Citizens For A Better Norwood

Friday, July 31, 2009

Biz Courier: Siemens lays off 25% of Norwood work force

Sadly, the Cincinnati Business Courier is reporting that Siemens Energy and Automation laid off more than 100 employees at its Forest Avenue location yesterday following a third-quarter report showing net profit falling 8% and orders down by 28%. This past February, the company completed a $30 million expansion of its Norwood plant, which manufactures electric motors.

Norwood police arrest Helton family of 3 for drug trafficking

The Enquirer is reporting the overnight arrest of Thomas and Sharon Helton and their son James, 19, after the Norwood police drug unit raided their Cleveland Avenue home at 11:15 p.m. They were booked into the Hamilton County jail on drug trafficking charges at about 3:30 a.m. Norwood Police Sgt. Michael Spille was not sure of the amounts or the kinds of drugs that were seized, but court records show that the son is accused of possessing less than 200 grams of marijuana. The Helton’s home was searched following an undercover drug investigation.

ADDENDUM: According to this Channel 9 report, Norwood police enlisted the help of a SWAT team to arrest the Helton’s. Neighbors say they are glad law enforcement is cracking down in their neighborhood; and one neighbor, Christine Messer, told Channel 9, “"In the last month alone, I probably called the police 100 times. Drug dealing, prostitution, they own the street. Nobody wants to ever call the police. I used to be a person like that. I just got tired of it and started calling the police."

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Mr. Hemmer, those 100 new jobs at Rookwood are coming to NORWOOD!

Yesterday, public relations consultant Andy Hemmer published this announcement on the Enquirer’s Norwood community page with the incorrect headline “100 new jobs coming to Cincinnati.” He advises readers to “Tune in tonight (last night) at 5:30 on Ch. 5 WLWT to catch the latest on the brightest business news to hit Cincinnati in a while: the Kelley Financial Group is hiring at least 100 new Financial Representatives! The Kelley Financial Group is located in the Rookwood Tower, perched majestically over Rookwood Commons and Interstate 71.” Nowhere does he mention that Rookwood is located in Norwood.

To be fair to Mr. Hemmer, this press release on his website does acknowledge that Rookwood Tower is in Norwood, but why not be consistent about this in all media? This “brightest business news to hit Cincinnati in a while” is actually brightest for Norwood with the new earnings taxes that will be generated. Yes, of course, this is wonderful news for Greater Cincinnati job seekers as was the Business Courier’s March 30 announcement that Norwood’s Convergy’s location was hiring 110 new employees with earnings taxes also destined for the City’s coffers.

Like a lot of Norwoodians, we tire of media announcements and advertising that either incorrectly identify Norwood-based businesses as being Cincinnati or fail to mention Norwood at all. We don’t blog about every single infraction we come across, and there are many, but we just couldn’t let this one stand.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

June 09 NFD Activities and Statistics Report

A monthly feature

A. Total of emergency responses for the month of June = 387

Medic Runs = 287
Fire Runs = 7 w/breakdown
Average Response Time on Runs = 3 minutes, 11 seconds (city-wide)

Number of incidents by type:
Fire Runs – 7 - (Building, Vehicle, Brush, etc.)
Overpressure, Explosion - 0
Rescue & Medic Unit Assists – 50 - (lock-in, extrications, traffic accidents, etc.)
Hazardous Conditions (no fire) - 10 - (power lines down, arcing, spills, etc.)
Service Call - 10 - (smoke removal)
Good Intent - 11 - (odor of smoke, controlled burning)
False Alarms – 11 - (false alarms, system malfunctions, smoke detector activated, etc.)
Severe Weather - 0
Special Incident - 1

B. Fire Hydrant Activity
Painted hydrants - 105

C. Bureau of Fire Safety Activities = 650
Total Inspections – 125 - (residential, schools, churches, businesses)
Total Violations – issued 151
Total Violations – corrected 279
Total Block Inspections – 14 - (Unit #1, Unit #2, Unit #3 – Rental & multi-family)
Additional Activities - 81

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Final Friday Art Trippin at St. Elizabeth Arts’ Studio e

It is breathtaking how much is going at St. Elizabeth Arts’ Studio e this summer. As much as we like would to, we can’t begin to keep up with each and every one of their amazing offerings, but here’s one coming up this Friday just before they temporarily close the doors from August 1 through 16. The Open Studio will resume Monday, August 17.

Art Trippin: Final Friday
Friday, July 31, 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Join us for the Final Friday gallery hop along Main Street, Cincinnati. Every last Friday of the month the downtown art district comes alive when galleries, shops, and restaurants keep their doors open late. We'll check out a few art openings, meet the artists, do a little window shopping, and maybe even stop in for a smoothie at Iris Bookcafe before we leave!

Transportation available but RSVP & parental consent are required: call 513.578.3069 or visit

Monday, July 27, 2009

Finance and Audit Committee meeting tomorrow

Per the Clerk of Council's office, the Finance and Audit Committee will meet tomorrow, July 28, at 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers. There is one agenda item: Appropriations - Review 2009.

Norwood woman arrested after falling for Nigerian scam

According to today’s Enquirer, Norwood resident Tamika Thomas, age 28, has been arrested by Evendale police for theft and forgery after following instructions in a letter from Nigeria telling her she had won $2,490 in a sweepstakes. All she had to do was accept and cash a check in that amount and send half of it back to Nigeria. The Evendale Woodforest National Bank cashed the Bank of New York Mellon check 4-5 days after Thomas deposited it in her account, and she promptly sent half the amount back to Africa as instructed.

Of course, the $2,490 check was no good, the bank is out the money, and Tamika Thomas is being tried this Friday on criminal charges that could send her to prison for a maximum of 2 years. An attorney for the Evendale bank told the Enquirer that his bank doesn’t necessarily wait for checks to clear before handing over the cash. WHAT??? He went on to say that if the depositor endorses the check, “they’re responsible for the legitimacy of the check.”

So many questions. Are any of our readers as surprised as we are that the Evandale bank cashed the check before it cleared? Do other banks do this? If so, do they inform all customers upfront that even though cash from a deposited check is made available in their accounts, it doesn’t mean the check is good? Was Tamika Thomas ever informed in writing that she could not rely on the validity of checks even after her bank placed the funds in her account 4-5 days after deposit? Isn’t it true that banks now have the electronic capability to clear checks in a matter of hours? How strong do you think the case is against Tamika Thomas? Are there any banking experts in the house who can shed some light on this?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Holy Trinity Festival update from Brian Mumper

We won’t say what early a.m. hour Brian Mumper composed and sent us this update, but it’s clear he’s fired up (and still coherent) despite sleep deprivation resulting from his dedication to making this year’s H.T. Festival the best ever. Go, Brian!

Thanks to all who have attended thus far!

Mo Egger (700 WLW and host of the Church Festival Tour) made it to the festival on Friday Night and twittered the following from the festival grounds...

"Been to 22 diff church fests the last 2 summers...Holy Trinity is the best."

Check out Mo on 700 WLW and 1530 Homer and his blog at Love that guy, his show, and his blog! SIMPLY THE BEST!

Sunday 3 p.m.-9 p.m. Highlights include...
3-5: Happy Hour Prices - $2 bottles and $2 for 24 oz. drafts
3-5: Half price kids games
3-6: BINGO
4-8: Red Idle Band

8 p.m. - BidNBuy closes - tons of Sports and other valued Merchandise!

8:54 p.m. - we select the grand prize winner with a chance for $10 GRAND!!!!!

Hope to see you there! Come one, come all!!!!!


Friday, July 24, 2009

“Mad Science” coming to Norwood on August 1st

We want to thank Joyce McDowell for keeping us all up to speed on the wonderful programs the Caleb Tate Fuller Foundation has been providing for our young people this summer. Following is her guest blog:

I just wanted to update everyone on the activities of the Caleb Tate Fuller Foundation over the summer months. Of course Caleb's family was very pleased with the support of our community with the "Forget-Me-Knot" Walk in May. Since that time, we have received several applications for scholarships to Cornerstone Christian Academy here in Norwood. In addition, we have been active with facilitating programs within the community that will enhance the lives of our children. The Foundation sponsored a performance of the Mad Cap Puppets on June 19th at Williams Ave. school with about 110 people in attendance. We all had great fun as we were mesmerized by the colorful storytelling of the puppets and puppeteers that evening. Then during the week of June 22, the Foundation helped to sponsor the "Kids in Action" camp at Ashland Ave. Baptist Church with basketball, cheerleading and loads of fun.

Norwood residents and friends are invited to the next event that the CTF Foundation will be sponsoring on Saturday August 1st. The Foundation will bring a free one hour performance of "Mad Science" to Norwood at 9:00 a.m. at the Church of the Nazarene located at 4424 Floral Ave. This event will include an exciting program of science experiments for kids packed full of fun for the family. This will be immediately followed at 10:00 a.m. by the annual "Back to School Bash" at the Norwood Church of the Nazarene.

We hope everyone will take advantage of this great opportunity!

Joyce McDowell
Caleb Tate Fuller Foundation

Norwood Little Indians Football League wins Best Float

The Norwood Chamber of Commerce has posted all the winners from this year’s Norwood Day Parade entries. Congratulations to:

  1. Best Float - $500 - Norwood Little Indians Football League
  2. 2nd Place Float - $250 - Burwood Pool Parents Committee
  3. Mayor Aaron McNeil Trophy - Church of God
  4. President's Trophy - United Dairy Farmers
  5. Board of Director's Trophy - Liberty Tax Service
  6. Judges Choice Trophy - The Growing Place Church
  7. 1st Place Musical/Performance - Star Strutters

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Michael Gabbard on the “true spirit” of Norwood Day

We just opened our email box to find this heartwarming guest blog Michael Gabbard took the time to write last night about the unforgettable Norwood Day his family shared with other families yesterday at Millcrest Park:

I just got home from one of the best Norwood Day experiences I have ever been a part of. My day started with the yearly excitement of loading the cooler full of all those picnic goodies, gathering the family and heading to Coney for a day fun. This is an event that hundreds of Norwood folks look forward to year after year, but this year was different. This year, rain caused the event to be cancelled. So many had taken the day off work and were looking forward to sharing food, fun, stories and games with others; that wasn't going to happen, or so it seemed. Rain may have canceled Norwood Day at Coney, but it couldn"t cancel the true spirit of what the day really is - sharing food, fun, stories and games.

As my family and I were leaving Coney, we received a call from some friends saying that we were still going to have our Norwood Day it just wasn't going to be at Coney. We gathered up with about 12 - 15 other families under the large shelter at Millcrest park for an incredible day. We had all the food, we had card and board games, we even had bingo and a cornhole tournament. People started calling others and letting them know what was happening under that shelter and more came. At one point, I stood there just looking around at all that was going on and smiled with true Norwood pride - I thought to myself, "This is a beautiful picture of how the people of this great city show what neighborhood, community, friendship is all about.” Not once did I hear anyone, not even a child, say, "I wish we were at Coney, I missing riding the rides or playing in the pool". No, I just witnessed Norwood folks, of all ages, enjoying what the true essence of Norwood Day is all about - getting together with family and friends to smile, laugh and have fun. Norwood Day 2009 was under that large shelter in Millcrest park and those that were there have a memory to share for generations to come.

This is a Norwood Day that my family and I will NEVER forget.

Michael "Gabby" Gabbard

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Just in: Norwood Day at Coney Island rained out

Laura Hobbs just sent us the following announcement:

Coney decided to close and send their employees home, so there are no rides and no pool today. Therefore, the Businesswomen decided to close down Norwood Day, too. It is not possible to reschedule the day at Coney because of volunteer commitments, etc., but we will still do some form of the combination raffle. We will announce arrangements on our Web site as soon as we can.

If readers bought advance tickets for Norwood Day, Coney Island will honor them any day this season.
Thanks for your support!
Laura Hobbs

3-day Holy Trinity Festival starts this Friday

Following is information Brian Mumper submitted to the Enquirer’s community page for Norwood:

Holy Trinity Festival

Friday, July 24th from 6-midnight featuring “The Avenues”
Saturday, July 25th from 6-midnight featuring “The Remains”
Sunday, July 26th from 3-9pm featuring “Red Idle”

“Our Summer Tradition” continues this weekend at Montgomery Rd. at Drex Avenue.

During our second year in our new location we are maintaining momentum while enhancing the festival based on comments we had heard in the past year. Along with the traditional attractions we have exciting additions…

Traditional Favorites:
Grilled food, Pizza, Fire Roasted Corn, draft and bottled beverages, great bands, air conditioned Poker and BlackJack, Big6, Instants, Split the Pot, Bid-N-Buy, Theme Baskets, safe and shaded kids games and a Major Award of up to $10 Grand!!!

Under the big top Saturday (5-8pm) and Sunday (3-6pm)

All New Teen area:
Speed Pitch, Pop-A-Shot, GenY BidNBuy, Karaoke, and an exciting Wii guitar hero challenge

Dinner Platters:
Add 2 sides to any grill item and get a drink for a single low price (choose from fries, baked potato, Mac-n-Cheese, or applesauce). Follow that up with a fully loaded funnel cake or SnoCone.

With your past favorites and these additions, we hope you’ll join us to reconnect with friends, hang out with neighbors, and be a part of “Our Summer Tradition”.

Please visit or call the Parish Office at 366-4400 for additional details.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

NHS Marching Band car wash this Saturday

Guest blog by Laura Hobbs

The Norwood High School Marching Band will host a car wash July 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at CVS Pharmacy at 5229 Montgomery Road. Donations accepted.

The band's first event of the season is the Norwood Day Parade this Tuesday evening. You might notice the band will be marching to a new drum cadence. The band is a little smaller this year than last year and will be competing in Class A again (we bumped up to Class AA last year).

Many people don't realize how many hours these students put in -- they have been practicing three hours every Tuesday and Thursday evening since July 7 and will have pre-camp at school all day the week of July 27. The following week, they go away for band camp where they work intensive hours learning and perfecting their half-time show. When they come back, they return to the Tuesday-Thursday evening schedule. Once school starts, they have their band class session every day and move the twice-weekly long rehearsals to Tuesday and Thursday afternoons for the rest of the marching season, which ends Nov. 7 with the MidStates Band Association finals competition. Patrick Bauer is director, Joe Waked is assistant director and Tiffany Rexhausen directs the color guard. Assistants are Phil Cecil, percussion; Kara Forcellini, woodwinds; and Brian Parido, trumpets/brass.

Norwood is hosting the MSBA finals this year for Class A at Shea Stadium. The Band Boosters will staff this event, along with the boosters from McNicholas High School -- the same group we worked with last September to host the River City Band Classic. We won't be doing RCBC this year, since we all feel one competition is enough! The Norwood Band Boosters are planning to do additional fund-raising by working concessions at Bengals home games. Our officers this year are Lisa Bauer, president; Anna Smith, secretary; and Sherri Walker, treasurer. We generally meet the first Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. in the band room, but watch our Web site for exceptions. Our August meeting will be Aug. 13 (postponed one week because of band camp.)

CBN blog readers can keep up to date on band events through the Band Booster Web site at

Laura Hobbs
Norwood Band Boosters

Monday, July 20, 2009

Guest blog: Norwood Health Commissioner Pamela Walker-Bauer

We are pleased to present what we hope is the first of many guest blogs by our new Health Commissioner Pamela Walker-Bauer. As regular readers know, she assumed her position at the Norwood Health Department on June 1. We are planning to publish a special feature with Ms. Walker-Bauer in the near future. In the meantime, following is her guest blog:

This past Thursday, July 16, at Schroeder High School, the City of Cincinnati Health Department conducted a Full-Scale Mass Clinic Exercise. Our Norwood Health Department Nursing Staff, both Chandra Corbin and Betsy Williams, also “played” in this exercise as Command staff at this Mass Clinic, while I served as an “Evaluator” for the event. These types of exercises provide our staff invaluable learning and training opportunities for Real-World events. In particular, we are facing an uncertain situation with this upcoming flu season where we may be using the tools and skills learned and practiced in these exercises.

While we were there, we noticed that several of our citizens from Norwood, including Bill and Vivian Graff, Alice Shelby, and perhaps a couple of others, also helped “play” in this exercise as “patients“. I would like to personally thank these folks for their assistance.

Pamela Walker-Bauer, MPH, RS
Health Commissioner
Norwood City Health Department
2059 Sherman Avenue
Norwood, OH 45212
Main: (513) 458-4600

Echo bats and salsa this week at Norwood Library

Our Norwood Branch Library has another week of great programs lined up:

Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Echo Bats: Learn all about these creatures of the night!
2:00 p.m., Ages 6-12

ESOL Conversation Group
5:30 p.m.

Preschool Storytime
6:30 p.m., Ages 3-5

Thursday, July 23, 2009
Salsa Underground Dance Program
2:00 p.m., Ages 12-18

More information: 369-6037

Friday, July 17, 2009

Special invitation to 2009 Norwood Day at Coney Island

Laura Hobbs with the Norwood Business & Professional Women’s Club has outdone herself with this wonderfully informative guest blog inviting everyone to enjoy their special Norwood Day at Coney Island next week. Be sure to read her entire blog because you definitely don’t want miss what surely is the most unusual raffle item ever offered! Thank you, Laura and all the other NBPWC members for giving us 74 continuous years of this great community wide event.

I’d like to invite all my fellow readers of the CBN blog to join me at Norwood Day at Coney Island this coming Wednesday, July 22.

Norwood Day, for those who may be new to the city, is a community picnic at Coney Island sponsored by the Norwood Business & Professional Women’s Club. With your special, low admission price, you can enjoy the Sunlite Pool, rides, miniature golf, pedal boats, free fountain soft drinks and free parking. Cost is $17 for age 4 and up, $4 for ages 2 and 3, free for under 2. This is a significant savings over the normal Coney admission price; just be sure you enter Gate 1.

Bring a picnic, or purchase food from Coney Island vendors. Stay all day if you like; the event runs from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets are available at the gate or in advance from the treasurer’s office at City Hall.

In addition to the Coney attractions, our club sponsors a number of activities for an additional, nominal fee:
· Baby Show, a prettiest baby pageant
· kids’ games, where every child wins a prize
· bingo
· corn hole and horseshoe tournaments
· split-the-pot

More information is available on our Web site, Click on “download our fact sheet” for event times, prices and the age groupings for the baby show.

We also have our popular combination raffle – 5 chances for $1 – with dozens of fabulous prizes, many of them donated by local businesses. There’s something to appeal to all ages: bikes; toys; an iPod; restaurant gift certificates; tickets to ball games, museums and theater; passes for movies, bowling and skating; salon and floral services; and many more. The full list is available on our Web site.

One very unusual prize is being offered this year: a 20-gauge steel casket donated by our neighbors at Tredway-Pollitt Funeral Home. We certainly hope none of our guests need a casket any time soon, but this is a valuable item many families would be grateful to win.

Generations of Norwood families have enjoyed Norwood Day. Our club is 75 years old, and this is the 74th time we’ve put on the event. All funds we raise go back to the community through our various social service activities, including support of the Norwood Service League, the Lindner Branch YMCA, numerous school-related and arts organizations, and two annual scholarships to girls graduating from Norwood High School.

We have appreciated the community’s support through the years. We couldn’t do any of our work without you!

Laura Hobbs
Norwood Business & Professional Women's Club

Biz Courier: Xavier to get assist from $2M scoreboard

Xavier University plans to install a new $2 million scoreboard at the Cintas Center with its marketing partner, Texas-based Learfield Sports. The scoreboard will be installed in time for the 2010-11 basketball season and should help Xavier boost revenue. Athletic Director Mike Bobinksi told the Busines Courier Learfield Sports will pay for virtually the entire cost. The only cost the Athletic Department could be responsible for is anything through the bid process that exceeds Learfield’s funding.

According the Business Courier, new scoreboards generate additional revenue opportunities for teams, but Learfield will get a share, too, by keeping a big chunk of the revenue it brings in from selling ads and sponsorships on the board. The new scoreboard system will not only feature higher-resolution video than the current board, it will also feature so-called “ribbon” boards – thin scoreboards that run around the arena’s main seating section. The ribbon boards will replace fixed signs and offer more sales opportunities for Xavier and Learfield. The programmable capability of the scoreboard’s main display also will allow for more ads to be sold, too, just in time to take advantage of the rise in prominence of Xavier’s men’s basketball team. The team made the Sweet Sixteen of last season’s NCAA tournament, on the heels of an Elite Eight appearance the year before. The Xavier women’s team, like the men, was nationally ranked last year, too.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Opportunity to adopt animals removed from vacant residence

One of our readers sent us the following announcement by SPCA Cincinnati. We’re posting it in case any of readers would like to adopt one of the 23 animals the SPCA rescued in May.

Nearly two dozen animals removed by SPCA Cincinnati from a vacant residence in Clifton Heights in May will be available for adoption on Saturday, July 18 beginning at 12:30 p.m. A viewing of the animals will begin at noon. The adoptions will take place at the SPCA Cincinnati Humane Center at 11900 Conrey Road in Sharonville.

On May 11, 2009, neighbors of a home in the 2500 block of Vestry Avenue called the police about a terrible stench coming from the property. SPCA Cincinnati officers, Cincinnati Police Officers, and Cincinnati Fire Division firefighters paid a visit to the residence. SPCA Cincinnati Sgt. Brandon Corcoran discovered squalid living conditions and a total of 20 dogs, 2 birds and one cat. No owner could be found and the animals were filthy with a myriad of health problems.

SPCA’s veterinary staff has groomed, examined, and administered appropriate medical care to the animals and given them lots of TLC.

All the animals are now ready for adoption. The animals include:
  1. 20 dogs: small to medium sizes
  2. 1 cat: male domestic short hair
  3. 2 parakeets: will be adopted out as a pair

All the animals, except the parakeets, have been spayed or neutered.

Some of the animals have health conditions that will cause the animal to need ongoing veterinary care. The adopter will receive detailed information about the health condition. Adopters should carefully consider their ability to provide the necessary veterinary care. SPCA Cincinnati cannot provide the necessary continuing veterinary care needed and cannot be responsible for any costs associated with continuing veterinary care.

A lottery system will be used if there is more than one person interested in the same animal.

Adopters must complete a pre-adoption questionnaire before they are eligible to adopt.

New rule: Stay on topic

Over the last several weeks, discussions under some of our blogs have veered away from our topics and into the realms of national politics and racism in our community, including unsupported accusations of racism, drug addiction, and other bad behavior directed at our police officers. Following are some recent examples:

1.) 7/2/09: NHS assistant principal Rob Amodio named superintendent
2.) 6/25/09: New Kroger: WOW!
3.) 6/29/09: New Surrey Square Kroger opens next Thursday
4.) 6/17/09: Rookwood brawl: the plot thickens

The goal of Citizens for a Better Norwood blog is to inform our readers about our Norwood community while offering everyone the opportunity to also inform by responsibly commenting on the topics we present for discussion. We are as interested in national politics as most Americans, and we’d be lying if we said we’ve never been tempted to blog about an important national event or issue…the historic election of our first African American president and health care reform come to mind. But Norwood, not national politics, is our beat, and as we like say, “Our blog is about all things Norwood.” We ask that you keep this in mind when you are commenting on our topics. If you happen to forget, we will post gentle reminders to get back on topic.

The off-topic comments accusing our police officers of racism, drug addiction, etc. were posted anonymously and without proof. These are extremely serious accusations against professionals who are charged with extraordinary power over civilians. Unsupported allegations like these are highly inappropriate for our blog and should be directed to the proper authorities for investigation. Should an investigation of the NPD ever ensue, we would certainly post any media reports about it for our readers to discuss. In the coming days, we are going to delete these inappropriate comments. If similar accusations are made in the future, even in the guise of "this is my opinion," we will delete them on the spot because we are responsible for all content here, including the comments.

We will be happy to answer any questions in the comment box.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Open House at Cornerstone Christian Academy & Preschool

Phyllis Wilson, Director of Cornerstone Christian Academy, asked us to help publicize their upcoming Open House:

Who: Cornerstone Christian Academy and Preschool
What: Open House
When: July 26 - 2-4 p.m.
Where: 4255 Ashland Ave. (Corner of Ashland and Lafayette Aves. in Norwood - behind Surrey Square)
More Information: call 351-7900 or 264-1412

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Part IV: Clue of the Killer’s CALLING CARD

See Parts I-III of this Real Detective article below.

The two officers went rampaging through the place, using their training to single out the obvious hiding places of so incriminating a piece of evidence as a murder gun. But they couldn't find it.

Then Dockum spied a suitcase which, when picked up, seemed fully packed. He pried its lock open, rummaged through an assortment of men’s clothing, and finally struck a hard metallic object with his hand.

The Norwood detective drew out a fully-loaded .38 caliber revolver. Familiar as he was with Anthony Overberg's .38, the officer could not believe he had it in his hand after two and a half years.

It took Kiley to verify the discovery. "Sure, there's Davis's special grips and Wilson's trigger guard!" he exclaimed. "Wait'll Fritz hears this."

Mrs. Linna Louise Carter, wife of the suspect, was revived and taken to Louisville headquarters. There, shown the weapon, she fainted again. With a doctor now in attendance, the wife refused, between sobs, to talk. But she did agree to go back to Norwood the following morning with Kiley and Dockum.

Her arrival on Saturday, January 20, was an event, what with half the city already celebrating, news of the case's solution. Flashlight bulbs popped and Mrs. Carter fainted twice more.

read on

Monday, July 13, 2009

Don’t miss Friends of the Library Book Sale at Norwood Library!

Susan Grote with Friends of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County sent us a guest blog below publicizing FPL’s first ever two-day book sale at our Norwood Branch Library this Friday and Saturday. This is a terrific sale for two reasons: the prices are so low your pocketbook will barely notice, plus part of every purchase will go to our local library for hosting the event. See you there!

The Friends of the Library will hold a Book Sale at the Norwood Branch Library on Friday, July 17, from 12 noon to 6 pm and on Saturday, July 18, from 10 am to 5 pm. This is the first time the Norwood Branch has hosted a Friends of the Library Book Sale.

Gently used books, CDs, audio and video tapes, and books-on-tape will be sold at bargain prices. Hardback books are priced at $1 to $5, and paperback fiction at $.50.

The Sale will offer hardback and paperback fiction in every genre: general fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, horror and westerns. The non-fiction collection covers a wide array of topics, such as art, business, crafts, cooking, gardening, history, home improvement and sports, just to name a few. An extensive collection of children’s books also will be offered for sale.

Students will find classic literature paperbacks on sale for $.50, as well as dictionaries and thesauruses available for purchase. These items are a great way to get started on summer reading assignments or stock up for the next school year.

Purchases may be paid for by cash, check, Master Card or Visa.

All proceeds from the Sale will be used by The Friends of the Library to fund numerous free programs for children, teens and adults throughout the Cincinnati and Hamilton County Library system. The Norwood Branch Library also will receive a portion of the proceeds in appreciation for hosting the Sale.

Please visit our website for more information.

Susan Grote
Publicity Committee
Friends of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County

Part III: Clue of the Killer’s CALLING CARD

See Parts I and II of this Real Detective article below

In spite of these disappointments, Fritz had been keeping the promise to himself and Sergeant Overberg that he would overlook no lead in the crime no matter where it took him. Although other duties encroached on his time, the officer was ever ready to plunge back into the murder mystery at the drop of a clue.

Thus it was on April 25, 1944, that Fritz, Flower and Hein rushed to Colorado Springs, where a prisoner, seized in a $3,700 diamond robbery, had confessed he once killed a policeman and left his gun behind.

The man, who looked discouragingly unlike the Norwood bandit, was later found hopelessly insane.

Often, when alone at his desk, Chief of Police Fritz would open a drawer, remove the .45 caliber automatic and the three leaden pellets and study them. He wondered, with a shake of his head, whether an opportunity ever would come when he might tie them up to a callous killer.

THE year 1945 arrived, and on January 18, Detective Kenneth Vassie received a visitor at police headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky.

It was a friend who during war-times held down the position of auxiliary policeman. He had a problem which seemed to demand professional attention, and Vassie was an offcer to whom he could talk freely.

"It's about a fellow who's threatened my life," the auxiliary officer said.

read on

Friday, July 10, 2009

Casey Brown blogs about 4th of July Hometown Fireworks

You may have heard our fireworks Saturday! They went great despite the rain. About 800 people came and enjoyed themselves!

A special guest stopped by Saturday. Norwood residents may remember Specialist Brandon Rork, our hometown hero we honored at the 4th of July fireworks in 2007. In June of 2007 Brandon shot and killed a suicide bomber whose intentions were to kill as many soldiers as possible. The bomber intended to drive a truck through the base’s protective perimeter and detonate the explosives contained in it. The bomb that was in the vehicle that day was 24,500 lbs of explosives. Brandon stopped this evil person from hurting many, innocents included. It was found later that additional insurgents waited nearby with the intent to enter the base in the chaos after the explosion and finish who was not already dead. We honored him during the 2007 fireworks program.

It was great to finally meet Brandon and his lovely fiancée. Brandon is home in Norwood right now, but he will be deployed in August for another tour of duty to Iraq. We brought him down on the field during the program, and many Norwood residents showed their appreciation to him for preserving our freedoms as Americans.

Many thanks to all our entertainers: our clowns who did balloon animals and face-painting, Wings of Wonder, Steve Carson with his moon bouncers, DJ Eddie Bryla with All Dance Systems and B105 with on-air DJ Stattman. Stattman even got in the act assisting Vic Schneider with MC duties!

Thanks to the following Norwood volunteer groups who came to provide food, drink, inform us about their groups or sell their wares: Norwood Citizens on Patrol, Norwood Historical Society, Norwood Girl Scouts Service Unit 690, Norwood Boy Scout Troup #9, Norwood Athletic Boosters, American Legion and the Holy Trinity Festival.

Our National Guard unit, who always so graciously brings military equipment to display and provides our color guard, where deployed the weekend before July 4th, so many thanks to the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts who practiced diligently and provided a very honorable color guard for the evening!

Many thanks to the City of Norwood, Norwood City Schools, the Norwood Fire and Police Departments and Hamilton County Sheriffs for their cooperation, without which we could not stage our great event.

Many thanks to the generous donation of the Carl H. Lindner family, without which we would not be able to sustain this event. Thanks to our other donors who gave generously, both in funds to help us stage the event, and in gifts for the kids who are chosen as finalists for the Master of the Fireworks drawing.

And finally, thanks to all the volunteers who so generously give of their time and talents to make this day a continued reality.

Hope we can see you next year, 2010, for another great event!

Casey Brown
Norwood Fireworks Committee

Part II: Clue of the Killer’s CALLING CARD

See Part I of this Real Detective article immediately below

By morning the haggard, sleepless police of both cities found themselves empty-handed in more ways than one. Not only were they lacking a definite suspect, but the fingerprint men had found no worthwhile impressions either in the drugstore or on the .45 caliber pistol dropped by the slayer.

Fritz, before retiring for a few hours of needed rest, dispatched the weapon's serial number to the manufacturers, asking for the name of the dealer to whom it had been sold.

By nightfall, back on the job, he learned the gun was part of a consignment to a Louisville, Kentucky, sporting goods establishment which had gone out of business within the past year. Contact with a member of this firm revealed that no records of gun sales had been kept.

Fritz was disappointed.

To make his disappointment more keen, Fritz's pawnshop squad reported no results in connection with the Overberg pistol. The bandit apparently had made no effort as yet to dispose of it. Fritz ordered the weapon's description circularized to police departments throughout the by middlewest.

By this time, the Sergeant Overberg slaying had stunned the city of Norwood and brought its 35,000-odd citizens rallying to the raising of a fund to aid Overberg's young widow and her two small children, Carole Ann and Kathleen.

In addition, rewards totaling $700 were immediately offered for the apprehension of the slayers. Soon business firms began contributing sums until the price on the killer's head went over the $2,500 mark.

read on

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Part I: Clue of the Killer’s CALLING CARD

Earlier today, Ward 2 Councilperson Steve Thornbury sent us a lengthy article that appeared in a 1945 issue of Real Detective magazine. The article is a riveting account of the only case of a Norwood police officer tragically killed in the line of duty. Sergeant Anthony H. Overberg lost his life on July 8, 1942, 69 years ago yesterday. One of our police officers gave Mr. Thornbury the article and other material related to the crime just this morning, and we want to thank him for getting this important piece of Norwood history to us quickly so we can know the story and honor Sergeant Overberg’s memory.

We plan to publish the entire article in 3-4 parts over the next several days.

Part I: Clue of the Killer’s CALLING CARD
PISTOL pressed against the holdup man’s belly Sergeant Anthony H. Overberg, of the Norwood, Ohio, police, snapped a command, "Lay that gun of yours on the counter-and make it fast!"

Facing Overberg, hands upraised, stood a surprised youth. A moment before he had started backing the drugstore's proprietor, Howard J. Lawson toward a rear room where the robber knew there was a safe. He hadn't figured that an armed policeman would be concealed there.

Overberg was only one of ten Norwood officers hidden that night July 8, 1942, in as many local establishments --lying in wait for the boasted return of a bold young thug who had been terrorizing merchants in the greater Cincinnati area.

The trap had been arranged by Chief of Police Charles Fritz at the urging of Mayor Allen C. Roudebush and business leaders, following visits of the bandit to Wester's and Hein's pharmacies on Section and Sherman avenues respectively.

On June 27, the thug had taunted Hein as he relieved the druggist's cash register of $200 receipts. "When you see your cops," he had said, "tell them this town's soft pickin's. I'll be around some more." Now on this July night, it seemed as if the egotistical youth had fallen victim to a snare of his own making.

read on

Free Health Fair at Norwood Presbyterian Church

(Free to the general public)
Norwood Presbyterian Church

4400 Floral Avenue
Corner of Floral &
Washington Avenues

Wednesday, July 15
3:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Services Provided:
Height & weight measurement
Blood pressure check
Blood screening (sugar, cholesterol, hemoglobin)
Vision check, dental screening, hearing check
Information about health related topics
Every person will receive a free health kit at the conclusion of the screening. (shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.)

Sponsored by Presbytery of Cincinnati in cooperation with

Synod of the Covenant Mobile Health Fair Program

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

New Cornerstone Christian Preschool accepting applications

Phyllis Wilson, Director of Cornerstone Christian Academy, sent us the following announcement to share with our readers:

Cornerstone Christian Preschool is opening this fall. We are now accepting applications for PK3, PK4 and Kindergarten. Give your child the advantage of a strong academic beginning in a safe, happy place with loving, qualified and excited teachers. Tuition for full 5 day preschool is less than average babysitting cost!

CCP is located in the lower level of Ashland Ave. Baptist Church at 4255 Ashland Avenue (previous location of ABC Kiddie Kollege)

For information call 351-7900 or 264-1412

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Make dinosaur eggs, read to a therapy dog at Norwood Library

Our Norwood Branch Library has another week of wonderful free programs lined up:

Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Dinosaur Eggs: Make your own dinosaur eggs!!
2:00 p.m.
Ages 6-12

Tuesday, July 7, 2009
ESOL Conversation Group
5:30 p.m.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Preschool Storytime
6:30 p.m.
Ages 3-5

Thursday, July 9, 2009
Tales to Tails: Read aloud to a therapy dog
3:00 pm
Ages 6-12

More information: 369-6037

X.U. hosting sessions to help adults access free training funds

Ohio and Kentucky professionals who have been displaced from their jobs or are at imminent risk of losing their jobs may be eligible for government-funded professional training to help them prepare for their next position or a new career. The Xavier Leadership Center (XLC), part of Xavier University’s focus on adult training and leadership development, has created a process to help these professionals get the training and professional credentials they need. The XLC is hosting free and open Information Sessions on July 9, 14 and 17 to explain more about the program and help local professionals begin the application process.

“The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provides more than $73 million in retraining funds for Ohio and Kentucky workers,1” said Bruce Miller, managing partner of the XLC. “The money is being allocated quickly, though, and local professionals interested in getting free certifications in their current field or retraining to enter a new field, need to apply for these funds as soon as they can.”

In addition to helping professionals through the application process, the XLC offers several certificate programs that respond to the current economic crisis and qualify for Ohio economic stimulus funding. For qualified participants, 100% of the registration fee is covered by economic stimulus funds, with participant materials and examination fees often included.

For adult Ohio and Kentucky residents, this means flexible training accounts for employed workers at imminent risk of losing their jobs or for displaced professionals who require training or certification to find new jobs. The XLC programs culminate in the required industry-recognized certifications or credentials in demand-driven occupations and can be completed within the requisite two-year time period.

Qualified XLC programs include:
  • Project Management Certificate Program and PMP Exam Review
  • Six Sigma Yellow, Green and Black Belt Certificates
  • Senior HR Certificate Program
  • Global Supply Chain and Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) Exam Prep
  • Business Management Certificate Program
  • Certified Financial Planner

Many of these programs are available as open enrollment programs at Xavier or can be offered for groups of ten or more employees at employer locations or in the local business community. The Xavier Leadership Center has already successfully offered several of these programs using economic stimulus funds for employed workers at risk of layoff and displaced workers at DHL/ABX Air in Wilmington, OH2.

The Xavier Leadership Center is hosting the following Information Sessions to provide local professionals with more information about American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding and eligible courses:

Information Sessions:
July 9: Cintas Center, Xavier University, 7-9 pm
July 14: Deerfield Campus, 2nd Floor (4770 Duke Dr., Mason, OH 45040), 7-9 pm
July 17: Deerfield Campus, 2nd Floor, 11 am-1 pm

For more information or to register for a free Information Session, contact Sue Bensman at, via phone: (513) 745-3396 or toll free: 1-800-982-2673.

For individuals or companies seeking to bring ARRA-eligible training on-site for groups of ten or more employees, contact Bruce Miller, Managing Partner, at, or via phone: (513) 745-3230.

1 Stimulus Funds Available for Workforce Programs, Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, April 17, 2009., and


Monday, July 06, 2009

Norwood Kroger employee mugged by 3 women, 1 with baby

One of our readers alerted us to Channel 12’s report about disabled Norwood Kroger employee Thomas Wallace who was attacked by 3 women at the corner of Winton Road and Finney Trail as he got off his bus. Some of our readers may recognize him in the Channel 12 video. One of the women held her baby as they took the battery out of his cell phone and threw it in the grass. They stole $89 Wallace had made stocking and bagging groceries at the Norwood Kroger. Wallace’s caregiver called 911. Police are asking anyone with information about this crime to call CrimeStoppers at 352-3040.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Norwood police praised for solving “a CSI case” reported several days ago that Jonathan Foster was sentenced to 22 years to life for murdering elementary school teacher Jacqueline Skukan at her Carthage Avenue home December 24, 2008. Foster pleaded guilty to the murder. Assistant prosecutor David Prem praised the work of the Norwood police for solving what he said was "a CSI case." Police proved that the DNA found in the saliva on Skukan's breast and on a crack pipe found in a car Foster drove belonged to Foster. They also proved that the Christmas ornaments found broken in Skukan's home matched other ornaments found in a car Foster was driving. Great job, Norwood police!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Kroger Grand Opening pic with Mayor Williams et al

NHS assistant principal Rob Amodio named superintendent

After considering 29 candidates and 5 finalists to replace retiring NCS superintendent Steve Collier, the BOE offered Rob Amodio of Fairfield Township a 3-year contract with an annual salary of $105,000. Mr. Amodio started his 22-year career in education as a social studies teacher at Lakota and Colerain High Schools. He served as assistant principal at Finneytown, principal at Lemon-Monroe High School, and business manager at Fairfield for seven years. The last 2 ½ of those years he was also assistant superintendent before coming to NHS as assistant principal this past school year.

BOE Board President Carolyn Atwood told the Enquirer, “He has good experience at a bigger district. He’s only been here a year. We did not realize how enthusiastic he is about our community. He’s ready to hit the ground running, and we need him to.” Mr. Amodio starts August 1 and will work with Steve Collier until he retires December 31. We wish him much success.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

May 2009 Earnings Tax Report

A monthly feature

The Earnings Tax Department’s Report for May shows YTD collections strong for the second month running. Last month, YTD collections increased 8.85% over 2008.

Individual………….$ 103,861.84
Business…………….$ 33,978.43
Withholding……….$ 962,767.11

Collections thru May 2009….……….....….............$7,646,874.34
Collections thru May 2008................................$7,121,308.98
7.38% increase collections over 2008.…………......$ 525,565.36