Saturday, August 12, 2000

Tristate A.M. Report

Woman, fetus die in I-74 collision

        A 52-year-old Missouri truck driver could face charges after a fatal crash on Interstate 74 Friday afternoon.

[photo] SPRUCING UP: Mount Healthy High School student Amber Lewis, 17, (left) and Tiara Bonner, 17, trim large shrubs in the school courtyard Friday. Volunteers and honor-roll students were working on the courtyard in preparation for the new school year.
(Dick Swaim photo)
| ZOOM |
        The accident occurred shortly before 5 p.m. and left one woman and an unborn child dead.

        Police say Ernest L. Wester, of Oak Grove, Mo., was westbound on I-74 in the center lane when he tried to change into the right lane.

        His semi-tractor trailer struck a 1996 Nissan Maxima driven by Linda A. Dodd, 52, of Cincinnati, just east of North Bend Road, police said.

        Ms. Dodd's car crossed the median and struck an eastbound 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier head-on. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

        The driver of the Cavalier, Stephanie N. Humphrey, 28, of Mason, suffered severe injuries and was in surgery at University Hospital late Friday.

        A passenger in Ms. Dodd's vehicle, Patricia Dodd, her 20-year-old daughter, also suffered severe injuries. Patricia Dodd was pregnant and as a result of her injuries lost her unborn child, officials said.

        She is also at University Hospital. Her condition was not available.

        Traffic was tied up for about three hours.

        No charges had been filed Friday.

CPS board looks at 5-mill levy

        The Cincinnati Board of Education could vote Monday to ask voters to approve at least a 5-mill, 4-year levy that would generate $29.8 million a year.

        The board is scheduled to meet 7 p.m. Monday at the Education Center in Corryville.

        The board will also consider four facilities projects. They are:

        • A public-private partnership with the Greater Cincinnati Arts and Education Center to build a $52 million K-12 arts campus downtown next to Music Hall.

        • Begin property acquisition for a new K-12 school at the Rakestraw site in the East End.

        • Develop a public-private partnership with Hughes Center alumni that would enable a renovation of Hughes using federal construction bonds.

        • Develop a public-private partnership for renovations and additions to the Rockdale School that would result in a community learning center.

Patient assaulted at nursing home

        A nursing home maintenance worker remained behind bars Friday, charged with sexually assaulting an 80-year-old patient.

        A witness told police David McCollum got into bed with the nonresponsive patient Thursday when he was supposed to be repairing something in her room at the Deupree Community in Oakley.

        Mr. McCollum, 42, of Middletown, was arrested and charged with gross sexual imposition. Investigators did not immediately have enough evidence to charge him with rape, said Lt. Stephen Luebbe, commander of the Cincinnati Police Division's personal crimes unit. They have to wait for results of medical tests before determining if other charges can be added, he said.

Two critical after car crash

        GOSHEN TOWNSHIP — Anthony R. Verdon, 22, and Nicole L. Prather, 27 both of Loveland, were critically injured in a single-car crash Friday morning on Ohio 28 near Ohio 132, said a spokesman for the Clermont County post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol at Batavia.

        Both victims were ejected from their Ford Escort after the eastbound car veered off the road, struck a culvert and flipped, patrol Lt. P.E. Hermes said. The accident occurred at 6:12 a.m.

        Neither of the victims was wearing a seat belt. It was not clear who was driving, and the accident remains under investigation. Both victims were flown to University Hospital where they were in critical condition, the lieutenant said.

Library computer system down

        The Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County will have no computer access through its CINCH catalog and Web page from 6 p.m. today through 9 a.m. Mondayto upgrade components of the system.

        This will include Internet access at the Main Library and branches, as well as Internet access from homes or businesses.

YWCA seeking nominations

        Nominations for the Butler County YWCA's 15th Annual Salute to Outstanding Women of Achievement are being accepted through Aug. 25.

        For nomination forms, call Christine Toresdahl, 856-9800.

Man charged in death of child

        A 27-year-old Westwood man was arrested and charged with aggravated murder in connection with the April 4 death of a Colerain Township child.

        The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office said Rodney Whipple was arrested around midnight Friday in Golf Manor.

        Police located him after receiving a Crime Stoppers tip.

        Mr. Whipple also was wanted on three counts of attempted murder in connection with a drive-by shooting that occurred in Lincoln Heights on July 15.

        The shooting left three men wounded in the 400 block of Matthews Drive.

        Steve Barnett, spokesman for the sheriff's office, said Mr. Whipple had lived with the mother of the child, 18-month-old Shandon Brown, and was baby-sitting April 4.

        Mr. Barnett said officers had responded to a 911 call of a non-breathing child at a residence on Hidden Meadows Drive in Colerain Township.

        The child later died of multiple trauma, including broken bones and trauma to the head, Mr. Barnett said.

        “The baby did have health problems, so it took a while to get the coroner's report,” Mr. Barnett said.


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- Tristate A.M. Report