The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio on November 27, 1976 · Page 41
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The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio · Page 41

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Cincinnati, Ohio
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Saturday, November 27, 1976
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Suburban News Q jSaturday, November 27, 1976 . THE CINCINNATI ENQUIRER Still Country Airport Weather's Important A t Harrison Air Park: Flying's Mostly For Pleasure, Tri-State Extra A summary of news stories from The Enquirer's other editions, compiled by Ira Brock. flight instruction school, and "we've got a busy charter business, although we've never gotten around to promoting it." A helicopter school was started at the air park about three months ago. Still, the country flavor remains. "I'D SAY about 90 of the activity out here is for pleasure," Rabkin says. an attorney and former adviser to the Cincinnati Planning Commission, took over last year and fut up new hangars, remodeled the airport building and lengthened the runway to 3100 feet. There is space for 250 "tie downs," Rabkin says. Hesaysthe Harrison Air Park pilots have done a "whale of a job" building up the By JOHNERARDI ' Enquirer Reporter HARRISON TWP.-It's a wonder the cows didn't stop giving milk and the chickens stop laying eggs here when Orville and Alvin Jackson plowed an "airstrip" through Woid-en Radcliffe's hayf ield back In '39. "We're still a country airport," says Mort Rabktn, operator of Harrison Air Park, "but with a modern flair." Indeed, the airport has changed since Orville and Alvin did their Imitation of the Wright Brothers. The main runway, still in the same position as the Jacksons' homemade airstrip, Is paved now. Lights were put up In 1954. Rabkin, Kentucky ' Burley Sales Healthy MAYSVILLE The first week of burley sales closed Friday on a stronger note with an average of more than $116 per hundredweight. A total of 615,939 pounds of tobacco was sold Friday for $716,692.95. During the first week, 3,194,217 pounds of burley brought $3,696,579.-04, an average of more than $115 per hundredweight. Seek Third Youth - NEWPORT-Two teenagers were in custody and a third was sought Friday in the rape and robbery of a woman after kidnaping her at gunpoint from Riverside Drive. Two suspects, 15 and 17, were In Kenton County Jail Friday night on charges of rape, robbery and kidnaping. They will be arraigned in Juvenile court Monday. " The suspect who was being sought was said by police to be 16 and also from the Covington area. Covington Juvenile Specialist Joe Battagalia said the three youths took the 27-year-old woman from the car of Gregory Christian about 3:40 a.m. Thursday. - After raping her, police said, the youths robbed her of $400 which she had obtained by cashing a check in anticipation of the Thanksgiving holiday. f - , '''' : I ffWHi l- r ,v.,,, r ; u;r: :y&ty& v ' i " ' -n-r-1 ' - ..;..r-:i.t':,T..--t''' I uf" P W i X i iU A V -"-1 Because the flying is mostly pleasure-oriented, the number of flights daily depends on the weather. "On a nice day," said Jim Keena, chief flight instructor, "we'll have several hundred movements" (take-offs and landings, but since Harrison is an "uncontrolled" airport, the number of flights is'not recorded ). Rankin adds that "our social club is very active. We have picnics in the summertime, and open house once a year where we have the 'two-cents-a-pound' plane rides. And we've got people who drive all all the way from the eastern section ,of Hamilton County to fly here "cause they like our 'country' image." . But Harrison is about to boom, Rabkin says. With 1-74 finished, I-275 on the way, and the airport, "we're a natural" to attract industry. "But Village Council has to make a commitment." Alas, it's time for more than just the chickens and cows to get involved. . ; '. "We're studying the proposals submitted to us (from Rabkin)," says Harrison Vice Mayor William Kuhlmann. "No one is against improvementsit's enlarging the airport that's the question." The vice mayor praised Rabkin 's "fine effort" in improving Harrison Air Park. Kuhlmann, as others on council, Is concerned that Harrison avoids "becoming another Blue Ash." The vice mayor said he recognizes the value of the airport to industry, "but no way do I want jets landing there." .-. -i.- RABKIN, HOWEVER, is feeling restless as a pilot grounded by bad' weather. He wants the village to apply to the federal government for a study grant. "That's the first step, but.'ttyy haven't taken it yet," says Rabkin. He cautions village fathers that the way to avoid a situation simitar to Blue Ash's, where many residents live in the airport's flight pattern, is not to tarry any longer on the project. "We've got to get that study grant, devise a master plan and apply for Airport Development funds," says Rabkin. "I've told the village I'm willing to kick in some of my own money for the development, but they're the ones who have to make the application." , Mort Rabkin Is an ambitious Orville Jackson. Orville asked Woiden Radcliffe to let him build an airstrip. Rabkin wants to buy some of the nearby farmland, still owned by the Radcliffe family. "It's an ideal situation," he says. "By zoning it for industrial use, ..It would act as a buffer zone between the airport and the community. "But we've got to get moving. , If the village is indecisive, a developer will build a subdivision instead. That's exactly what we don't want." Harrison Air Park is located outside the village limits. But already a group of homes has been built on the north 'end of the runway, and pilots have had to alter their flight pattern around them. , ; Rabkin says that any expansion of the airport would entail shifting the runway positions so as not to affect Harrison Junior and Senior High Schools, located about a half mile from the airport. He took the representatives of the school board on a flight to show them "firsthand" what the new pattern would be. "They were Impressed," Rabkin says. . J Indeed, the airport operator is concerned that all of Harrison Realize his Intentions. "WE'RE NOT on the muscle." Rabkin says. "For a private airport, this is a successful operation. But it can be so much more if Harrison, is going to grow." He says the difference between Harrison and Blue Ash airports is that "people don't regard us as absentee owners. They've always known who ran the place. We've got great relations with the community. We always have." Harrison and its airport have gotten along ever since Woiden Radcliffe told Orville Jackson, "Just don't land it in my cornfield .and everything will be fine." Rabkin promises to show Hai-son the same respect. ' t Cash Registers Ring i COVINGTON -Santa Claus arrived with an elk in this city's new . Olde Towne Plaza Friday and shop-' pers ignored the dampness as they began spending for Christmas . throughout the area. ; ' Hugh Williams, president of the Covington Businessmen's Association, said "lots of action was stirring" In downtown Covington. Jake Clark, assistant manager of the Florence Mall, said stores In the ' new shopping center "were real busy all day" with about 40,000 shoppers at the center. Stanley Statman, president of the Downtown Newport Merchants' Association, said sales In his city were brisk most of the day. Statman said last year's Christmas season "was very good" and he was expecting a better shopping season this year. Girl Hostage Unhurt LAKESIDE PARK-A three-year-old girl was released unharmed after being held hostage for about two hours Friday afternoon by a man armed with a shotgun, police said. Jack LaCally, 30, of Independence, surrendered to police upon releasing the girl and was charged with first degree wanton endanger-ment. The child, Shawn Brown, was identified by police as the daughter of Mrs. Donna Brown, LaCally's girlfriend, and in whose apartment he barricaded himself. Officers said LaCally and Mrs. Brown argued and he grabbed the child as her mother fled the ment. -Enquirer iFrea StrauDi Pnoto Air Strip Growing Amid Rows Of Crops In Harrison Area ... as Orville Jackson, pilots still land amid Harrison area hayfields, but an industrial boom could change that Harrison's 'Jack Of All Planes' Radclif f e Really Would Rather Go Fly fifth graders at Harrison Junior High, and also regularly instructs high school classes in aerodynamics. "I THINK I know what I'm talking about," George says, smiling, citing his 17 years as a pilot. "You know, invariably, somebody will ask me, 'How safe is flying?' "Well, I tell them I've never had an engine quit or blow out on me since I'vejoeen at it." George said there's only been "one or two" fatal air crashes at Harrison since Orville Jackson began landing in Woiden Radcliffe's hayfield. "Far as I know," George recalls, thinking back as long as he could, "ol' Orville never had any close calls either. It was a safe airfield back then, and it's even safer now." In 1960, George flew home from Walker Air Force Base in New Mexico. He had earned his pilot's license, and his dream came true. He touched down at Harrison Airport, on the very same runway that Orville had begun using back in 1939. AFTER THAT brief stop home, George later went on to earn his commercial and certified flying instructor's license during a second hitch in the Air Force and held several pilot's jobs outside Harrison. In 1972, the opportunity came to take over Harrison Airport. He bought it, but then sold it last year to settle Into the more comfortable pilot-bus driver role he prefers. And through it all, George has kept his love for his hometown. He just recently finished up a five-day' session teaching meteorology to Ohio Assault Foiled HAMILTON A young man fled a home early Friday when a police officer arrived to investigate a prowler call. A resident of the house told police she was awakened with a young man standing over her, holding a knife at her throat. He told her to remove her clothing and also asked for her money. She arose and went into another room to get her wallet and the suspect went to the rear door and ran from the house. Patrolman Gaston Bowling had been called by a neighbor to investigate a prowler. By JOHN ERARDI Enquirer Reporter HARRISON TWP.-For being on this earth only 36 years, George Radclif fe has done a little' bit of everything. The best of it he's done in the sky. He flew night cargo runs, carrying such valuable freight as bottles of human blood, from Greater Cincinnati Airport to Chicago's famous O'Hare Field for 16 months and never let weather cancel a trip. "We flew In some of the darndest stuff you ever saw," George recalls. He ran a "salvage" operation out of Dayton Airport for a while. "YOU KNOW, I'd get a call from somewhere that a a guy had crash-landed his plane," George says. "As long as the mechanic told me, 'It'll stay together at least 'til you get home,' I'd fly it back to Dayton and get it fixed." And he's known the business end of aviation, too, having run a 12-plane airline in Brunswick, Ga. "A real headache," he describes it. Hand Tryouts But ever since George joined the U.S. Air Force out of Harrison High School to get his pilot's license ("I didn't have the money to pay for it myself"), his ambition has been to return to Harrison. SO WHAT do you think occupies half his working day now that he's back? Driving a yellow schoolbus for the Southwest Local School District. "It's a good life," he says. "I drive the bus in the morning and afternoon, and fly in between!" says -George, who is a flight instructor and charter pilot for Miami-Whitewater Flying Service at Harrison Air Park. Indeed the story behind George Radcliffe is not so much what he's doing now, but how he came to do it. Radcliffe, you see, never had to go to the movies, or to the library, to dream about flying. "I was a young 'un back then. I'd be out in the fields "helping with the plowing and I'd hear that familiar rumbling sound," George says. "I'D LOOK up, and there'd be Orville flying in for a landing." Not to be confused with the Or-ville and Wilbur Wright of Kittyhawk fame, Orville Jackson and his brother Alvin were content to Confine themselves to a 2600-foot long grass airstrip mowed from George's granddaddy's hayfield. "At first it was just Orville and Alvin. I think their plane was a J-3 Cub," George recalls. "But gradually their friends began bringing their planes by, and by '46 they were doing flight instruction." IT WASN'T until 1954 that night lights were set up. Had planes ever tried landing after dark before then? "Yeah, I guess it happened a time or two," says George, laughing, recalling how the pilot would have to land by only the light of an automobile's high beams. 1 BATAVIA The Regional Land of Grant Honor Band will have tryouts for the 1976-77 school year December 11 at Western-Brown High School in Mt. Orab. The 100-instrument band directed by Donald E. Couser, band Coordinator, Batavia High School, draws student and adult musicians . from Adams, Brown, Clermont and Highland counties. e.- v. . , v , jic k' -'" ' " ""Tin i i irfn nitrrnTiWn- -r i-ifttrr.- -- 1 ft "S3: x.iti Editors Note One suburban airport that in Blue Ash-has been big news for years in the Northeastern Hamilton County community. And another in Harrison Township in Western Hamilton County soon may produce growing pains with progress. Enquirer reporters John Erardi and Rolf Wiegand have looked at the past, present and future of both airports in a two-part package concluding with Harrison today. Indiana Public Hearings MADISON-Plans for public hearings on the proposed Marble Hill Nuclear Plant will be made at a conference Thursday at the Madison-Jefferson County Public Library. The conference, open to the public, is part of the proceedings on application of Public Service Co. of Indiana for permits to build the proposed two-unit Marble Hill Nuclear Generating Station in Jefferson County. It Beats Flight Goggles . . . pilot Radcliffe drives a bus in morning and afternoon, but gets 12 o'clock high in between

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