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  • Ohio sites closer to federal designation

    Sunday, November 21, 1999

    Ohio is about to have two new official historical landmarks.

    Congress has sent President Clinton legislation that would give the federal designation to the Fallen Timbers battlefield and Fort Miamis.

    The House adopted the legislation Thursday night, six weeks after Senate passage.

    "Passage of the Fallen Timbers legislation marks the end of a long struggle to preserve the historical jewels of the Northwest Territory,'' said Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Toledo.

    The Battle of Fallen Timbers along the Maumee River in 1794 gave the United States the city of Detroit and secured Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Illinois for settlement. The United States also won a battle against the British at Fort Miamis in Maumee during the War of 1812.

    "This legislation enables northwest Ohioans to rightly establish their place in American history and pass along this historical legacy,'' said Sen. Mike DeWine, R-Ohio, who won Senate approval of the bill.

    The 185-acre battlefield site and Fort Miamis still will be managed by Toledo Metro Parks, but the legislation now affiliates the landmarks with the National Park Service. The federal designation makes the sites eligible for federal money.

    Measure would ease reporting
    of smaller companies' mergers

    DeWine, chairman of a Senate Judiciary antitrust subcommittee, has introduced legislation that would allow smaller business mergers to avoid federal regulatory review.

    Under a law passed in 1976, companies whose merger would be valued at more than $15 million must file notice with federal antitrust agencies.

    The threshold has not been increased for more than 20 years, and because of inflation, more and more mergers had to be reported.

    DeWine's bill would raise the reporting requirement to mergers valued at $35 million or more, which would reduce the burden on small and medium-sized businesses.

    "The improvements we are offering will reduce these compliance burdens on the business community, while at the same time preserving the ability of the enforcement agencies to protect the public interest and ensure competition,'' DeWine said.

    Beryllium exposure merits
    compensation, Kaptur says

    Kaptur says U.S. Department of Defense workers and contractors whose health has been harmed by beryllium should be compensated in the same way the Clinton administration has proposed aiding Department of Energy workers.

    Kaptur introduced a bill last week to provide health benefits and lost wages, or up to $200,000 in a lump sum, to defense workers. The amount is double the $100,000 cap in a plan Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson proposes for energy workers.

    Richardson's bill would offer benefits to several thousand Energy Department workers and contract employees across the country, including some in northeast Ohio.

    But Kaptur said some employees at Brush Wellman Corp. spent years working for the Defense Department on nuclear weapons and airplane and missile components that used beryllium, and many of those workers have chronic lung disease caused by beryllium dust.

    Kaptur isn't the only Ohio lawmaker who wants to add people to that bill. Rep. Ted Strickland, D-Lucasville, and GOP Sens. DeWine and George V. Voinovich are angry that the legislation would compensate workers at a Kentucky uranium enrichment plant for radiation exposure but would leave out workers at a sister plant in Piketon, Ohio.

    Compiled by Roger K. Lowe and Jonathan Riskind of The Dispatch Washington Bureau.


    Copyright © 1999, The Columbus Dispatch