Thursday, January 23, 2003

Tristate A.M. Report

Compiled from staff and wire reports

4 held for stolen Levi's face federal charges

WEST CHESTER TWP. - Four men arrested in connection with $800,000 worth of stolen Levi's jeans now face federal charges.

Jim Turgal, spokesman for the FBI's Cincinnati office, Wednesday said the men - Raul Blanco, 28; Evelio Horta, 37; Noel Facundo Gonzalez, 36; and Recaredo Hugo Gutierrez, 28 - are accused of conspiracy, interstate possession of stolen goods and interstate transportation of stolen goods.

Federal complaints alleging those offense were filed Tuesday, Mr. Turgal said. A federal court date had yet to be set.

The suspects, who were arrested early Monday, were being held in the Butler County Jail. Their bond was set at $1 million apiece.

2 charged with meth sale remain in jail

WILMINGTON - Two Scioto County men accused of selling methamphetamine to undercover agents remained in the Clinton County Jail Wednesday following a two-month investigation into drug trafficking activity in Clarksville.

The Warren-Clinton Drug & Strategic Operations Task Force charged Ellis Greathouse III, 25, of Lucasville, and Douglas S. Banks, 29, of Portsmouth, each with three counts of felony drug trafficking.

Task force Commander John Burke said drug agents also searched Mr. Greathouse's residence with a warrant and recovered a small amount of methamphetamine and evidence the drug was being manufactured there.

Pleasant Plain man injured in 1-car wreck

HARLAN TWP. - A 19-year-old Pleasant Plain man was flown by helicopter to University Hospital Wednesday following a single-car crash on Morrow-Woodville Road about 8:20 a.m.

State patrol officials in Lebanon said Andy McClure apparently fell asleep and lost control of his vehicle about a half mile north of Roachester-Cozaddale Road.

The vehicle veered off the left side of the road, striking a fence and a tree. A University Hospital spokeswoman said Mr. McClure's condition was unavailable late Wednesday afternoon because he was in surgery.

Ex-school assistant guilty of sex with girl

BATAVIA - A former Amelia High School administrative assistant was found guilty Wednesday in Clermont County Common Pleas Court of one count of sexual batteryin a case involving a student.

Robert Cann Jr., 34, pleaded no contest to the allegations that he had sex with a female student in March 1996.

At the time of the allegations, Mr. Cann was an office administrator and the student was three months away from her 18th birthday.

Mr. Cann will be sentenced before Judge Robert Ringland March 3 and could face up to two years in prison.

Truck driver gets 5 years, loses license

HAMILTON - A Rumpke truck driver, who admitted to drunken-driving and aggravated vehicular homicide charges, has been sentenced to five years in prison - and when he gets out, he can never legally drive again.

Kenneth Strunk, 56, of Fairfield, pleaded guilty to the charges Tuesday in Butler County Common Pleas Court, avoiding a trial that had been set for next week.

He could have been sentenced to two to eight years in prison. Butler County Prosecutor Robin Piper said the five-year sentence was part of a plea agreement to which the victim's family consented. Judge Matthew J. Crehan also fined Mr. Strunk $10,000 and ordered the lifetime driver's license revocation.

Before being accused of drunken driving in the Aug. 23 crash that killed Charles Lawson, 69, of Hanover Township, Mr. Strunk had four previous drunken-driving convictions, all in noncommercial vehicles, records show.

Then his garbage truck crashed head-on into Mr. Lawson's car in Ross Township - and Mr. Lawson and his car "didn't have a chance" against the massive truck, Mr. Piper said.

Boat sinks; officials work to contain fuel

HEBRON - A towboat sank at its mooring on the Ohio River Tuesday night and the Coast Guard worked Wednesday to contain the 1,200 gallons of diesel fuel that could leak from the vessel.

The tow, the Allen Carmen, was the type of boat used to push barges. The boat's owner, Bellevue Sand and Gravel, had environmental clean up contractors on the scene throughout Wednesday.

The bulk of the spilled fuel was being contained by on-water recovery equipment.

Text of Gov. Taft's State of the State speech
Priest subject of investigation
Feelings go deep about abortion
Taft wants tax hikes; threatens major cuts
Dueling abortion marches see urgency
Anti-abortion rally causes stir
Bundle up: This could be coldest this winter gets

Talks on severance deal OK, Krings says
Obituary: Irvin Beren, 87, surgeon
2 accused in West End slaying
'Neighborhoods' developer's theme for Forest Fair
Presidential adviser tells of balancing work and family
Tristate A.M. Report

PULFER: Bust in Silverton

What about us? ask neighbors in lead discovery
Franklin residents to get say on renovating, replacing school
Faces of lives lost to help save others
Butler Co. eyes retail center tax deal
Bikes sandwich with runs in the cold
Long hair gets snip, needy child is helped
Forest Park offers aid to businesses forced to relocate
Detective faces stalking charge
Mason to survey citizens about where to spend bounty of money

Day-care center at high school may be forced to close
Taft turns to a favorite tool
Art exhibit: We see through a lens, darkly
Study to test Botox on kids' headaches
Ohio Moments
Vets fighting mystery virus killing horses
Ohio smallpox vaccine limited

Police sift factors in fatal wreck
Tourism dips in Ky. except for 2 national parks
Tenured teachers may face layoffs
State goal is cleaner air over Mammoth Cave
Sunken towboat not seen as big problem