Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Tristate A.M. Report

Compiled from staff and wire reports

7 fire departments respond to gravel pit

HAMILTON TWP. - A fire at a family-owned gravel pit on East U.S. 22/Ohio 3 Tuesday afternoon led firefighters to believe there was a fatality.

They later learned everyone was OK.

Frank Young, director of Warren County Emergency Services, said images on a thermal camera and eyewitness reports led officials to believe that a welder who was working in the small metal and wood building at William Oeder Readymix had died in the fire that could be seen for miles.

The man in question, who worked for an independent welding contractor, showed up two hours later, Young said.

He had left his truck and his tools behind.

"The welder left at 1:30 p.m. and didn't tell anybody. They thought he was in there," Young said.

Seven fire departments, the Warren County hazardous materials crew, the state fire marshal and even the county coroner responded to the blaze that engulfed the mineshaftlike building where calcium, water and stone aggregate are mixed to produce concrete.

The cause of the fire was still under investigation Tuesday night.

City's seventh, eighth homicides reported

A teenage boy and a 44-year-old Norwood man were killed in separate homicides overnight Monday in Cincinnati.

Sixteen-year-old Bryan E. Lyons was found lying in the front yard at 3352 Bevis Ave. in Evanston just before 7 p.m. Monday. He underwent surgery at University Hospital, but did not survive.

Lyons, who was pronounced dead at 12:20 a.m. Tuesday, was the seventh homicide victim in the city this year.

The eighth, less than three hours later, was William Alan Reed. After being shot several times, Reed drove himself to University Hospital. His car crashed into a building near the entrance of the emergency room at about 2:50 a.m. Tuesday.

He was pronounced dead at 3:07 a.m.

At this time in 2002, four people were dead from homicides in Cincinnati.

Man pleads guilty to pornography charges

HAMILTON - A 48-year-old Middletown man on Tuesday pleaded guilty to 11 Internet child-pornography counts.

Anthony Williams faces up to 32 years in prison at a sentencing hearing April 1 before Butler County Common Pleas Judge Charles Pater.

Williams was arrested as a result of a joint investigation by Middletown Police Detective H. Frederick Shuemake and Monroe police detectives Michael Staples and Kim Fogle, the Butler County Prosecutor's Office said.

Authorities say Williams transferred nude images of children from the Internet onto his computer and shared those images with other Internet users.

Transit authority OKs new union contract

The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority board of trustees Tuesday approved a new contract with its approximately 800 unionized workers, officially putting the new deal into place.

The two-year contract was ratified by the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 267 on Feb. 2 by a vote of 304 to 210. The deal calls for 3 percent wage increases in each of the next two years.

Former prosecutor acquitted of perjury

A Hamilton County Common Pleas judge has acquitted former county Assistant Prosecutor Joni Statzer of felony perjury charges.

Statzer, who left the prosecutor's office in 1998 after three years, was indicted in October, accused of making a false statement during an official proceeding in 2000. The charge involved a dispute with a former client who claimed Statzer did not give her documents she had requested. Statzer said she did.

During a three-day trial that ended Monday, Judge Ann Marie Tracey said she was satisfied with Statzer's explanation.

Bank inside Blue Ash Kroger is robbed

BLUE ASH - The Fifth Third Bank located inside the Kroger store on Hunt Road was robbed Tuesday afternoon.

A man entered the bank at 4100 Hunt Road at 2:52 p.m and handed a teller a note demanding money, police said. The suspect fled with an undetermined amount of cash.

The suspect is described as a white man in his 40s, approximately 5-foot 8, 160 pounds, with a neatly trimmed gray moustache. He was wearing sunglasses with dark lenses, a blue front-zipper hooded sweatshirt, and a brown camouflage-pattern John Deere baseball hat.

Anyone with information concerning the robbery is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 352-3040, or the Blue Ash Police Department at 745-8555.

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Snowfall dry, fluffy, lovely - and deadly
Scuffling possible, shooting witness says
Costs push debate on W. Chester center site

Arts group, coalition settle pair of lawsuits
FBI raids office of missing developer
Suit filed over Krings contract
Property plan kept on the hook in Norwood
Cons might get out of crowded jail early
Children's Hospital opposes cuts
Obituary: Joe Dippong, 'Mr. Spoons'
Tristate A.M. Report

SMITH AMOS: Scars of racism still sear
BRONSON: Cop shooting
GUTIERREZ: Call your legislator
KORTE: City Hall
HOWARD: Some Good News

Realtors in uproar over tax increase
Butler commissioner calls for housing official ouster
More lead tests above standard
2 picked to head search
Clermont OKs online payments
Talawanda board to close Stewart Elementary
Zoning board delays vote on requiring larger lots
Death increases charge in accident
Village pushes renewal
Slaying suspect gets earlier review
Ohio Moments

Epling inspires new bill
Pupils write pleas for school
Kentucky News Briefs
Danville pastors protest school play
Memorial could beautify corner
House defeats bill to ban smoking in college dorms
N.Ky.'s Ziegler remembered as a hard-charger