Sunday, May 28, 2000

A.M. REPORT




Driver charged with assault on officer
        A University of Cincinnati student was arrested Saturday morning after he swerved his car in an attempt to strike a Cincinnati police officer, police said.

        Michael Bass, 20, was arrested about 14 minutes after the 4:15 a.m. incident in Corryville. He faces a charge of felonious assault on a police officer.

        The officer, who was not named, observed Mr. Bass driving in his direction at a high speed, according to a police report.

        The officer pushed a bystander out of the line of Mr. Bass' vehicle and drew his weapon as he took cover behind a brick pillar, police said.

        Police said Mr. Bass returned to his original course and drove out of the lot at at 1 W. Corry St. A license plate check led police to Mr. Bass.

        No one was injured.

Bellevue man found dead in Newport house
        NEWPORT — Police were investigating the death of a Bellevue man whose body was found Saturday at the foot of some stairs in a house at 38 East 9th Street. Police said the body of Roger D. Dunigan, 51, showed no obvious signs of trauma.

        The body was taken to St. Luke East Hospital in Fort Thomas where it was to be examined by the Campbell County coroner.

Hamilton wins grant for station restoration
        HAMILTON — The Great American Station Foundation in Las Vegas has awarded Hamilton a $10,000 grant to help restore the CSX Railroad passenger station on Martin Luther King Boulevard.

        Hamilton has been trying to persuade CSX to donate the station, which is used as an Amtrak stop, for several years. Officials are considering making it into a restaurant or a railroad museum.

        The city, which will match the grant, would usethe grant money to hire a consultant to determine a potential use for the station.

        Hamilton's was one of 13 stations to receive a grant award.

Franklin County Jail receives poor marks
        COLUMBUS — While jails in Hamilton County and two of the state's other largest counties scored high marks during annual inspections, the Franklin County Jail received a dismal evaluation, prompting inspectors to ask the county to submit a plan for correcting problems.

        The jail was 45 percent compliant during an inspection that reviewed 29 of the state's 313 jail standards in December, state officials said.

        The metropolitan counties of Hamilton, Montgomery (Dayton) and Cuyahoga (Cleveland) all earned 100-percent rankings.

        In a follow-up tour at the Franklin County Jail in April, inspectors found 10 more violations of standards and requested the county draft a plan to address them, the Columbus Dispatch reported for a story Satur day.

        “None of those other jails are having the problems we are right now with boilers and cooling systems,” Sheriff Jim Karnes said.

        He and other county officials acknowledged that conditions at the 15-year-old jail have worsened because of mechanical breakdowns, malfunctioning equipment and a 2,000-gallon boiler that must be replaced.

        The county has spent nearly $2 million since 1997 in major improvements for the jail, which opened in 1986 at a price tag of $12.5 million and with an authorized capacity of 908 prisoners. It often houses more than 1,700 people during the summer.

Couple charged with abusing teen-age girl
        MASSILLON, Ohio — A Massillon man and his girlfriend have been arrested on charges they sexually abused the woman's 13-year-old daughter, who now is pregnant.

        Paul E. Bunting, 48, was arrested Friday on charges of sexual battery and corruption of a minor. Massillon Police said Mr. Bunting has admitted having sex with the girl.

        Mr. Bunting's 41-year-old girlfriend, whose name was withheld to protect the identity of the child, faces complicity and endangering charges.

        She gave Mr. Bunting permission to have sex with the girl, police said.

        Police learned of the alleged abuse after the girl went to a doctor because of stomach pains. The physician discovered the girl was about five months pregnant.

        Mr. Bunting had lived with his girlfriend for at least nine years, according to court records. Police said his alleged abuse of the 13-year-old dates to December 1998.

        Mr. Bunting is being held in Stark County jail with bond set at$250,000.

ACLU accuses schools of promoting religion
        The Ohio American Civil Liberties Union wants a federal court to put an end to rallies held on school grounds in support of keeping granite tablets bearing the Ten Commandments outside four high schools in Adams County.

        U.S. Magistrate Timothy S. Hogan has not scheduled a hearing on the ACLU's request.

        The ACLU already has filed suit against the school district to remove the tablets, saying they violate the Constitution by promoting religion in public schools.

        William R. Jacobs, an attorney for the ACLU, said school officials have either sponsored or organized rallies on public property.

        “These rallies have involved numerous religious expressions, prayer and invocations,” he said.

        The school district's lawyer, Bronston McCord, said a local ministerial association that is renting the school sites had organized the rallies.

        “We have to do this, we can't discriminate on a religious basis, we have to rent school facilities to groups that ask to use them,” Mr. McCord said.

       



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