Thursday, February 07, 2002

Tristate A.M. Report




Two banks robbed; one suspect nabbed

        Hamilton police arrested a suspected bank robber after a brief foot chase Wednesday, while West Chester Township experienced its first such heist of the year.

        In Hamilton, police say Timothy Cornwell, 42, of West Ches ter, robbed First National Bank, 2344 South Erie Highway, at 11:45 a.m.

        Mr. Cornwell, of Canal Street, was being held in the Butler County Jail awaiting arraignment today in Hamilton Municipal Court.

        Witnesses told police that the robber gave a teller a note demanding money, then fled on foot with an undisclosed sum.

        Officer John Ebbing and Sgt. John Alatorre caught him in the 3100 block of Dixie Highway, several blocks from the bank.

        Police recovered some of the money. It was unclear whether a weapon was used.

        Sgt. Thomas E. Kilgour, Hamilton police spokesman, said a June meeting between police and area bank employees may have been a factor leading to the suspect's arrest. He wouldn't give details, but said the effort to catch the suspect was “better coordinated” because of the meeting.

        In West Chester Township, a man displayed a handgun at Provident Bank, 7301 Tylers Corner Drive, about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday. He escaped with an undisclosed amount of cash.

        He was last seen driving a black older model Buick or Oldsmobile toward Tylersville Road.

        The robber is white, about 5-feet-7 with a heavy build. He had a mustache and wore a dark wig under a dark-colored hat.
       

Solution proposed for military leave

        A dispute over military leave for Cincinnati firefighters may end with a proposal by the city's personnel department.

        The firefighters' union argued that the chief and city administrators were trying to cut their military leave from 30 days a year. Key is how the 30 days has been interpreted — 30 eight-hour days, which applies to most city employees, or 30 of the round-the-clock shifts that firefighters work.

        Chief Robert Wright said the ordinance had never been interpreted as 30 firefighter days. The union maintains it had.

        City Council members got a report Wednesday from Rodney Prince, human relations director, recommending that firefighters get up to 288 hours of military leave a year, more than the 240 for employees who work regular, 40-hour weeks.

        Union President Mark Sanders said he had not yet formulated the union's reaction. Council took no action.

Fewer city students expelled, suspended

       Suspensions in Cincinnati Public Schools during the 2000-01 school year were down 13 percent and expulsions were down 33 percent from the year before, according to findings released this week.

        Students amassed 14,010 out-of-school suspensions and 800 expulsions during last school year.

        Though an improvement from the previous year, the findings are troubling, district officials say, because the students were estimated to have missed about 60,000 instructional days for out-of-school suspensions.

        The district is reviewing suspension and expulsion data since 1988 to find successful discipline programs and which programs can replicated.
       

Butler hires doctor as deputy coroner

        HAMILTON — Butler County has added a deputy coroner.

        Judge Keith Spaeth on Wednesday gave the oath of office to Dr. Terrance R. Conti.

        Dr. Conti, 45, has a Fairfield internal medicine practice and also serves as an instructor in the medical residency program at Jewish Hospital of Cincinnati.

        He will work part-time.
       

Eight hospitalized for possible CO

        LINCOLN HEIGHTS — Four adults and four children were rushed from a Lincoln Heights townhouse to two Cincinnati hospitals Wednesday night for possible carbon monoxide poisoning, firefighters said.

        Their names and conditions weren't available late Wednesday.

        Lincoln Heights firefighters responded to a 9 p.m. call to 9932 Mangham Drive for a young boy with a bloody nose and fever. But when they arrived, firefighters discovered four sick children and four adults, all with high fevers and nausea, said Lincoln Heights Fire Lt. Jay Shawn.

        A small amount of carbon monoxide was detected in the townhouse, Lincoln Heights Police Officer Troy Murphy said.

        Firefighters believe there may be a carbon monoxide leak somewhere in the townhouse and plan to continue their investigation today.
       

Kenwood man held for meeting "girl'

        A Kenwood man was arrested Wednesday for allegedly arranging to meet a 14-year-old girl who was actually an undercover detective.

        Todd Hardy, 33, of Westover Circle, was charged with two counts of importuning after he was arrested near Kenwood Towne Centre. Authorities said he had arranged the rendezvous after several Internet chat room conversations.

        If convicted, Mr. Hardy could be sentenced to six to 12 months behind bars and fined $2,500 on each count.

        Mr. Hardy was arrested by investigators from the Regional Electronics and Computer Investigations Task Force, which is made up of investigators from the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office, Cincinnati Police Department and the U.S. Postal Inspector's Service.
       

Hamilton police again have Tasers

        HAMILTON — Hamilton police on Wednesday were again equipped with Tasers, after a ruling that a Forest Park man's death was caused by cocaine abuse, not an officer's use of the stun weapon on him.

        Butler County Coroner Dr. Richard P. Burkhardt signed a death certificate Jan. 25 listing Marvin Hendrix's cause of death as “cocaine abuse/accidental.”

        Mr. Hendrix, 27, died Dec. 17 after a struggle with police, one of whom used a Taser to stun him. An autopsy revealed that he had earlier swallowed a plastic bag containing cocaine.

        Tasers, which were added to the force in October, were removed from cruisers while Mr. Hendrix's death was studied.

        After receiving Dr. Burkhardt's ruling, Police Chief Neil Ferdelman on Wednesday issued an order restoring the devices to police cruisers.

        The order followed a meeting with Dr. Burkhardt and an extensive review of scientific tests done on Taser.

        “I feel assured that the Taser device was not the cause of death in the Hendrix case,” the chief's order says. “As a result, Dr. Burkhardt and I believe that the Taser remains a safe and viable alternative to lethal force.”

        Hundreds of police agencies, including Cincinnati, use Taser.

       



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