Monday, June 24, 2002

Tristate A.M. Report

Madisonville youth victim of homicide

Enquirer staff and news services

        Cincinnati police are searching for a young man who shot and killed a teen early Sunday morning near West Mitchell Avenue and Vine Street.

        Anthony Buck, of the 4300 block of Conant Street, Madisonville, was pronounced dead at the scene of a gunshot wound to the head at about 3:30 a.m. Sunday.

        Mr. Buck is the city's 35th homicide victim this year. At this time last year, the city had 20 homicide victims.

        Cincinnati police say Mr. Buck was a passenger in a Ford Explorer near the Shell gas station at West Mitchell and Vine, near the border with St. Bernard, when he was shot. Police wouldn't release the name of the driver, who they say drove to the gas station to get help.

        The gunman is described as a black male, 16 to 18 years old, 5 feet 9 inches tall, with a stocky build. He was last seen running from the area of Vine and Forest streets. Anyone with information is asked to call the Homicide Unit at 352-3542 or Crimestoppers at 352-3040.


Body found behind Winton Hills building

        A man found shot to death behind a Winton Hills storage facility on Center Hill Avenue Sunday evening is the 36th homicide victim in Cincinnati this year.

        Officers were called to Wilson's Center Hill Storage, 5850 Center Hill Ave., to investigate a report of body about 7 p.m. Officers found an unidentified black male dead from an apparent gunshot wound.

        He was pronounced dead at the scene by Dr. Gary Utz of the Hamilton County Coroner's Office.

        Anyone with information about the dead man is asked to call the Cincinnati Police Department's homicide unit at 352-3542, or Crime Stoppers at 352-3040. Callers can remain anonymous and may receive compensation for their information.


Pedestrian killed; driver later arrested

        HAMILTON — A 38-year-old man was fatally injured in a pedestrian hit-skip incident early Sunday. The driver of the vehicle was later arrested and charged.

        Mario Cucul, whose address was not released, died at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton at 12:10 p.m.

        Police said Mr. Cucul was struck by a 1991 Buick LeSabre while walking in the 200 block of Sycamore Street at 2:03 a.m. The Buick fled the scene, police said.

        Gerardo Amaya-Torres, 34, of the 500 block of South 12th Street, Hamilton, was charged with aggravated vehicular homicide, leaving the scene of an accident, failure to control, and tampering with evidence.


Fire damages abandoned building
        COVINGTON — The third floor of an abandoned building at 12th and Russell streets sustained heavy damage from a fire early Sunday.

        Covington firefighters continue to seek a cause for the 7 a.m. blaze, which they are treating as suspicious. The building, which has been vacant for a decade, has caught on fire in the past.

        Nobody was in the building when firefighters arrived.


Moscow man dies in crash on U.S. 52

        A Moscow man died early Sunday after the vehicle he was riding in hit a telephone pole on U.S. 52.

        Chad E. Brill, 21, was pronounced dead at the scene after a 1985 Pontiac Trans Am, driven by Joshua R. Baker, 21, of New Richmond, hit a pole and rolled before coming to rest on its wheels.

        Mr. Baker was taken to University Hospital. His condition was not available Sunday.


Car crash with dump truck leaves three injured

        GREEN TOWNSHIP — Three people were injured in a two-vehicle crash Saturday night.

        Derek M. Ferguson, 20, of Cincinnati was driving a 1981 Oldsmobile Cutlass south on Harrison Avenue at Rybolt Road. When trying to turn left, he turned in front of a dump truck, police said.

        Mr. Ferguson and two passengers - Brian Masters, 20, of Crittenden, Ky., and Jamie Hardy, 16, of Dry Ridge, Ky. - were injured. Mr. Masters is in critical condition at University Hospital and Mr. Hardy is in fair condition at Children's Hospital Medical Center.

        Mr. Ferguson also was taken to University Hospital, but no condition report was available Sunday night.

        The driver of the dump truck, 44-year-old Mark Glaze of Hamilton, was not injured.

        The three Cutlass occupants were not were wearing seat belts. Alcohol was a factor in the crash, police said.


Workers' comp fund running low — report

        AKRON — The state's workers' compensation fund is not as flush as it once was, and employers soon will have to pay full premiums instead of the 75 percent reductions they've enjoyed in recent years, an Akron newspaper reported Sunday.

        The Bureau of Workers' Compensation blames increased medical costs and smaller returns on investments.

        Employers will continue to get a 75 percent reduction in premiums from the bureau for the first half of fiscal year 2003, which begins July 1. Employer charges will be reduced an additional $600 million in the next six months, and government employers will be charged $210 million less for the entire calendar year.

        But the bureau's oversight commission has voted not to give reductions to businesses for the second half of the year, which means employers must pay full premiums.


Indiana still hiring in spite of freeze

        FORT WAYNE, Ind. — While the overall number of state employees has declined since Indiana's governor imposed a “strategic” hiring freeze in September, the state has still hired more than 2,200 people since then.

        The majority of the hiring has been at state hospitals and prisons, although hundreds of others have been added to the general government staff list, including a summer intern in Gov. Frank O'Bannon's office.

        The hiring freeze is one of about $900 million in spending cuts and transfers announced by Mr. O'Bannon in an effort to avert a financial crisis caused by a deficit budget and faltering revenues.

        When implemented, the state had 35,832 full- and part-time employees. That total has dropped by more than 600 since, with almost 5,000 vacancies.


Other activities pay bills for fairgrounds

        COLUMBUS — County fairs that last for one week may be the reason most county fairgrounds exist, but in many cases, what goes on during the other 51 weeks pays the bills.

        Rodeos, gun shows, swine auctions and an occasional wedding reception keep the Fairfield County Fairgrounds in the black, said David Benson, the county fair board's manager.

        Most profitable are rodeos, car shows and tractor pulls.


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