Friday, March 23, 2001

Tristate A.M. Report

Funeral procession to close 4 streets

        Four downtown streets will be closed between 9 a.m. and noon today to accommodate the funeral procession for firefighter Bill Ellison.

        Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral.

        Street closings:

        • Plum Street from Central Parkway to Seventh Street.

        • Central Avenue from Seventh Street to Ninth Street.

        • Eighth Street from Central Avenue to Elm Street.

        • Court Street from Central Avenue to Elm Street.

        The funeral procession is expected to include 50 fire trucks, and it will begin at 9 a.m. at the Anderson Township Fire Department, 7954 Beechmont Ave, and travel to the cathedral. After services, the procession will travel to St. Stephen Cemetery in Fort Thomas.

Officer in court on computer charge

        A Cincinnati police officer returns to court today to defend himself against allegations that he improperly used an official police computer.

        Officer Matt Moning, 33, on the force since June 1992, says he was trying to help bust a drug dealer when he used the computer to check the man's criminal history.

        The man complained to the Cincinnati Police Division's internal investigation unit in September after he said Officer Moning gave him a copy of the information. Officer Moning, a former undercover vice investigator with commendations for his work, says he didn't give the man the piece of paper; the man grabbed it.

        Officer Moning was indicted in January on one count of unauthorized use of property. If convicted, he could go to prison for a year. He was assigned to the police impound lot at the time, and therefore should not have been investigating anyone, prosecutors say.

        He was later suspended without pay, one of two officers facing felony charges to have their salaries cut by the city.

Gun threat brings home incarceration

        HAMILTON — A Hamilton High School student who threatened to bring a gun to school and shoot someone has been put on home incarceration after pleading true — the equivalent of guilty in adult court — to one charge of making false alarms.

        The 16-year-old-boy was scheduled to go on trial Monday but accepted a plea bargain and was sentenced Wednesday by Butler County Juvenile Court Judge David Niehaus.

        The boy, whom the Enquirer is not naming because he is a juvenile, was also ordered to attend anger management classes, undergo a substance abuse assessment, put on probation and told to pay court costs and fees. He was released from the Butler County Juvenile Detention Center to his mother's custody but has been expelled for the remainder of the year from Hamilton High School.

        Hamilton High School officials said a teacher overheard the student make the threat March 6 and alerted administrators, who then called police.

        No guns were found after police searched the boy's home.

Firefighter guilty in lights incident

        HAMILTON — A Liberty Township firefighter who played traffic cop and used his vehicle's flashing red lights to pull over a judge has pleaded guilty to improper use of lights.

        Butler County Area II Court Judge J. B. Connoughton sentenced Anthony A. Barone this week to 40 days of community service and fined him $100.

        Mr. Barone had been charged with impersonating a police officer and unlawful restraint. Improper use of lights is a less severe misdemeanor charge.

        Police said Mr. Barone pulled over Butler County Area I Court Judge Rob Lyons on Kyles Station Road in Liberty Township.

        Mr. Barone, a volunteer firefighter, has been placed on administrative leave by the fire department. The department will conduct its own investigation into the incident.

Truck driver charged in brush with train

        BATAVIA — A Batavia man escaped serious injury Thursday morning when the pickup truck he was driving was clipped by a train at a grade crossing in Batavia Township.

        Greg Von Luehrte, 50, was treated and released at Mercy Hospital Clermont.

        Clermont Sheriff A.J. Rodenberg said Mr. Von Luehrte had pulled his truck too close to the railroad tracks and a Norfolk Southern train struck the front of the truck. Mr. Von Luehrte was alone in the pickup.

        Emergency crews were called to the crossing on Stonelick-Olive Branch Road about 8:20 a.m.

        Mr. Von Luehrte was cited for failing to yield at a railroad crossing.

3 suspicious fires could be connected

        HAMILTON — The city fire department is investigating a trio of suspicious fires that occurred within a three-hour span early Wednesday.

        The fires, which occurred between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m., were in a garbage bin at 415 Henry St., and in two garages at 618 S. Fourth St. and at 418 N. Fifth St.

        No one was injured.

        The department's arson investigator believes the fires could be related, said Lt. Brian Ruhl, Hamilton Fire Department spokesman.

Prosecutors want boy tried as adult
        DAYTON, Ohio — Prosecutors want a 14-year-old boy accused of shooting a woman, stealing her sport utility vehicle and leading police on a high-speed chase to be tried as an adult.

        Mitchell Harvey of Dayton is charged with nine felonies and a misdemeanor stemming from the half-day spree on Feb. 6.

        Police said the boy shot and wounded Sharon Morris, 53, of Dayton, in the parking lot of a shopping center on the city's east side. He then stole the woman's vehicle and led police on a chase at speeds of more than 90 mph before striking a police cruiser in suburban Moraine, police said.

        Judge Michael B. Murphy of Montgomery County Juvenile Court began hearing testimony Wednesday on prosecutors' request to move the case to adult court.

Schools would serve entire communities

        The Cincinnati Public School of the future could be one where the doors stay open until 11 p.m. seven days a week, offering services and activities for students, their families and everyone else in the community.

        This vision of “schools as community learning centers” is what Board of Education member John Gilligan wants to become reality in as many schools as possible.

        Already, the district and the Children's Defense Fund are working with 14 schools to foster partnerships with nearby agencies, churches and businesses.

        On Thursday, Mr. Gilligan and board member Sally Warner met with district and Children's Defense Fund staff as well as community members to start talking about how to formalize the process of creating community learning centers.


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- Tristate A.M. Report