Saturday, August 18, 2001

Tristate A.M. Report

Man, 72, accused of luring minors

        A 72-year-old North College Hill man was indicted Friday on sex charges that involve minors.

        Gerald Ball, of 1910 Dearmand Ave., faces seven counts of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles and four counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material.

        Mr. Ball faces more than 40 years in prison if convicted on all charges.

        Hamilton County Prosecutor Mike Allen said Mr. Ball set up his home — which included a swimming pool, go-cart, video games, pool table, basketball net and video cartoons — to be a “magnet for children.”

        North College Hill police started investigating Mr. Ball on Aug. 1, after neighborhood girls began complaining that he showed them pornographic videos and made various “sex toys” available for their use.

        Mr. Allen said a search warrant turned up a number of items described by the girls, along with tapes from a hidden video camera of juveniles using the bathroom.

        Other tapes showed juveniles in stages of undress, according to Mr. Allen.

Blood supply short despite special appeal

        Three days into an emergency appeal for blood donors, Hoxworth Blood Center reported it was still more than 320 units short on Type O blood.

        “We're still about 30 percent down,” said Hoxworth spokesman Michael Anderson.

        The emergency appeal, which was triggered this week by a decline in collections from corporate blood drives, is expected to continue into the weekend.

        However, some business and media organizations have stepped up to schedule blood drives in the next two weeks, Mr. Anderson said.

        • A real estate agency and three media organizations are co-sponsoring a blood drive Aug. 27 at the Rookwood Pavilion in Norwood.

        • A television station plans a daylong blood drive Aug. 29 at its station and Hoxworth's neighborhood centers.

        • A radio station has scheduled a blood drive at TriCounty Mall on Aug. 31.

Man shot in leg in College Hill

        A College Hill birthday party turned violent Friday night when a reveler was shot in the leg.

        The shooting was reported at 10:07 p.m. in the 1300 block of Groesbeck Road.

        A 911 caller gave a description of the shooter, and the Violent Crimes Task Force was called to the scene as beat officers took names of people present.

        District 5 officers did not release the name of the man shot, and his condition was not available. Since the April protests and riots, more than 90 people have been injured and 16 killed in shootings.

Police recruits to begin at academy

        The 91st recruit class for the Cincinnati Police Academy is scheduled to begin training Monday.

        Cincinnati police officials said Friday that 27 new recruits will begin 23 weeks of intensive training, and Police Chief Tom Streicher said, “These recruits are the future of our division. Their educational backgrounds and prior experiences will play an invaluable role in their future with the division.”

        The 27 recruits include 16 with college degrees and nine others with college backgrounds. Nine of the recruits have prior law enforcement experience.

        Their ages range from 21 to 41. The class has 14 white males, seven African-American males, four white females and two female African-Americans.

Man held on charge of firing gun in home

        A Cumminsville man wanted for firing a gun from a car this week was arrested after police responded to a complaint that he fired a gun in his home.

        Cincinnati Police arrested Stetson Burdine, 18, of the 2000 block of Sunny Hill Drive and charged him with five counts of having a weapon while under a disability and discharging a firearm in a home.

        According to a police report, Mr. Burdine tried to hide from officers in a closet of a home near his on Sunny Hill Drive.

        Mr. Burdine was wanted in connection with shots fired from a moving car aimed at another vehicle on Monday on Beekman Street in South Cumminsville.

        Mr. Burdine was arraigned Friday in Hamilton County Municipal Court and was ordered held in custody in lieu of $100,000 bond.

Shooting victim in critical condition

        Police have identified the man shot in a lot near Richie's Restaurant at Vine Street and Woolper Avenue in Clifton on Thursday night as Michael Reid, 19.

        Mr. Reid, of the 600 block of Lowell Ave., was shot once in the chest and was taken to University Hospital.

        After surgery, he was listed in critical condition.

        Police say he had been arguing with another man. Investigators have no description of the shooter.

153 pounds of pot seized; two arrested

— Police arrested two men in a Sharonville parking lot Thursday and seized 153 pounds of marijuana in one of the largest drug busts this year.

        Hamilton County sheriff's deputies, working with Cincinnati police, arrested the two men in a commercial parking lot near Interstate 75 Sharon Road exit about 8:50 p.m.

        Arrested were Antonio Vargas Ramos Jr., 25, of Paris, Calif., who was charged with trafficking in drugs and drug possession, and Michael Ross Stewart, 25, of State College, Pa., who was charged with complicity to traffic drugs.

        Steve Barnett, spokesman for the sheriff's department, said the investigation continues and that evidence may lead to other arrests.

        The two men were in custody at the Hamilton County Justice Center.

        Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers 352-3040.

Sprinkler snuffs fire at retirement complex

        MOUNT HEALTHY — Firefighters credited a sprinkler system with keeping damage to a minimum after a fire broke out in a retirement complex apartment Friday afternoon.

        There were no injuries.

        Firefighters were called to Ridgewood Apartments in the 8100 block of Seward Avenue just after 2:30 p.m. The fire was confined to one room, and damage was set at $2,500, Mount Healthy Assistant Fire Chief Tim Harris said.

        “The sprinkler system activated, containing the fire,” Assistant Chief Harris said.

Restaurant robbed by man with gun

        Cincinnati police are looking for a man who used a handgun to rob a Winton Place restaurant and then forced a manager to drive him from the scene.

        Police said the man robbed the Rally's fast-food restaurant at 4810 Spring Grove about 12:15 a.m. Friday after confronting the manager in the parking lot and forcing her back into the building at gunpoint.

        The man took money from the office safe and then forced the woman to drive him to the Winton Terrace area, where he ran from the car.

        No one was injured.

        Police ask that anyone with information call Crime Stoppers at 352-3040.


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Stink in the air as plant finally blooms
Unpaid child support totals $427,000
$128 mil prize brings out players
EPA centers to use 'green power'
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- Tristate A.M. Report
Fairfield board makes case for levy
Killing suspect's mentality ruled OK
Man sought in beating
Diplomas salute WWII vets who left school for war
Hip surgery settlements stayed
Imprisoned exec agrees to pay charity
State must pay guard's workers' compensation
Sunflowers adorn highways
Battle over sex file continues
Bond set in police chase
Group sues gypsum plant 2nd time
Kenton fire departments looking for volunteers
Kentucky News Briefs
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Man accused of fleecing church members
N. Ky. jailer, sheriff seek re-election
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Thomas More offers frosh a haven