Thursday, January 16, 2003

Tristate A.M. Report



Compiled from staff and wire reports

Attack suspect may also be chief's burglar

Cincinnati police searched for hours Monday for a man thought to be involved in an attack on a Delhi Township detective. When they found him, they also may have solved last month's break-in at the police chief's apartment.

David Blackmon, 20, admitted to being one of three people who broke into Chief Tom Streicher's apartment in Price Hill on Dec. 20, police said. He was being questioned after turning himself in early Tuesday on something else - a Dec. 30 break-in in Delhi in which police say a German gun was stolen while the 80-year-old resident was sleeping.

He also was wanted in connection with the Monday attack on Delhi Detective James Wergers. He was hit in the head with a rock while looking for Mr. Blackmon in Price Hill to arrest him in the Dec. 30 incident. Mr. Blackmon did not hit the officer; someone else who was with him did. Police are still looking for that man.

Police also were looking Wednesday for the other men involved in the break-in at the chief's apartment. The burglars took more than $1,000, a box of ammunition, a DVD player and clothes.

Community center to open in March

MASON - The Mason Community Center will be open for general use in March.

The dedication for the 149,000-square-foot center, part of a complex with Mason High School on Mason Montgomery Road, is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. March 1.

An open house will run from 2 to 6 p.m.

The center will be opens for regular use March 2.

Luken assures golf courses won't be sold

Cincinnati Mayor Charlie Luken said Wednesday the city will no longer consider selling golf courses outside the city limits - if it ever did.

City Manager Valerie Lemmie said the city administration had no plans to sell the golf course. That didn't stop more than 200 people from showing up at Neumann Golf Course on Sunday to protest the city's rumored intention to sell it to developers.

A motion by Mr. Luken to put an end to any discussion of selling golf courses unanimously passed City Council on Wednesday.

Barrier on I-75 put up for safety

LEBANON - Crews this week began installing a wire rope safety fence in the median of a notorious 14-mile stretch of Interstate 75 in Butler and Warren counties that has seen a rash of fatal cross-over crashes.

"We started driving the posts (Tuesday)," Ohio Department of Transportation Manager Bruce Scott said. The wire rope safety fence is expected to run from near Hamilton-Mason Road in Liberty Township to just south of Ohio 73 near Springboro.

The traffic safety device consists of four cables attached to posts driven into the median. It is designed to keep cars from crossing into oncoming traffic.

Officials reviewed safety on the stretch of highway after 11 accidents killed 14 people there from October 2000 to December 2001. Most of the crashes involved cars crossing the median.

Local psychologist's license suspended

The license of a Cincinnati-area psychologist has been suspended by the Ohio Board of Psychology.

The suspension of Mark Byrd's license is effective immediately because the board determined he had engaged in conduct that represented an immediate threat to the public, Ronald Ross, executive director of the board, said Wednesday.

A board investigation of two complaints against Dr. Byrd discovered what "appears to be a pattern of engaging in sexual relations with mothers of children brought to him by the mothers," Mr. Ross said.

In one case, Dr. Byrd married the mother of his juvenile patient and is accused of altering the treatment records of the woman and child, the board's order states.

Dr. Byrd provided contract services for BridgePointe Psychological Counseling Services in Blue Ash for two years until his contract was terminated in October, according to the suspension order. He has an office in Loveland.

Dr. Byrd could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

He has 30 days to request a hearing on the suspension order.

New charges include rape of a child

A Groesbeck man already facing charges of child pornography was indicted on additional charges Wednesday, including one that accuses him of raping a 9-year-old girl four years ago.

A Hamilton County grand jury indicted Russell Whitley Jr., 48, on charges of rape and gross sexual imposition. The girl was a neighbor at the time, according to court officials.

Mr. Whitley was indicted in November on 16 counts of child pornography after Hamilton County Sheriff's Department deputies said they found that his computer contained several hundred child porn images.




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