Saturday, August 05, 2000

Tristate A.M. Report

By Steve Kemme
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Gattermeyer sworn in as prosecutor
        HAMILTON — In a packed courtroom, Dan Gattermeyer was sworn in Friday as Butler County prosecutor.

        Mr. Gattermeyer, an assistant prosecutor for 15 years, replaces longtime Prosecutor John F. Holcomb, who died July 22 of a heart attack.

        Common Pleas Judge Michael Sage, who once shared a law practice with Mr. Gattermeyer, administered the oath of office.

        Earlier this week, the Butler County Democratic Central Committee chose Mr. Gattermeyer to serve the remaining five months of Mr. Holcomb's term and to replace him on the Nov. 7 ballot.

        Mr. Gattermeyer will compete with Republican Robin Piper, a former assistant prosecutor, for the prosecutor's seat.

        Judge Sage's courtroom was filled with Mr. Gattermeyer's family members and his staff. John M. Holcomb, the son of the late prosecutor, also attended.

        After swearing in Mr. Gattermeyer, Judge Sage swore in Mr. Holcomb and the other assistant prosecutors and prosecutor's investigators.

        Mr. Gattermeyer paid tribute to John F. Holcomb and promised to try to live up to the standards set by his former boss.

        “We're going to be tough on crime, just like John taught us to be,” he said.

Clermont County fatal crash probed
        MOUNT HOLLY — The Ohio Highway Patrol is still investigating a Thursday evening traffic accident on Ohio 125 near Ohio 132 in Clermont County that killed one teen and injured two men.

        The crash occurred at about 7:30 p.m. when Glenn Smith, 17, of Batavia, lost control of his pickup truck while going east on Ohio 125, swerved left of center and struck a westbound van driven by Brian Byrd, 27, of Cincinnati.

        Mr. Smith and his passenger, Tiffany Allen, 16, of Bethel, were ejected from the pickup. Ms. Allen was pronounced dead at the scene.

        Mr. Smith and Mr. Byrd were flown by helicopter to University Hospital. Mr. Smith was listed in serious condition Friday, and Mr. Byrd was in fair condition.

Columbia Parkway to close for event
        On Sunday between 3 and 7:30 a.m., Columbia Parkway between Fifth Street and Delta Avenue will be closed for the 2000 Morning Glory Bicycle Ride.

Couple convicted in sex assaults
        CANTON, Ohio — A couple was found guilty and sent to prison Friday for sexually assaulting the woman's 13-year-old daughter, who now is pregnant.

        Paul Bunting, 48, of Waynesburg, pleaded no contest and was found guilty of rape and sexual battery. Stark County Common Pleas Judge John Haas sentenced Mr. Bunting to 18 years in prison.

        His 41-year-old girlfriend pleaded guilty to complicity to rape and complicity to sexual battery and received five years in prison.

        Police said Mr. Bunting admitted to the abuse and that the woman granted him permission to have sex with her daughter.

        Police first investigated the allegations after the girl went to a doctor for abdominal pains and discovered she was about five months pregnant.

        Court records show Mr. Bunting had lived with his girlfriend for at least nine years and that his alleged abuse of the girl began in December 1998.

Utility workers to vote on contract
        DAYTON, Ohio — A labor union representing about 1,100 Dayton Power and Light Co. workers plans to vote on a tenta tive agreement with the company.

        DP&L serves about 500,000 customers in 24 western Ohio counties.

        In May, DP&L said it was implementing its final offer after eight months of bargaining. Stephen Koziar, group vice president for the utility, said Thursday that the tentative settlement contains changes from that offer.

        DP&L said the May offer had provided a 3.25 percent pay increase annually over six years, job security through 2005, comprehensive medical coverage and improved retirement benefits.

        Local 175 of the Utility Workers Union represents workers who maintain and repair power lines, operate power plants, answer calls from customers and perform a variety of other duties.

        John Naylor, president of Local 175, said the tentative agreement was achieved with the assistance of Donald Wightman, the union's national president.

        “We will have informational meetings starting next week to explain to the membership the details of the tentative agreement,” Mr. Naylor said.

Officer fired for being too heavy
        AKRON, Ohio — A police officer who shed 50 pounds during a yearlong diet was kicked off the force for missing the departmental weight limit by 30 pounds.

        Officer Stephanie Hollis weighs 241 pounds. The maximum weight for an officer of her 5-foot-11 height is 211 pounds.

        The 30-year-old Ms. Hollis plans to appeal Thursday's dismissal to the Akron Civil Service Commission and, if necessary, in court.

        “I still consider myself in good enough shape to do the job,” she said.

        Ms. Hollis was one of two officers indefinitely suspended without pay last fall for failing to meet fitness standards.

        Under the fitness policy, officers hired after Sept. 10, 1984, must either meet weight requirements or pass an obstacle course, including scaling a 6-foot fence.

        Ms. Hollis, who joined the force in 1993, had already served five- and 10-day suspensions when she was indefinitely suspended in October.

        The other officer who was suspended took early retirement in January.

        Chief Michael Matulavich said he was sorry to have to fire Ms. Hollis but said he supports the fitness policy.

        Chief Matulavich, 56, said he plans to do the obstacle course in September when other officers will be tested. He completed the course in his last attempt three years ago.

Concorde trips are reworked
        CLEVELAND — An Ohio travel agency is altering vacation packages that included Concorde flights to and from Cleveland because of the grounding of the Air France supersonic planes.

        Agents for the Ohio Motorists Association AAA, which offered the trip as part of its 100th anniversary celebration, are rebooking flights on the British Airways Concorde into and out of New York, a AAA spokeswoman said Friday.

        Air France grounded chartered Concorde flights after one of its six supersonic jetliners crashed into a hotel outside Paris last week, killing 109 people in the plane and four on the ground.

        AAA had more than 100 reservations for either of two Concorde flights in the first scheduled visit of the supersonic plane to Cleveland since 1985.

        A Concorde was scheduled to land at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport on Aug. 22 with travelers from England and depart the next day with a AAA group bound for London.

        Travelers now will fly into John F. Kennedy Airport on Aug. 22. Agents are working with British Airways to confirm a flight out of New York on Aug. 23.

        The Concorde, which crosses the Atlantic at 1,350 mph, had been considered among the world's safest planes.


Tutu foresees 'yet another mountain'
Bush visit underlines importance of Ohio
Sporadic jumps in gas price don't appear to signal trend
RAMSEY: Awkward age
Chief denies radar linked to crash
City rethinking vendor ban
Tower project revived
Recalling lives lost to violence
Thrown concrete injures Hamilton man
Colleges become innovative
Comair case continues, judge rules
Counterfeiter gets reduced sentence
Couple arrested in sale of drugs
Ex-broadcaster kills himself
German heritage to be feted
Lima neighbors pitch in to buy lot
McNUTT: The old way Stagecoach line is new attraction
Outdoors an adventure
Report says injuries at theme parks have doubled
State fair brings millions of dollars to Columbus
Students get taste of tech from program
- Tristate A.M. Report
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