1. #1
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    Oct 2002
    Cincinnati Ohio Area

    Default 2004 review from Cincinnati area

    Year In Review: Tri-state Caught By Storms
    There Was No Escaping Cicadas, Candidates, Snow In 2004

    POSTED: 8:36 am EST December 31, 2004
    UPDATED: 11:09 am EST December 31, 2004


    These are just a few of the stories that affected you during the past year.

    Just in time to welcome in 2005, News 5's Amy Wagner has our look back at 2004:

    The year 2004 began with an ending here in the Tri-state.

    In January, the historic 19th century First Baptist Church in Dayton, Ky., was destroyed by fire.

    After 15 years of denials, hit king Pete Rose admitted he did bet on baseball.

    Three floors of Summit Country Day School collapsed, flattened into rubble.

    In February, there was the shocking arrest of Channel 9 news reporter Stephen Hill for molesting children. He was later convicted and sentenced to five years in prison.

    March brought an end to an era for Reds baseball: Former owner Marge Schott died at 75.

    The month also brought an end to a nightmare for many Ohioans. Columbus resident Charles McCoy was arrested in Las Vegas for a string of sniper-style shootings on Ohio's interstates.

    The Xavier Musketeers took the tri-state on a wild ride through the March Madness, all the way to the Elite 8 before losing to No. 1 seed Duke.

    In April, the nation's attention turned to a 20-year old Clermont County soldier, Matt Maupin, who disappeared when his convoy was attacked in Iraq. A week later, a tape of Maupin surfaced on Arab TV. It was the last time he was seen.

    In May came the emergence we'd been dreading for 17 years. Cicadas swarmed the Tri-state for six weeks and then disappeared until 2021.

    June brought UC's head basketball coach into the headlines. Bob Huggins was charged with DUI.

    And one for the history books, Ken Griffey Jr. hit his 500th home run.

    In July, members of a powerful Tri-state family, the Erpenbecks. were charged and sentenced for fraud.

    In August, you watched six local athletes' dreams come true as they won medals at the Olympics in Athens.

    Smoke filled Cincinnati's skyline when Queen City Barrel went up in flames.

    The skyline was also changed by the $110 million Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Oprah Winfrey, Angela Bassett and Oscar Robertson attended the opening.

    Scandal rocked the Hamilton County prosecutor's office and the entire Tri-state when Prosecutor Mike Allen admitted an affair with an assistant prosecutor, Rebecca Collins.

    September belonged to the Reds. Joe Nuxhall called his final game, and the long-awaited Reds Hall of Fame opened its doors.

    October began with a farewell to longtime Reds shortstop Barry Larkin.

    The Bengals won a Monday night football game for the first time in 15 years.

    And time and time again, we saw these two faces George W. Bush and John Kerry as Ohio became a political battleground for the presidential race.

    In November, the predictions came true. The race for the White House came down to the Buckeye State, where Bush prevailed.

    II another interesting but less publicized race, Junior the dog became only the second mayor of Rabbit Hash, Ky.

    In December, Colerain's football team won the coveted Ohio Division I championship for the first time in its history. And across the river, Highlands and Beechwood took Kentucky titles.

    Perhaps it's too soon to mention, but we couldn't leave it out:

    Just before Christmas, the entire Tri-state was hit with a crippling snow and ice storm, stranding thousands at the airport and even more at home and leaving many hoping 2005 begins much better than 2004 ended.

    I.A.C.O.J. Probie

    You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do. -Eleanor Roosevelt

    Lets not forget those lost on 9-11-01

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    Default From Toledo...


    Top 13 Stories of 2004
    Toledo and Lucas County's big news

    # 13: The opening of the Toledo Zoo's spectacular new "Africa" exhibit. Free-roaming African giraffes, zebras, wildebeests and birds inhabit the spacious, naturalistic exhibit . It's 12 acres in all and the zoo calls it he most ambitious project in its 104-year history.

    #12: The 100th birthday celebration for Toledo-based Dana Corporation. It was an important milestone that came after a tough 2003 for the worldwide autoparts supplier. That year, competitor Arvin Meritor tried a hostile takeover and failed and Dana's longtime leader, Joe Magliochetti, died suddenly during that struggle. But Dana soldiered on and in April, Toledo's largest fortune 500 company celebrated its centennial.

    #11: The political demise of Lucas County commission president Harry Barlos. In January, the Lucas County Republican party endorsed the Democrat after his own party snubbed him and endorsed Toledo city councilman Pete Gerken instead. And in November, voters picked Gerken over Barlos.

    #10: Toledo's smoking ban goes up in smoke -- sort of. 2004 began with a restrictive ordinance that banned smoking in virtually all restaurants, bars and bowling alleys in Toledo. Business owners spent big money to put in special smoking lounges and many say they lost big money when their smoking patrons left and went where they could still light up. But in November, voters amended the ban. Now, you can smoke 'em if you got 'em in bowling alleys, bingo parlors, most bars and many restaurants.

    #9: Toledo's budget blues. City leaders side stepped a potential $17 million budget shortfall by tightening the belt. They did it without charging an extra fee for trash or cutting uniformed police officers and firefighters. Cuts include grounding the police air patrol, reduced health care expenses and having the water treatment plant pay for its own security. Also Toledo public and Washington Local schools will pay for their police officers. City council still has to vote on the budget cuts next month.

    #8: Davis Besse Restart In March 2004, the Port Clinton nuclear power plant got the go-ahead to restart after a two-year shut down. In 2002, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission discovered leaking acid had eaten through six inches of the reactor's steel safety cover. After the plant installed a new 150-ton reactor head and went through rigorous safety changes, the plant started producing electriticy once again.

    #7 : Toledo loves Jeep II. Daimler Chrysler made a gigantic commitment to Toledo when it decided to spend $2 billion to expand the Toledo Jeep assembly plant. Earlier this year, seventeen local construction companies signed on to start building the plant next spring and Chrysler lined up three big parts suppliers. The new factories are expected to start producing vehicles in 2006.

    # 6: The crash that killed the head of Grand Aire. On December first, Tahir Cheema and a copilot died when one of the few remaining planes in the fleet, crashed in the Missouri river after taking off from St. Louis. The small air cargo firm Cheema started had great ups and multimillion dollar earnings. They also had tremendous lows; 10 crashes in ten years: the worst in April 2003 when two Grand Aire Planes crashed on the same day: the one near Toledo Express killed all three pilots on board.

    #5: The saga of Ray Kest. In November, Kest stepped down as Lucas County Treasurer to avoid a criminal conviction on theft charges. An investigation determined that Kest owed taxpayers $17,000. Tax money he used to pay for his grad school education at Cleveland State and overnight hotel stays. As part of a deal, Kest agreed to pay back the money and leave office nine months before his term was up.

    #4: The tragic apartment fire that killed seven children. The October fire at the Norwich Apartments was the worst residential fire in Toledo's history. The youngest child was 7 months old and the oldest 7 years old. Authorities say the children started the fire playing with matches or a candle. The mother of six of the kids has been charged with involuntary manslaughter. Police say 25 year old Melinda Ragland was in another apartment and nobody was watching the children when the fire started. She's pleaded not guilty.

    #3: The deadly I-280 crane collapse. On President's Day, February 16th, four ironworkers died and four others were hurt when a nearly 2,000,000lb truss crane collapsed at the bridge construction site. Eight months later in October when work finally resumed, a telescoping leg fell off the project's only other truss crane. Nobody was hurt this time, but the project's future is now uncertain. We do know what the bridge will be called once it is finished. Earlier this month, legislators named it the "Veterans Glass City Skyway."

    #2: The arrest of a Toledo Priest for the murder of a nun nearly 25 years ago. In April, police arrested Toledo Priest Father Gerald Robinson and charged him with the stabbing death of Sister Margaret Ann Pahl. The nun was found dead in a chapel room at Mercy Hospital Easter weekend 1980. The cold case squad says new technology help them make the arrest. The priest says he's not guilty and his trial is set to begin in the New Year.

    #1: The Presidential Election and the huge role Toledo and Ohio played in the race. President Bush and John Kerry spent more money on political ads in Toledo than any other city in the nation. They visited Northwest Ohio almost non stop, especially in the weeks leading up to Election Day. In the end: Ohio essentially decided the outcome. John Kerry Conceded the state and its 20 electoral votes the day after the election when unofficial results showed he couldn't win Ohio.

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