Sunday, July 20, 2003

Tristate A.M. Report

Compiled from staff and wire reports

Man dies from gunshot wound

A Kennedy Heights man died in front of a riverfront nightclub early Saturday morning.

William E. Clendening, 52, died from a gunshot wound, Cincinnati Police said. A person leaving The Dock nightclub at 603 W. Pete Rose Way found Clendening at 2 a.m., police said.

The person "asked him if he was hurt, and he said he'd been shot," said Sgt. Bob Liston, who is investigating the homicide.

Liston said he didn't think Clendening, who lived on Montgomery Road, had been in The Dock.

This is the 39th homicide in Cincinnati this year.

Anyone with information can call the Criminal Investigations Section at 352-3542 or Crime Stoppers at 352-3040.

American flags stolen from Columbus bridge

COLUMBUS - The theft of 52 American flags from a bridge over Interstate 71 hasn't deterred the family who has cared for them for nearly a year.

Cindy and Ron Belknap, with help from others, put up replacements Saturday.

The flags have been a familiar sight to motorists since Sept. 10, when they were placed there as an unofficial memorial to victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Mrs. Belknap, of suburban Westerville, said she was unhappy and annoyed when she learned the flags had been stolen.

"I was sick about it. I cried for a couple of hours," she said.

The family said the flags were taken between 7:30 and 11 p.m. Tuesday.

Bus drivers fired for hitting pedestrians

CANTON, Ohio - Two drivers whose buses plowed into pedestrians have been fired.

Robert Fry was fired on Friday after a hearing while Robert Penix was fired earlier in the week by the Stark Area Regional Transit Authority.

Police reports said both drove buses that hit pedestrians in crosswalks who had the "walk" light. One pedestrian was killed and one was injured.

Fry said that he didn't see the person he hit.

"I am so sorry. I just didn't see her," Fry said in a message released after the accident. "I was trying to be careful and pay attention to what was in front of me and clear the bus into the intersection."

Fry had been on paid leave since the accident on July 2.

Penix goes on trial Aug. 15 on charges of vehicular homicide and vehicular manslaughter after an accident June 6.

Man faces charges for escaping institution

COLUMBUS - An admitted killer who escaped this month from a mental institution faces as much as eight years in prison.

A Franklin County grand jury on Friday charged James Johnson Jr. with escaping from the Twin Valley Behavioral Health Care Center while he and other patients watched the city's downtown fireworks display on July 3.

Johnson, 38, was captured six days later by police in suburban Westerville as he walked in a pedestrian tunnel near the entrance to a dam.

Johnson has been kept at the center since 1997, when he was judged incompetent to stand trial on charges of aggravated murder and attempted aggravated murder.

He has admitted killing his grandfather and wounding his uncle in 1996.

Convergys may leave scars on council
Likely new UC chief a 'force'
Off we go (slow) to Dayton air show
Officials' travels under scrutiny

Slave descendants reunite
Visitors will be a blast, seniors say
Safety lesson is fun, games
Tristate A.M. Report

Bronson: The family of Deputy P.J. Reinert needs a hand
Pulfer: Catching up with John Shirey and his new life

Campers discuss diversity, learn how to break barriers
Work begins on new Springfield Twp. fire station
W. Chester girls raise money for kids' charities
Subdivision opposed by Morgan Twp. homeowners
Spruce to fill hole in town's heart

Marion L. Nichols retired from P&G
Sister Leo Marie Upsing dies at 98

Judge rules out confession in woman's death
Man jailed for killing dog that bit his son
'Speed trap' loses sole traffic light
Ex-mental patient faces hearing in death of mom
Man convicted after mailing raccoon head
Pioneers of aviation honor Wrights' legacy
Death row inmate's appeal to be heard
Ohio Moments

Churchill Downs paying for nearby houses
Hebron church shares its past
Kenton officials abandon tax talk
Trek of the Mormon pioneers re-enacted