Sunday, June 03, 2001

Tristate A.M. Report




Weak tornado lands in Circleville

        CIRCLEVILLE — A weak tornado briefly touched down near this central Ohio city Saturday night, damaging a restaurant roof, knocking a trailer off its foundation and toppling trees and power lines.

        The National Weather Service said the tornado was only on the ground for about two minutes and traveled about a half-mile. It had winds of 45 to 72 mph.

        “It's a very, very weak tornado,” meteorologist Mike Ryan said.

        The Pickaway County sheriff's office said no injuries were reported.

        Circleville is about 25 miles south of Columbus.
       

Arson suspected in Clifton Heights blaze

        Arson may have caused $30,000 in damage Saturday morning to a four-story apartment building in Clifton Heights, Cincinnati fire officials said.

        The building, 16 W. McMillan St., was under renovation and was unoccupied when the fire was reported at 6:16 a.m., said District 1 Fire Chief Alan L. Sedam. No one was injured.

        The fire started on the first floor inside, he said. Heavy smoke was coming from the building when firefighters arrived. It took 25 firefighters about 15 minutes to get the flames under control.

        Fire damage was extensive on the first and second floors. Smoke damage was rampant throughout the third and fourth floors.
       

Police identify man who was shot to death

        Police have identified the West End man shot to death early Thursday as Abou Ndongo, a citizen of the West African nation of Mauritania.

        Mr. Ndongo, who had permanent resident status in the United States, lived in the 800 block of Ezzard Charles Drive.

        His body was found in the middle of the street at 420 Charlotte St., between Central Avenue and John Street, at 1:48 a.m. Thursday. Police said he was shot at least once and are looking for two men seen running from the scene.

        Police ask that anyone with information on the shooting call Crime Stoppers at 352-3040.
       

Police investigating two Friday shootings

        Cincinnati police continue to investigate two shootings that happened Friday..

        • At 5:45 p.m., a 16-year-old was shot in his right leg while using a public phone in the 1400 block of Vine Street.

        He ran inside a grocery store and called 911. Firefighters took him to University Hospital.

        Police are not releasing the name of the victim because he is a juvenile. They have said his wound is not life-threatening.

        They are searching for two suspects.

        • At 11:40 p.m., Jamahl Ware, 18, of Westwood, was shot in the neck near Fulton Avenue and Nassau Street in Walnut Hills. The shooter escaped on a bike, riding south on Fulton.

        Mr. Ware was taken to University Hospital, where he was in serious condition Saturday.
       

School safety session includes federal team

        Spots remain open for Xavier University's annual School Safety Workshop, which this year will include the Secret Service National Threat Assessment Team.

        The workshop for educators will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 11-15. Tuition is $295 for credit, $170 without college credit. For information, call 745-3601.
       

Suspect arrested in man's death

        A Springfield Township man faces a charge of involuntary manslaughter in the Friday night death of Victor Mathis, 32, of the 2800 block of Ruberg Avenue in North Fairmount.

        Eric Pierce, 33, of 11921 Deerhorn Drive, is in the Hamilton County Justice Center.

Cincinnati police responded to a 911 call about “a man down in the street” about 11:10 p.m. They found Mr. Mathis unconscious in front of his house. He had suffered blunt trauma to the head, police said. He was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

        Those with information can call the homicide unit, 352-3542, or Crime Stoppers, 352-3040.

Project will widen Colerain Avenue

        A $2 million project to widen Colerain Avenue between Springdale Road and Commons Circle begins Monday night.

        Improvements and additions will require lane closings, but Ohio Department of Transportation officials said they will occur from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Middletown men fight fund-theft charges

        MIDDLETOWN — Attorneys for two men accused of stealing money from Middletown organizations say their clients will fight the charges.

        Merrell Wood, 54, formerly affiliated with TV Middletown, a public-access cable channel, faces two counts of theft, fifth-degree felonies alleging that he wrongfully obtained about $2,500.

        Michael L. Coyan, 46, a Lebanon man who used to head Arts in Middletown, is charged with grand theft and grand theft by deception. Each count is a fourth-degree felony involving “$5,000 or more.”

        The men were named in indictments issued last week.

        Mr. Wood is scheduled to appear Thursday in Butler County Common Pleas Court. His attorney, Jerry M. Bryant, said he expects Mr. Wood to plead not guilty.

        Mr. Coyan's lawyer, Thomas J. Diehl, said his client will plead not guilty. Mr. Coyan is scheduled in court on June 13.

        Lee Oldendick, a Butler County assistant prosecutor, said Mr. Wood cashed duplicate payroll checks and Mr. Coyan received funds he was not entitled to.

       



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- Tristate A.M. Report