Wednesday, June 14, 2000

Tristate A.M. Report

City backs off on basketball league
        The city of Cincinnati has reversed itself and is supporting an informal basketball league.

        The league drew more than 400 spectators Sunday who watched 20 teams play 10 games in Over-the-Rhine. Earlier, city crews had removed basketball rims from a playground at 12th and Spring streets in Pendleton after they said spectators had left debris and destroyed a chain-link fence.

        Organizers moved the games to a nearby playground at McMicken and Dunlop streets in Over-the-Rhine.

        Councilman Paul Booth, who supported the program, has called a meeting Thursday of recreation commission officials, police officers and organizers of the games.

Burial Thursday for Cincinnati policeman
        A Cincinnati police officer will be laid to rest Thursday.

        Colleagues of Officer William Estes will honor him with a Fraternal Order of Police service at 7:30 p.m. today. The service will be during the 6-9 p.m. visitation at Radel Funeral Home, 650 Neeb Road in Delhi Township.

        A prayer service will begin at 11 a.m. Thursday at the funeral home, after which a procession of police vehicles will proceed to Highland Cemetery in Fort Mitchell. There, the casket will be transferred to a horse-drawn caisson for procession to Officer Estes' burial plot.

        Officer Estes, 32, of Miamitown, lost control of his motorcycle on Central Parkway, south of Hopple Street, early Sunday morning on his way home from work. He had been an officer 51/2 years.

Bust seizes $2.5M worth of marijuana
        Undercover drug investigators say three arrests prevented $2.5 million worth of marijuana from making it to Greater Cincinnati streets.

        Officers of the Regional Enforcement Narcotics Unit (RENU) arrested three men who were in the process of delivering 1,020 pounds of marijuana from Texas. The amount is the largest ever seized in the area, said Steve Barnett, spokesman for the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office.

        RENU investigators started working the case in December 1998. They learned the marijuana was brought to Greater Cincinnati in various ways, including by commercial parcel carriers and by trucks. The drugs seized Monday were found in the sleeper compartment of a truck.

        The driver, Oscar Jones, 54, of Jacksonville, Fla., was arrested. Also taken into custody were Abdul-Aziz Diermakoye, 32, and Winston Nathaniel Allen, 37, both of Avondale.

        They will be prosecuted by federal authorities.

Police search for video store robber
        SPRINGBORO — Police were searching Tuesday for the man who tied up two clerks and robbed Hollywood Video, 25 Hiawatha Trail.

        The suspect is described as 25-30 years old, approximately 5 foot 9, 190-200 pounds, with strawberry blond hair and fair skin. Witnesses told police he was wearing blue jeans, a tan baseball cap, white Nike shoes, a faded royal blue button-down shirt and black ski gloves.

        An undetermined amount of cash was taken shortly before 10 a.m. Monday. No injuries were reported. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Tim Parker at (513) 748-4362.

Bones determined to be animal remains
        LEBANON — Lab tests confirmed that bones found in a garbage bag behind a barn on Hart Road in Turtlecreek Township last week are animal remains, Warren County sheriff's officials said Tuesday.

        The bag was discovered Thursday morning by property owner Frank Jackson, who was clearing brush.

Man arrested in Kroger sues store, others
        An Avondale man who claims he was unjustly arrested for theft in a Walnut Hills Kroger store is seeking $3 million in damages from the store and several other defendants.

        In the suit filed Monday in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court, David Fountain of the 500 block of Prospect Place says he was briefly arrested April 19 at the Kroger store on East McMillan Avenue after being accused of theft by store a employee.

        Mr. Fountain selected several items, including a salad from the salad bar, but did not have enough money with him to pay for all the items, the suit states. He decided to put the salad back.

        According to the suit, Mr. Fountain was told by a store employee he had to buy the salad and when he refused, the store manager ordered him arrested by the Cincinnati police officer working the security detail at the store. Mr. Fountain was detained 90 minutes until he offered to pay for the salad, after which he was released.

        Several other store employees, the arresting police officer, the city of Cincinnati and Police Chief Thomas Streicher are named as defendants in the suit.

Base housing areas to get private managers
        DAYTON, Ohio — The management of two housing areas at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base that include more than 1,700 family homes will be transferred to private contractors by 2002, base officials said Tuesday.

        A civilian developer will be selected through a competitive process to operate and maintain housing units at Page Manor and Woodland Hills.

Driver in fatal police chase gets 12 years
        COLUMBUS — A driver who led a Powell police officer on a chase that ended with a fatal collision at a downtown Columbus intersection has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.

        Kim Coates, 39, of Columbus pleaded guilty Monday to involuntary manslaughter, fleeing police, drunken driving and three other charges.

        Judge Daniel Hogan of Franklin County Common Pleas Court revoked Mr. Coates' driver's license for three years, effective the day he is released from prison.

        Assistant Prosecutor Kathleen Garber said Mr. Coates told investigators two days after the accident that he figured the Powell officer would break off the chase once he left the village in southern Delaware County.

        But Officer Shannon Leary continued the pursuit.

        The chase at up to 85 mph continued for 15 miles to Broad and High streets in Columbus, where Mr. Coates sped through a red light and crashed into a vehicle driven by Queen Alahzar, 34.

        Ms. Alahzar, who was heading home at 2 a.m. March 13 from her job at a fast food restaurant, was killed instantly.

Man dies from burns from rescue attempt
        COLUMBUS — A man critically burned while trying to save his children from an April 4 house fire here has died.

        Garey Humphrey, 41, died Sunday at Ohio State University Medical Center.

        His daughters, Keshia Renee Humphrey, 12, and Michelle Lynn Humphrey, 3, died shortly after the fire in their home.

        Mr. Humphrey never left the burn unit at the medical center, where doctors amputated both his hands and placed him in a coma in an attempt to save his life. He likely never regained consciousness, a hospital spokeswoman said.

        His son Michael, 4, is in fair condition at Children's Hospital. He is expected to be released soon, friends said. Gary Humphrey Jr., 6, was released from Children's Hospital last month and is undergoing therapy.


Crime computer misused, panel rules
Covington schools fall short
   Report details defects
Accused as a teen-ager, suspect to be tried as adult
Accused fighter felt threatened
Readers want Ramona gone from CBS 'Survivor' show
$2.4 million to battle drug abuse
Carlisle picks new police chief
Cleanup runs into problems
Coroner has high standards
Diaries, cruel calls linked
Fixing roads' danger spots can be challenge
Get to it
Law aimed at secondhand stores
Main St. discussion planned
N. Ky. braces for race day traffic
Neighbors heard baby screaming
Pig Parade: Un Cochon dans le Jardin (A Pig in the Garden)
6 plant workers injured in blaze
Police force to address own tension
School ready to expand
1st-year college student missing
Terra cotta school roof preserved
- Tristate A.M. Report