Sunday, December 8, 2002

Tristate A.M. Report

Compiled from staff and wire reports

Fire destroys would-be center

A fire Saturday afternoon destroyed the garage behind a building being converted to a community center in Walnut Hills. No one was injured.

The damage to the detached garage in the 2600 block of Stanton Avenue was estimated at $40,000. Fire officials still are investigating the cause of the blaze, which occurred at about 4 p.m.

Morning Star Baptist Church is renovating the main building on the property at the corner of Stanton and Oak Street to serve as a community center, fire officials said. That structure was untouched. No one at the church could be reached Saturday.

Man shoots three in West End bar

Cincinnati police are looking for a man who fired a gun into Martin's bar in the West End on Friday night.

Three people were hit by bullets, one of them in the abdomen. But officers said the injuries were not life-threatening. One bullet got stuck in a woman's shoe.

Witnesses said the man opened the door of the Stark Street bar and started shooting about 12:45 a.m. Investigators found shell casings in the doorway, said Sgt. Brian Meyer, supervisor of District 1's Violent Crime Squad.

Teen-ager accused in shooting death

A 17-year-old sought by Cincinnati police for a shooting death last month was caught Friday night in the West End.

A Crime Stoppers tip led to the capture about 6:30 p.m. of the suspect, whose name is not being released because he is a juvenile. Police had been looking for him last weekend too, when dispatchers repeatedly broadcast his name and description, calling him a member of the Tot Lot Posse gang.

He was charged with the Nov. 3 fatal shooting of Tyrone McCray, 27. The victim was standing at a pay phone at Findlay and Linn streets when he was shot in the stomach.

Crime Stoppers received a series of tips on the teen-ager's whereabouts over the past couple of weeks, said Capt. James Whalen.

When one came in Friday night, officers from District 1 and the Robbery Task Force started surveillance on the corner until they saw him come out of a store.

Mr. McCray was the city's 53rd homicide victim. That number has since increased to 61, nearing last year's 14-year record high of 63.

234 parents arrested in child-support sweep

COLUMBUS - At least 234 people were arrested in a child-support sweep in 32 counties, the state said Friday.

Those arrested owe a total of about $2.7 million, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services said. The maximum penalty on a charge of failure to pay support is 1 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Counties participating in Thursday's roundup were Ashland, Butler, Clark, Clermont, Coshocton, Cuyahoga, Defiance, Erie, Fairfield, Franklin, Fulton, Geauga, Greene, Hardin, Henry, Huron, Lake, Licking, Lucas, Madison, Mahoning, Mercer, Miami, Montgomery, Morrow, Muskingum, Ottawa, Pickaway, Richland, Summit, Union and Wood.

The state has conducted the sweeps each year since 1997. Ohio has about 985,000 child support cases.

Marijuana found in bake-sale treats

WESTERVILLE, Ohio - Snap, crackle, pot?

A Westerville North High School student has been suspended for 10 days and could be expelled after being accused of making marijuana-laced Rice Krispies treats for a school fund-raiser.

Delinquency charges of drug possession and contaminating a substance for human consumption are to be filed against the student by Monday in Franklin County Juvenile Court, said Joe Morbitzer, the deputy police chief in this Columbus suburb.

If convicted, the student, whose name has not been released, could be held in a juvenile detention center for up to six months and fined up to $1,000.

Students in two English classes held a bake sale on Thursday to raise money for a field trip.

A student complained of a stomachache to an administrator and suggested that the Rice Krispies treats might be behind it.

A police officer working at the school confronted the student who brought the treats, and the student admitted adding marijuana stems to the recipe, said a school spokesman.

Plan would offer smallpox vaccinations

CLEVELAND - The state wants to vaccinate as many as 13,000 key health workers as part of a national bioterrorism campaign against smallpox.

Participation is voluntary, but worries about vaccine safety have raised questions about whether inoculating medical personnel before an outbreak or even a single case occurs is prudent.

The Ohio Department of Health will submit a plan to federal health authorities on Monday.

The Bush administration is expected to soon announce the start of the first phase of immunization.

The last naturally occurring smallpox case was in 1977, but the Bush administration fears terrorists may be developing the virus as a biological weapon.

Ky. senator new `Mr. Conservative'
Pick a spot and watch Cinergy's walls fall
Freedom Center's tab for lobbyists: $740,000

Boehner: Medicare to be overhauled in '03
Owners of stolen horses try 'net
Cultures come together on holiday driving tour
Obituary: James Clark Jr.
Obituary: Carolyn Watts
Tristate A.M. Report

Facing the AIDS challenge
Area's lawmakers give Congress' stance on AIDS aid

SMITH-AMOS: Protecting the retarded
BRONSON: Golden Lamb vs. golden calf
PULFER: City development
HOWARD: Some Good News

Batavia picks its top trooper

Concealed-gun bill backfires
Ohio State may crack down on spectators at riots
Grand jury won't probe Columbus Diocese
Study looks at West Nile virus in Ohio county

Craven team preps for retrial
Hemmer `anxious' to enter race
Bullitt Co. getting med center
Patton says he nearly resigned over scandal