Wednesday, January 26, 2000


Teacher mail, radio ads take case to public

        The Cincinnati Federation of Teachers launched an advertising blitz by mail and radio Tuesday,aiming to rally public support as labor negotiations heat up.

        The CFT bought 151 60-second spots on six local radio stations; the ads began Tuesday and will run through Jan. 30. The ads focus on teacher-quality standards, class size and pay raises.

        CFT leaders also sent letters to Cincinnati Public Schools parents and community leaders, offering to explain their position on CPS reforms.

        Although both sides have been negotiating since December, talks slowed this month over issues including school autonomy, teacher hiring, charter schools, salary and workday hours.

        Monday, most of the union's 3,200 teachers voted to authorize CFT leadership to call a strike if negotiations proceed too slowly. Monday's meeting at Music Hall, which drew 2,800 teachers, was the largest membership meeting in CFT history.

        The school board and union members will vote this week on a fact-finder's report issued Fridayon 27 unresolved issues.

Green Twp. man dies in Cheviot Road crash
        GREEN TOWNSHIP — A 32-year-old local man was killed Tuesday in a single-car crash on Cheviot Road.

        Douglas E. Sowder of the 2800 block of Blue Rock Road was pronounced dead at Mercy Franciscan Hospital-Mount Airy shortly after the 11:57 a.m. crash, the Hamilton County sheriff's office said.

        The victim was driving a 1994 Saturn northbound in the 5500 block of Cheviot Road when the car went left across the southbound lane and struck a utility pole, the sheriff's office said. A prior medical condition — diabetes — contributed to the crash, the sheriff's office said.

Judge upholds rehiring of cop who sprayed girl
        DAYTON, Ohio — A judge has upheld the reinstatement of a policeman fired after using pepper spray on a worker at a fast-food restaurant.

        Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey Froelich ruled Monday that the city is bound by an arbitrator's order to rehire policeman Michael McDonald.

        City officials are considering whether to pursue the case, spokesman Tom Biedenharn said Tuesday.

        Officer McDonald used pepper spray on Brandy Martin, then 17, while arresting her in February 1998. He said she refused to go with him to his cruiser and receive a summons after he accused her of shortchanging him at the drive-through window.

        Officer McDonald, 35, was found not guilty of misdemeanor assault in June 1998. But Police Chief Ronald Lowe fired him a few weeks later, saying OfficerMcDonald's actions were callous and brutal.

Man gets 3 years for luring teen over Net
        COLUMBUS — A man who tried to seduce a 12-year-old girl over the Internet was sentenced to the maximum three years and one month in prison.

        Joseph J. Martin, 28, of South Beach, N.Y., was sentenced Monday after pleading guilty Oct. 22 to one count of attempting to entice a juvenile across state lines to have sex with him.

        Mr. Martin contacted the girl, whose identity was withheld, through an Internet chat room in July, and persuaded her to travel to New York so they could become lovers.

        On July 29, he mailed the girl a package containing $81 for a bus ticket and instructions on where to meet him in New York. But the package was taken by the girl's father, who notified the FBI.

Blood, writing samples sought in murder trial
        SIDNEY, Ohio — A prosecutor wants samples of the blood and handwriting of a man accused of killing three teen-age girls and a Bible studies teacher.

        Shelby County Prosecutor James Stevenson said Tuesday he wants to compare the handwriting of Lawrence Michael Hensley to documents that may be used as evidence in the trial April 4. He said he wants a sample of Mr. Hensley's blood to compare it to blood found at the crime scenes.

        Defense attorneys oppose the request, saying taking samples from Mr. Hensley would violate his constitutional rights.

        Judge John Schmitt is to hear arguments on the request today. Mr. Hensley's trial is to begin April 4.

        Mr. Hensley, 30, of Sidney is accused of killing neighbor Sherry Kimbler, 16, her cousin Tosha Barrett, 16, and their friend Amy Mikesell, 14, at his home July 8. Authorities say Mr. Hensley then drove to the home of Bible studies teacher Brett Wildermuth, 37, and shot and killed him.

        Five days later, authorities say, Mr. Hensley wounded a motorist, fired a shot at the home of another Bible studies teacher and took three hostages at a gas station before surrendering.

Harveysburg switches to Warren Co. water
        Harveysburg and Warren County each have passed measures this week to fold the village's water department into the county's.

        The switch is effective immediately, Harveysburg Mayor Woody Andrew said after the commissioners' vote Tuesday.

        Warren County Sanitary Engineer Dick Renneker said the move will reduce the average village resident's water bill — for 6,000 gallons of water every two months — from $49 to $17.

2 men to be charged in deaths of hookers
        TOLEDO, Ohio — Police are investigating possible links between the deaths of four prostitutes and two men already in custody. Prosecutors said Tuesday they plan to charge the men in two of those killings.

        The longtime friends will be charged in the deaths of two women who were found in a farm field in southern Michigan, said John Weglian, an assistant Lucas County prosecutor.

        Aggravated murder and kidnapping charges will be filed later this week against Charles McKay Jr. of Lambertville, Mich., and Robert Cooper of Toledo, Mr. Weglian said.

        Authorities don't know whether Mr. McKay, 27, and Mr. Cooper, 21, were involved in the slayings of the two other women in Toledo, which borders Monroe County.

        All four were known to Toledo police as prostitutes.

        The skeletal remains of Valerie Jones, 38, were found earlier this month at a garbage dump in Toledo. She was strangled. The body of Debra Dixon, 44, was burned and beaten and found Dec. 24 in an industrial area.

        Police think Mr. McKay and Mr. Cooper kidnapped Felita Thomas, 36, of Toledo, in Ohio and then killed her in Michigan.

        Police also think the men killed Yvonne Mipe, 43, of Toledo, in Monroe County.


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