The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio on November 18, 1995 · Page 3
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The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio · Page 3

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Saturday, November 18, 1995
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THE CINCINNATI ENQUIRER METRO Section Tomorrow: Pulfer's view Laura Pulfer gives her take on the Hooters restaurant chain's controversial hiring practices. Your Town 3 Obituaries 6 Business 8 Editor: Jim Smith, 768-8600; fax, 768-8340 Saturday November 18, 1995 NW Fl MF(9l u KRISTA RAMSEY In praise of the kindness of strangers Two years ago, I wrote a story about a girl who dropped out of school three times, then returned to graduate as class valedictorian. Christina Stevens' story was one of rare determination, and readers responded with extraordinary interest. They sent her books, money, gifts, letters of love and support. One woman even made her a graduation cake. I have never forgotten that cake. Christina's mother had died the year before, so there was no one else to make her a cake. This gift said more than "We are proud of you." It said, "We are family." One of the joys of my job is observing such moments. The poignancy of seeing strangers connect is a pleasure I never saw coming with my journalism degree. Yet these moments, too, are news. In the four months I've been writing this column, I have witnessed a great many more such scenes. Today I'd like to say thank you to Enquirer readers for their acts of kindness and generosity. In September, I wrote about Sardinia Elementary, a tiny rural school ravaged by three acts of arson. Health records, reading charts, clinic scales and classroom pianos were lost in the fire, as were teachers' painstaking collections of shells, magnets and classroom decorations. When I visited, the students were dispirited and the staff near despairing. Then envelopes of hope and later carloads and busloads of it started arriving. Nearly $7,000 in donations poured in to a teachers' supply fund, most in amounts of $10 and $20. Teachers from across the Tristate reached out to their colleagues, realizing the devastation of losing their "stuff." A retired Mason couple drove up with a car packed full of bright classroom decorations. A Blue Ash company sent boxes of office supplies. A busload of students from J.F. Dulles Elementary in Mack bounced over 60 miles to share books and $700 worth of pennies they had collected. "We were feeling discouraged and overwhelmed. Then the letters and . checks started coming in," says teacher ' Sondra Stratton. "It helped so much to know we weren't alone. The next time we f see a tragedy, we'll be the first to help." ' ' A rare privilege j A few months later, Cincinnatians were looking for a little hope after the news of two boys firing BBs into a gentle golden retriever named Benny. The story of Jon i and Sheelah Parker, who have rescued hundreds of neglected pets, proved a fit-i ting antidote. "They show us the best of what human beings can be," a reader wrote in one of many letters sending praise and contributions to the Parkers. In October, Cincinnatians literally , rolled up their sleeves to help others. Hundreds of readers donated blood after a column on the city's shortage. Donations at Hoxworth's neighborhood center re-i.main 10 percent higher than normal (al- though, with the holiday season approach-it ing, there is an extra need for blood). K It was an extraordinary effort. "I can-i,not express to you how thankful I am for J this gift of life," wrote one blood recipient. "Do you know how strongly you can rfeel that resurgence of life as the transfusion begins to flow through your body?" : What a rare privilege, indeed, to share $n another's healing. 'The indomitable human spirit I Last month, Mary Lutkewitte and Brendan McPhillips jogged through the column, on their way to the Bermuda ' Marathon. Mary (Brendan's teacher) does the running, and Brendan, a 13-year-old with cerebral palsy, goads her along from his racing stroller. Brendan coveted wrap-around sun-I glasses a la Dave Shula, and offers to buy ' him a pair poured in. Much to Brendan's t delight, the donor ended up being the Bengals coach himself. Now Tristaters are making sure Bren- dan gets to wear those shades at the Janu-ary marathon. Princeton City Schools and Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy are " holding fund-raisers, as is the Sharonville J Kroger store. Individuals also contributed several hundred dollars. Kroger CEO Joseph Pichler threw in 'J his generous support as well, even send-' ing Notre Dame fan Brendan a pair of i' Fighting Irish baseball caps to take along ' to Bermuda. ' Pichler praised the "indomitable hu- man spirit of these extraordinary Cincin- natians." J I've seen it as well, from all of you who have given, and done, so much. : l Krista Ramsey's column appears in The , Enquirer on Saturdays. Write her at 312 Elm St., Cincinnati 45202 or fax at "768-8340. Video of shooting hurt defense case, attorney says BY KRISTEN DELGUZZI The Cincinnati Enquirer Charles Cole installed a surveillance camera on his front porch for security, but it might have ended up costing the South Fair-mount man the next 18 years of his life. Cole, 44, was convicted Friday of murder for the Aug. 1 shooting death of a young man who was gunned down on the porch of Cole's Tremont Avenue house. The quiet, slight Cole, described by his attorney as a simple, uneducated man, claimed he shot Charles "Kevin" Blankenship in self-defense. But the jury of nine women and three men bolstered by a videotape that shows Cole firing four shots from a 9mm pistol into Blankenship's body found otherwise. "I think that without that videotape, he would have been found not guilty," defense lawyer Kenneth Lawson said. "The video was an important piece of evidence. It didn't lie." Prosecutors, who saw Cole convicted of a less serious charge than the one they had filed against him, agreed that the tape likely was the difference in a case that could have seen a (Please see MURDER, Page B7) Cole if J,-i V y The Cincinnati EnquirerGary Landers Charles Cole's wife, Virginia, left, and her mother, Bonnie Wright, talk with defense attorney Kenneth Lawson after the trial. Cole will be sentenced Dec. 5 'A lot of these families don't know they are needed and how crucial the need is' Foster children yearn for parents BY B.G. GREGG The Cincinnati Enquirer Leaf through the binder of photographs of the children up for adoption through Hamilton County's Department of Human Services and the smiles jump out at you. Brandon, a 10-year-old standing in front of a woodpile with his hands folded in front, bats his big brown eyes in your direction. Once thought to be unable to communicate or read, he now is showing autistic traits, reading road signs, naming any type of car on sight. Prince Charles, an 8-year-old boy, likes to dance and play board games. Katesa, 11, has an abnormal kidney, but it can be controlled with regular doctor visits. Carlos and Dejuan primp for the camera at a miniature golf course. The brothers want to go to the same family so they can stay together. Another thing jumps out as you turn the pages: The children are mostly African-American. Eighty four of the 87 children available for adoption are African-Americans. The county's population is 22 percent African-American. The situation is similar though not so skewed around the country. About 100,000 of the nation's 500,000 foster children eventually will be available for adoption, and about 42,000 of those children are African-Americans, the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse estimates. "Blacks only make up 12 percent of C , - ' i xf h If j k , '" $ - - - it fyr 2 ; ; SkXfafc,,,,,,,,, ,i, The Cincinnati EnquirerPhaedra Singelis Nelda Jackson and two of her three adopted children, Shawanee, 9, left, and Dionsoylo, 7, at home in Forest Park. She says you don't have to be rich to adopt. our population, so that shows this is completely out of whack," said Debra Smith, Clearinghouse director. Black children are languishing in the nation's foster care system because they enter at faster rates than whites, while there aren't nearly enough black families to adopt them. In Hamilton County,57 percent of the children who enter the Children's Services Division's caseload are African-American. That makes finding every suitable black family critical. Because most whites who want to adopt want white children, and many African-Americans say black children should be raised by (Please see ADOPT, Page B7) Rogers claims he may have killed 70 Suspect gave body count in interview after arrest ; The Associated Press HENDERSON, Ky. A Kentucky State Police detective said in an affidavit that suspected serial killer Glen Rogers told another detective he may have killed as many as 70 people. In the document obtained by WTVQ-TV in Lexington, Detective Robert G. Stephens said he and Detective Floyd Mcintosh interviewed Rogers on Monday afternoon, after Rogers was arrested. "I advised him that we were looking at him concerning the murder of 5 people, and we had 5 bodies," Stephens wrote in the affidavit seeking a search warrant. Stephens said Rogers told Mcintosh "it's more like 70 bodies and laughed as he said this." Rogers already is suspected of killing Rogers four women in California, Mississippi, Florida and Louisiana. Rogers, 33, also is wanted for questioning in the slaying of Mark Peters, 73, of Hamilton, Ohio, in 1993. He was formally indicted Thursday on Kentucky charges of first-degree wanton endangerment and criminal mischief stemming from a high-speed chase with police before he was arrested. A hearing was expected next week, although the date had not been firmly set on Friday." The affidavit seeks hair and blood samples from Rogers, and authorization to search the car Rogers was driving when he was arrested. Meanwhile, authorities said Rogers is no longer a potential suspect in the disappearance of a woman abducted from an Ohio River beach. Z Rogers has been ruled out as being involved in the Aug. 26 abduction of Heather Teague from a beach near Henderson in Western Kentucky, state Trooper Larry Abel said. Henderson police had said they wanted to talk with Rogers because he resembles a man seen dragging Teague, 23, off a deserted stretch of the river (Please see ROGERS, Page B7) X Wot Discovery could help cancer research BY TIM BONFIELD The Cincinnati Enquirer Two Cincinnati researchers have helped discover a gene for an extremely rare condition a discovery that could lead to a clearer understanding of how people develop cancer. Joanna Groden, assistant professor of molecular genetics at the University of Cincinnati, UC graduate student Joel Straughen and two scientists from the New York Blood Centerreport they have isolated the gene that causes Bloom's syndrome, an inherited form of dwarfism that affects only 200 people worldwide. The gene, now called BLM, may play an important role in future cancer research because all people with Bloom's syndrome eventually develop cancer. "What's important about this discovery is that it will teach us how cancer occurs in healthy cells," Groden said. "Hopefully, with a lot more research, we can I "Ti mA IsWW WW,.;,-.: f 2 113 Y 3 - r t- r - f 1 V i 0 Vehr sees streetwise way to end Bench-Rose feud Photo courtesy of UC Medical Center photography Joanna Groden, an assistant professor of molecular genetics at UC, is part of a team researching Bloom's syndrome. find a way to stop cancer cells from forming." Their research findings were published Friday in the medical journal Cell. Bloom's syndrome occurs when children inherit a mutated form of the BLM gene from each of their parents. The BLM gene affects human cell growth by regulating a protein called a helicase. As cells divide, the helicase protein protects the integrity of DNA the human genetic code. In people with Bloom's syndrome, all cells contain the mutated BLM gene, which results in stunted growth and the prolif- eration of cancer tumors. How does a gene that causes dwarfism affect other people with cancer? Groden and her colleagues say people born with a normal BLM gene may somehow acquire the mutation in some of their cells, which then become tumors. Through better understanding of how normal cells become cancerous, scientists may be able to block the tumor-forming process, Groden said. Groden has been studying Bloom's syndrome off and on since 1978, when she was a graduate student at the New York Blood Center. BY LAURA GOLDBERG The Cincinnati Enquirer Nick Vehr wants to bring Pete Rose and Johnny Bench together on a downtown street corner. On Friday the Cincinnati councilman proposed renaming Pete Rose Way to Pete RoseJohnny Bench Way, honoring the two former Reds greats who recently have been taking shots at each other in dueling radio interviews. In separate interviews Tuesday on WLW-AM (700), Bench said he thinks Rose bet on baseball and should be kept out of the Hall of Fame. Rose shot back that Bench doesn't think before talking and doesn't know the facts on Rose's banishment from baseball. He also said he thought Bench's comments were born of jealousy over Rose's popularity with fans. Vehr wants to hear none of that. He wants to remember them in the glory days of the Big Red Machine, "When I was a kid growing up idolizing these two guys as baseball players." The reaction at City Hall to his proposal was mostly of the "You've-got-be-kidding?" variety. Said Councilman Todd Portune: "I don't know if a forced reconciliation is anything we should be , !, . Mil ' 1 ' K $ f f Bench Rose involved in." Council changed the name from Second Street to Pete Rose Way in 1985. That was after Rose became the all-time hits leader in major-league baseball but before he was banned from the game for associating with gamblers. At the time some questioned the wisdom of naming the street for a living person because the honoree might later do something to embarrass the city. On Friday Councilwoman Bobbie Sterne, who voted against renaming the street for Rose in 1985, was succinct in response to the new proposal: "I don't think John ny Bench should have to share anything with Pete Rose." Vehr's motion will be sent to council's Public Works Committee for study.

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