LOVELAND, OHIO - Late this morning five cars from a CSX train that had just passed downtown Loveland derailed and ended up on their sides within thirty-five feet of O'Bannon Creek. The last car in the train had just passed West Loveland Avenue when it came to a halt, avoiding what could have been an even worse traffic nightmare. The train was heading northeast towards Goshen Township and early speculation from fire fighters at the scene was that faulty and decayed wooden railroad cross ties caused the accident.
Two tankers and three box cars were on their side.
According to Miami Township Fire and EMS Chief, James Whitworth, police and fire personal from Loveland, as well as members of the Goshen, Miami, Union, and Hamilton Township fire departments responded. More than forty, fire and police personal were at the scene as well as numerous personal from CSX, the American Red Cross, and an emergency Petroclean Hazmat team.
Only one of the cars was leaking a small, but steady stream of what was described as candle wax and no injuries were reported.
Two train tracks were damaged, when the overturned cars skidded and dug into parallel tracks along this part of the rail way line.
Loveland Police Chief Dennis Rees said, that at first, the train conductor was very uncooperative and he even had trouble getting the man to give him his name, and then he only offered his first name. Rees said, "They were very secretive." Rees also said the conductor at first refused to give him the train's manifest so emergency personal could tell what dangers emergency responders, and the nearby residents faced. Rees then instructed one of his officers to place the train conductor in handcuffs if he didn't produce the manifest. Rees said the conductor, then handed over the paperwork.
Rees said he did not know if CSX would be responsible for the cost of the emergency response, but that he had already spoken to the city manager and it was likely a bill would be submitted.
CSX Corporation is the parent company of a number of subsidiaries that provide freight transportation services across America and around the world. Formed in 1980, CSX Transportation operates the largest rail network in the eastern United States.
When the different fire departments responded to the scene, they loaded more than 3,000 feet of large diameter hose on the back of a flat bed truck. Then, drove the truck to the overturned cars, turned the truck around and drove back the quarter mile to the fire hydrants on St. Rt. 48, all along, laying out the hose and coupling it together from the back of the truck.
One tank car that had been full of toluene was only a few cars behind the ones on their sides and was heading into the wrecked cars. Toluene is extremely flammable and harmful if inhaled or swallowed and is a central nervous system depressant. The vapor may cause headache, nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, confusion and incoordination. Toluene is a teratogen and can cause malformations of an embryo or fetus. Had this car been full and the contents leaked into the nearby O'Bannon Creek which empties into the Little Miami River, tens of thousands of people would have been affected as drinking water wells for Milford, Indian Hill, and communities south of Loveland pump drinking water from wells along this river.
Loveland, Ohio - Defending, State Cross Country Champion, Sarah Leeper, a Loveland High School sophomore, won the Moeller Invitational Cross Country meet on Saturday at the Good Shepherd Church course. Leeper ran the 3.1 miles in 18:47. Emily MacLeod, also from the Loveland area, finished second, running for Mount Notre Dame High School.
John Gorman, running for the Loveland Middle School, finished fourth in the Jr. High race.
Leeper said she didnt remember racing on a hotter and more humid day. "I did find myself backing off going up the first hill, but told myself not to give in to the heat."
Leeper finished 24 seconds ahead of MacLeod. Another of the areas top runners was Brittany Detzel from Colerain High School, who finished third. Detzel finished second, behind Leeper in the State Tournament last fall. MacLeod finished thirteenth in the State Tournament.
The Cincinnati area is a powerhouse of cross country runners. Also running for area schools are Casey Keefer, a junior at Lakota East, Maggie Chaney a junior at Kings, Lauren Beachy, a sophomore from Winton Woods, and Angela Bizzarri, a junior from Mason, all who finished in the top twenty-five at the 2003 State Meet. Junior, Emily Thompson, who runs for Taylor High School won the Division II State Cross Country Championship last year.
Bizzarri is the defending State Champion at 3200 meters, where Leeper finished fourth. Bizzarri also finished third in the 1500 at last years Track and Field competition. She finished first at the Brian Plasma run on Saturday. Chaney (3), Keefer (4), and Thompson (6), also did well in the race at the Fairfield Invitational.
When asked if she would catch Leeper this year, MacLeod said, "Hopefully."
Loveland hosts its first home run in perhaps eight years this Saturday, at the Grailville course just outside the Loveland city limits on OBannonville Road (East Loveland Avenue). The varsity girls run at 10 AM and the boys at 10:30.
Loveland, Ohio - "Our schools have always been excellent, I didnt need the state to tell me," said Jan Ranard of Symmes Township. Ranard's son Zac, graduated from Loveland High School last year and is now attending Miami University, in Oxford, Ohio.
For the fourth consecutive year, the Loveland City School District has earned the top designation of "Excellent" from the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) on its annual report card rating of Ohios public school districts. The District met 18 of the 18 required performance indicators.
"The fourth consecutive excellent rating continues to demonstrate the strength of our students, teachers and parents commitment to learning and thats what its all about," said Dr. Kevin Boys, Superintendent.
Carolyn Huntley, recently moved from Boston with her husband and three children. Two of her children attend Loveland Schools. "Loveland schools are pretty impressive, actually. I am impressed with all the programs they offer and very impressed with the kindergarten teachers." The Huntleys said the public school was a major factor in choosing where to live in the Cincinnati area. They also said that they knew if they had to move again soon, they would have little trouble selling their home in the Loveland district.
The District also met Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). Loveland had not met AYP on the 2003 report card because students on an IEP (Individualized Educational Plan) did not meet a proficiency level in mathematics. Through intervention during the course of last school year, this group was able to meet the proficiency level in mathematics.
AYP is part of the federal "No Child Left Behind" legislation with the goal for all students to reach the proficient level in reading and mathematics by 2013-14. Yearly goals are set requiring students in groups such as African American, Hispanic and those with special education needs to reach proficiency in these subjects.
Loveland students continue to show progress in a majority of the areas measured. Students improved their proficiency scores over the previous year in 11 of the 18 performance indicators measured. One new measure was added for grade 3 in Reading. A total of 89.2 % of Loveland students met this measure (proficiency standard is 75%).
The ODE report card also gives each school district a Performance Index Score. For each subject area in grades 4 and 6, students receive one of four performance levels (below basic, basic, proficient and advanced). The performance index score represents the achievement of all students on all five subject areas and places the District on a scale of 0-120. Lovelands performance index score is 100.7 up from 98.3 in the prior year.
"I am always interested in making sure we are not directing the majority of our efforts towards test preparation. In my experience with my own fourth grader last year, I was really impressed with the staffs emphasis on quality instruction that was simply aligned to the states curriculum standards," Boys said.
Ranard, whose youngest son Sam, attends Loveland High School, said, "Loveland provides a really good foundation for our students to be accepted to good colleges. They provide a good learning environment."
LOVELAND, OHIO - One of the players asked Loveland High School Head Football Coach Chuck Warden what they should wear to school on Friday, the day of their season opener. Warden said, “Your black jerseys.”
Another asked if that meant his “main squeeze” could wear his white jersey to school.
Warden shot back, “Yes. You’re are talking about your mother, aren't you?”
The photos above are from Thursday’s practice, the last practice before the regular season begins. Coach Warden told his team that now is when all of their hard work would begin to pay off. He encouraged his players to “have fun and enjoy” the football season.
The Tigers open against Northwest, 7:30 PM on Friday at Northwest High School.
The Cincinnati Enquirer’s Coach’s Poll has Loveland rated #6 in Division II-VI area schools. Coach Warden’s record at Loveland is 41-20 and the Tigers come off a 5-5 record las year.
A.J. Forsythe will quarterback Loveland’s double slot offense and Brady Minturn, the league’s 2003 defensive player of the year and one of the area’s top college prospects, will be on the offensive and defensive line.
Northwest comes off a 2-8 season. The Northwest Knights are a division I school and return only six seniors. DeMario Pleasant was their leading rusher and tackler last season.
Take I-275 and exit the Mt. Healthy exit. Go left on Hamilton Ave. one block and take a right on Civic Center Drive to Pippin Road. Turn left onto Pippin, school is 1/2 mile on right.
LOVELAND, OHIO - Council passed an ordinance Tuesday night allowing indoor shooting ranges in the city, anywhere local, state, or federal laws would be complied with. Amendments were added to the original ordinance to limit the caliper size of firearms allowed to be shot, and restrictions concerning automatic weapons.
Council members Brad Greenberg, Joe Schickel, Dan Daly, Rob Weisgerber, and Todd Osborne voted for shooting ranges. Katie Showler and Paul Elliott voted no.
Daly, instead of speaking from the council table, rose and spoke at the podium during open forum and read from a prepared statement. He said for him personally, concerns over safety were overridden by the need for economic development.
Weisgerber had prepared a report and presented it just before the vote. He said the proper course would be to limit the bullet muzzle energy in relation to the muzzle velocity of various pistol and rifle rounds. Weisgerber wanted to put a “factor of safety” into the ordinance which he described as, “a truer relationship to the design of the facility.” He also wanted to restrict armor piercing and steel core rounds.
Daly and Schickel didn’t want to wait until they could study the information before voting. They said the issue of caliper size could be revisited at a later date. Schickel said he wanted to move forward, “rather quickly.” Elliott wanted some more time to study the new information because, “we're talking about some pretty good size pieces of lead flying around here.”
Weisgerber voted for gun ranges even though his council colleagues would not consider the amendments he thought were so important.
Showler was prepared to make a motion placing the ordinance before the voters, but was interrupted simultaneously, by City Solicitor Frank Klaine, Greenberg, Osborne, and Schickel, before she could finish her sentence. Greenberg ruled Showler out of order and council proceeded to pass the ordinance.
Showler, before being interrupted, said, “This is a very controversial issue. The only fair thing to do is put it on the ballot and let the people of Loveland decide if this is what they want in their city,”
Elliott was also in favor of letting the voters decide, saying it was a, “pretty energized issue.”
Mike Konarski, who lives at the nearby Whispering Knolls court said, “I have nothing against guns. I own a gun, but this is the wrong business at the wrong place because it is simply too close to residences, and children will be riding school buses only 25 - 30 feet from the range.” He said that when he has gone to get firearms training he has gone to Target World or Scarlet Oaks Vocational School and both of those ranges are well away from the “traveled road” and residences.
Mayor Greenberg said, “We could wait around for the perfect plan, but the perfect plan is a mirage.” He said council needed to act in the best interest of all of Loveland, not just the people that live across the street. “There is no safety threat, and to give in, to irrational fears, doesn’t make a lot of sense.”
He then asked the clerk to call the roll.
Please see comments on this story by James Meeks, at the Comments Sidebar section on the left of page.
LOVELAND, OHIO - Dean (Frogg) Geldrich on the left, and Chris Wright, play their “Jimbays” on the side porch of a friends home on West Loveland Avenue in downtown Loveland.
Geldrich, who has been a bass player for 25 years, moved to Loveland to raise his family, but tragedy struck when he lost his infant son recently. He is kick’n back lately trying to get his life back together. Wright, grew up in Loveland and plays keyboard - “Anything from country to hip-hop.”
Geldrich and Wright said sometimes they have five to seven people join them on the porch with their own drums. This photo was taken on a recent hot Sunday afternoon. They said they play their drums and sing songs about the girls and their cars as they pass by - "...and sometimes they stop!”
Roberta Paolo, the Granny of Granny’s Garden School, Judy Leever, of the Loveland Greenbelt Community Council and Nancy Garfinkel of the Greater Loveland Historical Society Museum are hosting a gathering of all non-profit organizations in the Loveland area with the purpose of networking for the benefit of us all. We invite your staff, board and members to come and share what you do and why you do it. It is a casual gathering of folks with the common purpose of enhancing the lives of the residents of our community and beyond.
Our first goal is to find out about the different organizations represented here and the second is to find ways to support each other in our endeavors. Please bring literature to distribute and/or have one member of your group be prepared to speak for 60 seconds about your organization, its goals and needs. Come at 3:00 PM to mingle while we gather. Presentations will begin promptly at 3:15. Afterwards there will be time for one on one networking.
We are compiling a list of Loveland’s non-profit organizations that will be available on the Internet with links to sites of organizations that have one. Please put the information in an e-mail and send it to us at SchoolGarden@fuse.net.
Call Judy Leever 513-677-0691 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org to tell us about other non-profits in Loveland that we can invite.
We look forward to meeting you,
Roberta Paola, Judy Leever & Nancy Garfinkel
All Loveland Non-Profit Organizations are invited to a
Gathering at Granny’s Garden School
On the grounds of the Loveland Primary & Elementary Schools
550 Loveland-Madeira Road
Wednesday, September 29, 2004 3:30-5:00 PM
The Loveland Greenbelt Community Council. Granny’s Garden School, Loveland Shalom Initiative, Loveland Historical Society, Loveland Schools Foundation, Loveland Stage Company, L.I.F.E., Loveland Women’s Club, Leaves of Learning, Arts and Cultural Council, Loveland-Symmes Fireman’s Association, Cancerfree Kids, Interparish Ministries, Little Miami Inc., Eagles, American Legion, VFW, Grailville have been invited.
First, advocates for an indoor shooting range in a former church, on Loveland Maderia Road said "no" noise would escape the building. Then, at a public hearing before city council on August 9, they backed away from that claim, and simply said, they would comply with local noise ordinances and decibel levels would not exceed anything in the local law.
Why the moving target? Perhaps it is because Loveland's Zoning Code says the following about shooting ranges inside the city:
Section 150.352 Noise - The following noise levels shall be exempt from the noise provisions during the daytime only:
A. Firearms on authorized ranges. (Daytime shall be considered as the hours between 7:00 AM and 10:00 PM.)
Marvin Mann, one of the owners of Shooters Supply, the local business that wants to build the shooting range on the church property said, "I did not know that." When asked why they made assurances that "no" noise would escape the building and now they are only saying they would comply with local laws, and that now that he does know his shooting range would be exempt, he said, "No noise would be impossible. What we meant is that we would comply with industry standards," and would construct the building better than industry standards. When asked what the industry standard for noise was, he said what he thought they were but didn't want to be quoted on any specifics.
Another moving target is the Loveland Zoning Code - held still for developers and special interests to take pot shots at, but moved at blazing speed when residents try to get their hands on it asking for strict enforcement to protect their neighborhoods.
To point - why isn't the property owner going to be required to ask for a change in the zoning code? The proposed shooting range is in the Business Retail Zoning District and inside that district, "Commercial Recreation" is not allowed within 200 feet of residences. This is an absolute "minimum requirement" in the Zoning Code according to Section 150.003.
It is because they have been told they can simply ask for a variance from the BZA (Board of Zoning Appeals), instead. Why the moving target for nearby residents? Perhaps, because asking for a variance is a relatively easy task compared to changing the zoning code. To change the code, two public hearings are required, the proposal must pass the muster of both the Planing and Zoning Commission and City Council, and perhaps most importantly, changes to the code are subject to the referendum process and a vote of city residents at the ballot box.
On the other hand, to receive a variance, all that is needed is one public hearing, and to plead the case before the three members of the BZA. If the variance is granted, residents are faced with the task of going before a common pleas court judge, instead of the voters. The Loveland BZA has a record of not denying variances. To legally challenge a BZA decision in the courts, it is a rather expensive option for residents.
Is asking for a variance instead of a zone change an abuse of the powers and duties of the BZA? To answer that question, one must look at Section 150.422 of the code. In this section, "variances shall not be granted for uses not permitted in the Zoning District applicable to the property." Shooting ranges are not specifically permitted in the Business Retail District and commercial recreation is not permitted within 200 feet of residences. So, it appears seeking a variance through the BZA would not be allowed. Variances are allowed to be sought however, for such things as building setbacks, exceptional narrowness of the property, etc., or if there is no other practicable use for the property. The gun range advocates are faced with none of the "hardships" described in the code that "variances" are meant to ameliorate.
Mann said that during the many meetings he has had with the city, they were told by many people that they would have to seek a variance from the 200 foot minimum requirement. Jerry Stoker, Loveland's Zoning Administrator says it is his interpretation of the code that the prohibition of having commercial recreation within 200 feet of a residential zone was the same as seeking a variance for normal things like minimum "set back" requirements or building heights. Mann said he is going to do whatever is easiest in order to be permitted to use the church for a shooting range. He sees the variance route as the easy way, and that is what city hall has told him he is allowed to do.
City Council meets tonight and will consider an ordinance allowing indoor shooting ranges anywhere in the city where it can be proved all local, state, and federal laws can be complied with. The zoning issue, will then be tackled, if Shooters Supply get over this first hurdle.
IRAQ - After an e-mail from Loveland Magazine with condolences over the death of fellow members of the 216th Engineering Battalion, Blake Poe responded today with this reply.
"I am doing okay after the fact. I did know one of the soldiers killed. He was from my home unit the 1193rd and he was called up to deploy with the 216th. It is always hard to see a fellow soldier lost. We are all doing well and are driving on with our mission here as they would want us to do. Things are going well though here. The heat is soon about to break and cooler days should prevail. Also, as August comes to a close and all the kids head back to school it brings us that much closer to coming home. I am just saddened that at least 3 people that have deployed with the 216th will not be able to return home with us or be able to greet us when we arrive. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers and all of the support. God Bless America"
IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 23, 2004
DoD Identifies Army Casualties
The Department of Defense announced today the death of two soldiers supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died Aug. 20 near Samarra, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device exploded near their vehicle. Both were assigned to the Army National Guard’s 216th Engineer Battalion, Hamilton, Ohio.
1st Lt. Charles L. Wilkins III, 38, of Columbus, Ohio.
Pfc. Ryan A. Martin, 22, of Mount Vernon, Ohio.
The incident is under investigation.
For further information related to this release, contact Army Public Affairs at (703) 692-2000. The incident is under investigation.