Tuesday, June 20, 2000

Local digest

Two men indicted on forgery charges


        Two West African men were indicted Monday, suspected of being the ringleaders of an elaborate forgery scheme that bilked local banks of more than $700,000.

        Grand jurors returned indictments alleging complicity and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity against Cheick O. Coulibaly and Hammeth Baba Dukureh, also known as Prince George. The indictments bring the number of people charged in the scan to 26.

        One of the men told prosecutors his boss from New York City suggested Cincinnati for their base of operations because he didn't think local officials would be sophisticated enough to catch on. Now, if convicted, both men face up to more than 25 years in prison.

        The scam involved recruiting local people to deposit forged checks, from $16,000 to $43,000, into their bank accounts, prosecutors said. They then withdrew the money after the checks cleared and split the amounts with the person who recruited them.

        The monthslong investigation by the FBI and Cincinnati police found connections to North Carolina, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Texas and New York.

Man struck, killed at downtown crosswalk
        A 42-year-old Over-the-Rhine man was killed Friday evening when he was struck by a vehicle while attempting to cross the street at the intersection of 9th and Vine St. downtown.

        John Roginski was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival at University Hospital following the 8:30 p.m. crash, police said. The victim was walking south on Vine when he attempted to cross E. 9th Street against the light and was struck, police said.

        The driver of the vehicle, Barry Cordray, 46, of Mount Washington, was not injured.

        The crash remains under investigation by the Cincinnati Police Division's traffic section.

Roselawn man, 41, suspected of forgery
        A Roselawn son faces charges of theft and forgery for allegedly forging his father's name on checks and cashing them even though the father's account was closed.

        Anthony Jarrell, 41, of Section Road, was indicted Monday. He allegedly recruited seven people in the Lockland area to help him with the plan to cash checks at three credit unions, according to Hamilton County Prosecutor Mike Allen's office. He paid each of them $25 to $50 to cash the checks and give him the money.

        Also indicted for theft and forgery in the scheme: Michael Burton, Gregory Wilhite, Dennis Ballew, Gale Rancher, Gloria Hardy, Pamela Jean Jones and Lisa Jarrell.

Metro, TANK offer low summer fares
        A 50-cent flat fare on all Metro and TANK buses will be in effect through Labor Day on regular routes. Transfers are free between Metro and TANK.

        The fare is designed to lure people out of their cars and improve air quality.

        Funding for the reduced fare program comes from the federal Congestion Mitigation/Air Quality program with funds made available through the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments.

        For bus schedules and information, visit Metro's Web site- www.sorta.com, or TANK's Web site at www.tankbus.com.

Justice Department, protesters settle
        DAYTON, Ohio — The government has reached a settlement with abortion protesters accused of violating a federal law by blocking access to abortion clinics.

        The Justice Department and attorneys for the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue and sev eral abortion protesters filed a consent decree Monday in U.S. District Court. The agreement must still be approved by Judge Walter Rice.

        Under terms of the settlement, the protesters admit no violation of the law. However, they agree not to physically obstruct people who try to enter abortion clinics in the southern district of Ohio.

        The protesters agree not to sit, stand or kneel in any way that interferes with access. The ban applies to steps and parking lots at the clinics.

        The government has prosecuted dozens of abortion protesters under the 1994 Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act. It bans the use of force, threats or blockades to interfere with access to reproductive health care.

        The settlement averts a retrial. The first trial ended in September when Judge Rice declared a mistrial after defense lawyers said they had not been properly notified about a prosecution witness' testimony.

Ray Charles gives funds to Wilberforce
        WILBERFORCE — Singer-songwriter Ray Charles has given Wilberforce University $2 million for scholarships and to pay well-known artists to lecture on music and the arts, the school announced Monday.

        It is the largest single gift in the history of the private, historically black university. Wilberforce has received several $1 million gifts.

        Mr. Charles' gift was made through the Ray Charles Robinson Foundation for Hearing Disorders.

        Mr. Charles visited Wilberforce in December to receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters degree.

        “I was impressed on my campus visit with the quality of the students and the faculty, and I knew the rich history of Wilberforce,” Mr. Charles said.

Northern Ohio town might lose waterfall
        MUNROE FALLS, Ohio — For nearly two centuries, this community near Akron has been identified with its namesake waterfall at a Cuyahoga River dam. But the 350-foot wide waterfall could be in jeopardy.

        To improve water quality, the state wants to eliminate or reduce the height of the 12-foot dam, which was first built in 1818 to power a grist mill.

        The waterfall also is portrayed on the Munroe Falls city stationery and its Web site.

        The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency said the dam and another one in nearby Kent contribute to low oxygen levels in the river and block fish movement.

Teen says he didn't start Columbus fire
        COLUMBUS — A 17-year-old boy denied charges Monday that he started a fire that killed three children and critically injured their mother.

        Mitchell Sexton Jr. was arrested Saturday night and charged with three counts of involuntary manslaughter and one count of felonious assault. Neighbors said Mr. Sexton was upset with someone staying at the house and threatened to set it on fire.

        An attorney entered the denials in a hearing in Franklin County Juvenile Court. Prosecutors said they will try to have the teen-ager tried as an adult.

Dayton burglary attempt ends in death
        DAYTON, Ohio — Two men driving away from an attempted burglary at a house hit another car, killing a man and injuring his wife, police said Monday.

        A police officer who was responding to the burglary was driving behind the victims' car when the crash happened about 9:30 a.m. Sunday.

        Willie Clancy Sr., 66, was killed in the crash, said Dayton police spokeswoman Carol Johnson. His wife, Martha Clancy, was treated for injuries at Franciscan Medical Center.


Mayor rebukes Nordstrom doubters
Local schools review ban on pregame prayers
Kings Island helicopter ride upsets neighbors
PULFER: Addenda on abuse, peanuts
GOP puts off abortion discussion
Gore to make stop in Lexington
Fix for raceway on fast track
Jumpers come home champions
Mason family sues neighbor over injuries from beating
State's school criticism called excessive
Threat to councilman probed by Lebanon cops
SAMPLES: Pig's home center of debate
Pig Parade: Sowprano
Workplaces can make you sick
KNIPPENBERG: Douglas ate, drank, forged a friendship
KIESEWETTER: Search on for Rashid replacement
Who should be cast away?
Area youths in archaeology program
Bus hub receives grant for upgrades
Certificates raise funds for schools
Extra help for kids
Judge supports jury's award to Corporex Cos.
Kentucky GOP selects leadership
Kids rewarded for helmet use
- Local digest
Loveland Council votes for attorney
Queen City's moments to shine reflected in book
Toledo agrees to sell war site
Town completes Veterans Monument
Truck driver downs wires, services