Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Tristate A.M. Report

Compiled from staff and wire reports

Former bank officer's possessions seized

TURTLECREEK TWP. - Federal marshals seized the contents of Vincent Pavcovich's Aspen Ridge Drive home Tuesday after the former U.S. Bank officer was sentenced to 30 months in prison for embezzling more than $168,000.

Pavcovich, who worked as an assistant vice president to help the bank recover unpaid debts, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati to two counts of theft and embezzlement. He is to begin serving the sentence in about 30 days.

Officials in the U.S. Marshals Service said the property seized Tuesday included home furnishings, electronic and computer equipment, jewelry and exercise equipment.

As part of the court case, federal authorities took Pavcovich's $284,900 home last month. Pavcovich's possessions, as well as the home, will be sold to make restitution to the bank.

Commissioners declare Day of Prayer

Hamilton County commissioners have declared Thursday a National Day of Prayer here, joining an observance that takes place in all 50 states.

"The National Day of Prayer provides an opportunity for the community of faith to take advantage of our freedom to worship and keep the Lord in the public arena," Commissioner John Dowlin said.

The public is invited to a prayer for the nation at noon Thursday on the steps of the Hamilton County Courthouse, at Main and Court streets. The theme is based on Proverbs 14:34, "Righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a disgrace to any people."

The event will move into the lobby of the Justice Center if it rains.

Police arrest 34 in annual drug sweep

HAMILTON - Police on Tuesday fanned out across the city in their annual roundup of drug dealers who operate in and near public housing.

In "Operation Safe Home VIII," officers were looking for 41 adults and three juveniles named in a 152-count Butler County grand jury indictment. All but two of the suspects had previous drug-related arrests.

Most of the charges involved sale or possession of crack cocaine, police said, though some involved heroin.

As part of the operation, the department's vice section executed a dozen search warrants, arresting 34 suspected drug dealers. They also seized seven guns, two vehicles, $10,000 in cash and drugs with a street value of $15,000.

During the past seven years, the multiagency sweeps have snared 453 drug suspects on 1,637 charges, said Acting Police Chief Joseph A. Murray.

Jury seated in Lucasville riots trial

A jury was seated Tuesday to sit in judgment of James Were, who is on trial in Hamilton County court for the slaying of a corrections officer during the Lucasville prison riots 10 years ago. If found guilty, Were could receive the death penalty.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys settled on the 12-member jury after two days of questioning potential jurors about their feelings on the death penalty and their knowledge of the prison riot, which lasted 11 days - the longest in U.S. history.

Were, 45, was one of five inmates convicted of the murder of Robert Vallandingham. The Ohio Supreme Court awarded Were a new trial because he never received a psychiatric evaluation before his first trial.

Flags honor troops at Indiana business

MARION, Ind. - A business owner has lined his walkway with more than 150 flags in honor of all the U.S. and British military personnel who have died during the war in Iraq.

The walkway at Murrell & Associates Insurance has 31 British flags on one side and 124 American flags on the other.

"It's kind of our way to pay our respect to those who paid the ultimate price," owner Dave Murrell said.

Officer who shot goose still faces suspension

INDIANAPOLIS - A police officer is off the hook from the state over his shooting of a Canada goose, but still faces a possible suspension by his department.

Officer Mitch Waters reported he was walking his police dog on April 13 when the dog approached a goose nest on the city's west side. A goose flew over a fence and attacked the dog, and Waters shot and killed it.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources investigated, but decided not to take any action against the officer, who was on duty at the time of the shooting.

His supervisor, however, recommended a one-day suspension, calling it unnecessary use of a firearm.

Erratic budgets let schools deteriorate
School built in 1876 near the end of its life
Tiny gym leaves team always the visitors
Old electrical systems stretched to capacity
Cramped quarters, crowded buildings
Wanted: a little grass, more room to play
Parents worry about lead paint in schools
History of inconsistency

Police want out of race accord
Agreement's yield: Contention
Settlements at a glance
Indian Hill to pool its power buys and save $
Drop gun suit, city advised
Morgue photos letter revealed
Football Classic lacking stadium
Bank One releases condo liens
Obituary: Austin M. Wright, 80, writer, teacher
Tristate A.M. Report

SMITH AMOS: A second chance
KORTE: City Hall
HOWARD: Some Good News

Health costs jump for Warren inmates
Time ripe for ammonia theft
Going Bananas
Levy would maintain buildings
Fernald to hold last tour for public
County seeks to preserve rare bridge

Ohio executes inmate 18 years after slaying
Ohio Moments

Gays win expanded rights coverage
Eatery reopens after slaying
Bob Woodward, 2 politicos to lecture at NKU this fall
Candidates endorse choice of care type covered by Medicaid
Slain Chicago police officer remembered
Police: Ex-boyfriend shot to death high school senior, self
Moonlite Bar matriarch dead at 83
Kentucky obituaries
Nunn wants to 'move on'
Police: 3 men shot to death, dumped in Kentucky River