the strip, Mr. Bubbles car detailing, hopes it can convince the city to take the barricades down immediately. At the shop Wednesday afternoon, Tabatha Anderson said workers had detailed only three cars - a significant reduction from the usual, probably because of the barricades, she said.

"This is not going to stop a crackhead who wants to smoke,'' Anderson said. "We're a small business. We're the ones it's going to hurt.''

Joe Bodkin, an architect and neighborhood resident who is an organizer with the Pendleton civic association, said he and Mr. Bubbles' owner Marvin Butts discussed it. Bodkin started talking about the idea more than a year ago.

City officials had said they would erect the barriers, but Bodkin said he still was a little shocked the idea had made it through various approvals.

"We just needed to try it and see if it works,'' Bodkin said. "If it doesn't, we'll try something else.''


Edwards: 'We choose hope over despair'
Pollster tunes in to local voices
Sharpton, Kucinich join fold
Edwards' wife describes his rise
Kerry won't neglect Ohio
Kerry needs to prove he can lead the nation
McConnell calls attacks 'vile'
Prime-time speakers tonight
Ky. Takes Back Seat To Ohio
'Kerry parties' number 20 here
Gannett News Service convention coverage
Enquirer's election section

Girls prison under scrutiny
Hundreds honor Hoff, 'everyone's parent' at XU
Political funds face scrutiny
Auto pollution increases health risks

More cars a concern in Evendale
Dems have a friend(?) in Flynt and his new book
Rate increase goes to voters
Local news briefs
Loveland may ease its rules on signs
Neighbors briefs
Attorney general puts lottery in charge of bingo
Young Dems get campaign pointers
Guilty plea in gym scam
Former professor convicted of murder
Court asked to reconsider ban on Commandments
Hit-run victims get new shot at claims
Pendleton drug drive-through blocked
City schools plan hearing on budget
Suit against treasurer surprises county
West Chester center may be on Nov. ballot
Planners to consider Westwood rezoning
Transfer station coming to ex-landfill

Good Things Happening

Retirement wasn't idle time for L. Winiarski

Adjutant general fell into career
FOP wants into state budget suit
Bunning says veterans need best health care
Covington wants CSX bridge fixed
Judge rejects bond for murder suspect
Fletcher names 1st black to cabinet
Forest plan has foes on two sides
Florence Freedom hit with 9th lien
Gov. leaves comedy to pros
$143M settlement nets Ricky Martin, other CDs
Democrat Ridley wins Ky. Senate open seat
Sewer plant under way soon
Alexander may help get Boone new turf
Kentucky News briefs