Wednesday, May 24, 2000

A.M. Report




Celebration kicks off hospital fund campaign
        MIDDLETOWN — Mid-Miami Healthcare Foundation, the funding arm of Middletown Regional Hospital, will kick off its “Campaign for Healthy Beginnings” today with a celebration at the hospital. The $100,000 communitywide fund-raising campaign is to improve pediatric care.

        The campaign focus will include bringing needed pediatric care to children in Butler and Warren counties; renovating the Maternal Child Health Center, which serves indigent and uninsured families and children; and conducting a communitywide pediatric safety program to prevent accidental injuries, the leading cause of children's deaths.

        The celebration, including refreshments, music and learning how to help, will be from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in the hospital's Stuart Ives Auditorium. A brief program led by Doug McNeill, hospital president and chief executive officer, will begin at 5:15 p.m.

Man guilty of murder in June '98 shooting
        Willie Ricardo Pozo was convicted of murder Tuesday in the shooting death of a Bridgetown man nearly two years ago.

        Mr. Pozo, 24, of Westwood will face 18 years to life in prison when he returns to Hamilton County Common Pleas Court for sentencing June 7.

        The guilty verdict ended Mr. Pozo's second murder trial in the past year. The first ended in a mistrial when the jury was unable to reach a verdict.

        Prosecutors say Mr. Pozo shot Scott Reynolds once in the back of the head June 26, 1998. Mr. Reynolds was a 32-year-old father of two.

        Mr. Pozo will be sentenced by Judge John O'Connor.

Police cite dozens on Ft. Washington Way
        A 24-hour traffic enforcement blitz in the Fort Washington Way corridor resulted in police issuing 128 citations Monday and Tuesday, Sgt. Rudy Gruenke said.

        The Cincinnati Police Division's traffic unit, in cooperation with the Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Motor Carrier Enforcement Unit, conducted the effort from 8 p.m. Monday to 8 p.m. Tuesday.

        Citations included: 101 for vehicle width violations, three speeding violations, two unsafe-vehicle violations, four log-book violations, two hazardous-material violations, two mud-flap violations, five overweight-vehicle violations and two driving-under-suspensions violations.

7th-grader out of National Geographic Bee
        A seventh-grader from Finneytown Middle School was knocked out of the preliminary rounds Tuesday of the 12th annual National Geographic Bee in Washington, D.C.

        Brian Asquith, 13, earned a spot among the 55 contestants by winning the Ohio Geography Bee at the Mansfield branch of Ohio State University in April.

        Ten finalists meet today for a chance for the first prize — a $25,000 college scholarship. The final round of the bee, moderated by Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek, will be televised on PBS.

Lifeguards needed at city pools
        With summer just around the corner, the Cincinnati Recreation Commission has embarked on its annual search for lifeguards.

        Applicants must be at least 15 years old.

        “We need 40 more lifeguards to staff our 46 swimming pools around the city,” said Jincey Yemaya, CRC aquatics supervisor.

        CRC pools open June 10.

        Trainees must attend the lifeguard training course at Krueck Pool, 270 W. McMillan St.; Franciscan Health and Fitness Center, 3131 Queen City Ave.; or Western Hills High School, 2144 Ferguson Road.

        Attendance at every class in the session is mandatory. Trainees register for the free courses at the first class and are required to buy a $25 water-rescue training book.

        Swimming skills will be evaluated at the first class of each session. Sessions begin May 26 and 30 and June 14 and 16. For information, call 352-4000.

Livestock bill contains permit reapplications
        COLUMBUS — Ohio's biggest livestock farms would have to reapply for permits every five years under legislation headed to a Senate vote today.

        The proposed requirement is the latest addition to a bill that would strip the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency of its authority to regulate large livestock operations.

        The bill, sponsored by Sen. Larry Mumper, a Marion Republican, would give that authority to the Department of Agriculture. It would apply to farms with at least 1,000 beef cattle, 2,500 hogs or 100,000 chickens.

        The Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee approved the bill Tuesday.

Deputies, FBI hunt suspect in bank holdup
        SOUTH LEBANON — Warren County deputies and FBI agents were searching Tuesday for a gunman who robbed the Lebanon Citizens National Bank, 209 East Forrest St., at 12:38 p.m.

        Witnesses told sheriff's deputies that the man, who wore a black derby hat and black glasses, entered the bank, demanded money, then fled on foot with an undetermined amount of cash.

        The man was described as white, 18 to 25 years old, and wearing a red, white, blue and black striped shirt, baggy black pants and black tennis shoes.

        Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff's office at 925-1280.

Witnesses place children away from alleged killer
        URBANA, Ohio — Lawyers for a man accused of killing his two stepchildren presented testimony Tuesday from witnesses who say they saw the children with a woman miles from their home after they were reported missing.

        Kevin Neal, 34, is on trial in Champaign County Common Pleas Court, accused of killing India Smith, 11, and her 4-year-old half brother, Cody. The children disappeared July 9, 1997.

        Mr. Neal could face the death penalty if convicted.

        Melinda Weaver, who works at a bakery in Greenville, testified that she saw the two children with an older woman the day they were reported missing.

        Ms. Weaver said the boy called the girl “Indy,” and she heard the girl respond “my name is India.”

        Ms. Weaver, shown photos of the children by defense attorney Marc Triplett, said those were the children she saw in the bakery.

        Toni Henninger and Veronica Baker testified that they saw a girl resembling India with an older woman at a consignment shop in Greenville on the same day.

        Mr. Triplett said experts estimate the children died two to three weeks after they vanished, when Mr. Neal was in jail in Indiana.

        Shortly after the children disappeared, Mr. Neal began serving a 15-year sentence in Indiana for sexual battery and criminal confinement of an Indianapolis woman in 1995.

        Prosecutors said Mr. Neal tied up a neighbor, held her at gunpoint and threatened to rape her.

        Mr. Triplett said the investigation has not determined who killed the children, or how, when and where they were killed.

        Prosecutors, who rested their case Monday, say Mr. Neal killed the children to get back at his wife, who he accused of having an affair.

       



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