Thursday, July 20, 2000

Tristate A.M. Report

Man gets probation in Pokemon thefts

        LEBANON — A Mason man was sentenced Wednesday to three years probation and fined $500, six months after police seized $20,000 in stolen Pokemon cards, tools and equipment from his West Street home.

        Keith R. Ertel, 35, pleaded guilty last month to a charge of receiving stolen property. He faced up to one year in prison.

        Mason police said they found more than 8,000 Pokemon cards and other merchandise after responding to a domestic call at Mr. Ertel's residence in January.

        The items were linked to the theft of $58,000 in merchandise taken in four break-ins since December at Collector's Paradise on U.S. 42, investigators said. Police also found knives, tools and other equipment from a January burglary at Mason Lumber. No one was charged in the burglaries.

Crime Stoppers tip nabs suspect
        One of Cincinnati's Top 10 most wanted fugitives is back behind bars.

        Donald Andre Bingham, wanted since late 1998 on rape, felonious assault and aggravated robbery charges, was arrested over the weekend in East St. Louis, Ill. During the assault, a woman was hit in the face with a gun and her money taken, police said.

        The arrest came after Crime Stoppers got a tip on the whereabouts of Mr. Bingham, 26, formerly of Walnut Hills. The Cincinnati Police Division's Violent Crimes Task Force worked with East St. Louis officials to find him.

        The Cincinnati Enquirer runs lists every Tuesday of 10 people wanted by local authorities. But the division keeps a list on its Crime Stoppers Web site of the top 10 they seek —

Hospital gets new CT scanner
        Children's Hospital Medical Center has installed a new, faster CT scanner.

        The hospital already performs about 8,200 CT (computed tomography) scans a year to diagnose cancer, spinal injuries, vascular problems and other conditions.

        The new device — the LightSpeed scanner made by Milwaukee-based GE Medical Systems, a unit of the General Electric Co. — is about six times faster than the hospital's existing equipment. The device cost $1.5 million and the hospital spent another $400,000 on related renovations.

        The increased scanning speed will allow more children to be scanned without sedation and allow more scans to be performed. And that means the device could be used in more types of cases, said Dr. Tal Laor, chief of body imaging.

        Even with the new scanner available for less than half the year, the hospital expects to increase the number of CT scans it performs to more than 10,000 in 2000.

Three arrested in two robberies
        BATAVIA — Police have linked last week's robberies of a Wayne Township convenience store and a Goshen pizza parlor with the arrests of three men.

        Brian Siefki, 20, of Milford, and Mark J. Hise, 22, and James D. Cook, 20, both of Goshen, remained jailed Wednesday following their arraignments in Clermont County Municipal Court.

        Police have accused them in the July 12 robbery of the Edenton General Store on Ohio 727, and the July 15 holdup at Angilo's Pizza on Ohio 28.

        The men were arrested together at 4 a.m. Tuesday after Goshen police found them walking on Ohio 28. An officer thought one of the men fit the description of a suspect in the July 12 robbery of less than $100 from the general store.

        Mr. Hise, accused of being the gunman in both robberies, faces two counts of aggravated robbery. Mr. Cook is charged with complicity to aggravated robbery in the Edenton case and aggravated robbery in the pizza parlor holdup. Mr. Siefki, suspected in one of the cases, faces a single charge of aggravated robbery.

        Goshen Police Chief Ray Snyder said one man dressed in a disguise and served as a lookout while two others robbed Angilo's employees of $1,500.

        All of the money and other evidence was recovered from Mr. Cook's house on a search warrant, he said.

Heart attack kills driver, truck crashes
        WEST CHESTER TWP. An Oxford man died of a heart attack, causing his truck to crash early Wednesday, investigators said.

        Tommy Walker, 59, was northbound on Ohio 747 around 3 a.m. when his vehicle went left-of-center, crossed Sutton Place and struck a concrete sign, said Butler County Coroner's Investigator Patricia Randolph.

        Mr. Walker was driving a 1992 Ford pickup truck, said township Police Capt. John Bruce.

        A passerby called police to report the crash.

City jail inmate's death investigated
        MIDDLETOWN — An autopsy is scheduled for today in the death of a man who died in the city jail.

        A corrections officer yelled for Dennis Moncelsi, 48, around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, but he didn't respond — and his two cellmates noticed he wasn't breathing, Police Maj. Greg Schwarber said Wednesday.

        “He appeared to be sleeping,” Maj. Schwarber said. “There is absolutely no indication of any foul play.”

        His cellmates told investigators that they had last seen him moving around 1:30 p.m., when he rolled over while asleep, Maj. Schwarber said.

        The city jail, which generally holds about 60 prisoners, is permitted to keep inmates for up to a year.

        Mr. Moncelsi was being held on a charge of disorderly conduct and intoxication since Sunday and was scheduled for a Monday court appearance. Maj. Schwarber said Mr. Moncelsi had been arrested a half-dozen times on similar charges in the past two years.

Prosecutor sought in mayor's case
        TOLEDO — Two city council members want a special prosecutor to handle the investigation into allegations that Mayor Carty Finkbeiner assaulted a restaurant owner.

        John Skiadas, owner of Pepe's Mexican Restaurant & Cantina, has accused Mr. Finkbeiner of grabbing and shaking him. Mr. Skiadas told police the mayor yelled obscenities at him, poked him and threatened to run him out of town.

        Mr. Finkbeiner said that he met briefly with Mr. Skiadas on Friday morning to talk about delays in opening up Mr. Skiadas' restaurant in the city-owned Erie Street Market.

        The mayor said he used strong words but that he had “absolutely not” assaulted Mr. Skiadas.

        Councilmen Wade Kapszukiewicz and Gene Zmuda asked for Law Director Barbara Herring to appoint a special prosecutor immediately.

        Ms. Herring said she intends to bring in an outside prosecutor after police conclude their investigation. Police Chief Mike Navarre said it could be a week before the matter is finished.

        Mr. Zmuda said it is necessary for the investigation to have the appearance of complete independence.


Gas reversal: Midwest now has country's lowest prices
Officer Hill fired after disciplinary hearing
PULFER: It's open season on gun laws
Ruling 'benefit' to citizens
West End: Issue is city
UC, Children's to get access to genetic code
Burglaries can't silence churches
Green Party may get Nader on Ohio's ballot
More bad weather, same problems
Parrot's luck brings him home
3 school districts beseech voters
Father charged with murder
Lakota East wins praise for Web design
Revision to benefit hospital
SAMPLES: Sweet taste of the past up for sale
Turning against technology
Art exhibit reveals life in Victorian age
Attraction of 'Mecca' missing from local group's production
Get to it
Pig Parade: TutankHAMun
Who should be cast away?
KNIPPENBERG: Jumping Classic exec will have to skip it
3 face Clermont robbery charges
Bunning bill aims to stem identity theft
Butler Sports Hall of Fame finds a place to honor heroes
Deerfield may expand coverage from sheriff
3free concerts tonight in Butler County parks
Hamilton buildings restored
Kentucky News Briefs
Kings students out hour early
Ky. to test curing process
Library board zeroes in on site
Little Miami names interim school head
Man gets 2 more life sentences
Official: Reinstate election charges
Thermal imager can cast away darkness for cops
- Tristate A.M. Report