Friday, December 27, 2002

Tristate A.M. Report

Appeal issued for blood donations

Hoxworth Blood Center is in short supply of blood, particularly 0-positive, B-positive and B-negative. Hoxworth sends blood to 24 Tristate hospitals.

Michael Anderson, public information officer for Hoxworth, said Christmas is a difficult time to get people to donate blood.

"Hoxworth is especially urging students, home on vacation, to donate. During the next three days, the blood center will enter donors into a raffle for tickets to two Cincinnati Bearcats basketball games. Donors also will receive a free T-shirt.

Donors must be at least 17 years old, in good health and weigh at least 110 pounds. Picture identification is necessary.

Call 451-0910 to set up an appointment.

Delta pilot fails test for alcohol

NORFOLK, Va. - A Delta Air Lines pilot failed a Breathalyzer test for alcohol after he was taken off an airplane Thursday at Norfolk International Airport.

Gary Schroeder, 42, had a blood-alcohol level of 0.07, according to Ken Scott of the Norfolk Airport Authority. The Federal Aviation Administration's limit for a flight crew member is 0.04.

Mr. Scott said baggage screeners notified airport police after detecting alcohol on Mr. Schroeder's breath when he arrived to co-pilot a Cincinnati-bound flight.

Mr. Scott said Mr. Schroeder was cooperative and agreed to board a flight to Delta headquarters in Atlanta.

Delta spokesman John Kennedy said the airline was investigating, but declined to comment further.

Mr. Schroeder was cited for violating a city code that makes it illegal for aircraft pilots to be under the influence of alcohol while operating planes, according to police reports. A preliminary hearing was set for Jan. 9.

Blessing pleads not guilty to DUI

WILMINGTON - State Sen. Louis Blessing pleaded not guilty Thursday to a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Mr. Blessing, a Cincinnati Republican, was stopped by an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper early on Dec. 19 after a truck driver reported a motorist driving erratically on Interstate 71.

Mr. Blessing, 54, was given a breath test that measured a blood-alcohol level of 0.11, the patrol said. In Ohio, the threshold for intoxication is considered 0.10.

At Thursday's arraignment, Clinton County Municipal Judge Chad Carey scheduled a pretrial hearing for Jan. 29.

Mr. Blessing, who is serving a second four-year term in the Ohio Senate, said he had been in Columbus on Dec. 18 and thought about spending the night, but decided to drive home to Cincinnati.

Prepaid tuition units to cost more

Families paying into Ohio's guaranteed college savings fund will see another increase effective Jan. 1.The Ohio Tuition Trust Authority's board voted this month to increase the tuition unit price by $1.50.

The new prices will be $81.50 per unit for contributions made periodically by check; $79.50 per unit for those made through payroll deductions and $75.50 per unit for contributions made on behalf of a newborn.

vPolice identify victim in double shooting

MOUNT HEALTHY - Hamilton County sheriff's officials identified the man shot to death on Christmas Day in Mount Healthy as Demarco Williams, 19, of Springfield Township.

Mount Healthy police discovered Mr. Williams lying in the back yard at 7350 Martin St. He had been shot in the chest.

At the same time, police were called to the 7300 block of Elizabeth Street for another shooting. The two shootings were related, police said.

No arrests have been made, but investigators say the incident likely started in the basement at a home in the 7300 block of Martin Street over gambling.

Ambulance missing; patient, 63, suspected

A 63-year-old nursing home resident who suffers from dementia allegedly took off in a Medic One ambulance from Christ Hospital Thursday.

Cincinnati police said Lawrence Stitt, a resident of the Woodsedge Pointe Nursing Home on Towne Street in Bond Hill, disappeared from the lobby area at Christ Hospital about 4 p.m. Thursday. He was at the hospital for a routine checkup, police said.

About the same time, a Medic One Ambulance was stolen from the hospital. The ambulance was left running outside while the driver was inside the hospital, police said.

Police put out a critical missing report for Mr. Stitt and the ambulance. At about 9:15 p.m., police found Mr. Stitt with the ambulance keys in his possession, but did not immediately locate the ambulance.

The ambulance is a 1992 Ford F250. It is white, with Medic One emblazoned on it, and bears Ohio license plate 852-WWT.

Anyone with information should call the Criminal Investigations Section at 352-3542, District Four at 352-3576 or the Personal Crimes Unit at 352-6474.

- Compiled from staff and wire reports

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