Wednesday, January 31, 2001

Tristate A.M. Report

Monroe rape suspect met woman on Internet

        MONROE — Police are looking for a man suspected of raping a woman he met on the Internet.

        The woman told police Monday night she had been sexually assaulted by a man she began communicating with in a chat room. The man came to visit her at her home just east of Main Street, Police Chief Ernie Howard said.

        When the man arrived about 7 p.m., he reportedly was congenial and talked with other people at the residence. When the others left, the woman said, he attacked her and then fled, according to police.

        The suspect is described as a white male, 5 feet 5 inches tall, with short dirty blond hair and wearing a bluejeans jacket, bluejeans and a shirt saying “Grand Rapids Fire.” The man used the name Bill, but his last name is not known, police said.

        He was driving a green Chevrolet Geo Tracker with Michigan license plates. The vehicle also had a multicolored design on the side, police said.

        The woman was treated at Middletown Regional Hospital.

Audit: Charter school owed money, and owes

        An audit of Harmony School finances released Tuesday by the state auditor's office found the school is owed money by two people, but was overpaid by the state.

        The charter school at Swifton Commons uses state money but operates separately from public schools. The report found that:

        • The school was overpaid $174,650 in state money in 1999. The funds were paid based on student enrollment. The school sued the Ohio Department of Education and requested return of the $174,650.

        • The school is owed $14,750 by Jody Smith. The school paid $22,125 for Mr. Smith to install 30 computers in August. Mr. Smith delivered and installed 10 computers, but was paid in full.

        • The school overpaid former employee Cliff Fennell in August and September by $3,996.16.

Two men sought in Over-the-Rhine killing

        Cincinnati homicide investigators were looking for two men in connection with the shooting death Tuesday night of a man in Over-the-Rhine.

        Police responded to 64 E. McMicken just before 8 p.m. and found a man shot in the torso. He was taken to University Hospital, where a spokeswoman said he died in the emergency room.

        Homicide detectives did not release the man's name but did give some description of two men suspected in the killing.

        One was wearing a checkered jacket with a gray hood. The other was described as also wearing a gray hood.

        Both were seen fleeing on foot east on Clifton Avenue.

Blanchester fails to win dismissal

        A federal judge Tuesday refused to dismiss a lawsuit against the village of Blanchester, accused of bungling the investigation into the 1996 disappearance of a woman now presumed dead.

        U.S. District Judge S. Arthur Spiegel ruled the case should be decided by the jury, which has been hearing evidence since the trial began Jan. 22.

        Jurors are to hear closing arguments today.

        The village's lawyer, Lawrence Barbiere, argued Blanchester police did nothing that would have prevented the family of Clarissa Ann “Carrie” Culberson from finding her body. The remains of the Blanchester woman, 22 when she disappeared, have never been found.

        But the Culberson family's lawyer, Alphonse Gerhardstein, said there was testimony that Blanchester police knew of Vincent Doan's history of violence against his girlfriend, Ms. Culberson.

        Mr. Gerhardstein argued that court testimony indicated that former Blanchester Police Chief Richard Payton could have suspected that Ms. Culberson's body had been dumped in a pond, but that Mr. Payton failed to order the location secured for investigation.

        Police later searched the pond and found no evidence of Ms. Culberson's remains.

        Mr. Doan, also of Blanchester, was convicted in 1997 of kidnapping and killing Ms. Culberson.

Woman who crashed car into lake cited

        MOUNT HEALTHY — Deborah J. Mason of Evanston, who was rescued from her car after it landed in an apartment complex lake Monday night, has been cited by police for failing to control her vehicle.

        Ms. Mason, 47, was treated at Franciscan Hospital-Mount Airy after the 6:30 p.m. incident, then released, officials said.

        Ms. Mason was exiting Ronald Reagan Highway at Hamilton Avenue when her car crossed five lanes of traffic on Hamilton Avenue, slid off the highway on-ramp, crashed through a fence and slid into the lake.

Hearing is Thursday in pain pill case

        FAIRFIELD — Two Kentucky men remain in the Butler County Jail and will appear in Fairfield Municipal Court on Thursday for a preliminary hearing in connection with a Sunday drug bust that netted $18,000 in illegal pills.

        Fairfield Municipal Acting Judge Michael Weisbrod on Tuesday set bond at $100,000 each for Jesse Roy Jones, 47, of Flat Lick, Ky., and Ricky Craig Rickett, 38, of London, Ky. The two are accused of selling 600, 40-milligram tablets of OxyContin,a powerful painkiller.

        The alleged $12,500 sale to undercover Butler County sheriff's officers occurred shortly after noon, outside the Bob Evans restaurant on Kolb Drive in front of Forest Fair Mall, said Sgt. John Sons.

Nominations sought for outstanding women

        Members of Leading Women Inc. are taking nominations for outstanding women in Greater Cincinnati to be honored during the seventh annual Celebration of Women on March 7.

        Nominations will be accepted through Friday for women who have had an impact on the community in 19 categories, including finance and public service.

        Nominations are also being accepted for the Young Women's Recognition Award, a scholarship for 11th-graders. For information on nominations, call Gloria Parker at 556-2073. For corporate sponsorship, call Colleen Quinn at 369-1301.

Shirey a finalist for new job in Texas
Lawmakers in Ohio set agenda
Levy generosity: The bills are now due
Cincinnati should lead off ballpark-stamps lineup
Onlookers mourn city's loss
Boy held in death of Northside girl, 13
Electric room heaters could reduce bills
UC to build new 'Sander'
Villa Hills should end turmoil
Heroic acts often defy reason
ACLU weighs suit on profiling
Another rate hike in pipeline
Aquifer's future a concern
Blue Grass Airport 'loses' runway
Bunning decries labor contributions
Clermont watches water
Gov. Patton prayer event leaves some out
Historic log building leveled; Landmark's end angers residents
Kenton Dems get new boss
Kenton to defend tax increase
Miami male athletes lose discrimination claim
PSC wants quicker gas-cost changes
Publishing morgue photos a worry
School funding solution continues to be elusive
Seizure aboard TANK bus raises concerns about safety
Stepmom cites boy's tearful admission
Tax abatement granted
U.S. revolution museum plans $3M expansion
Utilities ordered to file changes monthly
Kentucky News Briefs
- Tristate A.M. Report