Monday, January 01, 2001

Local Digest

Walnut Hills man accused of taking coat

        A Walnut Hills man has been charged with aggravated robbery stemming from a street theft in which the victim was robbed of a coat at knifepoint, Cincinnati police said.

        Tony Smith, 35, of the 2700 block of Woodburn Avenue, also was served a warrant on a misdemeanor charge of failing to appear in court.

        Mr. Smith is accused of confronting someone in the 2800 block of Ashland Avenue in Walnut Hills at 4:32 p.m. Saturday,brandishing a knife and demanding the person's coat.

        Mr. Smith was arrested 15 minutes later across the street from his home.

Two-car crash kills Warsaw driver

               FLORENCE — An 88-year-old Warsaw man was fatally injured Sunday in a two-vehicle crash on U.S. 42 near Mall Road.

        Arthur Owens was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival at St. Luke Hospital West in Florence. The crash occurred at about 6:10 p.m., police said.

        Mr. Owens, driving a 1992 Chevrolet Lumina, pulled across westbound U.S. 42 from a gas station and was struck by a 1995 Chevrolet pickup truck, police said.

        The driver of the pickup, William England, 51, of Florence, was not injured, police said.

        The crash remains under investigation by Florence police.

Police fatally shoot carjacking suspect

               SHALERSVILLE, Ohio — Two Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers were injured and a drunken-driving suspect was killed after he tried to carjack several people on the Ohio Turnpike, the patrol said.

        Troopers stopped Wayne Wright, 33, of Ypsilanti, Mich., on suspicion of drunken driving Saturday night near this Portage County city about 30 miles southeast of Cleveland.

        Mr. Wright fled after getting out of his car and was chased by Troopers Rudy Zupanc and Christopher Barnes, police said. He fought off the troopers despite being Maced and struck with a baton, the patrol said.

        Mr. Wright grabbed a trooper's flashlight and struck Trooper Zupanc on the head, knocking him to the ground and nearly unconscious, police said.

        Mr. Wright then fled back on to the turnpike and attempted to carjack several cars that had stopped behind a patrol cruiser, police said.

        Robert Safos, a lawyer from Warren, said he was returning from a ski trip with his wife and three sons when he saw Mr. Wright approach his vehicle.

        “This guy was running around like crazy, fighting with troopers and trying to get into cars,” Mr. Safos said Sunday.

        “We saw him heading toward us and thought, "Oh, geez,' and started fumbling for the door locks,” he said.

        “That is when he shattered the rear-side window where my 11-year-old son was sitting.”

        Mr. Safos said he drove off before Mr. Wright could get inside and called 911. Mr. Safos' son was not injured.

        Mr. Wright then jumped in front of another vehicle and attempted to carjack it when troopers fired several rounds that fatally wounded him, troopers said.

Ohio top court may hire own police force

               COLUMBUS — The Ohio Supreme Court is considering whether to hire its own police force when it moves into new quarters.

        A court committee is considering ways to improve security when justices move three blocks south from the Rhodes State Office Tower to the Ohio Departments Building, Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton said.

        “There are three options be ing discussed: hiring our own force, having a dedicated force from the Highway Patrol or continuing with how it is,” Justice Stratton said.

        “But until the new building is open, we probably won't change the way we are doing this now.”

        Renovations to the 16-story building, which recently housed the Ohio Department of Education, are expected to take at least two years.

        Court security, which now includes a metal detector outside a designated elevator that gives access to court floors, is provided by volunteers from the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Hunter fined $1,000
for luring waterfowl

               LEXINGTON — A Lexington man was fined $1,000 last weekafter he pleaded guilty in federal court to spreading shelled corn around a farm, then hunting waterfowl attracted to the bait.

        Michael R. Moloney, 59, also is prohibited from hunting doves, ducks or geese during the 2001-2002 and 2002-2003 hunting seasons.

        On Dec. 16, Mr. Moloney was cited for hunting migratory waterfowl over bait by an agent from the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Service. He had purchased shelled corn and had it spread around a pond on a Fayette County farm, officials said.

        He invited six other hunters to the pond for an early-morning duck shoot, and the hunters killed 20 migratory ducks, who were attracted to the pond by the shell corn, officials said.

Researchers find chemical calms cats

               COLUMBUS — Ohio State University researchers said a chemical that encourages some cats to stop marking their territory also can calm frightened kittens.

        The researchers said a feline facial pheromone in the chemical, known as Feliway, reduces stress in some cats.

        Pheromones are chemicals animals use to communicate. When exposed to a synthetic form of the pheromone, cats ate more and seemed more comfortable in a hospital than cats that were not exposed, the researchers said.

        Feliway, developed by Abbott Laboratories, has been marketed for several years as a treatment for cats that mark their territory with urine indoors. People can't smell Feliway, but cats can.

Track bets on food to attract patrons

               MERRILLVILLE, Ind. — One of the state's three off-track betting parlors is putting its money on lunch and dinner crowds to pick up sagging attendance.

        At the Churchill Downs Sports Spectrum in Merrillville, average daily attendance dropped 5 percent during 2000 from the previous year, said Rick Moore, executive vice president and general manager of Hoosier Park in Anderson.

        The average daily handle, or the total amount patrons wager on horse races, fell nearly 2 percent in Merrillville, Mr. Moore said.

        Hoosier Park, the state's only pari-mutuel horse racing track, and its three betting parlors all have seen drops in attendance and wagering over the past year, Mr. Moore said.

        The other two betting parlors are in Fort Wayne and Indianapolis.

        Hoosier Park hopes to bolster both the attendance and wagering in Merrillville by using special promotions of its food and beverage business. The Merrillville site last week took over its food and beverage business from an outside vendor.

        Increased competition from riverboats and Internet gambling has cut into horse racing's share of the gaming market, and computers give consumers new choices for entertainment, Mr. Moore said.


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Peace Bell rings in its second new year
Portune vows to get a grip on county spending
14 frozen days equal icy record
Hoff era comes to a close at Xavier
Redistricting will help Chabot
People, issues to watch in 2001
Era of alignment for number wonks
Cincinnati has plenty of No. 1's
Ohio Assembly has fresh faces, new priorities
Ky. Assembly will make history
Legislature's first order of business - politics
Blood center promotes replacement drives
- Local Digest
Monument restored, ready for another century
Northside woman dies in blaze at residence
Obituary: Sister Mary Jacinta Shay
Schools step up teacher recruiting
Senior housing project set to go
You asked for it