The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio on April 20, 2010 · Page 12
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The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio · Page 12

Cincinnati, Ohio
Issue Date:
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Page 12
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THE ENQUIRER LOCAL NEWS TUESDAY, APRIL 20, 2010 B3 Itore closing sparks action Critics of Kroger move plan meeting healthy foods," Milton said. Asked if Kroger would send a representative to the community meeting, Betzler said she'd just learned of it, and added, "We haven't been invited." Cincinnati Councilman Cecil Thomas wants to hear from residents at the April 29 meeting. He also plans to bring up the food desert issue before the council's Quality of Life Committee. He and Edith Thrower, of the SCLC chapter, also want to explore op'ions for bringing another grocery store to Roselawn. Thrower said her first choice would be to appeal to Kroger to keep the store open. But, she added, "I'm all for self-empowerment. There are other options. Maybe we can open our own grocery store." thing that is very critical to people's survival." Obesity and related health problems are higher in neighborhoods where people don't have access to fresh fruits and vegetables, Tillery said. Tillery cited research showing that African-American neighborhoods are less likely to have supermarkets than white neighborhoods, and the convenience stores that serve those neighborhoods charge higher prices for less nutritious food. Rachael Betzler, a spokeswoman for Kroger, said the company will offer free bus tokens for customers of the Roselawn store who switch to their nearby Norwood or Hartwell stores. She cited the store's loss, as well as company data showing that 75 percent of customers at the Hillcrest store have already started shopping at other Kroger stores. But not everyone can get to a bus, said Patricia Milton, president of the Avondale Community Center, and it's not easy to carry bags of groceries on the bus or carry them home from the bus stop. "Do you know how difficult it is to bring home enough groceries for a family on the bus?" Milton asked. "It's not a good thing." Avondale, a neighborhood of about 16,000 which borders Roselawn, doesn't have a supermarket "It means no options or very few options for MUTUAL AID cials blamed a loss of more than $1 million last year at that store, and an eroding customer base. But DwightTillery.CEO of the Center for Closing the Health Gap in Avondale, said profit shouldn't be the only issue when basic services are at stake. "What we're looking at here is a pattern of major grocers are abandoning the inner-city neighborhoods, which happen to be primarily minority people and poor people and elderly people," Tillery said. "This has to be more than, We're not meeting our bottom line,' because food, like water, is essential to the health and well-being of our residents. You're losing some 4 , V 1 ' i, ' , $ 5 ' - 7?7 'rV t. ' r r- r -,f M '';'U AREA NEWS NXU plans 4 to 7 tuition increase Northern Kentucky University students will pay between $144 and $240 more in fall-semester tuition to help operate new buildings and fill the gap from state budget cuts. NKU told students Monday that it plans to increase tuition 4 percent to 7 percent, setting tuition between $3,540 and $3,636 per semester, compared with $3,396 this year. It's proposing similar increases for its Metro rate covering students from Ohio and Indiana and most graduate programs. Tuition for business graduate programs would remain the same. The university, which boasted record enrollment of 15,365 this academic year, says millions of dollars of state budget cuts and increased costs to operate new buildings such as the student union and the Bank of Kentucky Center leave it no choice. CPS open house focuses on autism Cincinnati Public Schools will host an open house Thursday to explain and promote the services it offers to children with autism. The event is from 4-7 p.m. at Rockdale Academy, 335 Rockdale Ave., Avondale. Intervention specialists and members of the district's autism support team will be available to answer questions about the condition and CPS' programs. Call 363-0280 for information. Museum honors Grant's birthday The birth of Clermont County native Ulysses Grant, the Civil War general who became the 18th U.S. president, will be celebrated Saturday at the U.S. Grant Birthplace, 1551 Ohio 232 in Point Pleasant. From 9:30 a.m. until 5 p.m., visitors to the museum just north of U.S. 52 in Monroe Township will be able to tour the 16Vfe-by-19-foot room where Grant was born April 27, 1822. Among items displayed are a trunk, made by his father, in which Grant stored his papers while a student at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. A 21-gun salute will precede a 1 p.m. ceremony that will include a speech by County Commissioner Bob Proud. The afternoon program will feature Civil War re-enac-tors. Food will be available for purchase. Cost to tour the house is $3, $2 seniors, $1 for children 6-12, free to kids 5 or younger. Kudepohl property gets $100K grant The Hudepohl Brewery redevelopment property at 801 W. Sixth St. in Queensgate has received a $100,400 grant from the Ohio Department of Development. The department said the Clean Ohio Assistance Fund grant was approved by the State Controlling Board for the city of Cincinnati. The city will use the grant to conduct an environmental assessment on the Hudepohl property. Clean Ohio Assistance Fund grants are awarded to aid in brownfield redevelopment in urban areas. Assessment work will help determine the property's environmental suitability and if there is a need for any cleanup. Health care talk at Thomas More Thomas More College will host a discussion on the impact of health care reform Vrednesday on the Crestview Hills campus. The event, free to the public, will start at 7 p.m. in Steigerwald Hall. Panelists will include John Dubis, chief operating officer at St. Elizabeth Healthcare; Gary Beatrice, president of Business Benefits and chairman of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce; and Rebecca Tacy, a nursing professor at Thomas More. For information, visit 'km By Peggy O'Farrell Kroger's decision to close its Roselawn store could hurt residents' health over the long haul, some community activists argue. The Center for Closing the Health Gap and the Southern Christian Leadership Council Fred Shuttlesworth Chapter are organizing an April 29 community meeting about the store closing and the issue of "food deserts" in Cincinnati. The meeting will start at 6 p.m. with a tentative location of Woodward Technical High School, 7005 Reading Road, Roselawn. Kroger announced Friday that the Hillcrest Shopping Center store will close Sunday, leaving Roselawn without a supermarket. Company offl- Lakota schools call in mediator By Michael D. Clark mclarkenquirer LIBERTY TWP. - The latest contract talks between teachers and Lakota school officials are starting to look like the contentious labor negotiations of two years ago. Similar to the 2008 talks, negotiations have reached an impasse prompting a federal mediator to get involved, school officials announced Monday. The negotiations, which began in March, are stalled on issues of pay and benefits. "Our efforts are focused on the long-term financial stability of the district," said Lakota spokeswoman Laura Kursnian. Officials from the teachers' union did not respond Monday to messages. Lakota officials said in a statement that negotiations for a new contract "reached impasse" and that the issues of pay and benefits are the sticking points. They said a federal mediator will join the negotiations on Thursday. The teachers' contract expires June 30. In 2008 Lakota and its teachers union - the 1,190-member Lakota Education Association - went through extended contract talks that were the most contentious in the Butler County district's 53-year history. The union at that time authorized a strike and there were public marches and demonstrations by the union. Lakota is the second-largest school system in Greater Cincinnati and the seventh-largest in Ohio. Lakota is the largest district in Ohio to earn the state's highest academic ranking, The district, which has cut millions of dollars in personnel and programs in the last year - including 50 teaching positions - has an operating levy on the May 4 ballot that would raise residents' property taxes twice by 2012. Lakota officials also an nounced they had reached a tentative agreement with the union that represents its 538-employee support staff for a one-year contract with no increase in base salary. Members of the Lakota Support Staff Union would, however, receive already scheduled, individual step increases that district officials said would result in less than a 0.002 percent increase in the operating budget. Cheryl Conaway-Nelson, Lakota school parent and co-chair of the district's levy campaign, called for the union to consider doing more to help the district's finances. "The levy campaign has been out having an honest conversation with our community about the financial future of our school district and we believe that this is an entire community effort, which includes the teachers union," she said. 'Our efforts are focused on the long-term financial stability of the district. ' Laura Kursnian, lakota spokeswoman if V" The EnquirerMichael E. Keating Cincinnati firefighters help their colleagues exchange air tanks while working a blaze at 2457 W. McMicken Avenue on Monday. The fire at the multi-unit ' building was thought to be arson. No injuries were reported. Several companies responded to the one-alarm fire. Family sues Oxford police, Taser manufacturer in death Lead paint remedy agreed Property owner to do removal By Dan Horn dhornenquirer. com A company that manages apartment buildings in Cincinnati agreed Monday to clean up lead paint hazards after authorities threatened legal action. Federal prosecutors say Ko-gan Realty Enterprises avoided a court battle when company officials reached a settlement that requires them to notify tenants of potential hazards and to clean up lead contamination at all 22 of its residential properties. Prosecutors accused the company of failing to comply with the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act, a federal law that requires notification to residents before they move into a building with a known lead hazard. Kogan officials could not be reached Monday, but federal prosecutors said the company signed a consent decree that mandates they clean up their properties. No fines are expected, but the cost of cleaning up lead-contaminated properties can be high. "The No. 1 concern is to get the problem taken care of," said Fred Alverson, spokesman for U.S. Attorney Carter Stewart. The company's properties include 128 apartment units, court records say. All of the buildings were built before 1978, when federal law barred the manufacture of lead-based paints. Alverson said prosecutors know of no injuries that resulted because of the company's failure to notify residents of the potential risk. But the Cincinnati Health Department cited Kogan in 2006 for owning and managing a property where a child had an elevated blood-lead level. The dangers associated with lead paint in Cincinnati were the subject of a 2006 Enquirer investigation, which found the Health Department was not forcing owners to clean up lead hazards. City officials said last year they have improved enforcement and most of the properties with lead contamination have been cleaned up. leaving for six months ship, one of the most populous in Clermont County. The recession has hampered such efforts, Autenrieb said. "I couldn't tell you any (major) business that's come to Goshen," Autenrieb said. "There's been no creation of new jobs, no development" in recent years. "I think the township is making a mistake," Keeley said. "Ethridge was essential to the future growth projects of Goshen Township. He brought the property maintenance code into effect, cleaned up the zoning language and (helped plan) the Ohio 28 corridor project." By Dan Horn dhornenquirer. com which delivers a shock of 50,000 volts for several seconds. "Decedent was not a threat to the officers or other bystanders present," the lawsuit states. "Police officers overreacted, in an irresponsible manner, to the situation that confronted them, thereby amounting to the use of excessive force." Oxford city officials could not be reached for comment Monday. A city clerk said the city had not yet been served with the lawsuit. Officials with Taser, which also is a defendant in the lawsuit, did not immediately return calls seeking comment. Piskura died five days after he was shocked. The Hamilton County coroner ruled that he died from the combined effects of the Taser shock, a heart-rhythm problem, acute alcohol intoxication and the physical exertion of fighting. Police investigators concluded that Officer Geoff Robinson, who fired the Taser, did nothing wrong and followed police policies. Oxford police suspended the use of Tas-ers for nearly two years after the incident, but resumed using them in February with revised guidelines and training. The family of a man who died after he was stunned with a Taser in 2008 has filed a federal lawsuit against Oxford police and the company that manufactures the devices. The parents of Kevin Piskura sued in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati, claiming the Taser that shocked their son was defective and that police were inadequately trained to use the potentially deadly weapon. They are seeking unspecified damages for wrongful death, product liability and constitutional violations. Piskura, 24, was a 2006 graduate of Miami University and had returned to Oxford for homecoming when he became involved in a confrontation outside a bar. Police say Piskura was combative and did not comply with orders to stop fighting, so an officer deployed a Taser after shouting the required warning: 'Taser! Taser! Taser!" The family's lawsuit, however, says Piskura obeyed police orders and accuses the officers of unnecessarily using the weapon, Twp. job Contract calls for him to be paid booster to discuss a township employee, Jbut Autenrieb said he couldn't disclose whether Ethridge was the subject. Ethridge hasn't been disciplined for anything, Township Administrator Ray C. Snyder said. A letter from Ethridge cited no reason for his resignation, effective Friday. He couldn't be reached. His primary responsibilities were advising Snyder and trustees on zoning regulations, land-use proposals and job-creation initiatives. Luring businesses and jobs was deemed important to help relieve the tax load on 19,000 residents in the town Goshen By Barrett J. Brunsman GOSHEN TWP. - Community and Economic Development Director Louis M. Ethridge, who was hired three years ago with the goal of boosting jobs, has agreed to surrender his own. Ethridge has been placed on paid leave pending an April 27 vote on his resignation by township trustees, who frowned on his contract. There are no plans to replace Ethridge, Trustee Ray Autenrieb said. Zoning inspector Kathie Alley will assume his responsibilities. Ethridge is paid $64,269 annually under a contract that runs through Dec. 22, 2011. He is entitled to six months pay as severance, plus unused sick leave and vacation time. Approved by a previous board, the contract limits the authority of the current trustees, Autenrieb said. The contract was approved in December by former Trustees Mike Keeley and TJ. Corcoran out of concern that Ethridge might be fired by their replacements on the board. Trustee Jack Kuntz voted against the contract. Autenrieb and Bob Hau-sermann, who were elected in November, joined Kuntz in executive session last week

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