Sunday, April 13, 2003

Tristate A.M. Report

Compiled from staff and wire reports

Man with knife disrupts Kings Island

MASON - A man who had a knife and a stun gun held Mason police at bay for about an hour as he threatened to kill himself outside Paramount's Kings Island Saturday afternoon, police said.

Mason police responded to the park at about 4 p.m. after Kings Island guards confronted 50-year old Michael Marshall about a small knife found when he passed through a metal detector, said Mason police Sgt. Michael Downey.

Marshall, of Cincinnati, became uncooperative, then held the knife to his throat and threatened to harm himself, police said. Police negotiated with Marshall for about an hour before he put down the knife. Police then found Marshall was also carrying a stun gun, Downey said.

Marshall was taken to a hospital for evaluation. No charges had been filed Saturday night.

Park officials said guests inside the park were unaffected on what was the park's official opening day for the season. However, some patrons said they were turned away outside the gates during the standoff.

Miami's Ghetto Fest gets close police look

OXFORD - Under scrutiny by police, Miami University students Saturday celebrated Ghetto Fest, an annual block party marking the near-end of the spring semester.

However, this year, after a change of date and with increased police presence, the party was significantly smaller than usual.

Roughly 1,000 students took part, drinking beer behind orange snow fencing and ropes in the lawns of north-end residences.

On the other side were police officers on foot, horseback and in cruisers, watching the revelers on the sunny spring afternoon. Police were based a few blocks away, in the parking lot of Millet Hall, with about 60 officers from six Butler County agencies, including members of Middletown's Special Response Team.

Oxford police Lt. Bob Holzworth said that the show of force was a response to last year's block party, which was the busiest day in the history of the Oxford Police Department, with nearly 300 arrests and citations.

An estimated 4,000 people came out for last year's partying.

Newspaper publisher fired over joke article

WASHINGTON COURT HOUSE, Ohio - The publisher of the Washington Court House Record Herald has been fired because of a front-page April Fools' Day hoax that said the city had rehired its ousted city manager.

Brown Publishing fired Jeff Pollard three days after the story appeared.

"I was told I put the company into legal jeopardy by publishing the story," Pollard said.

The newspaper traditionally runs a joke story, said Pollard, publisher for 12 years.

This year's story said City Council had rehired former manager Stephen Sobers, revealing the hoax in the last paragraph inside the newspaper.

The council had demanded Sobers' resignation after seven years in November.

He still lives in the community and is unemployed.

A message seeking comment was left on Saturday with Roy Brown, president and chief executive of Brown Publishing.

The paper ran a full-page ad apologizing Wednesday, saying the humor attempt "failed miserably." It was signed by reporter Bobby Warren, whose byline appeared on the hoax.

"There was no malice," Pollard said. "I should have seen that this story would have caused grief to some people."

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Tristate A.M. Report

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Ohio Moments

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Another GOP candidate runs TV commercial
Kentucky obituaries
Father, daughter assumed dead