Tuesday, February 09, 1999


High-speed crash kills 1, injures 5

        An 18-year-old Peebles man was killed Monday morning in a one-car accident on Fairview Road in Adams County. Five people were treated for minor injuries at Adams County Hospital and released.

        Ohio State Highway Patrol Sgt. Dave Houghton said Brian Cluxton was dead on arrival at the hospital.

        Sgt. Houghton said a 1994 Jeep Wrangler was southbound on Fairview Road at 5:45 a.m., driven by Tracy Bennington, 20, also of Peebles.

        “He was traveling at a high rate of speed when he went into a sharp curve and lost control,” Sgt. Houghton said.

        The Jeep went off the left side of the road and rolled, throwing all five passengers and the driver from the vehicle. He said the Jeep rolled over Mr. Cluxton, who had been in a back seat.

        All of the other passengers were juveniles.

        Sgt. Houghton said the accident was alcohol related.

Two boys arrested in cross incident
        Cincinnati fire investigators have arrested two 15-year-old boys in the burning of a cross Jan. 23 at Dempsey Park in Price Hill.

        The 2-foot-high wooden cross was discovered hanging from playground equipment in the park at Purcell and Price avenues.

        The boys were arrested Monday. One is charged with arson, ethnic intimidation, inducing panic and criminal trespassing. The other boy is charged with complicity to three charges — arson, ethnic intimidation and inducing panic.

City fire division names administrators
        The Cincinnati Fire Division has announced administrative changes:

        • Assistant Fire Chief Gary Auffart replaces retiring Chief John Neal as commander of the administrative bureau.

        • District Chief Mike Kroeger becomes an assistant fire chief, leading the fire prevention bureau. Capt. Duane Hearth is promoted to district chief and replaces Chief Kroeger as the fire division's risk manager.

        • Assistant Fire Chief David Hill commands the operations bureau.

        • District Chief Lacey Calloway replaces retiring District Chief Allen Boyle as chief training officer.

Nude-photo suspect under $100,000 bond
        A 57-year-old Avondale man accused of taking nude pictures of a 15-year-old girl is being held in jail in lieu of a $100,000 cash bond.

        Mark Hodges, of the 800 block of Lexington Avenue, is charged with illegal use of a minor in nudity oriented material.

        He was arraigned Monday in Hamilton County Municipal Court following an arrest after police searched his apartment Saturday. A grand jury will hear his case.

Conflict of interest delays ex-cop's trial
        A former Cincinnati police officer will have to wait a few more weeks for trial on charges he planted drugs on a suspect.

        The trial of John Sess was delayed Monday after the judge was told that new Hamilton County Prosecutor Mike Allen is a friend of the defendant.

        At Mr. Allen's request, Common Pleas Judge Robert Ruehlman agreed to appoint a prosecutor from Warren County.

        Mr. Allen, who took office last month, knew Mr. Sess when the two men were police officers.

        “They are friends,” said Assistant Prosecutor Jerry Kunkel.

        The judge said the trial probably would not begin until the end of March.

        Mr. Sess, a 23-year veteran of the police division, lost his job after police said he told a supervisor that he once slipped a bag of marijuana into the pocket of a drug suspect.

        He is charged with tampering with evidence and tampering with records.

Free parking period could move up Vine
        That first 10 minutes of free parking that visitors enjoy when they pull up to a downtown meter may be extended to a section of Over-the-Rhine.

        Cincinnati City Council's Public Works Committee agreed Monday to extend the free parking to Vine Street, from Central Parkway to McMicken Street. City council will consider the measure during Wednesday's meeting.

        The free parking, approved in 1996, was designed to make downtown more friendly to those who need to run in and out of businesses, said Councilman Todd Portune.

        “We're continuing to pursue it in all neighborhood business districts in the city,” Mr. Portune said. “The only impediment is the meters. You have to replace the meter heads to do this.”

        City officials report 130 mechanical meters would have to be replaced with electronic meters, which the city has in stock. It is likely the same meters would have to be moved when Vine is converted to two-way later this year.

Pond drained in search for girl, 9
        KETTERING, Ohio — Authorities searching for a 9-year-old girl who disappeared while walking her dog drained a pond near her home Monday.

        Erica Baker was last seen about 3 p.m. Sunday, police spokesman Larry Warren said. The dog was found about two hours later, a mile from the girl's home in this Dayton suburb.

        Divers checked the pond Sunday night without success. Police also set up checkpoints, stopping motorists to ask if they had seen the girl.

Man gets 102 years for shooting spree DAYTON, Ohio — A man convicted in a shooting spree that led to a police chase ending in a crash in downtown Cincinnati was sentenced Monday to 102 years in prison.
        Dreston Walker, 28, of suburban Trotwood was sentenced by Judge Barbara Gorman in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court.

        A jury on Jan. 26 convicted Mr. Walker of 13 charges, including felonious assault, felonious assault on a police officer, aggravated robbery, aggravated vehicular assault, failure to comply with a police order and domestic violence.

        The April 25 spree started when Mr. Walker began firing on two police officers who tried to serve a domestic-violence warrant.

        After Officer Sitesa Van Nuys was shot, Mr. Walker then tried to steal a car, shooting and wounding the driver in the back, police said. Officer Van Nuys survived.

        Mr. Walker then fled on Interstate 75 to Cincinnati, where he drove through a red light with police in pursuit and collided with another vehicle on Sycamore Street.


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