Friday, April 19, 2002

Tristate A.M. Report

Lightning blamed as cause of fire at firm

        MORGAN TOWNSHIP — Fire officials Thursday said a blaze Wednesday that heavily damaged a company that makes fiberglass containers appeared to have been started by lightning.

        The fire at Marine Technologies at 4674 Cincinnati-Brookville Road caused $150,000 to $200,000 in damage, Morgan Township Assistant Fire Chief Rob Brehm said.

        Other businesses in the large commercial complex were not damaged.

        While there was concern that chemicals from the fire may pose an environmental threat, the assistant chief said no problems are anticipated. Water from the fire was contained and removed, and several drums leaking chemicals were secured by environmental officials.

        The massive fire drew more than 50 firefighters from nearly a dozen departments in Butler and Hamilton counties.

Body identified as restaurant owner

        PERRYSBURG, Ohio — The body of a man recovered Tuesday from the Maumee River near Perrysburg has been identified by relatives as that of Alexander Tyler of Paddock Hills, owner of the VIP Lounge in Avondale.

        Mr. Tyler, 71, was fishing with two friends Monday about noon when their boat capsized. The other two men made it to safety. The Coast Guard searched Monday, but Mr. Tyler's body was not recovered until Tuesday by two fishermen.

[photo] MILL CREEK SEARCHED: The investigation into the fatal shooting of Sara Ridder continued Thursday as divers searched a segment of the Mill Creek off State Avenue in Lower Price Hill for evidence. Police would not say what led them to the search area.
(Tony Jones photo)
| ZOOM |
        Many people in Cincinnati knew Mr. Tyler through his Avondale restaurant, Alex's Honey Home Cooking.

John Evans' home gets historical marker

        WAYNESVILLE — The house of John Evans, first governor of Colorado and a rail system developer in that state, will receive a historical marker from the Ohio Bicentennial Commission in ceremonies at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.

        The house, at 129 N. Main St., is where Mr. Evans lived from 1836 until he graduated from Lynn Medical College in Cincinnati.

        Later, he helped found the Indiana Hospital for the Insane and Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., and served as its first president.

County, city may reach water rate agreement

        HAMILTON — Butler County and the city of Hamilton are close to an agreement that would end their long, costly legal battle over water rates.

        Final details of the agreement may be worked out when both sides meet April 26.

        Butler County and Hamilton were looking for an agreement that would lower county water users' rates while not raising city users' rates. County rates have been one of the highest in the state.

        Butler County has accused Hamilton of overcharging for its water, while the city has defended its water prices as fair. The legal fight has been going on for more than four years.

Lightning damages condominium

        COLERAIN TWP. — A lightning strike sparked a fire Wednesday afternoon that damaged a condominium unit at 9640 Crosley Farm Drive.

        There were no serious injuries, but the blaze caused about $25,000 damage, Colerain Township Fire Lt. Hollis Love said.

        The blaze started in the second-floor utility room and spread to the kitchen. Four other units in the building had minimal smoke damage, Lt. Love said.

        Firefighters responded shortly after 4 p.m. and were at the building for about two hours.

Permits available for Norwood sale

        NORWOOD — Residents who want to participate in the second annual Norwood Street Sale should apply for their free permit by April 26.

        The citywide street sale takes place May 3 and 4.

        Permits are available at the clerk of council's office at City Hall, 4645 Montgomery Road, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Silverton woman to be tried in child's death

        DeMarlo Hayes, 27, of Silverton, who could get the death penalty if convicted of killing her 9-year-old son, will head to trial July 15, a Hamilton County judge ordered Thursday.

        Appearing before Common Pleas Judge Richard Niehaus, Ms. Hayes said she wanted to go to trial and rejected a plea agreement with the prosecution that would have avoided the death penalty.

        Police say Ms. Hayes reported her son missing May 11, 2001, and helped look for him.

        His burned body was found a short time later in Drake Park in Kennedy Heights, two miles from the family's home.

        According to court records, Ms. Hayes admitted to investigators that she became angry with her son, Diarro, because he “defied” her. She allegedly stuffed his mouth with napkins and taped it shut.

        The boy suffocated. Ms. Hayes is accused of taking the body to the park and placing it inside a trash bin and then setting it on fire.

        She is charged with one count of aggravated murder.

        Despite her earlier statements to police, she maintains her innocence.

Judge sends youths to prison for attack

        Three teens convicted of a July 2001 attack on three other teens in a wooded area in Colerain Township were ordered to prison Thursday.

        Appearing before Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Dennis Helmick, the three each received varying prison sentences.

        Keith Anderson, 17, of Forest Park was sentenced to serve two years in prison; Robert Goodman, 18, of Mount Healthy was ordered to serve eight years; and Jerome Dennis, 16, of Mount Healthy was sentenced to five years.

        Prosecutors said the three assaulted Frank Walker, Thomas Tobertga and John Marlowe. Mr. Tobertga was beaten so severely that he briefly lapsed into a coma. The incident was allegedly motivated by robbery.

        Judge Helmick found the defendants guilty of felonious assault and robbery charges.

Jurors deadlocked in Hixson murder trial

        A Hamilton County jury Thursday was unable to reach a verdict in the case of a 60-year-old Oakley man accused of killing a man he claimed was blackmailing him and had threatened him with a knife.

        Jurors deliberated for more than eight hours before announcing they were deadlocked Thursday in the murder trial of Wayne T. Hixson.

        Mr. Hixson was accused of killing David Coster, 35, on Aug. 6.

        Emergency workers found Mr. Coster face down in the kitchen of Mr. Hixson's Harrow Avenue home. He had been shot multiple times. A knife was found near his body.

        Mr. Hixson had contended that Mr. Coster had extorted thousands of dollars from him because of an affair Mr. Hixson had with a woman Mr. Coster knew.

        Mr. Hixson said he'd paid Mr. Coster nearly $6,000 but refused another request for more money. He contended that when Mr. Cos ter threatened him with a knife, he shot him in self-defense.

        Prosecutors questioned whether the shooting was self-defense because after he fired eight shots into Mr. Coster, Mr. Hixson reloaded his .45 caliber handgun and fired the fatal shot into Mr. Coster's chest.

        The two-week trial took place before Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Steve Martin.

Ind. man convicted in child-sex case

        A Hamilton County jury convicted a Dillsboro, Ind., man Thursday of two counts of gross sexual imposition and two counts of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles.

        Prosecutors contended that Gary Daniels, 33, formerly of Reading, had sexual contact with two girls under the age of 13, and then showed those girls and another girl, also under age 13, obscene photographs.

        The incidents occurred April 28, 2001.

        He is scheduled for sentencing before Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Patrick Dinkelacker on May 7.

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