Monday, May 4, 2009

Nassar says Linda's Mini Mart making incremental improvements at being good neighbor

Calling the murder of their store's founder two months ago "beyond their control", Linda Nassar says that her family is making incremental improvements at Linda's Mini Mart to keep criminal activity down and comply with City codes.

Early last month, the 815 Elm Street Condominium Association sent a letter of complaint to the building owner George Pascal and members of Cincinnati City Council complaining about criminal activity, litter and general blight coming from the store on the southwest corner of Ninth and Elm streets Downtown.

Linda Nassar says that family members are picking themselves up by their bootstraps to recover from the murder of her ex-husband Wade Nassar, 62, who was beaten and stabbed to death in the store on March 2.

Marcus Hill, 21, has been indicted by a grand jury and faces murder, aggravated robbery, and robbery charges and could face the death penalty for Nassar's death.

"My ex-husband was murdered, and that was truly sorrowful for my whole family," she says. "Wade and I remained close after we divorced. I am so lost now that he is gone."

Started by Linda and Wade Nassar, Linda's Mini Mart has been operating in the community for over twenty years, but, with Linda now completely blind, son Nizar Nassar has taken over day-to-day operations at the store.

A couple of weeks ago, District One neighborhood liaison supervisor Sgt. Stephen Saunders and neighborhood liaison officer Timothy Epstein visited the store, and both have said that Nizar Nassar was receptive to the information, offering to improve the building's appearance by cleaning up the adjacent parking lot and painting over the hand-painted exterior signage.

Linda Nassar says that they're also taking steps to better address the needs of local residents, although the budget is tight.

"We are now accepting food stamps, which is a big help for a number of the elderly and young mothers," she says. "I would also like to say that my goal is bring in more products that would better serve the community."

And she wants to assure neighbors that she's always receptive to their concerns.

"I am not here to antagonize any one," she says. "Nathan Bishop or Pat Corb can talk with me at any given time."

The building's owner could not be contacted.

Previous reading on BC:
815 Elm condo owners fed up with mini mart blight (4/16/09)