Monday, December 25, 2000

Tristate A.M. Report

Police seek 2 men in Covedale robbery

        A 68-year-old woman was assaulted and robbed of her purse Saturday as she loaded groceries into her car at a Covedale shopping center parking lot, the Hamilton County sheriff's department said.

        The assault occurred at 7:50 p.m. at 5071 Glencrossing Way, police said.

[photo] FIRE DAMAGES CONDOS: Fairfield firefighters battle a blaze that started about 2 p.m. Sunday in a condominium at Villages of Wildwood on Ross Road. One minor injury was reported.
(Enquirer photo)
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        The suspect is described as a 6-foot-2-inch white man with a slender build, wearing dark pants and a black-and-white bubble coat. Police said he fled the scene in a late- to mid-1980s dark Camaro driven by another man wearing a leather jacket.

Jewish groups aid police in tradition

        The B'nai B'rith of Greater Cincinnati, along with Jewish Women International, continue a 30-year tradition today by distributing trays of baked goods and other treats to police and fire stations.

        Several years ago, the program was renamed the David Massel Police and Firefighters Appreciation Day. Mr. Massel was a Woodlawn police officer killed in 1985 on duty. His mother, Rebecca Massel, has been a strong supporter of the B'nai B'rith program.

Homeless offered free holiday banquet

        The downtown Westin Hotel will open its doors today for 350 disadvantaged people, as part of its second annual free banquet for clients of Mercy Franciscan at St. John.

        The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Attendees include individuals who are poor, homeless or have no family locally. Special guest star is Santa Claus. Westin employees and their relatives volunteer for the event.

        Mercy Franciscan at St. John is a social services agency that provides self-sufficiency programs and emergency assistance to more than 15,000 clients year-round.

Town raises money for slain tot's marker

        COLUMBUS — Residents of a central Pennsylvania community have provided a headstone for the grave of a 3-year-old boy who was killed here by an abusive father and his girlfriend.

        The marker was given by the residents of Lewistown, Pa., where the boy's mother, Michelle DuMond, now lives, and where the child, Patrick “P.J.” Bourgeois Jr., is buried. The town of 8,800 people is about 45 miles northwest of Harrisburg.

        They raised more than $7,000 in three weeks this fall.

        The story of the boy's death at the hands of his caregivers became widely known when a Columbus judge granted early release from prison to his father in August.

        The story was featured on Oprah Winfrey's television show and has been the subject of several stories by syndicated columnist Bob Greene.

        Patrick Bourgeois Sr. and his former girlfriend, Tracey Lynn Bratton, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter related to the boy's death on Feb. 28, 1996.

        Each served less than five years in prison.

Boy, 10, killed in snowmobile crash

        WARREN, Ohio — A 10-year-old boy died Saturday afternoon when the snowmobile he was riding on crashed into a tree.

        Police and hospital officials did not release the boy's name or hometown. The accident happened in nearby West Farmington Township, about 45 miles southeast of Cleveland.

        West Farmington fire Chief John Dale said the boy suffered head injuries. He said the boy was riding on the snowmobile with a relative. He did not say who was driving.

Man charged with setting fatal fire

        TOLEDO— Information from an informant led police to charge a man with setting a fire that killed a 10-year-old girl and injured 11 other people in 1993.

        Bond was set at $100,000 Saturday for Roger Barker, 25, who was charged Friday with involuntary manslaughter. He was being held in the Lucas County jail. His case was to be presented to the grand jury next week.

        Alicia Nour died of smoke inhalation in a fire in her mother's apartment on Aug. 20, 1993. A fire investigator said she was asleep when the fire started and failed to make it out after crawling through the kitchen with her teen-age sister and cousin.

        Several family members were staying in the apartment overnight after a day at the Cedar Point amusement park in nearby Sandusky.

        Investigators ruled the fire accidental, believing it was started by lit cigarettes left unattended on the first floor of the building.

        Police received new leads on the fire at the end of August when they arrested Danny Frost in connection with several store robberies, for which he awaits sentencing.

New safety rules for buses considered

        LOUISVILLE — The federal government could as early as next year require padded interior walls for new school buses in an effort to reduce injuries and deaths in rollovers like the November crash that killed a 5-year-old Kentucky boy.

        Safety officials say the walls may also improve passenger safety in side-impact collisions, though installing seat belts probably won't be considered.

        The victim in the Nov. 30 crash in Christian County, Tyler Powers, was ejected from the vehicle.

[photo] NATIVITY SCENE RETURNED: Police say someone returned a life-size creche to a location near the Madeira Fire Department, where until this year the display had been set up annually for 36 years. Madeira recently sold the creche to Madeira-Silverwood Presbyterian Church for $1 after a resident complained about the religious display on public property. About midnight Saturday, officials say, the Nativity scene disappeared from church property, where it had been on display. At 6:15 a.m. Sunday, firefighters discovered the creche back at its old location. A sign, “Honk for baby Jesus,” leans against the display at the fire station at the corner of Euclid and Miami.
(Gary Landers photo)
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        State police said that probably wouldn't have happened if the kindergartner had been wearing a seat belt.

        The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is conducting research on padded interior sidewalls on school buses as part of a two-year study seeking better ways to protect passengers in crashes.

Police: Gasoline may have started fire

        WILMINGTON, Ohio — A man who was cleaning motorcycle parts with gasoline may have accidentally started a house fire that killed him and a friend early Sunday, the fire chief said.

        Firefighters found Kyle Curran, 31, and Tara Drake, 29, near the bottom of a staircase about 3:15 a.m., said Phillip Brewer, fire chief in this city 30 miles southeast of Dayton.

        The cause of the fire is under investigation, but Chief Brewer said it appears gasoline fumes may be to blame.

        “It looks like he had been cleaning motorcycle parts with gasoline,” Chief Brewer said. “And an electric space heater was nearby. Those two don't mix.”


Nothing less than a miracle
She'll depend on teamwork
Q&A: Norma Holt Davis
A piece of history returns to City Hall
Heart arrives in time for baby's first birthday
PULFER: Christmas story
Woman devoted to aiding homeless
Charter director says it still has a role
New dentures bring a smile
A look at the world of work
Accidental shot kills officer
Accused sheriff turns down plea bargain
Departing Democrats look back
Entrepreneur Crosley reigned over Reds
Etch A Sketch's departure shakes small Ohio town
Gift program sees growth in donations
Ky. population: 4 million plus?
Man, 42, pleads guilty to sister's murder
Office, shopping complex planned
Pipe organ business seeks modern niche
School grants degree to deceased student
Scooter taken for wrong ride
Sex predator hearings ordered
State will study Warren traffic
Students exposed to creches from afar
- Tristate A.M. Report