October 31, 2014

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Family, church help nurse through dark times
Written by Erika Schmidt Russell   
Wednesday, October 29, 2014 3:56 PM

For the time being Kathy Hess is reveling in her freedom. After months of being stuck at home unable to work, unable to even visit her husband Alan in the hospital or her grandchildren at their homes, she is free.
Hess was charged in February 2014  in connection with the death of a Woodland Hills Care Center resident, Dionne J. Scalf. But Monday, Oct. 27, Dearborn-Ohio County Prosecutor Aaron Negangard had a request granted by Dearborn Superior Court No. 1 Judge Jonathan Cleary to dismiss the charges without prejudice.
“I’m so elated, but at the same time ...” said Hess with a sigh Wednesday morning.
“I prayed for him (Negangard) last night. He needs peace,” said Hess, who has maintained her innocence since being charged.
She doesn’t understand why he could have the charges dismissed “then go on TV and radio and say he’s going to re-file the charges.”
Throughout her months-long ordeal, Hess had a wonderful and blessed support network of friends and family, and most especially her church family at Dearborn Hills United Methodist Church, she said.
Before she was alleged to have killed an elderly woman at the nursing home where she had worked for nearly 30 years, Kathy Hess had been a strong church-goer, but the love and prayer chains sustained her.
“I can’t thank my church family enough, them and Mr. (Robert) Ewbank, and Anthony Smart and Debbie Leibrook,” said Hess.

Is homicide case against former Woodland Hills nurse over?
Written by Erika Schmidt Russell   
Wednesday, October 29, 2014 3:52 PM | Updated ( Wednesday, October 29, 2014 4:02 PM )

Instead of the final pretrial hearing set for Monday afternoon, Oct. 27, Dearborn County Prosecutor Aaron Negangard requested a motion to dismiss without prejudice charges against Kathy Hess.
The charges filed in Feburary of this year against Hess in the death of a patient, Dionne Scalf, at Woodland Hills Care Center where Hess was a nurse, were battery resulting in death of an endangered adult, neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury, both class B felonies; and reckless homicide, a class C felony.
In the motion to dismiss, Negangard writes, “because counsel for the defendant has failed to provide discovery in a timely manner and the State wishes to conduct additional investigation at this time.” The motion was granted by Dearborn Superior Court No. 1 Judge Jonathan Cleary.
Defense attorney Bob Ewbank, however, takes umbrage at the phrase “counsel for the defendant has failed to provide discovery in a timely manner.”
Ewbank asserts he and co-counsel Anthony Smart were compliant in the discovery process of witnesses and evidence, in as much as they could be, since the defense witnesses’ testimony and expert opinions in some cases were dependent on information held by the State of Indiana, in this case the Dearborn-Ohio County Prosecutor’s Office.
The most pointed example of this are tissue samples and reports in the possession of the prosecutor’s office, said Ewbank.
Ewbank’s office initially requested the tissue samples for examination by their expert witnesses Dr. Thomas Bender and pathologist Dr. George Nichols and in May. Ewbank’s office asked for the samples again in August. They were finally released to Dr. Nichols and Dr. Bender on Oct. 1, said Ewbank.
Dr. Nichols issued his opinion on Oct. 20, and orthopedic surgeon Dr. Thomas Bender issued his opinion on Oct. 24. Click here to read the entire reports from Drs. Nichols and Bender.
Negangard asserts it wasn’t just the tissue samples his office had to provide access to for the defense. “He had three witnesses listed on discovery, one of which we never received information on, and one who had nothing to do with the tissue slides,” said Negangard.
As far the slides go, the prosecutor’s office was not going to let the slides out of its chain of custody; that issue did take a while to resolve.
“I disagree with his assessment. We were providing things in a timely manner,” said Negangard.
Dismissing the charges with prejudice means the prosecutor’s office can refile the charges, send the case to a grand jury, file different charges, or not file any charges.

Oxbow topic: Maine island
Written by Chandra L. Mattingly   
Wednesday, October 29, 2014 10:24 AM

An island's life and history will be the topic of the monthly Oxbow, Inc., meeting Tuesday, Nov. 11, in downtown Lawrenceburg.

Although born on an island s urrounded by warm Pacific waters, Kani Meyer migrates every insufferable cincinnati summer to another island surrounded by cold Atlantic waters. Swan's Island lies off Acadia National Park in Maine and Meyer's presentation about this island will offer a wonderful insight not only into island cultural life but also its rich and varied natural history, said Oxbow President Jon Seymour.

Mitigated by fog and sunshine, mosses and lichens carpet the forest floor, while blueberries and hay-scented ferns fill sunny meadows, he said. And of course, pink granite ledges and cobble beaches fringe the shore.

“Then there are those lobsters!” said Seymour. The program will begin at 7:30 p.m. in The Oxbow, Inc., office at 301 Walnut St. The public is invited.

West Harrison man killed in SUV crash
Written by Submitted   
Tuesday, October 28, 2014 4:27 PM

A fatal single auto crash near 5255 Ohio 128, Whitewater Township, took the life of the 23-year-old Adam Langdon of West Harrison, driver of the vehicle, according to Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil.

At about 5:10 p.m., a silver SUV was traveling southbound on Ohio 128, when Langdon failed to negotiate a curve and ran off the right side of the road.

The SUV landed in a creek bed, where it rolled over onto its top. The vehicle then caught fire.

Seat belt use is unknown due to the severity of the fire. At the time of this release, it is unknown if drugs or alcohol played a part in the crash, said Neil.

The crash remains under investigation by the Hamilton County Sheriff's Traffic Safety Unit.

Angel tree needs volunteers
Written by Submitted   
Tuesday, October 28, 2014 1:29 PM

LifeTime Resources Angel Tree needs volunteers to help spread Christmas cheer to older adults and people with disabilities.

There are two ways to participate. You may stop call or stop by the Lifetime office to select a client and be given gift ideas for that client or you may donate a gift card, which will be used to provide gifts.

To ensure timelt delivery, gifts and/or gift cards must be dropped off or amiled to LifeTime Resources by Dec. 1. The office is located at 13091 Benedict Drive, U.S. 50, in Dillsboro.

For more information on how you can be an angel this Chrismas season, contact Diana Davis at 1-812-432-6213 or via email at ddavis@lifetime-resources.org.