Wednesday, October 24, 2001

Tristate A.M. Report




United Way within $1 million of goal

        Several large gifts have brought the United Way campaign to within $1 million of its $60 million goal, campaign chairman John Barrett estimated Tuesday.

        “A lot of people have dug in for a little bit extra,” he said.

        Several large companies have not completed their campaigns, and United Way officials have been contacting large givers.

        Just last Friday, United Way officials had estimated they would fall about $1.7 million short.

        The campaign ends Oct. 26. It raises money for about 160 non-profit agencies in eight counties.

        The campaign this year is facing unprecedented challenges, mainly a slowing economy and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that sent millions of dollars in charitable contributions to relief agencies in New York, said Mr. Barrett, who is president and chief executive officer of Western-Southern Life Insurance Co.
       

Tip leads police to rape suspect

        An anonymous tip about a man's black eye and missing teeth led Cincinnati police to a convicted thief they now suspect is a rapist too.

        The caller told officers that Michael Bowman, 37, had a black eye and lost teeth. That's the same way the victim in an early Friday rape in Evanston described the man who attacked her as she got off a bus on Blair Avenue.

        Court documents show the woman picked Mr. Bowman out of a lineup without hesitation. Warrants for rape, robbery and kidnapping were signed against Mr. Bowman on Saturday.

        The woman who was raped said her attacker took he behind Walnut Hills High School, raped her and forced her to take off her leather jacket and two rings.

        Anyone with information could be paid for helping if they call Crime Stoppers at 352-3040.
       

Traffic victim, 14, may have been drinking

        LEBANON — A 14-year-old girl apparently was drinking alcohol at a party before she was struck and killed attempting to cross Interstate 75 near Ohio 73 at 3:45 a.m. Saturday, authorities said Tuesday.

        “There definitely was alcohol at this party and we suspect there was alcohol use on her part,” Lt. Michael Sanders, commander of the Ohio State Patrol's Lebanon post said of Jessica Calloway.

        Witnesses told investigators that Jessica, a Franklin High School freshman, had consumed alcohol at the party, he said. The results of an autopsy, due in about two weeks, will determine Jessica's blood-alcohol level at the time of her death.

        Jessica was already gone from the party on Clearcreek Franklin Road when Springboro police were called there shortly after 1a.m. on a complaint of underage drinking.

        Lt. Sanders said his investigators were wrapping up interviews with Jessica's classmates and friends to determine how she got on the interstate and why she was there.

Consultant hired for executive search

        BATAVIA — Clermont County commissioners have hired a consultant to help them find a new director for its Department of Jobs and Family Services.

        The commissioners hired Don Thomas, who retired as director of the Hamilton County Department of Human Services earlier this year. He now lives in Gainesville, Fla.

        Mr. Thomas has helped the county with the job description for the director, as well as recommend where to place ads for attracting applicants and will help in screening candidates.

        Commissioners will choose the director. Applications are due Nov. 15, and commissioners said they would like to have a new director hired by January 2002.

        Cynthia DeWitt has been the interim director of the department.

Troops exempt from license renewals

        One thing the men and women in Ohio who are on active military duty won't have to worry about is driving on a expired license.

        Ohio law exempts any person on active duty in the U.S. military from the driver's license requirements as long as he or she is on active duty, and for six months thereafter.

        Spouses and dependents of those on active duty are also exempt.
       

Anderson residents surveyed on riverfront

        ANDERSON TOWNSHIP — Should new parks, bike trails and other recreation be developed along the stretch of riverfront in the township?

        Residents here are being asked ow the riverfront should be enhanced during a public meeting set for 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Turpin High School, 2650 Bartels Road.

        Township officials and representatives from Meisner and Associates, hired by the township to do an analysis of the riverfront, will be at the meeting.
       

Plea bargain involves repayment of $20,000

        HAMILTON — A Lebanon man accused of stealing money from an arts organization he headed has reached a plea agreement that involves repaying the organization but not an admission of guilt.

        Michael Coyan, former executive director of Arts in Middletown and a former Lebanon city councilman, has repaid the arts organization $10,000 and will pay $10,000 more as part of the agreement.

        He is to be sentenced Nov. 21 on a theft charge. He could face up to six months in jail, but probation is a possibility.

        He served the Middletown arts group for about five years. He resigned in January.

        Mr. Coyan, 46, was indicted in May on charges of grand theft and grand theft by deception, fourth-degree felonies.
       

Suspect caught 1 minute after holdup

        NEWPORT — Newport police made one of the quickest arrests in department history Tuesday when a man accused of an armed robbery was apprehended about one minute after the holdup only three blocks from the scene of the crime.

        Police charged 18-year-old Benjamin Ham, of the 500 block of Ezzard Charles Drive in Cincinnati, with armed robbery. He is accused of taking more than $700 at gunpoint from the Famous Liquors store at Fifth and York streets.

        A clerk at the store told officers a man entered the store shortly before 11 a.m., e brandished a handgun and demanded money.

        The robber fled on foot. The clerk called 911 and the suspect's description was broadcast by police.

        Officer Greg Ripberger was working a traffic stop two blocks away when he noticed a man fitting the description of the robber. He gave chase and when the man tripped and fell near Second and Columbia streets, Officer Ripberger arrested him.

       



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