Saturday, September 20, 2003

Regional Report

Compiled from staff and wire reports

'Probable' West Nile, meningitis in Butler

HAMILTON - A "probable" case of West Nile virus and two suspected cases of viral meningitis have turned up in Butler County.

County health officials said Friday that a 36-year-old man is Butler's first probable human case of West Nile virus this year. They released no further information.

West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. The disease cannot be passed from one person to another or from an animal to a person, health officials said.

Less than 1 percent of mosquitoes carry the virus, and less than 1 percent of people bitten by an infected mosquito become severely ill, they said.

The two suspected cases of viral meningitis in Butler have not been confirmed, according to the county health department.

People can prevent the spread of that disease, health officials said, by washing their hands before eating and after using the restroom or changing a baby's diaper. The health department also discourages the sharing of drinking cups.

Code violations force evacuation of house

NORTH AVONDALE - City workers evacuated a large Reading Road house Friday that neighbors complained had become home to prostitution and drugs.

Officers from the Cincinnati Police Department's Community Oriented Policing team responded to the house in the 3700 block Friday morning with officials from the Buildings and Inspections Department. They found enough code violations to order the place immediately emptied, said Lt. Kurt Byrd, police department spokesman.

The owner is elderly and hospitalized, police said.

Checkpoint yields nine DUI arrests

OXFORD - The Butler County DUI Task Force made nine drunken driving arrests last weekend on U.S. 27.

The checkpoint, run by Oxford Township police, the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Miami University police and Oxford police on Sept. 12, was stationed on the outskirts of Oxford on College Corner Pike.

During the night, officers stopped roughly 420 cars , issuing 23 seat belt citations in addition to the nine DUI arrests.

Men plead not guilty to murder charge

Two men pleaded not guilty Friday to charges they killed Clarence Eugene Bradshaw Sept. 7 in North Avondale.

Bryant R. Gaines, 26, of North Avondale, and Lonnel Dickey, 35, of Colerain Township, were each indicted by a Hamilton County grand jury on a murder charge Wednesday, according to court records.

Cincinnati police said the men argued just before the shooting.

Gaines and Dickey remain jailed at the Hamilton County Justice Center; Gaines on a $750,000 bond and Dickey on a $225,000 bond.

Dickey served six years of a seven- to 25-year prison sentence stemming from a 1996 aggravated robbery charge in Hamilton County, according to Ohio Department of Corrections records. He was released in December.

If convicted of the murder charge, the men each face as much as life in prison.

Plea bargain in drug-related shooting

Harold Croft pleaded guilty Friday to voluntary manslaughter in the drug-related killing of Thomas Koroma and will spend the next nine years in prison.

The fatal shooting stemmed from a feud between two drug dealers, said Hamilton County Assistant Prosecutor Gerald Krumpelbeck during a hearing in Common Pleas court.

In exchange for the plea, the prosecutor's office agreed to drop charges of aggravated murder and murder.

Croft, 27, of Springfield Township, shot Koroma several times April 16 in Over-the-Rhine

Falcon-shooting case results in guilty plea

AKRON - A man has pleaded guilty to shooting an endangered peregrine falcon and has paid a $2,500 fine.

Gregory Franks, 49, of Clinton, was charged in U.S. District Court with violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, but avoided court by pleading guilty to a charge of attempting to take a nongame bird, said Rick Louttit, a Medina County wildlife officer.

Franks shot the bird on July 26 in Franklin Township south of Akron near a site where he raises racing pigeons, the Ohio Division of Wildlife said Friday.

A landowner found the falcon, which was injured by shotgun pellets. It is being rehabilitated at the Medina Raptor Center and will likely return to the wild.

Franks did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Peregrine falcons have found new life in Ohio nesting on skyscrapers and bridges in the state's major cities. They are no longer on the federal endangered species list, but are still considered endangered in Ohio, which has 16 nesting pairs.

Man from Delhi dies during attack in Iraq
Kentucky: Spence Bridge is a priority
Teacher fired; she wed outside Church
Woman runs van in garage, calls 911

An eventful weekend for the Queen City
"Big Lill" survives first episode
Madeira celebrates its heritage
Throat injury nets girl $139K
Evendale may take farm
Police indicted in Ind.
Jack Herb's roots are 125 years deep
$340,000 face lift for water tank
Moeller goes high-tech to attract cool students
Habitat founder wants to celebrate the vision
Auditor links taxes, population decline
Foster father guilty in girl's shaking death
Regional Report

Bronson: Street crime comes to the crime fighter's doorstep
Howard: Good Things Happening
McNutt: Toast a ghost on Lebanon tour
Faith Matters: Bishop to speak of coffee ethics

National spotlight on school
Miami University students' Uptown Taxi service hailed
Fairfield Schools battling red ink
Park plan trumps road plan
Alternative school uses Internet curriculum
Sharonville plans new firehouse

Sister Patricia Ann Ward, educator
Thom Hanser was runner and writer
Kentucky obituaries

Motion aims to defend commandments
Ohio Moments

Regulars go for food, family
Priest, teacher suspended
County says smokers have no right to light
Kentucky News Briefs