Saturday, February 15, 2003

Tristate A.M. Report

Compiled from staff and wire reports

Norwood man indicted on child abuse charges

A Norwood man is accused of abusing his 2-year-old baby girl for a second time.

A Hamilton County grand jury indicted Michael McPherson, 22, Friday, on two charges of child endangering, domestic violence and violating a temporary protection order that said he could not come near the baby's mother.

He served 200 days in the Hamilton County Justice Center on a 2002 charge of child endangering, according to court records. In that case he is accused of breaking his daughter's leg while changing her diaper.

[photo] CLOWN TOWN: Leo the Clown of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus steps back from Mayor Charlie Luken after sticking a clown nose on the mayor during a special Valentines Day presentation on the steps of City Hall Friday. The circus is at the U.S. Bank Arena through Sunday.
(Michael Snyder photo)
| ZOOM |
He remains on community control, stemming from that arrest, according to court records.

McPherson was arrested Feb. 5 after his daughter was taken to the hospital, where doctors found bruising on her face, according to the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office.

The abuse alleged in the indictment was said to have happened in January.

Brown to speak at `Up Close and Personal'

DeAsa Nichols Brown, president of the Greater Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky African American Chamber of Commerce, will be the next featured speaker in the "Up Close and Personal Series." Brown will speak to residents Feb. 20 at God's Provisions, 7426 Montgomery Road in Silverton from 8-10 p.m. Brown will talk about herself and her work to encourage entrepreneurship and economic development in the black community. Admission is free. For more information: (513) 852-9883.

Going to war or staying home? Share the story

Hundreds of Tristate men and women in the U.S. armed forces have left home and family behind in recent weeks.

As the chance of war with Iraq increases, the Enquirer wants to tell the stories of those who serve and the family left behind.

If you are a serviceman or servicewoman willing to share your experience with our readers - or if you are a family member with a loved one overseas - please contact reporter Howard Wilkinson by e-mail at, call 768-8388, or mail to Howard Wilkinson, The Cincinnati Enquirer, 312 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202.

Raid at market, airport alarm linked

COLUMBUS - An FBI investigation of an alarm at Port Columbus International Airport and a raid of an African market were linked, officials said.

Federal agents questioned a man Tuesday after his bag set off a machine designed to detect explosive material at the airport. Authorities said that grain the man had purchased at the Berekum African Market on the city's north side set off the alarm.

Wednesday night, about 20 FBI agents searched the store for four hours after obtaining a federal court order, which has been sealed. The FBI has refused to comment on the court order.

Kwabena Yeboah, who owns the store, said he was shocked after employees told him that FBI agents were searching the store.

He said he doesn't sell anything illegal and that the FBI apologized, taking only some receipts.

Port Columbus spokeswoman Angie Neal said a man was questioned for several hours by federal agents and was cooperative. He eventually was allowed to depart.

Custodian plans to quit job after $1M slot win

LAS VEGAS - An Ohio man said he'll quit his custodian job after winning more than $1 million at a Las Vegas slot machine.

"I resign!" Jerry Nemeth, 58, of Marion, Ohio, said minutes after hitting the jackpot on a $1 progressive Wheel of Fortune game at the Flamingo hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip.

"I felt great," Nemeth, substitute custodian at Tri-Rivers Career Center in Marion, told hotel officials. "It's wonderful. I can retire."

Nemeth said he and his wife, Judy, who recently retired from a Verizon Operations Center, were visiting Las Vegas to escape snow and cold weather in Ohio.

Nemeth said he lost $66 of a $100 bill he put into the slot machine about mid-afternoon before hitting the $1,016,389.22 jackpot.

Slot owner International Game Technology of Reno will pay Nemeth $50,819.46 in annual installments over 20 years, said hotel spokeswoman Margaret Kurtz.

Designer fired after refusing to fly overseas

CLEVELAND - A woman was fired from a wallpaper design company for refusing to fly to England on a business trip because of increased terrorism concerns.

Susan Lenahan, a designer, was fired Tuesday, the same day she was to fly to London with four other employees of Imperial Home Decor Group.

Lenahan, 32, had worked for the company since 1992.

She said Friday that she was worried about America's increased terrorism alert and heightened security concerns at Heathrow airport. The company agreed to change the destination to Manchester, but that didn't ease her worries.

The government last week raised the alert to orange, the second-highest level, because of intelligence information indicating that al-Qaida was planning attacks on the United States.

She was on a business trip to Europe on Sept. 11, 2001, and for several days did not know when she would be able to return after the terrorist attacks in the United States.

She expressed her concerns but said she was told by her supervisor there was no reason to further change the travel plan.

IHDG spokeswoman Theresa Andrikanich acknowledged that Lenahan was fired for refusing to travel to England.

Areas surrounding Ind. reservoirs closed

MARION, Ind. - Federal authorities have closed areas around several Indiana reservoirs in response to a heightened national terror alert announced last week.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which oversees the lakes, closed fishing, picnic and parking areas near the bases of dams at the Salamonie, Mississinewa and J. Edward Roush reservoirs in north-central Indiana.

Areas around five other lakes could be closed as well, said Jon Fleshman, a spokesman for the corps' Louisville, Ky., district.

The other lakes being examined are Cagles Mill, Monroe Lake, Patoka Lake, Brookville Lake and Cecil M. Harden Lake.

Fleshman said the move was in direct response to the heightened national terror alert. Federal officials last week raised the alert status to the second-highest level.

"All of our districts responded to the national security threat," Fleshman said. "Certainly, we are vigilant, and we needed to increase our vigilance."

Scot Dahms, park manager at the Mississinewa Reservoir near Peru, said he and other staff members have fielded many inquiries about the closures.

"We've had a lot of questions," he said. "People have definitely noticed."

Tom Harvey, park manager at Roush Reservoir near Huntington, said the closed areas were sparsely populated in winter months.

Disabled man missing after Delhi Twp. blaze
Local peace groups spreading wings
Broker ordered to repay, 'suffer'

CMHA funds rerouted to city water
Ridge coming to Hamilton Co.
Tip leads to teen with gun
Repeat snow, ice predicted
Obituary: Seton mourns Sister Mary Consolata
Obituary: Betty Warren helped children
Officer loses baton in fight
Tristate A.M. Report

RADEL: 'Duct and cover'
GUTIERREZ: Heading to 100
FAITH MATTERS: Group visiting 'family'
McNUTT: Neighborhoods

Drug raid nets four juveniles
Sycamore tired of teacher fight
Military families needn't be alone
Butler Co. starts prescription drug help
Lebanon gets $400,000 to help students improve fitness
Strip center proposed at I-74 and Harrison

Police are immune, appeals court rules
Strickland not amused by TV's new 'Hillbillies'

Kenton restores its town meetings
Covington seeks more input on ordinance
Marrying Man: 'Tell 'em I'm back'
Louisville man says 'not guilty' in Connecticut couple's slayings
State gets $8 million for new drug initiative
Congress approves millions for N. Ky.
Appeals court won't enter squabble over education
Boy charged in bomb scare
Sparta, residents lose court battle with Speedway
Barrows apologizes to House, keeps job
New center to research 'smart heart' technology