Urban News

By DENNIS DAILY, Feature Writer   |   Oct. 23, 2001 at 12:03 AM
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(PORTLAND, Ore.) -- Highway officials in Portland, Ore., say that the massive bridge that carries Interstate 5 over the Columbia River was re-opened Monday afternoon after being closed because of a bizarre accident. The Oregonian says that the incident, involving a big-rig semi truck, happened in the southbound lanes of the bridge, known as "the bridge you love to hate" by many in the area.

The semi, carrying both Oregon and Oklahoma plates -- though registered in Arizona -- went out of control on the bridge, swerving into both the right and left railings of the span. As this happened the cab of the rig started to disintegrate.

Police tell the publication that during the truck's wild ride, before it finally came to a stop against a barrier, the driver was ejected and thrown into the river. His body was later recovered. The incident is under investigation.

(ATLANTA) -- State banking officials in Atlanta say that thousands of items from abandoned Atlanta safe deposit boxes will soon be offered at auction. One state worker involved in the "open the abandoned boxes" program tells the Journal and Constitution that "you never know what you're going to find." Cheri McGiboney says that several years ago she opened a box that was full of "old motel keys and little bars of soap."

The auction of goods will take place Wednesday at a site in nearby Marietta. Most of the items in the auction are coins and jewelry. Included are a Rolex watch, valued at about $6,500, a diamond ring, appraised at $10,000 and even Tom Glavine and Steve Avery rookie baseball cards, valued at about $300. And, if you're a history buff, there's even some Confederate money listed.

(CINCINNATI) -- The riverboat casinos in the Cincinnati area say they are hurting following the downturn in tourism after the events of 9/11. Even though the Queen City technically has no casinos of its own, the ones on the Ohio River in downstream Indiana are so close by Interstate they actually are part of the metroplex.

The publication says that, for example, the Grand Victoria in Rising Sun, Ind., reports that its revenue has fallen by nearly 23 percent in the past month. The Argosy Casino in nearby Lawrenceburg, Ind., shows a loss of nearly nine percent.

The casinos along the Ohio have become a major employer for an otherwise "out of the way" part of Indiana. The county in Indiana where the Grand Victoria is, Ohio County, has a total population of barely 5,000. The population doubles on weekend nights. Additionally, many employees commute from Cincinnati and its Kentucky suburbs.

(UNDATED) -- As the anthrax scare continues, more and more urban-based companies are either not opening much of their incoming mail or are insisting that employees and prospective customers do business via the Internet. The concerns for the health and safety of workers in the mailrooms of major companies have become very real.

Companies dealing with the entertainment industry are also on alert. Published reports indicate that many Hollywood stars and others in the entertainment world, including musicians and groups, are reluctant to open fan mail.

Many stars, though, have always been cautious about fan mail, even before the recent scares.

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