Sunday, March 18, 2001

Tristate A.M. Report

Fire displaces family of eight

        A fire gutted a Springfield Township house Saturday afternoon, leaving a family of eight homeless.

        Smiley Tillman, his wife and six children found a place to stay Saturday night through the assistance of the American Red Cross.

        The blaze was reported at 12:40 p.m. in the family's one-story frame house at 2281 Magdalena Drive, said Lt. Tom Sarvis, a spokesman for the Springfield Township fire department. Firefighters had the blaze under control within 15 minutes. The fire caused an estimated $75,000 in damage.

        The family was home when the fire broke out, but no one was injured. Investigators think the fire was started by an electrical short behind a headboard in one of the bedrooms.

[photo] WALKING FOR ANOTHER: Signs guide a group to the Carin' for Sharon Walk-a-thon at Tower Park in Fort Thomas. Proceeds will go toward paying Sharon Everett's medical bills. Mrs. Everett was hospitalized for eight months after fumes from pool chemicals mixed with gases from her other purchases in her car, causing a grocery bag to combust. She lost her eyelids, lips and ears in the accident.
(Patrick Reddy photo)
| ZOOM |

Arson possible at vacant building

        Arson may have caused the two-alarm fire that resulted in $50,000 in damage to a vacant, five-story building in Mount Auburn and a Cincinnati firefighter going to the hospital, fire officials said.

        Flames were reported at 121 Dorchester Ave. about 1 a.m. The blaze had engulfed the bottom two floors when firefighters arrived, Cincinnati District Fire Chief Anson Turley said.

        Within minutes, flames spread through the entire structure, he said. Forty firefighters took about 20 minutes to get the flames under control.

        Firefighter Steve Kathman was injured while climbing a ladder. He was taken to Christ Hospital, where he was treated and released.

        The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.

Warehouse fire called suspicious

        The origin of a two-alarm fire that caused $15,000 in damage Saturday to a vacant, one-story warehouse in North Avondale is listed as suspicious, said District Fire Chief Glenn Coleman. No one was injured.

        Heavy fire and smoke were coming from the brick building, 4670 Paddock Road, when firefighters responded shortly after 1 p.m., fire officials said.

        Firefighters soon brought the blaze under control. An investigation continues.

Carrousel Inn robber sought by deputies

        SYCAMORE TOWNSHIP — Hamilton County Sheriff's deputies are looking for the man who robbed the Carrousel Inn, in the 8000 block of Reading Road, of an undisclosed amount of money Friday night.

        They say a 23- to 24-year-old black man who is about 5 feet 11 inches tall and 170 pounds, with brown eyes and hair, entered the inn's lobby area about 9:40 p.m, pointed a hand gun at the clerk and demanded cash.

        He escaped through the front door, running in an unknown direction, deputies said.

        Those with information should call the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office, (513) 825-1500.

Indiana man charged after cop injured

        HAMILTON — A 26-year-old Indiana man is accused of assaulting a police officer responding to a report of someone breaking into a home and violating a court order to stay away from a woman.

        Damon Raleigh Baker of Laurel, Ind., is charged with violating an emergency protection order, resisting arrest, felonious assault and burglary.

        Hamilton police Officer Darryl Coppock went to 1863 N.W. Washington Blvd. at 7:14 a.m. Saturday after police received a report that Mr. Baker had unlawfully entered the home and was in violation of an emergency protection order. Officer Coppock saw Mr. Baker walking away from the home and toward his car. Mr. Baker struggled with Officer Coppock, causing the officer to fall and hit the back of his head on a manhole cover.

        Mr. Baker then ran away, causing a short police chase. Officer Tim Less chased Mr. Baker through several back yards before arresting him at the rear of a home on Herman Avenue.

        Officer Coppock, who suffered a concussion, also received stitches for cuts at Fort Hamilton Hospital. He was released later in the day.

Beauty queen to visit Shriners burn patients

        Theresa Uchytil was born without her left hand, but that didn't stop her from participating in volleyball, basketball, track and student government on her way to becoming Miss Iowa 2000-2001.

        Ms. Uchytil will be in Cincinnati Monday to visit Shriners Burn Institute, where she plans to meet with patients and perform a baton-twirling routine.

        Her presentation will begin at 11 a.m. Monday at the Shriners hospital, 3229 Burnet Ave. For information, call 872-6000.

Pharmacist pleads guilty to $1.2M theft

        KETTERING, Ohio — A former managing pharmacist at Kettering Medical Center has pleaded guilty to the theft of more than $1.2 million from the hospital.

        Philip C. Garber, 43, who now lives in Cincinnati, pleaded guilty Friday in U.S. District Court in Dayton to one count of theft from an organization receiving federal funds, one count of engaging in an illegal monetary transaction and one count of tax evasion.

        Mr. Garber faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison, a possible $750,000 fine, restitution, and payment of all back taxes, penalties and interest.

        Chief U.S. District Judge Walter H. Rice did not set a sentencing date.

        Mr. Garber was employed by the medical center from 1987 through 1998. He diverted 430 insurance checks sent to the hospital's pharmacies into an account he controlled at a Dayton bank, the judge said.

        Mr. Garber also admitted to engaging in 45 monetary transactions totaling about $725,484, the judge said.

        The funds were used for the purchase of luxury items including a houseboat, three Ferrari automobiles, a grand piano and improvements to real property.

        Mr. Garber also admitted understating his income by more than $1 million from 1994 through 1997.

        Mr. Garber's attorney, David Kamp, has said his client confessed to the hospital with “an offer from the beginning to make as much restitution as possible.”

        When Mr. Garber realized the full extent of his actions, “he took store of what occurred and all he wanted to do was fix it and make it right,” Mr. Kamp said.

KFC restaurant robber sought

        FLORENCE — Police are looking for a man who robbed a KFC near the U.S. 42 interchange of Interstate 75 on Saturday.

        A man walked into the restaurant at Holiday Place and Stellen Drive shortly before 4 p.m. and demanded money. He said he had a gun in his waistband, but no weapon was shown. No customers were in the restaurant at the time, and no one was injured. An unspecified amount of money was taken.

        Police described the robber as a white male, between the ages of 20 and 30, 5-foot-5, with blue eyes, short dark hair and a mustache. He was wearing blue jeans and a brown suede jacket.

        Anyone with information can call Florence Police at (859) 647-5420 or CrimeStoppers at (513) 352-3040.


White flight tipping balance
Shifts to east, north noted
Big money for smaller schools
CPS ready to begin
West Clermont plans overhaul
Cold of little importance to the not-so-Irish
Creation Museum gets step closer
BRONSON: Porn peddlers
PULFER: Sabin Center
Center funding in jeopardy
Creditors question Wilkinson about bankruptcy
Fairfield Schools tie raises to goals
Funding of schools examined
Gardens planted from past
Golf Manor Council wants teeth in law governing dogs
Hamilton, Fairfield celebrate trees
Park's deer to get shot - with birth control
Republican leaders debate education plan
Researchers find a link to estrogen
Science fair coming to NKU
Second of two county seats was built in 1840
State appoints guardian for evangelist's wife
Winners end up smelling like roses
- Tristate A.M. Report