Thursday, March 20, 2003

Tristate A.M. Report

Compiled from staff and wire reports

FBI describes bank robbery suspect

The FBI looking for a man accused of robbing at least 20 banks - most inside supermarkets - in Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee since May.

He has a white or olive complexion, is 35 to 45 years old, and 5 feet 5 to 5 feet 10 with a medium to heavy build. He has short brown hair, a mustache and a goatee. In most of the robberies, he wore a baseball, fisherman or Panama Jack-style hat. Once when he didn't wear a hat, surveillance photos show that he appeared to have a receding hairline.

The robberies started May 28 inside a Kroger superstore in Indianapolis. The most recent happened March 13 inside a Meijer in Columbus.

Investigators ask that anyone with information call Crime Stoppers toll-free at (888) 352-3040 or the Cincinnati FBI office at 421-4310.

Police name man sought in shooting

Police have identified a suspect in a Wednesday afternoon shooting in Over-the-Rhine that left a male victim in critical condition.

Officers were searching for 21-year-old Jeffrey A. Pitts in connection with the shooting that occurred about 2:30 p.m. at 1500 Vine St. The victim, who name had not been released late Wednesday, was shot several times in the face. He was in critical condition at University Hospital.

Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call District 1 at 352-3505 or Crime Stoppers at 352-3040. Callers may remain anonymous and receive compensation for their information..

Lawyer accused of stealing checks

A Westwood attorney who did immigration work for a Springdale software company was indicted Wednesday, accused of directing co-workers to write checks for $182,000 to government agencies that he then deposited in his personal bank account via an ATM machine.

Thomas Blankmeyer, 45, was indicted by a Hamilton County grand jury on charges of theft and securing writings by deception. If convicted, he could face up to 10 years in prison.

Blankmeyer, who worked for Cincom in Springdale, cashed 282 redirected checks since March 2001, according to court papers. He spent the money on bills and drugs, prosecutors said.

City Council OKs anti-abortion stance

Cincinnati City Council passed a resolution Wednesday calling on Congress to ban the procedure that critics call "partial-birth abortion."

The resolution, sponsored by Republican Chris Monzel, brought out the usual debate about whether City Council has any business taking positions on statewide or national issues. Democrat David Pepper accused Monzel of "polishing his political credentials" at the expense of attention to local issues.

Monzel won the day, 5-4, after removing a clause that singled out Dayton abortion doctor Martin Haskell for criticism.

Voting with Monzel were Paul Booth, John Cranley, Pat DeWine and James R. Tarbell. Voting against were Minette Cooper, David Crowley, Pepper and Alicia Reece.

'I'll see you all when it's over,' Marine e-mails from the desert
Cheers, sadness in Tristate greet airstrikes
New intelligence contributed to decision to start air strikes
War 101: Conflict is center stage in some classrooms
Local Iraqi-American feels the glares
Churches, members often split on war
In war, people here turn to faith, family, TV news
Voices from the Tristate

Abortion debates taken to state level
Council might rethink deal
Class act: Ring lost 40 years returned
Stroll to stadium may change
Businesses sue to stop land seizure
Restored bells ringing again
CPS examines priorities for spending in 2003-04 budget
Woman slain in apartment on quiet street in Covedale
Obituary: John E. Thomas, church deacon
Tristate A.M. Report

PULFER: Shirley Jester
HOWARD: Some Good News

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Spring a relief for Lebanon road crews
Anonymous writer blasted

Dayton superintendent wants five schools closed
Parish united in support of priest accused of abuse
States step up terror security
Package carrying West Nile explodes at Columbus airport
Professor hopes to save dying Indian language
Brinkman only Ohio lawmaker to oppose 14th amendment
Artist master of disciplines
Ohio Moments

Span to reopen in April as Newport Southbank Bridge
NKU tuition to go up 16.4%
Covington rent law vote delayed
Drawbridge hotel drops adult movies
Head of state ACLU to take job in Calif.
Bates says he had no choice about Virginia taxes, license
ADD, autism link may be overlooked, author says
Day at the races - with hoops - to fight illness