Sunday, July 18, 1999

TRISTATE DIGEST


'Officer' demands cash from shopper

        When a man claiming to be a police officer stopped a shopper at Beechmont Mall and demanded $12,500 cash Friday, the shopper decided to call a real officer.

        Police said the shopper told the man that he was going to get the money — and instead sought help.

        When the shopper returned to the mall at 12:40 p.m., with a Hamilton County sheriff's officer in tow, Michael B. Donahue, 45, and another man were arrested.

        Mr. Donahue, of Marysville, Ind., faces charges of impersonating a police officer and extortion. Billie Ray Johnson, 45, of Louisville, faces a charge of complicity.

Man's body found; car still missing
        Cincinnati police are looking for a gray Saturn after they found the body of its owner, a 61-year-old man, in his downtown home around noon Saturday.

        District 1 Police Officer William Fagin said he found the body of Joseph Richard Abel of the 400 block of West Court Street.

        Neighbors flagged down the officer, who was on patrol. They asked him to check on Mr. Abel because they hadn't seen him recently, Officer Fagin said.

        Officials wouldn't answer questions about any apparent trauma to the body, pending an autopsy set for today.

        Officers said Mr. Abel's vehicle is a 1992 gray four-door Saturn bearing Ohio license plates AMK7684. It was last seen at his residence around 4 p.m. Friday, a news release from homicide Sgt. Anthony G. Carter says.

        Anyone with information on Mr. Abel's death or the car's whereabouts should call the homicide unit at 352-3542 or CrimeStoppers at 352-3040. Callers may remain anonymous.

Teens needed to lead abstinence program
        Children's Hospital Medical Center is looking for teen leaders for its Postponing Sexual Involvement Program, a nationally recognized effort to reduce teen parenthood.

        Teen leaders must be between the ages of 15 and 18, meet academic requirements, and attend Cincinnati's public high schools in the 1999-2000 academic year. Teen leaders are paid to teach sixth- and seventh-graders how to cope with and resist pressures to have sex.

        Applications for teen leaders are available at public schools or by calling the program's office at 872-8948.

Sierra Club plans predawn bike ride
        The Sierra Club's Miami Group has set its 18th annual “morning glory” ride, a predawn bike ride through the streets of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, for 4 a.m. Aug. 1.

        Each year, about 2,000 riders have participated in the 17-mile ride, which begins downtown and traverses Mount Lookout, Hyde Park and Eden Park. An optional 3-mile loop continues through New port and winds back to Yeatman's Cove for an optional sunrise gourmet breakfast.

        Registration forms for the ride are available at most area bicycle shops, at the club's Web site at www.greenlink.org/miami or by calling 563-8022.

        Cost for the ride and breakfast is $21; ride only, $12.

Air show to feature USAF Thunderbirds
        The U.S. Air and Trade Show is scheduled next weekend at the Dayton International Airport, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

        Attractions include the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Jet Demonstration Team; The Navy F-14 “Tomcat”; and the Wright B Flyer, a replica of the Wright Brothers' early powered aircraft.

        Tickets range from $10 for general admission to $30 for pavilion seating (advance sales only). On Sunday only, special “Blue Sky” seating is available for $150, and includes flight-line tent seating and a catered lunch. More information is available at www.usats.org or by calling (937) 898-5901.

Man charged with wife's death in crash
        A Bedford Heights, Ohio, man has been jailed after a Saturday morning crash that killed his wife on Interstate 71 in Warren County.

        Rudy Lucas, 63, faces a charge of aggravated vehicular homicide in the two-vehicle accident just after 6:30 a.m. Mr. Lucas was being held in the Warren County jail Saturday night in lieu of $5,000 bond.

        Mr. Lucas was driving south on I-71 just past Ohio 123 when he tried switch lanes. His car hit the back of another vehicle driving by a Parma, Ohio, man. The impact caused Mr. Lucas' car to flip, troopers said.

        The Parma man and his three passengers were not injured in the crash. Mr. Lucas was treated and released for minor injuries at Bethesda North Hospital. His wife, Anna Lucas, 73, died at the scene, troopers said.

Wheelchair-using mom wants to move
        SANDUSKY, Ohio — A mother who has battled with police and city officials over riding her wheelchair in the street will decide this week whether to move into an independent living apartment complex in another city.

        Kelly Dillery, 31, who has muscular dystrophy, now lives in a house with her 5-year-old daughter, Kelsi.

        The apartment in Avon Lake, about an hour east of Sandusky, is designed for wheelchair users. It has lower counters and appliances, as well as wider doors.

        Ms. Dillery has been charged three times in the past year. She was accused of endangering her daughter by cruising city streets with Kelsi in her lap. A jury cleared her of the charge. She has filed a lawsuit accusing the city of discriminating against the disabled. She has said she has to travel in the street sometimes because not all sidewalks in the northern Ohio city are accessible to her wheelchair.

       



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- TRISTATE DIGEST