Thursday, February 20, 2003

Tristate A.M. Report



Compiled from staff and wire reports

Accidental firing under police probe

Cincinnati police are investigating after an officer accidentally fired his gun during a chase of a burglary suspect late Tuesday in the West End.

The incident started about 11:30 p.m. on Dayton Street as a reported breaking and entering, according to department dispatch records. Officers Vincent George and Richard Smith responded and chased someone on foot. At some point, George, on the force three years, fired his gun. No one was hit.

"Accidental discharges happen occasionally,'' said Lt. Kurt Byrd, department spokesman. "Internal looks at all of them, just as a matter of course.''

As in all cases of weapons discharges, the incident also will be reviewed by a panel of supervisors and the director of the training academy. Traffic specialists responded, to map the scene.

Of the seven weapons discharges reported to the Office of Municipal Investigation in 2002, one was accidental. In that incident, a sergeant accidentally fired her shotgun while trying to unjam the weapon.

Breast cancer care services expanded

The St. Luke hospitals in Northern Kentucky have expanded their breast cancer services by offering reconstructive surgery and a new support group.

Dr. Deborah Sillins has begun providing breast reconstruction at St. Luke West in Florence. Meanwhile, the Circle of Hope support group will begin meeting every third Thursday of the month at St. Luke East in Fort Thomas.

For information, call 859-962-5125

Man, 29, found with runaway girl, 13

WEST CHESTER TWP. - A 29-year-old Fairfield man was arrested in Texas late Tuesday and charged with engaging in unlawful sexual conduct with a minor after police say he ran off with his 13-year-old girlfriend.

Steven Linton of Fairfield was apprehended in a South Padre Island, Texas, hotel room with the girl, said Sgt. Mike Quinn of the West Chester Police Department. Texas police are holding Linton in custody and may press further charges, he added.

West Chester Township police began investigating Linton Feb. 5 after receiving a report from the girl's father that Linton had left the state with his daughter.

Collision leaves driver, 17, critical

WEST CHESTER TWP. - A Liberty Township teenager was in critical condition Wednesday after apparently losing control of his car and hitting another vehicle head-on late Tuesday on Union Centre Boulevard, police said.

Todd Stoops, 17, in is in Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton.

The driver of the car he hit, Amanda Napier, 21, of Western Hills, was in good condition at Bethesda North Hospital.

Stoops lost control of his 2002 black Nissan as he drove eastbound on Union Centre just before Ohio 747 about 10:20 p.m., West Chester Police Sgt. Barry Walker said. His vehicle struck the 2002 blue Honda Civic that Napier was driving.

Stoops was not wearing his seat belt, but Napier was, police said.

Woman found dead; may be storm victim

A second person died in a weekend storm that dumped ice and snow in central and southern Ohio, according to a preliminary investigation.

The body of Pansy Renicker, 25, was found Sunday in Newark, about 30 miles east of Columbus. Preliminary autopsy results showed that she died from exposure, the Licking County coroner's office said Wednesday.

The storm dumped a record 15.5 inches of snow on Columbus. The previous record for snow from one storm was 15.3 inches on Feb. 16 and 17 in 1910, said Mike Gallagher, a forecaster with the National Weather Service.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol earlier said a driver was killed Monday in southwest Ohio when his car struck a tow truck that was helping another motorist. Blowing snow had reduced the visibility.

Renicker died Saturday night or Sunday morning, police Chief H. Darrel Pennington said. Her mother lived in the area where she was found, and detectives were trying to determine what Renicker was doing there.

The coroner's office was waiting for drug test results before ruling on the cause of death.

About 44,000 electric customers remained without power in southern Ohio on Wednesday, and their service might not be restored before the weekend, American Electric Power said.

Portsmouth radio station WPAY's 660-foot tower collapsed about 3 p.m. Wednesday, possibly because it was covered in ice, said Phil Malone, spokesman for the Scioto County sheriff's office.




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