Thursday, March 23, 2000


Man faces prison in attack on officer

        A man accused of assaulting and robbing a Cincinnati police officer faces up to 30 years in prison.

        Darryl L. Sheppard, 40, was indicted Wednesday on charges of felonious assault on a police officer and aggravated robbery. He is accused of attacking Officer Kathleen Newsom on a downtown skywalk March 13.

        Prosecutors said the attack occurred at 11 p.m. when the officer approached Mr. Sheppard and asked for identification. They said Mr. Sheppard punched the officer in the face, wrestled her to the ground and tried to take her gun.

        They said Mr. Sheppard also cut the officer on the hand with a steak knife during the struggle.

        He was arrested less than a half hour later on Garfield Place.

        Officer Newsom suffered a concussion, but was treated and released from University Hospital.

Subway sandwich shop robbed at knifepoint
        A man armed with a knife robbed the Subway sandwich shop in Colerain Township Wednesday night.

        The robber entered the store in the 3100 block of West Galbraith Road at 9 p.m., approached an employee from behind, put a knife to his back and demanded money, the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office said.

        The robber forced the clerk to give him cash from the register and then forced the employee into a walk-in freezer before fleeing with an undetermined amount of cash.

        The clerk suffered a minor cut during the robbery, but refused medical treatment, the sheriff's office said.

Portman to meet with constituents
        Blue Ash, Mason and Miami Township residents will have a chance Saturday to share their ideas with Rep. Rob Portman, R-Terrace Park.

        Mr. Portman is holding a series of “town hall” meetings in the district, where constituents are welcome to come and ask questions of their congressman.

        The meetings will be 9:30 a.m. in the Blue Ash Municipal and Safety Center, 4343 Cooper Road; noon at the Mason Middle School, 707 Mason-Montgomery Road; and 2 p.m. at the Lemming House in Miami Township, 5951 Buckwheat Road.

City workers take over Empowerment Corp.
        City officials have taken over leadership of Cincinnati's Empowerment Corp.

        To restore order in what has been described as a fractured organization, the city manager has appointed employees from economic development, planning, employment and training, neighborhood services, health and recreation to oversee it.

        Susan Paddock, special assistant to the city manager, will lead the team for up to 90 days until a permanent director is hired.

        The empowerment board is supposed to oversee the spending of grant money to eliminate blight and poverty in Cincinnati neighborhoods.

Man arrested on nonsupport charge CLEVES — Acting on an anonymous telephone tip, police Tuesday arrested a man wanted for flagrant nonsupport by Kenton County, Ky., police.
        Police arrested Thomas Staverman, 49, no known address, sleeping in the back of a hardware store on South Miami Avenue at about 4:20 p.m., Capt. Michael Hendrick said.

        Mr. Staverman, whose last known address was on South Miami Avenue, told officers he owed about $35,000 in child support for two children, Capt. Hendrick said.

Fire captain accused of offering kids beer
        A captain with the Cincinnati Fire Division is facing criminal charges for allegedly offering a cooler of beer to children at his daughter's birthday party.

        Gary W. Henry, 43, of North Bend, is charged with three misdemeanor counts of furnishing alcohol to minors Jan. 20. He appeared Wednesday in Hamilton County Municipal Court, but his case will not be decided for at least a few weeks.

        Prosecutors said Mr. Henry's 12-year-old daughter was celebrating her birthday with about 20 friends in the basement when he went downstairs with the cooler.

        Once there, they said, he told some of the children, “You look like you could use a beer.” Mr. Henry denies the allegations.

Hospital begins shutting down
        CLEVELAND — St. Michael Hospital, the target of a community drive to keep it open, stopped admitting patients Wednesday and will close its emergency room Friday.

        Primary Health Systems Inc. of Wayne, Pa., which owns the Cleveland hospital, said the halt to admissions and pending emergency room shutdown was part of its previously announced plans for the facility.

        The hospital announced two weeks ago it would close St. Michael by the end of the month and sell it to the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. Under pressure from the city, PHS later agreed to convert part of St. Michael into a nursing home and to open a medical clinic at the location.

Protesters complain about dental board
        COLUMBUS — About 30 dentists and supporters protested outside a State Dental Board meeting Wednesday, saying the board harasses dentists and is heavy-handed in its tactics.

        The protesters say the board harasses dentists by appealing court decisions against board rulings to the extent that it costs dentists hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees. One dentist who moved his practice to Pennsylvania said the board makes up its own rules and unevenly enforces them.

        “They don't have any yardstick laid down,” said Dr. Ramesh Mathur, formerly of Cleveland.

Third giraffe in 2 years dies at zoo
        EVANSVILLE, Ind. — Yoda, a 21-month-old male reticulated giraffe on loan from Ohio's Toledo Zoo, has become the third giraffe in two years to die at the Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden.

        The animal's body was taken to a Purdue Agriculture Center in Jasper to determine the cause of the early Tuesday death.

        A zoo keeper Monday morning had observed the animal with its head pointed upward and its neck in a C-shaped curve, zoo spokeswoman Melanie Wentz said.

        “He was also resting himself against the fencing in his stall,” Wentz said. “Normally, they don't need the assistance of something to hold them up.”

Tree, ground cover sale wrapping up
        The annual tree and ground cover sale by the Butler Soil and Water Conservation District will end Friday. Late orders will be accepted until supplies are exhausted.

        Tree packets are available in evergreen or flowering tree and bush. Most trees are 1 to 3 years old, and average 10 to 18 inches high. Also available are ground-cover plants, wildflower packets and box houses for bats, bluebirds and wrens.

        Orders are generally available for planting in mid-April. For information and order forms, call 887-3720.


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