Saturday, December 28, 2002

Tristate A.M. Report

Avondale shooting injures man, 30

A 30-year-old man who was shot multiple times Friday night in Avondale was in critical condition at University Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati police said.

The incident involved a group of at least six people on foot just after 8 p.m. near the intersection of Reading Road and Blair Avenue.

Officer D. Meece of the Violent Crimes Squad said an argument broke out, and one person in the group is believed to have shot the victim with a handgun. Police had no suspects, although they did have a nickname for the shooter, which they did not reveal.

Police recovered seven shell casings near the intersection.

The victim, whose name was not available, was believed to have been shot in the extremities and at least once in the midsection, police said.

Other people who were with the group fled after the shooting.

Man with gun wound charged in murder

A man wounded in a shooting in Mount Healthy on Christmas Day, in which another man died, has been charged with aggravated murder.

The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office arrested Stevie Stevenson, 21, and charged him in the fatal shooting of DeMarco Williams, 19, of Springfield Township. Deputies said the two were engaged in a dice game in the basement of a house on Martin Street when an argument erupted.

Mr. Williams was fatally shot in the chest and Mr. Stevenson was shot in the leg. Mr. Williams was found lying in the back yard.

Mr. Stevenson was also charged with felony drug abuse and was transported to the Hamilton County Justice Center. He will be arraigned today.

UC piano professor found dead in home

Richard Fields, 57, associate professor of piano at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, was found dead in his College Hill home on Christmas Eve.

The pianist, who had a history of cardiac problems and diabetes, was discovered by paramedics after he failed to appear for a dinner invitation.

Death came from natural causes, said a spokesman from the Hamilton County Coroner's Office.

Mr. Fields, a native of Oakland, Calif., was a CCM faculty member since 1991. Funeral services are pending.

Suspect named in beating at bar

Cincinnati police are looking for at least one suspect in a Christmas Day assault in an Over-the-Rhine bar.

Herbert Whitlock, 36, is wanted for felonious assault in connection with an incident that injured 39-year-old Timothy Breland, according to police records.

Mr. Breland was in fair condition at University Hospital on Friday.

He was attacked at Martin's Bar in the 100 block of East McMicken Avenue about 2 a.m. on Christmas and suffered a severe head injury, police said.

Mr. Whitlock is black, about 6 feet tall and 190 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes.

He may be in a gray Cadillac DeVille, police records show. He frequents Martin's Bar.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Cincinnati Police Department's criminal investigations section at 352-3542 or Crime Stoppers at 352-3040.

Callers can remain anonymous and may receive money for their information.

Sheriff's deputies, others being laid off

CANTON, Ohio - Twenty-seven deputies and about 30 other employees in the Stark County Sheriff's Department learned the day after Christmas that they're being laid off because of a budget crunch.

A letter from Sheriff Tim Swanson said the layoffs, effective Jan. 15, are necessary. Sheriff Swanson expects his budget to be cut by at least 20 percent.

Sheriff Swanson said he started giving out the notices the day after Christmas because he had to ensure they would be received by Jan. 2, the deadline by union contract.

Post office robber locks clerk in vault

LORAIN, Ohio - A post office was robbed by a man who locked a clerk in a vault after threatening her, police said.

The man entered the downtown U.S. Postal Service branch about 5:15 p.m. Thursday, made his way to a back area where a clerk was working and threatened her with "what appeared to be a lead pipe" and demanded cash, Officer Barry Paghi said.

The clerk emptied the drawer, Officer Paghi said, and the robber locked her in a vault.

"She was very shaken up," he said. "Luckily, nothing happened to her physically."

Officer Paghi said he couldn't release a description of the robber or how much money he took.

Car driver killed at rail crossing

ASHLAND, Ohio - A freight train struck a car that the engineer said ran a stop sign at a crossing Thursday, killing the driver.

Allan Clark, 43, of Shiloh, died on impact in the crash about 12:30 p.m. on a two-lane county road, said Sgt. Dale LaRue of the Ohio State Highway Patrol post in Ashland.

The car was pushed on the track about 100 feet before it fell into a ditch, he said.

The crossing has several warning signs and a stop sign, but no gates or warning lights.

False alarm keeps planes from landing

HEBRON - A fire alarm at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport control tower Friday night forced officials to evacuate the tower and keep 20 planes in the air for more than a half hour - from 7:46 until 8:18 p.m. - until they determined there was no fire.

A boiler overheated and signaled the alarm. Ted Bushelman, director of communications for the airport, said another 15 planes on the ground were delayed in taking off until the problem was resolved.

"The fire department is right across the street and they responded and found out there was no fire," Mr. Bushelman said. "But (the tower) did empty of people."

Churches join for world peace event

Religious groups from across the Tristate will pray for world peace in a series of events from 2-4 p.m. Dec. 31.

More than 100 Tristate churches have been asked to ring their bells at 2 p.m. and a children's choir will sing at the World Peace Bell, Fourth and York streets, Newport.

From there, participants will board buses to join others from Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky religious groups at a program of songs and prayers for peace at Cintas Center, Xavier University.

Participants are asked to bring food donations for Echo Soup Kitchen, Newport.

- Compiled from staff and wire reports

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