Saturday, August 04, 2001

Tristate A.M. Report




Police nab three more Most Wanted
        Cincinnati police have arrested at least three more people on the division's Most Wanted list:

        • Eric Doyle of Price Hill, wanted on a charge of receiving stolen property. He is accused of driving a stolen 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier.

        • Calvin Grant, wanted for domestic violence for throwing the mother of his daughter to the floor, kicking and punching her in the face in May.

        • Bennie McCloud, wanted for domestic violence after a May 30 incident during which police say he choked the woman he lived with, threw her to the floor and cut her.

        The arrests bring to 21 the total of Most Wanted list members found since the list came out July 25. Twenty have been arrested, one was found dead.

        The division issued its original list of 42 subjects last week as part of the Violent Crimes Task Force's work. Fifty-five more names were added Wednesday.
       

Man charged with embezzling $205K
        WEST CHESTER — A 32-year-old Florence man was arrested Thursday and charged with stealing more than $200,000 from a Shell gas station where he was a manager.

        Police charged Michael Litrell, of the 8500 block of Winthrop Circle, with forgery authorities say occurred over a year while he was manager of the station at 9210 Cincinnati-Columbus Road.

        Police say approximately $205,000 was embezzled from Shell Oil Co. by creating fraudulent vendor invoices and falsifying legitimate invoices in attempt to disguise the theft of cash.

Man shot in ankle in morning drive-by

        A West End man was wounded in the ankle by gunfire early Friday morning. He told police the shot was fired from a passing car.

        Cincinnati police said Chris James, 18, of the 400 block of Dayton Street in the West End, was shot about 5:21 a.m. while walking on Charlotte Street.

        He was wounded in his left ankle and taken to Good Samaritan Hospital where he was listed in good condition.

        Mr. James told police he did not recognize the vehicle or the passenger who fired at him. Police are investigating.

        Anyone with information can call Crime Stoppers at 352-3040 and leave an anonymous tip, which may earn the caller a cash reward.
       

Man to plead guilty in Traficant case

        CLEVELAND — A Youngstown-area businessman has agreed to plead guilty in the bribery case involving U.S. Rep. James Traficant Jr., D-Ohio, a defense attorney said Friday.

        Mark Stanton, attorney for James R. Sabatine, 49, of Canfield, said he couldn't specify if Mr. Sabatine would testify against Mr. Traficant, who faces a Feb. 4 trial on bribery, racketeering and conspiracy charges.

        Mr. Traficant, who has represented the Youngstown area in Congress for 18 years, has pleaded not guilty and blames the charges on a government vendetta. Though not a lawyer, he plans to represent himself in court.

        Mr. Sabatine agreed to plead guilty to a tax count and a racketeering charge involving an alleged bribe to a public official to help Mr. Sabatine's company gain access to a rail line.
       

Veteran policeman announces retirement

        A top Cincinnati Police official with nearly three decades of service announced retirement.

        Police Lt. Col. James T. Smith started with the city police as an officer in District 3 and the vice squad. He was promoted to sergeant in 1981 and lieutenant in 1985. Later that year, he was the first police supervisor assigned to the then-new Operation Street Corner Unit.

        In 1991 he was promoted to captain and his assignments included work in the Criminal Investigation Section of the police division.

        Police Chief Tom Streicher said Lt. Col. Smith “retires from the police division with an impeccable record ... his dedication to duty is without boundaries.”

Firm: State owes for discrimination study

        COLUMBUS — A company says the state still owes it money for work on a study of whether Ohio discriminates against minority contractors.

        D.J. Miller & Associates of Atlanta said the state owes it about $175,000 for the latest stage of a contract.

        The state said the company hasn't delivered the final report yet. The Ohio Department of Administrative Services paid the company about $700,000 to date.

        The state hired the company in April 2000 to conduct a $922,000 independent analysis of the state's history of contracting with minority- and female-owned businesses.

        At issue is what the final report should look like. Chuck Schadl, a senior consultant at the company, said it is receiving comments from the state on the report it delivered in June.

        Ben Piscatelli, department spokesman, said the company delivered an incomplete report.

        “Our contention is they've had what they need to complete the job and now they have to wrap it up,” he said.

        The study by D.J. Miller, a black-owned company, was supposed to determine whether the state discriminated in the past against minorities in awarding state contracts.

Amusement parks' earnings down

       SANDUSKY, Ohio — Cold and rainy days in the first half of the summer hurt attendance at Cedar Fair LP's amusement and water parks, causing a 65 percent drop in earnings in the second quarter, the company said Friday.

        A sluggish economy also contributed to the decline, especially at the company's flagship park, Cedar Point in Sandusky, said Cedar Fair President Richard Kinzel.

        Net income for the quarter ended June 24 was $6.6 million, or 13 cents per partnership unit, compared with $18.6 million, or 36 cents per unit, for the same quarter a year ago.

        Sales at the company's 11 amusement and water parks dropped 5 percent from a year ago. Sales in the second quarter were $123.7 million compared with $129.5 million for the same period in 2000.

        Most of Cedar Fair's revenues come during July and August.
       

Indiana again to ask for 10 Commandments

        INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana wants a federal appeals court to revisit a decision barring the state from erecting a Ten Commandments monument on the Statehouse lawn.

        Gov. Frank O'Bannon and Attorney General Steve Carter said Friday the state would ask the entire 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago to rehear the case.

        A three-judge panel of the appeals court on July 27 upheld a preliminary injunction barring the monument. Indiana had until Aug. 10 to file paperwork requesting the rehearing, but Mr. Carter said the state plans to seek a two-week extension.

        The three-judge appeals panel was divided 2-1. The majority wrote that the monument, which would also include the preambles of the Indiana Constitution and the Bill of Rights, amounted to the state endorsing a religion. The panel also said it doubted a trial would support a different conclusion.

       



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