Tuesday, December 05, 2000

Local Digest

Ex-Metro worker jailed in $120K theft

        A former Metro employee was sentenced Monday to 10 months jail time and ordered to pay $120,000 restitution for stealing bus fares.

        David F. Gast, 28, of Amelia, stole $120,000 in cash bus fares from Metro between May 1996 and October 1999 while he was employed by the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority.

        He pleaded guilty to theft in August.

        Mr. Gast was the principal driver who transported cash fare vaults from Metro to the bank for deposit. The portable fare vaults were filled each day with coins and dollar bills taken from each Metro bus.

        Mr. Gast will spend five months in prison and five in a halfway house.

Former Realtor
gets probation

               U.S. District Judge Susan Dlott on Monday sentenced a former Springdale Realtor to three years' probation and 300 hours of community service for helping engineer $70,000 worth of bank transactions so they would fly under the Internal Revenue Service's radar screen.

        IRS investigators say Marion E. Shaw, 50, developed a business relationship with John Alvin West of Cincinnati while she was a Re/Max real estate agent in 1995 and 1996.

        In September 1995, Ms. Shaw helped her client buy the Regal Theater in Cincinnati, said Ross Brown, spokesman for IRS Criminal Investigations.

        Just before the final payment was due, Mr. West brought out a large, black garbage bag filled with $70,000 in cash.

        Ms. Shaw then took the cash and structured 18 transactions at nine banks. IRS investigators say all the transactions were under $10,000 so the banks would not request identification and the source of the funds.

        Sentencing for Mr. West — who pleaded guilty to charges including distributing cocaine and marijuana and structuring financial transactions — has net yet been scheduled.

Man arrested on
Web sex charges
A New Philadelphia, Ohio, man accused of soliciting sex with what he thought was a 15-year-old boy in an Internet chat room was arrested Monday after he allegedly arranged a rendezvous in the parking lot of a Camp Washington restaurant.

               Members of the Regional Computer Crimes Task Force arrested Griffen B. Wallick, 48, and charged him with attempted corruption of a minor after he arrived at the parking lot at Central Parkway and Bates Avenue about 11:40 a.m.

        Mr. Wallick thought he was messaging the teen in a chat room when he actually was com municating with an undercover officer, said Steve Barnett, spokesman for the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office.

        Mr. Wallick is jailed at the Hamilton County Justice Center pending arraignment today in municipal court.

MADD sponsors
candlelight vigil
MONTGOMERY — Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) will hold its annual Candlelight Vigil of Remembrance and Hope at 7 p.m. today at Montgomery Church of Christ, 6555 Cooper Road.

               Participants are asked to bring a photograph of loved ones for MADD's Memorial Board. There will be a reception following the service.

Chamber seeks
award nominations
FOREST PARK — An annual award has been established by the Forest Park Chamber of Commerce for Chamber Member of the Year. Nominations will be accepted until Dec. 15 for the r 2000 award.

               The award will honor a company or an individual who has demonstrated noteworthy support of the Forest Park Chamber of Commerce and Forest Park community.

        Information: 956-1127. Fax your nomination to 741-8778.

Compeer needs
Warren volunteers

               LEBANON — Warren County Compeer is seeking volunteers to give the gift of friendship beginning this holiday season. The Compeer program matches community volunteers with adults in recovery from a mental illness.

        Compeer matches meet each week for one to two hours, doing things such as dining out, going to a movie, shopping or walking.

        For information on becoming a Compeer volunteer, call 459-9551 or (800) 478-3505.

2 young men sought
in fatal shooting
Cincinnati homicide detectives are searching for two men thought responsible for the death of a 23-year-old man who was shot Dec. 1 as he sat in a car in Avondale.

               Harry Simonton, 23, was shot in the 900 block of Burton Avenue. He died Dec. 2 from his injuries, police said.

        Investigators are searching for two men seen running from the scene immediately after the shooting.

        The men are described as black, between 16 and 18. One is 5 feet, 6 inches tall and wore a black jacket. The second was about 5 feet 10 inches and wore a black hooded sweat shirt.

        Investigators were also seeking information on two people with the nicknames “Little Dave” and “Nick” who were seen in the area at the time of the incident.

        Anyone with information is asked to call the Homicide Unit at 352-3542 or Crime Stoppers, 352-3040.


Death in police struggle termed homicide
Proposed pet limit sidetracked
Olympic bidders seek $500,000 from county
PULFER: Drug court might offer live lesson
Man arrested on Web sex charges
Ohio will review voting methods
School board updates building plans
Teacher slowdown negligible
Woman referee breaks barrier
Bengals will get better grass next spring
Cisco's CEO to bring his talk here
Clinics' aim: Improve care
Pearl Harbor survivors meet
Teens shop to help needy
How to help the needy
What next for Lucas?
Area closer to unified dispatch center
Duck Creek flood-control project balloons
Mayor testifies funds going to charity
Police withdraw from Klan cross display
Kentucky Digest
- Local Digest
Babeck names new principal
Firing range irks neighbors
Henry answers queries about wedding
Mrs. Henry pregnant
Ohio puts $20M into smoking plan