Tuesday, July 03, 2001

Local Digest


Employee accused of stealing $500K

        A Maineville man is accused of bilking his employer of more than $500,000 since 1998.

        A Hamilton County grand jury Monday indicted Thomas Wietmarschen, 51, on a felony theft charge. He's accused of stealing at least $546,000 from Atlantic International Corp. in Sharonville.

        Authorities say Mr. Wietmarschen abused the trust that had been placed in him by his boss.

        “How do you look your boss and good friend in the eye and explain that?” asked Hamilton County Prosecutor Mike Allen, in announcing the indictment Monday.

        Mr. Wietmarschen worked as a sales manager and collected money from customers. Officials said he pocketed money he was supposed to deposit into a company bank account.

        Another employee alerted authorities June 9, prosecutors said.

        Mr. Wietmarschen is free on bond. No hearing date has been set.
       

Kenwood woman victim of crash

               The Ohio State Highway Patrol has identified the woman killed Sunday night in an Interstate 275 crash in Miami Township as Abby L. Hettel of Kenwood.

        Ms. Hettel, 21, apparently lost control of her car about 7 p.m. Sunday near Ward's Corner Road, sparking a three-vehicle crash that sent four others to hospitals, troopers said.

        The state patrol is asking for public help in the investigation.

        “We have no witnesses that were on the same side of the road as her,” Patrol Sgt. John Tibbs said. “Nobody has come forward. There had to be 20-25 (drivers) that would have seen her lose control.”

        Ms. Hettel was pronounced dead at the scene. Still hospitalized Monday were:

        • Sharon Abbott, 54, of Centerville, Ohio, in fair condition at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton.

        • Melissa Shafer, 23, of Reynoldsburg, Ohio, in good condition at Bethesda North Hospital.

        Released after treatment at Bethesda North:

        • John M. Abbott, 54, of Centerville.

        • Douglas M. Theis, 36, of Blue Ash.
       

Student sentenced for possessing cocaine

               HAMILTON — Justin Baker, a Miami University student whose attorney had once alleged a police “set-up,” was sentenced to a year in prison Monday for a drug possession charge to which he had pleaded guilty.

        Mr. Baker, 21, is a son of Janet Baker, superintendent of Hamilton city schools.

        Mr. Baker had faced the possibility of one to five years in prison, but received the minimum sentence because he had no police record, authorities said.

        Mr. Baker and a fellow student, Stephen Wolf, were caught with $50,000 worth of cocaine near the college in Oxford last fall, police said.

        Mr. Wolf, previously was placed on probation for his role.

        Lt. Mike Craft of the Butler County Sheriff's Office, said he felt the bust made a difference.

        “A half-kilo of cocaine is a tremendous amount of drugs to be taken off the streets of a college community,” he said.
       

Councilman resigns in Arlington Heights

               ARLINGTON HEIGHTS — A political activist who has sued officials of the village resigned from Village Council on Monday, with plans to run for Cincinnati City Council.

        Roland Heyne Jr. said he is moving to Cincinnati and intends to file as a candidate for City Council in the Nov. 6 election. Mr. Heyne, 40, said he will file after satisfying a requirement that he has lived in Cincinnati for 30 days.

        Mr. Heyne has been a village councilman for more than three years.

        He accused Arlington Heights police and the village administration of refusing to give him access to the village's records of police spending.

        He has a lawsuit pending in U.S. District Court accusing Arlington Heights police and former mayor Glenn Allen of harassing him and his family by stalking him and other means. The defendants deny the allegations.
       

Grant to help retrain coal company workers

               Several hundred workers whose jobs at Southern Ohio Coal Co. could be in jeopardy will receive money for education courses, job training and income assistance from a $4.9 million federal grant, two lawmakers announced Monday.

        The Wilkesville, Ohio, company, owned by Columbus-based American Electric Power, employs more than 630 workers at two underground coal mines, a coal preparation plant and a general office.

        U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine and U.S. Rep. Ted Strickland lobbied the Department of Labor to award the grant. With it, up to 200 workers will receive long-term education assistance with another 100 workers getting short-term job training.
       

       



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- Local Digest
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