Tuesday, November 07, 2000

Local Digest

Man gets 15 years in shooting death

        A Cincinnati man was sentenced to 15 years in prison Monday for his role in the shooting death of Stanley Ruffin in March.

        Lewis Frazier, 22, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court.

        Mr. Frazier had faced up to a life sentence on murder charges but pleaded to a lesser offense when prosecutors agreed to a sentence of 15 years.

        Prosecutors say Mr. Frazier and several others planned to rob Mr. Ruffin on March 7. During the robbery, they say, Mr. Frazier shot and killed Mr. Ruffin. Mr. Ruffin's body was found in his Paddock Hills apartment.

        “It was a mistake,” Mr. Frazier said Monday in court. “I'm sorry. I just want to get myself squared away with God.”

        He was sentenced by Judge David Davis.

Aurora man dies
in single-car wreck

               WHITEWATER TOWNSHIP — An Aurora, Ind., man died Sunday night after losing control of his Camaro on Interstate 275.

        Donald M. Mermon Jr., 20, was headed south near the Stephens Road overpass about 6:45 p.m. when he lost control, drove through the median and hit two northbound cars. He was not wearing a seat belt and was dead at the scene, according to the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office.

        Another Aurora man, Thomas C. Palmer II, 25, was hospitalized for injuries suffered when Mr. Mermon's car hit his pickup truck.

        Two other people in the other car, Duane M. Wilcox, 40, and Jerlean Wilcox, 68, both of Cincinnati, escaped injury.

Roselawn man
faces cocaine charges

               A Roselawn man is in jail on a $10 million bond after his arrest this weekend on charges of carrying nearly two pounds of cocaine.

        Alex Hopkins, 21, is charged with two counts of drug possession. Prosecutors say he was arrested Sunday by agents from the Regional Enforcement Narcotics Unit.

        At Mr. Hopkins' initial hearing Monday in Hamilton County Municipal Court, Judge Robert Taylor ordered Mr. Hopkins held in jail on the high bond, $5 million for each count.

Ohio area codes
to hit 11 next year

               COLUMBUS — The number of area codes in Ohio will grow to 11 next year to meet the demand for new phone numbers for cell phones, fax machines and computers.

        The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio announced Monday that a 283 area code will join 513 and 937 in nine southwestern Ohio counties sometime next year after all available numbers are used.

        To make more numbers available, state officials chose to keep the 513 area code, but to require callers to dial it plus the seven-digit number for all local calls in addition to long-distance calls.

        The changes will affect some residents and businesses in Warren, Montgomery, Greene, Butler, Hamilton, Brown, Clermont, Clinton and Preble counties.

Boy recovering
from prank injury

               COLUMBUS — A 13-year-old was discharged from the hospital on Monday, a week after hanging from a tree by his neck for as long as 15 minutes in a Halloween prank gone wrong.

        Michael Markley had steadily improved since being moved to an intensive care unit four days ago and didn't appear to have suffered brain damage, said Children's Hospital spokeswoman Pam Barber.

        “It's truly a sort of miracle, I'd say,” said the youth's father, Mike Markley, during a news conference Monday.

        Newark police said Michael and his friend, Rusty Kerns, set up a hangman's skit on the evening of Oct. 30 to scare trick-or-treaters visiting the apartments where Rusty lives.

        Michael, a seventh-grader, stood on a plastic laundry basket that was covered with leaves to reach a rope noose hanging from an overhead tree branch.

        Michael planned to pretend to hang limply until a group of children came along, when he would move and startle them, Rusty said.

        Just before 5 p.m., Michael got into position while Rusty went into his apartment, police Detective Sgt. Ken Hinkle said. That's when Michael slipped or the basket collapsed.

        Michael was hanging for as long as 15 minutes before Rusty returned. Rusty called 911 for help and his father, Lawrence Kerns, released Michael.

Teacher sentenced
for sex with student

               CLEVELAND — A former English and social sciences teacher was sentenced Monday to five years in prison for having sex with a 13-year-old student.

        Adrienne Clayton, 28, who taught at Milkovich Middle School in suburban Maple Heights, pleaded guilty Aug. 17 to five counts of sexual battery. The Youngstown woman resigned from the school district shortly after she was charged in March.

        Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Frank D. Celebrezze Jr. classified Ms. Clayton as a sexually oriented offender, meaning for 10 years she must register as such in any county she resides in after leaving prison.

Swimming deer
spotted in Lake Erie

               CLEVELAND — Although people rarely see deer swimming in Lake Erie, more than one such sighting has been reported recently in Lorain County.

        Lorain County wildlife officer Dave Shinko speculates that deer end up in Lake Erie from waterways such as the Vermilion and Black rivers.

        “Generally speaking, deer are running along the river corridors. They think they're swimming toward land, and they end up in the lake. I can't tell you why they get disoriented,” Mr. Shinko said.

        That's not necessarily dangerous. “Deer are very good swimmers,” said Bill Peneston, wildlife biologist at Hocking College in Nelsonville.


Review panel blasts police shooting probes
Commission sides with Bengals against ticket suit
Deaf school on cutting edge
PULFER: At 80, Spencer still won't quit
Rings, tattoos may hold key to victim's ID
SAMPLES: Free time valued over cash
Zoo investigates walrus death
A guide for watching returns
Attacks on Resnick may have violated law
Kids can vote, too
Pair's hobby: Following campaign trail
Teen home disputes fire-code citations
Drug trial set for teens
Half of riverfront development board appointed
Jail needs repairs to fire alarm
Jury deliberations continue on insanity plea in shooting
- Local Digest
Kentucky Digest
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Butler comptroller to leave for university job in Arkansas
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Lebanon schools forum draws 200
Road projects aim for safety
Deadline set for whistle-blower suit
Light rain fails to halt Ky. forest fires