Citizens For A Better Norwood

Friday, November 30, 2007

New feature: “Keith Moore’s Development News Roundup”

We are pleased to announce a new regular feature we plan to start Monday. Keith Moore, Ward I Councilperson and Chair of the Community Development Committee, has agreed to give us brief updates and news about the various developments and proposed developments around our city. Hoping to improve our reporting on the development side of things, we approached Mr. Moore for some guidance and advice, and he graciously agreed to write what will likely be a monthly blog we’re naming “Keith Moore’s Development News Roundup.” Stay tuned…we just might get some interesting tidbits that won’t appear in the MSM.

12/3/07 UPDATE: The new feature will be posted tomorrow morning.

Duke Energy’s free Power Manager offer

Some of us got a reminder letter recently from Duke Energy when we didn’t sign up for Power Manager after receiving the initial offer weeks ago. A call to a local heating and air conditioning contractor to find out what they’re recommending produced some interesting results. They didn’t have an opinion on whether or not the device could harm residential air conditioning systems, but they did say not a single company employee is signing up. Why? Because of this statement in the solicitation letter: “To help keep you comfortable, the indoor fan continues to circulate air throughout your home” during the few minutes each half hour Power Manager turns the air conditioning off and on. The contractor’s employees know, of course, the circulated air will not be cooled air; but regarding this, Duke Energy’s website claims, “Temperature changes during the cycling events are minimal.”

The Duke letter also says the system is safe and that Power Manager is regularly tested by various equipment manufacturers to ensure there will be no damage to outdoor air conditioning units. We called Duke to get the names of the various manufacturers. We were given two, one making the device for Indiana customers, the other for Ohio customers. We asked if there have been product tests by independent 3rd parties and were assured a callback if there have been any.

Conflicted and sitting on the fence about Power Manger, we wonder what conclusions our readers have reached about having it installed. Does anyone have some research or references to share? If you’ve signed up, can you tell us why you’re comfortable with the program? And at the risk of sounding like whacko conspiracy theorists, does anyone besides at least one of us think this voluntary program might be the first step towards mandatory installation of Power Manager? Is Power Manager for heating next?

12/1/07 UPDATE: Today’s Cincinnati Beacon takes up the topic of Power Manager and makes some interesting comments on several of Duke's answers to questions about the device.

Linden Pointe close to signing first retail tenant

On 10/19/07, the Business Courier announced the architectural firm Steed Hammond Paul had signed a lease for the entire 25,000 sq. ft. fourth floor of Linden Pointe’s completed phase one and would be launching an interior design project to make its new offices green. Today’s Enquirer announces that the developer Al Neyer “is close to signing a lease with the first retail tenant, who is considering a 2,500 sq.ft space.” Once phase one is 70% leased, Neyer will quickly start construction on the next phase.

A few interesting facts in the article: 1.) the completed development is anticipated to have 9 buildings total with approximately 600,000 sq.ft. of space, 2.) parking will accommodate 2,500 cars, and 3.) Neyer will break ground next year on construction of the new endoscopy center on the former MAB site on Montgomery Rd.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Norwood Library’s 5th Annual Make a Gift & Wrap It, Too!

Better hurry and make a reservation since there are only 4 slots left for the Norwood Library’s Make a Gift & Wrap It, Too! event for 8 to 16- year olds on Saturday, December 8. The gift they’ll be making this year will be mason jars filled with layers of cooking ingredients for cookies. Yum!

When: Saturday, Dec. 8, starting at 11:00 a.m.
Where: Norwood Public Library Branch, 4325 Montgomery Rd.
Cost: Free
Reservations: Advance registration required. Call 369-6037. If you call too late to get one of the last 4 slots, the library will be putting a few latecomers on a standby list.

August ’07 Norwood Police call stats

A monthly feature

Total NPD calls:

August: 2,853 = 92 per day = 3.8 per hour
September: 2,688 = 89.6 per day = 3.73 per hour
October: 2,850 = 91.9 per day = 3.83 per hour
November: 2,407 = 80.2 per day = 3.34 per hour
December: 2,358 = 76.06 per day = 3.16 per hour


January: 2,546 = 82.1 per day = 3.42 per hour
February: 2,556 = 91.2 per day = 3.8 per hour
March: 2,927 = 94.4 per day = 3.93 per hour
April: 3,210 = 107 per day = 4.46 per hour
May: 3,341 = 107.8 per day = 4.49 per hour
June: 2907 = 93.7 per day = 3.9 per hour
July: 3163 = 102 per day = 4.25 per hour
August: 3,167 = 102 per day = 4.25 per hour

Below are the number of calls for some of the more serious incident categories the NPD tracks. Unfortunately, we aren’t able to format with a chart. The first five sets of numbers below are for August through December ’06, followed by January through August ’07 in this partial breakdown by categories of calls:

Auto Accidents: 78-78-70-75-74 - 2007: 69-80-69-68-80-74-63-70
Criminal Damage: 58-54-47-42-41 - 2007: 41-32-39-53-46-45-53-41
Dom. Violence: 35-34-39-20-27 - 2007: 25-24-30-34-31-31-31-35
Fights: 40-42-43-37-42 - 2007: 36-35-63-56-70-36-58-37
Burglary: 34-16-26-15-22 - 2007: 23-20-24-19-24-17-15-25
Traffic Stops: 298-184-317-287-189 - 2007: 248-208-324-373-466-320-622-341
DUI: 6-5-11-7-9 - 2007: 1-1-5-9-10-10-13-4
Assault: 20-26-29-14-14 - 2007: 22-21-17-23-39-26-21-25
Noise Complaints: 50-71-49-36-37 - 2007: 31-33-64-66-78-72-98-36
Theft: 145-102-139-125-105 - 2007: 106-80-96-132-138-118-134-133
Theft/Motor Vehicle: 21-12-14-7-12 - 2007: 10-10-12-12-9-16-9-6
Rape/Attempted Rape: 4-2-4-1-1 - 2007: 1-1-1*-1*-1-2-1-1

* This number was in the “Sex/Crime” category. “Rape/Attempted Rape” category wasn’t in the report for the particular month.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

“Christmas in the Community” this Saturday!

Norwood Recreation is hosting “Christmas in the Community” this Saturday at the Community Center. With proceeds from their holiday raffle, Norwood seniors will supply hot chocolate, cookies, cups, napkins and candy for Santa.

When: Saturday, Dec. 1, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Where: Norwood Community Center at 1810 Courtland Avenue
Lots of fun: Pictures with Santa, treats for the children, snacks, crafts

Mayor Williams: City extending leaf pick up

Mayor Williams announced at last night’s council meeting that leaf pick up will continue past tomorrow, the last scheduled day. The recent rain and the fact that most of the leaves seemed to drop suddenly in one day created the need to keep at it. We just got off the phone with Tom White, Superintendent of Public Works, and he told us they’re running two leaf pickers and, “weather permitting and there’s no snow, our game plan is to stay at it until all the leaves are picked up.”

Addendum: A reader asked a great question about when Rumpke stops taking bagged leaves. The Health Dept. just told us Rumpke takes bagged leaves/yard waste year round. Soon, however, instead of putting the bags in a separate truck for composting, Rumpke will dump the yard waste bags in their regular garbage trucks. And just as a reminder, free bags are available at the Norwood Health Dept. at 2059 Sherman Avenue, phone #458-4600.

Caroline Kennedy coming to Norwood Joseph-Beth

Caroline Kennedy’s tour for her new book, “A Family Christmas,” includes a stop at the Norwood Joseph-Beth Booksellers at Rookwood Pavilion on Friday, December 14, from 3-5 p.m. According to the Enquirer, her book is “a follow-up to her 2005 bestseller “A Family of Poems,” an anthology of her favorites illustrated by Cincinnati native John J. Muth…and includes stories, lyrics, essays, scriptures and letters she has collected.” It hit the New York Times bestsellers list Nov. 18. Details about her appearance aren’t posted yet on the Joseph-Beth website.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

You Tube case: 1 NMS girl convicted of disorderly conduct

The Enquirer is reporting that today Hamilton County Juvenile Court Magistrate Sara Shoettmer handed down a conviction for the most minor charge that could be imposed on one of the two 13-year-old girls charged in the September Middle School fight: disorderly conduct, and no punishment was ordered. Complicity to assault charges against the other girl were dismissed. The magistrate delivered a stern lecture to both girls and the victim, blaming all three for the fight, and stated, “If that isn’t a consensual fight I don’t know what is.”

Should the City of Norwood do an online newsletter?

Norwood city council has been talking for months about the need for a government-produced newsletter to inform the community about things like new ordinances that affect everyone, leaf pickup schedules, street improvements, new equipment purchases, etc. Naturally, the discussions turned to the least expensive ways to “spread the news.” One suggestion was to include newsletters with the quarterly water bills, which might keep the cost at a bare minimum while assuring every household would receive them. We‘re not sure the “how to” was ever completely nailed down, but we do recall one council member indicating the 2008 budget would include funding for a newsletter.

Last week, a Cincinnati Enquirer blog announced the latest edition of the twice-monthly “Hello Hamilton County” online newsletter, billed as “E-News for Hamilton County citizens and employees.” Is this a model for our city to consider? Are there enough internet users in the local population to make an online newsletter viable? No one knows for sure, but according to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center, 71% of American adults use the internet. This chart shows what percentage of all users have performed various activities on the internet. 66% have visited local, state, and federal government websites.

We’re curious what our readers think is the best way for the city to deliver a newsletter to the community - mail only, internet only, or perhaps a combo of the two? Is making better use of the current City of Norwood web pages another option?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Holiday giving opportunities with the Norwood Service League

The Norwood Service League, which has served 350 households throughout the year, has many opportunities for residents to help with acts of kindness for the upcoming Holiday Season. You can help by donating to their holiday assistance program:

1. Toys for children - 0-12 years old
2. Gift cards for children - 13-18 years old
3. Winter coats, clothing, mittens, hats, scarves, etc. - all sizes
4. Items for Senior Shut-in Baskets: tea, lotion, gloves, etc.
5. Personal care items like shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, dish soap, laundry soap, razors, shaving cream for men and women, diapers sizes 3, 4, 5, and feminine products
6. Financial donations are always welcomed

For more information contact the Norwood Service League at 924-2560.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

1992 New York Times article about Norwood post GM

A little deja vu on this stroll down memory lane

Five years after cash cow GM left town, Joseph E. Sanker was mayor, City Auditor Donnie Jones was predicting ongoing deficits, Surrey Square was recently remodeled, Norwood had a Cultural Committee, and not unlike today, locals expressed a lot of optimism about the future - see any names you recognize or people you know?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Two major Norwood renovation projects in the news

Surrey Square - Clicking on the headline above will take you to an Enquirer article that says Centro Properties’ $13 million renovation of Surrey Square will begin after the new year. Apparently, the Enquirer is referring to the mall proper and not to the changes that are already underway. The new 76,000 sq.ft Kroger’s is expected to be finished in 2009. Centro Properties, the fifth-largest owner of U.S. shopping centers, paid $10.4 million for Surrey Square in 2005. Here’s the Centro website, which has property information, the site plan, the tenant list, and demographics for the Norwood project.

Siemens - According to this Enquirer article, the $30 million** expansion and redesign of this motor-manufacturing plant is virtually complete. Norwood Community Development Director Rick Dettmer stated, "Industrial reinvestment of this magnitude is very rare in America these days." Siemens officials have said the Norwood facility's skilled work force was a major factor in the company's decision to reinvest in it.

** Thanks to the commenter for pointing out our mistake. No, it definitely wasn't $30,000!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving Divorce

Laughter Doeth Good like a Medicine

A man in Phoenix calls his son in New York the day before Thanksgiving and says, "I hate to ruin your day, but I have to tell you that your mother and I are divorcing; forty-five years of misery is enough."

"Pop, what are you talking about?" the son screams. "We can't stand the sight of each other any longer," the father says. "We're sick of each other, and I'm sick of talking about this, so you call your sister in Chicago and tell her."

Frantic, the son calls his sister, who explodes on the phone. "Like heck they're getting divorced," she shouts, "I'll take care of this."

She calls Phoenix immediately, and screams at her father, "You are NOT getting divorced. Don't do a single thing until I get there. I'm calling my brother back, and we'll both be there tomorrow. Until then, don't do a thing, DO YOU HEAR ME?" and hangs up.

The old man hangs up his phone and turns to his wife. "Okay," he says, "they're coming for Thanksgiving and paying their own way."

Norwood Historical Society's annual Holiday Open House

Norwood Historical Society
Norwood, OH
For immediate release
Contact: Steve Thornbury, 373-9653

Historical Society to Honor Lucy Simpson at Annual Holiday Open House.

Norwood, OH., November 19, 2007 - On Saturday, December 8, 2007, the Norwood Historical Society will be holding its annual Holiday Open House from 4 to 7 p.m. at the historic McCoullough House on the grounds of the Lindner Park Nature Preserve. This year’s event will be highlighted by the presentation of the very first Norwood Historical Society Lifetime Achievement Award. The award, which will henceforth be made annually, recognizes the efforts of those individuals who have, over the years, helped establish and maintain the mission of the Society.

This year’s recipient is Ms. Lucy Simpson, a founding member and tireless supporter of the Society since it’s beginnings in 1977. To mark the event, Ms. Simpson has graciously agreed to make a special presentation of the Norwood History slide show for which she has become so well known.

As usual, the Holiday Open House offers the general public a great opportunity to view the McCoullough House decked-out in full Holiday dÈcor. Light refreshments will be served and tours of the house will be offered to those interested in learning of its rich history.

Everyone is invited and encouraged to bring friends and family members. Children, in particular, are welcome. Ms. Simpson is a regular guest in the local grade schools where countless youngsters have enjoyed her slide presentation.

The Holiday Open House takes place on Saturday, December 8 from 4 to 7 p.m. Ms. Simpson’s presentation and the presentation of her Lifetime Achievement Award will commence at approximately 5:30. Naturally, there is no charge for admission to this event. Brochures about the Norwood Historical Society will be available with membership forms and information on how you can donate to help further the work of the Society.

We look forward to seeing you and your guests and wish each of you all the best during this year’s Holiday Season.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A few remarks from Lt. Williams on the Decator shooting…

Yesterday afternoon, we were able to speak with Lt. Tom Williams who told us, “From all indications in the report (the 11/16/07 NPD Incident Report directly below), and from what we can tell, the officers did it by the book.” That doesn’t mean the book is closed yet on the incident. As yesterday’s 9/19/07 NPD press release says, the investigation is continuing. Also, as is routine in shootings, the Hamilton County Prosecutor is reviewing the facts and will make a determination.

We asked Lt. Williams if could he recall any prior incidents when Norwood police officers fired their guns at suspects. He named only two in the last 17 years: 1.) In 2000, a Norwood police officer shot at and wounded a suspect on Mills Avenue who was threatening his own family. The suspect survived. 2.) Prior to that in 1990, a Norwood police officer fired a fatal shot at a suspect in another incident.

Monday, November 19, 2007

11/16/07 NPD Incident Report re officer involved shooting

Following is the narrative from the 11/16/07 NPD incident report:

Name & Address of Suspect (Age, Race, Description…):
Mark Decator M/W, 2/5/73, LKA 17274 State Route 104, Chillicothe, OH 45601

Listed suspect robbed the Chase Bank in Kenwood, handing the teller a note which stated, “I have a gun empty your drawer.” Suspect exited the bank with the money and was observed getting into a green 1995 Camaro. Vehicle was reported to traveling s/b on I-71. Sgt. Tom Stein was in uniform driving a marked police vehicle when he observed the suspect and vehicle. Suspect exited at Williams and was stopped in traffic at the red light. When the light changed, Officers turned on their lights attempting to stop the suspect. Suspect failed to comply and fled traveling w/b on Williams at a high rate of speed. Sgt. Tom Stein was directly behind suspect vehicle with other marked units, pursuing the suspect with their lights and sirens on. Suspect refused to comply and continued to flee traveling w/b on Williams failing to stop for stop signs or red lights. Suspect traveled w/b on Williams disregarding the red light at Montgomery State route 22 and continued on Williams with marked police units in pursuit. Suspect continued to flee turning right on to Crosley.

Suspect was traveling at a high rate of speed and was unable to make the right turn towards Hopkins and drove into a driveway area crashing into a wooded area. Sgt. Stein followed suspect and observed suspect exit vehicle. Sgt. Stein and suspect exited the vehicles and Sgt. Stein yelled commands to the suspect, “Show me your hands, show me your hands.” Suspect failed to comply and went to the rear of the vehicle disregarding commands of Sgt. Stein.

Suspect then ducked down and pointed his arm and hand with an object in it at Sgt. Stein in a threatening motion. Sgt. Stein then fearing for his safety fired two rounds at the suspect. The suspect then ran to the front of the car and down the hill and across Hopkins Avenue with Sgt. Stein in foot pursuit. Sgt. Stein continued to give verbal commands to the suspect but he failed to comply and continued to run from the officer.

Sgt. Stein ran out of the woods on to Hopkins giving verbal commands to suspect. Suspect ran up a hill disregarding commands to stop, stop police. Suspect then reached back with his right hand and made a movement towards the officer as if he had a weapon. Sgt. Stein, fearing for his safety, fired several shots at the suspect, with one striking the suspect, and suspect fell to the ground.

Sgt. Stein took a defensive position behind a house until P.O. Mark Vickers arrived and then both officers approached the suspect. Suspect was laying on his stomach with one hand under his body refusing to obey commands to show his hands. Suspect was secured and taken to University Hospital by Norwood Medic unit where he later died. No weapon was found on the subject.

NPD Press Release re officer involved shooting

DATE: November 19, 2007
LOCATION: 1724 Hopkins Ave. on November 16, 2007
TYPE: Officer Involved Shooting - Bank Robbery Suspect



Attached is a copy of the report from the Norwood Police department regarding the officer involved shooting of the bank robbery suspect on Friday, November 16th, 2007 at 9:50 AM at 1724 Hopkins Ave.

Additional Incident Information
The suspect handed a note to the teller at Chase Bank which state, “I have a gun empty your drawer.”

Sgt. Tom Stein pursued the suspect until he crashed in the wooded area at the corner of Corley and Lowery Avenue. The suspect exited his vehicle. Sgt. Stein exited his cruiser yelling for the suspect to show his hands. The suspect refused to comply; instead, the suspect ducked down and raised his arm and hand with an object in it and pointed at Sgt. Stein as if it were a weapon. Sgt. Stein feared for his safety and fired two rounds at the suspect. The suspect ran off into the woods disregarding Sgt. Stein’s orders to stop. The suspect ran out on to Hopkins Ave. and up hill on the west side of 1724 Hopkins Ave. still refusing to comply with Sgt. Stein’s orders. The suspect reached back towards Sgt. Stein again as if he had a weapon. Sgt. Stein, again fearing for his safety, fired several more shots, one of which struck the suspect. When back up officers arrived, they approached the suspect who continued to refuse to comply with orders to show his hands. At that point, the suspect was taken into custody and paramedics called.

Additional Suspect Information
Mark L. Decator was staying at the Half-Way House where the Green 1995 Carmaro was reported stolen in Vinton County. Mark Decator has a criminal record from Allegan County, Michigan which includes Felony Armed Robbery and Felony Assault convictions dating back to 1997

Officer Information
Sgt. Tom Stein was the officer involved in the shooting incident. He has 27 years on the Norwood Police Department and an impeccable record. This is the first time Sgt. Stein has been involved in a situation like this.

Additional Information
The Coroner’s Office has not released its report yet.
The Norwood Police Department will continue investigating this matter.

Lt. Tom Williams

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Veteran NPD officer shoots bank robbery suspect

By now, most everyone knows that following a 100 mph chase though Norwood residential and school areas, an unidentified 26-year veteran of the Norwood Police Department shot and killed Mark L. Decator, 34, of Chillicothe, Ohio yesterday morning. Decatur was suspected of robbing a bank 45 minutes earlier on Kenwood Road, possibly armed with a gun. We join in the relief all our fellow community members and others must feel that no innocent civilians and law enforcement members who encountered the suspect yesterday were injured or worse. A job well done by our NPD personnel. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of them, especially the unidentified 26-year veteran and his family.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Norwood Young Professionals gathering at Mulligan’s

One of our readers asked us to let everyone know that the Norwood Young Professionals Association is hosting a partly social, partly informational Happy Hour at Mulligan’s this evening. The group was recently featured in a Norwood Times article and is following up that success with tonight’s event. Bring a friend or two, and enjoy meeting and socializing with some of your fellow Norwood residents. You’ll also have the opportunity to learn more about the NYPA and how you can get involved in a particular role in the organization.

We don’t know the exact time Happy Hour will get underway this evening, but you might try calling Mulligan’s at 321-8141 since the NYPA may have reserved their front room for the event. When you arrive, look for them in that room first. Mulligan’s is officially in Norwood and is located at 2680 Madison Rd. near Edwards Rd.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Grace Church Thanskgivng Dinner/Family Fun Night

Saturday, November 17, at 5:30 p.m. Grace Church at 2221 Slane Ave. will be having a Thanksgiving Dinner which will be followed by a Family Fun Night from 6:30 to 9:30. The Family Fun Night will include a family-style board game, movies for the kids, and a fire on the lawn (weather permitting). Carpool and nursery care will be provided. The dinner and fun night are free and open to the community. For more information call 531-3253.

Enquirer reports Norwood Auditor Donnie Jones’ resignation

Regarding City Auditor Donnie Jones’ recent resignation, Norwood Republican Party chair Steve Thornbury told today’s Enquirer Mr. Jones resigned because of the increasing demands of his job in Orlando, FL. Stating that all parties concerned were dissatisfied with the situation, Mr. Thornbury also said he did not know why Mr. Jones delayed his resignation until after the election.

See Steve Thornbury’s 11/14/07 guest blog below for more detail on the Auditor position.

Masked and gloved, trio of gunmen rob local UDF

The Enquirer is reporting that three gunmen armed with pistols and a weapon resembling a rifled robbed the UDF at 2059 Dale Rd. at 11:30 last night. They robbed a customer of cash and fled with the cash drawer which the NPD found later on Carthage Avenue. Thankfully, there were no injuries. If you have any information that would help the Norwood police, their non-emergency phone number is 458-4520; the desk officer’s number is 458-4521.

Speckled Bird Café promises “action packed night”

According to the Speckled Bird Cafe website, this Saturday evening's musical entertainment will provide "an action packed night with a lot of talent on our humble stage once again. Be here or be at home being bored."

Speckled Bird Cafe, 1766 Mills @ Carter
When: Doors open at 7:00; music starts at 7:30
Entertainment: Sharon Udoh and at least 5 of her friends
Also: Quality coffee. Quality pastries. Quality crepes. Quality Paninis. Quality people in quality West Norwood.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Guest blog: Steve Thornbury on the Auditor position

Regarding the position of Norwood City Auditor:

During my campaign for Norwood City Council I made the point that communications between citizens and their government need to be improved. Now that I’ve been elected to Council in Ward 2, I’m hoping to make good on that promise by providing a greater level of transparency about what goes on behind the scenes at this level of government.

The first opportunity to do this has presented itself almost immediately with the recent resignation of the Norwood City Auditor. Though I have not seen the letter, my information comes directly from a conversation with Mr. Jones who assured me he presented the letter to the Hamilton County Board of Elections and provided a copy to Norwood City Hall.

The reason I am addressing the situation in this relatively public manner is that, besides being elected to serve on Council for Ward 2, I am also the Chair of the Norwood Republican Party and, as such, will have a role in helping determine who will be appointed to the Auditor’s position.

For those unfamiliar with how such matters are handled, when an elected official such as the Auditor leaves office before the end of their term, it becomes the responsibility of the political party with which the official is associated to appoint a successor. Thus, when Mayor Hochbein resigned several years ago, the Norwood Republican Central Committee (composed of the elected precinct executives) was charged with naming a replacement, just as the Democrats appointed a successor to Mr. DeLuca when he resigned last year.

Some may question the wisdom of discussing this situation so openly. Nothing I am revealing, however, is privileged information. It is all a matter of public record. My intent in posting this blog is, first, to keep the citizens informed of what is happening within their City government. The second reason is to provide an opportunity for anyone who may be interested in filling this position to step forward and make their intentions known.

read on

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

NPD, Feds arrest Norwood man in $1M heroin deal

Channel 12 has filed an exclusive report that the Norwood police and DEA agents raided Jose Sanchez’ Norwood home Friday after catching him in Columbus picking up a million dollar shipment of black tar heroin. The report contains details by the NPD’s Lt. Fallon about how this type of heroin, imported from Mexico and now common in our community, is literally sold mouth to mouth, from the dealer’s to the addict’s. Despite allegations that Sanchez is a big time heroin dealer, he was employed until recently by a local phone shop within walking distance of his home.

More on M.R.S.A. from Health Commissioner Donna Laake

Not long after our 10/30/07 blog linking to NCS district nurse Kathy Strasser’s letter to parents regarding the Superbug M.R.S.A., we contacted Norwood Health Commissioner Donna Laake and asked if she had any additional information we could post for our readers. She quickly emailed us what amounts to a guest blog on the subject, complete with websites we can all check for even more information. Thank you, Donna!

What is “M.R.S.A.” and how do I get it?
Health Commissioner Donna Laake

If you looked at your hands under a microscope, you would find hundreds of germs living in the cracks and crevices of your fingers and nails. One of those germs is Staphylococcus aureus, often called simply “Staph.” Usually these germs do not cause infection. When germs are growing in or on the body but not causing infection, it is called “colonization.” Usually humans colonize Staph in their nose but it can also be colonized on skin and other parts of the body. The germ just lays in wait for another host or for a break in the skin to begin growing and causing infection. M.R.S.A. is a type of Staph infection that is resistant to antibiotic treatment, but not all Staph infections are M.R.S.A. M.R.S.A. stands for “Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus.”

Staph infections usually manifest as skin infections such as a pimple, boil or abscess. These infections usually start when Staph germs enter the body through a scratch, cut, scrape or other break in the skin. Signs of a Staph infection include redness, swelling, tenderness or a sore that feels “hot.” Sometimes Staph infections look like spider bites.

Staph infections spread from skin-to-skin contact or by sharing items that have become covered with the Staph organism. Things like towels, athletic equipment, exercise equipment, and benches in saunas and hot tubs are common culprits. The best way to prevent the spread of Staph is hand washing, hand washing, hand washing! Avoid skin-to-skin contact with anyone suspected of having a Staph infection. Don’t share personal items such as towels, razors or athletic equipment. When using exercise equipment, spray the surface with a bleach water solution (at least 1 part bleach to 9 parts water) before and after use. I would often observe people using exercise equipment and NOT spray it down after they were finished, then watched as someone else followed on the dirty equipment. Don’t trust that the equipment is clean before your use. And if you suspect you have a Staph infection, see your doctor.

Early treatment can prevent Staph infections from becoming worse, so see your doctor if you suspect that you have a Staph infection. Sores should be covered to prevent the skin-to-skin contact necessary for spread. Doctors sometimes will take a sample around the sore or boil to verify that it is a Staph infection; other times the sore is cut open by the doctor and the infected site drained. DO NOT pop or open a sore yourself. This might make the infection worse. Wash your hands often, especially after changing a bandage. Throw the bandage away immediately, and disinfect any surface that might have come into contact with drainage or the infected skin with alcohol or bleach and water. If you are given an antibiotic for treatment, it is VERY important that you finish the entire course of treatment. If you do not take all of the antibiotics, the Staph germ could develop a resistance to medications and turn into M.R.S.A. which is much harder to treat successfully.

If you need additional information about Staph infections and M.R.S.A., you can contact the Norwood Health Department at 458-4600. You can also find information about Staph infections and M.R.S.A. on the Ohio Department of Health website at Select ‘MRSA: “What you need to know about antibiotic-resistant bacteria.” Also, the Ohio Department of Education has information at Type “MRSA” in the search box and you will be directed to several pieces of information. You can also go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at On the right hand side of the webpage, you will find “Top 20 at CDC.Gov” which includes a link to information about M.R.S.A. Remember, it is easier to PREVENT a Staph infection than to treat it. Mother was right… WASH YOUR HANDS!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Norwood High School Performing Arts presents…

Tickets are now on sale for three performances of the comedy All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. Presented by Norwood High School Performing Arts, the play is based on the writings of Robert Fulghum. In his book by the same name, Fulghum told a series of poignant stories about life’s universal truths, starting with the simple lessons of Kindergarten.

When: Thursday, Nov. 15 through Saturday, Nov.17; curtain 7:30 p.m.
Where: Norwood Middle School Auditorium on Sherman Avenue
Tickets: $6.00; for reservations, call 924-2787

Back to excerpts from the 2006 NPD Annual Report

A regular feature

With Election Day over, we’re resuming our regular series of excerpts from the 2006 NPD Annual Report. The report is available at the Norwood Public Library. This week, we’re featuring the NPD’s Criminal Investigation Section. Following is the 2006 CIS report letter to Chief Schlie:

The Criminal Investigation Section of the Norwood Police Division is known as CIS. In 2006, CIS was comprised of a Lieutenant, Sergeant, and four patrol officers assigned as investigators. Lieutenant Gary Fye is in command of the Criminal Investigation Section. Also under his command are the Norwood Drug Task Force and Community Service Section.

According to the Norwood Police Procedure Manual, the purpose of CIS is: “To investigate crimes not cleared by uniform services. To gather, coordinate and disseminate intelligence information. To conduct other investigations as deemed necessary by the division “chain of command.”

During 2006, CIS personnel worked Monday thought Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Cases were assigned to the investigators based upon the severity of the offense as well as solvability of the offense. Also taken into consideration is the total amount of cases an individual investigator can effectively work at a given time.

1,243 cases were assigned during 2006. These 1,243 cases consisted of 1,112 cases which were assigned to investigators for criminal investigations, and 150 reports in which citizens were given assistance on their reports, but were not officially assigned. The following illustration shows the types of incidents/offenses investigated:

Theft: 364
Burglary/Breaking and Entering: 228
Bad Checks/Forgery: 71
Auto Theft/Unauthorized Use: 23
Criminal Damage: 52
Felonious Assault/Assault: 62
Menacing: 10
Child Abuse: 1
Sex Abuse: 8
Rape: 21
Gross Sexual Imposition: 13
Exposing: 0
Arson: 1
Missing Persons: 59
Telephone Harassment: 57
General Conditions/Other: 69
Robbery: 54
Assisted Cases: 150
TOTAL: 1,243

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Norwood native Shannon Stoeke touring in “Camelot”

Playing the fiendish Mordred, Norwood native Shannon Stoeke will be performing in the musical “Camelot” November 13 - 25 at the Aronoff Center. November 19, there will be a pre-show question-and-answer session. The dinner-and-a show package is $45, and a portion of the ticket sales will benefit the League of Cincinnati Theatres and the Theatre Artist Projects Funds.

Stoeke has some advice for young aspiring actors: “Set goals (long term and short term) that are believable for you. It is important to study your craft and in the beginning take any and all opportunities to perform. Work leads to work. Create a rich life for yourself and the characters you portray will benefit."

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Rendering of medical office building coming to Lawrence Ave.

Check out Building Cincinnati's rendering of the new 20,000 sq. ft. medical office building coming to 2064 Lawrence Avenue. Construction is supposed to start next year.

NPD and Feds arrest 4 in major heroin ring

Channel 5 is reporting that last evening 20 Federal agents and Norwood police officers raided a local apartment building and arrested 4 people in connection with a heroin distribution ring. Found inside the apartment where a 2-year old child lived were needles on the floor, other drug paraphernalia and other documents. A tip obtained during a Friday arrest in Columbus led investigators to put the local address under surveillance. Names of the four arrested and the charges have not been released.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Norwood man joined the army to avoid murder charges

It didn't work

The Enquirer is reporting that convicted murderer David Crawford, 23, was sentenced today to life in prison. Three years ago, he joined the U.S. Army in an attempt to avoid responsibility for shooting a friend over a drug deal gone bad, stealing his Mercedes, and then dumping his remains in Oakley. Fortunately, when he came home for Christmas dinner with family in Anderson Township, Cincinnati police detectives were waiting for him. Judge Robert Winkler agreed with prosecutor David Prem who said, “He deserves to receive the maximum sentence. He is a cold-hearted and callous person who thought he could manipulate the system and walk out the door. He never intended to take responsibility and still hasn’t.''

September 07 NFD Activities and Statistics Report

A monthly feature

This monthly Norwood Fire Department report is brief enough that we can publish it in its entirety, though we do format it just a little differently from the original:

A. Total of emergency responses for the month of July = 374

Medic Runs = 279
Fire Runs = 25 w/breakdown
Average Response Time on Runs = 3 minutes, 4 seconds (city-wide)

Number of incidents by type:
Fire Runs – 25 - (Building, Vehicle, Brush, etc.)
Overpressure, Explosion - 0
Rescue & Medic Unit Assists – 22 - (lock-in, extrications, traffic accidents, etc.)
Hazardous Conditions (no fire) - 8 - (power lines down, arcing, spills, etc.)
Service Call – 7 - (smoke removal)
Good Intent – 10 - (odor of smoke, controlled burning)
False Alarms – 23 - (false alarms, system malfunctions, smoke detector activated, etc.)
Special Incident - 0

B. Total Bureau of Fire Safety Inspections/Activities w/Breakdown = 690

1.) Bureau of Fire Safety Activities and Number of Activities:
Total Inspections – 132 - (residential, schools, churches, businesses)
Total Violations – issued 236
Total Violations – corrected 217
Total Block Inspections – 11 - (Unit #1, Unit #2, Unit #3 – Rental & multi-family)
Additional Activities - 94

2.) Breakdown of Fire Division Events:
Hamilton County Accountability Committee Meeting
Hamilton County Fire Chief’s Meetings
Eastern Fire Chief’s Meeting
R.A.T. Training
CPR Classes
Civil Service Meeting

Thursday, November 08, 2007

NPD’s Sgt. Pauly clocks 90 mph pursuing speeder on Lateral

The Enquirer reports that a speeding motorist ignored Sgt. Lou Pauly’s siren and lights and then led him on an 80-90 mph chase at 1:45 a.m. this morning. The incident began on the Norwood Lateral and ended behind the Wal-Mart on Kennedy Ave. where the speeder exited his vehicle and ran into the woods. It’s hardly over, though, because police have traced the car registration back to the owner.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Finally, the final 2007 unofficial election results for Norwood

Sometime following our last update at 12:05 a.m. last night in the blog below, perhaps in the wee hours of the morning, the Hamilton County Board of Elections posted the election results for all of Hamilton County. From the sounds of it, not posting them in real time as promised on their website was the least of their problems after the polls closed yesterday. We’re not going to rehash last night‘s chaos, but can you imagine how agonizing it must have been for candidates? Instead, we want to thank all the candidates for running and running great campaigns, and we want to congratulate our newly elected and reelected Norwood city and board of education officials:

Mayor: Tom Williams
Council Vice President: Jane Grote
Auditor: Donnie Jones
Law Director: Ted Kiser
Ward 1: Keith Moore
Ward 2: Steve Thornbury
Ward 3: Chuck Barlowe
Ward 4: John Mumper
Council-at-Large: Joe Sanker, Victor Schneider, Mike Gabbard
Board of Education: Cherie Scott-Geraci and Rick Guy

And just for fun, here’s how the results from our two unscientific polls stack up against the election results:

Hamilton County final on jail tax: 56% Against, 44% For
Our poll: 68 votes cast - 60% For, 37% Against

Norwood final on levy renewal: 55% For, 45% Against
Our poll: 124 votes cast - 68% Against, 31% For

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Norwood Service League announces their new address

The Norwood Service League’s website has an exciting news flash announcing their November move from 4321 Forest to 2071 Lawrence Avenue, a property they recently purchased. Most of us know the Lawrence Avenue building was a child care center for many years. As our recent picture shows, it has now undergone quite a transformation.

The Norwood Service League is truly one of our brightest Gems of the Highlands, and we wish them many years of continued success serving the needs of those in our community from their new home.

Real time election results at Ham. Co. BOE website

Finally, we remembered that folks, especially our readers who don’t subscribe to cable, can get up-to-date election results by visiting the Hamilton County Board of Elections website throughout the evening. The site states that updates will be done approximately every 10 minutes, which will actually be more frequently than Channel 4 will be able to do. We apologize for not remembering and posting this sooner.

12:05 AM UPDATE: The Enquirer has posted the election results here.

11:30 PM UPDATE: Tim Burke, Chair of the Ham. Co. BOE just explained on Channel 4's broadcast that the trucks are beginning to arrive downtown with the memory cards and equipment. Election results should start becoming available soon. Trucks were delayed because they were not allowed to leave the drop-off locations until the memory cards and equipment for each location assigned to each truck were loaded and accounted for.

10:00 P.M. UPDATE: John Williams of the Ham. Co. BOE just said on Channel 4's broadcast that election results are being delayed because a new location-based system is being used for the first time + some of the trucks bringing in ballots from 26 Hamilton County drop-off locations have been delayed. He didn't predict when results beyond the absentee votes will start being reported.

9:00 P.M. UPDATE: Channel 5 just posted the absentee ballot results for Norwood here.

An Election Day distraction

While the candidates and their supporters are at the polls doing last chance campaigning, some of the rest of us may be on the verge of biting our nails or worse in anticipation of tonight’s election results. Inevitably, there will be jubilation in some quarters, disappointment and devastation in others. Whatever the outcomes, perhaps you share our feeling that Norwood’s future, and we’re not talking about the distant future, holds a lot of promise. That thought will be our comfort in the event we have our own disappointments later today.

So, here’s a small, mysterious distraction for the nail biters among us. Yesterday, someone alerted us to this website. To say we were stunned is an understatement. Can any of our readers venture a guess as to how things like this happen? We don’t have a clue. Is the website misnamed perhaps? What do you suppose people in Mt. Lookout think when they see this for the first time? Are they amused, confused, hacked off...or are they maybe really pleased to have all this reading material?

X.U.’s “Christians and Muslims: Toward a Shared Future”

We just found out about this yesterday, so we’re late sharing the details of a free lecture tomorrow night at Xavier that might interest some of our readers who may not know about it. Two professors/authors are coming to do a presentation that will explore some of the ways Christianity and Islam might coexist in a globalized world.

When: Wednesday, Nov. 7; 7:30 p.m.
Where: Schiff Family Conference Center in the Cintas Center
Admission: Free, open to the public
Directions: From the main entrance into the Cintas Center off Cleneay, park in the big parking lot on the hill to the right. Parking is free. Entrance to the Schiff Family Conference Center is well marked.
Information: 745-3922

Monday, November 05, 2007

NHS Marching Indians: “most successful season in 4 years”

This past Saturday in its last competition of the season, the Norwood High School Band placed ninth overall in Class A at the MidStates Band Association Championships at Lebanon Junior High. Assistant band director Joe Waked said, “It was the most successful marching band season in four years.” Director Patrick Bauer added, “We have established some great fundamentals to build on. It can only get better.”

Contrats to the Marching Indians on your winning season!

NCT Election Night coverage on cable Channel 4

Starting at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow night, NCT’s Brian Rahe will be hosting Election Night coverage on cable Channel 4 until approximately 11:00 p.m. Updated results on local races will be done about every ½ hour. Programming will also include phone interviews with various local candidates for city and BOE offices as well as breakaways to City Cable’s coverage of election results for races and issues throughout Hamilton County.

NCS Alumni Assn. inducting 6 into 16th Athletic Hall of Fame

The 16th Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held Saturday, 11/17, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Blue Ash. Alumni being honored this year are Marc Edwards, 1993; Joe Gilman, 1954; Larry Hathaway, 1960; Liz (Chapman) Lamping, 1996; Bill West, 1975; and Ruth Geselbracht, the Indian Award, Class of 1937 (posthumously).

This Friday, 11/16, is the deadline to buy tickets for event, which begins with a 6:00 p.m. cash bar, followed by dinner at 7 p.m. and the induction ceremony at 8 p.m. For tickets or more information, call Mark Marksbury 513-731-4962 or 513-616-0837, or Jerry Gilman, 513-522-4154 or 513-919-6137 or fill out this form at the NCS website and send it in.

Renovated American Laundry Bldg. is certifiably green

Today’s Enquirer announced, “The renovated shell of an old laundry building has earned the distinction of being the first brownfield redevelopment site in Greater Cincinnati to meet the environmental certification standards of the U.S. Green Building Council.” The American Laundry Building on Section Avenue has been awarded Leadership in Energy and Environvmental Design (LEED) certification by the council. On a brownfield site, renovations included cleaning up and eliminating many ground contaminants before redevelopment could take place. In addition to the leased 60,000 sq. ft. building renovated 3 years ago, a second phase with an additional 100,000 sq. ft. of new office space is going to be added.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Poll on 8-mill levy renewal still open

So far, 68 visitors have cast votes on our 8-mill levy renewal poll. Naturally, we think it will be interesting to compare the results of our readers’ votes with the results that actually matter this coming Tuesday. What do think? Should the 8-mill renewal levy be passed again? The cost to property owners is $74 per $100,000 of value. Below is the official ballot language as it appears on the Hamilton County Board of Elections website:

Issue 39
A majority affirmative vote is necessary for passage

A renewal of a tax for the benefit of the City of Norwood, County of Hamilton, Ohio, for the purpose of CURRENT OPERATING EXPENSES at a rate not exceeding eight (8) mills for each one dollar of valuation, commencing in 2007, first due in calendar year 2008.

Should Issue 39 be passed again?
Undecided free polls

Our poll on Issue 27, the proposed jail tax, has been archived, but you can still cast a vote on it by clicking here.

Daily Bellwether calls out Peter Bronson on his “facts”

Just for some Friday fun and before you read the Daily Bellwether‘s scathing critique of Peter Bronson’s “Yankee Go Home” in yesterday’s Enquirer to get the correct answers, can you name the states in which the following presidential candidates/elected presidents were born?

Bob Dole
Ronald Reagan
Hillary Clinton
George W. Bush
John McCain

Did you get a passing grade or flunk like Bronson did?

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Open mic night this Sunday at Leo Coffeehouse

Is it time to tune up the old guitar sitting in the back of the closet and return to the stage? Or maybe you’ve got some new material you’ve been rehearsing. Whatever the case, the Leo audience is warm and perfect for putting your talent on display. Arrive at 6:30 p.m. to sign up for one of the three 10-minute slots that start at 7:00.

Also on Sunday’s program is harmonica player Bob Lotz at 7:30 p.m. followed by the female trio Raison d’Etre at 8:15 p.m. And remember, the admission cost for all this great entertainment is only a $3.00 donation per person.

Leo Coffeehouse
Zion United Church of Christ
Founder’s Hall
Indian Mound Ave. and Montgomery Rd, Norwood
Phone: 531-5400

Norwood Stein Mart hosting event to benefit Salvation Army

Dubbed “Trade In, Trade Up,” five greater Cincinnati Stein Mart stores, including the one at Rookwood Commons, are accepting new and gently used clothing items from the public on Saturday and Sunday, November 10 and 11. Donors will receive a receipt for their donation plus a 20% off coupon for each item (limit of 4 coupons) for clothing purchased at Stein Mart. The Salvation Army will use the donated clothing to help those in need this winter.

Two accused girls plead not guilty in NMS fight

One of the girls, the videographer, appears to be using a Gatorade cap defense for her complicity to assault charge, coupled with her claim that installing her video on YouTube was to serve as a deterrent to students contemplating fights with the other defendant. The Juvenile Court Magistrate has issued a restraining order forbidding the two suspects to go near or speak to the victim. The next court date is November 27.