Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Regional Report

Judge orders woman to get treatment

Compiled from staff and wire reports

A 73-year-old woman who killed her niece's boyfriend thinking he was an intruder will spend the next six months in alcohol treatment at River City Correctional Center, Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Charles J. Kubicki ordered Monday.

Odessa Lee thought Randall Montgomery, 44, was an intruder entering her Walnut Hills home just before 2:30 a.m. Feb. 13 and shot him in fear, according to Cincinnati police.

Lee pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter Aug. 11, a charge that carries a sentence of one to five years in prison. Montgomery's family agreed to the lesser sentence, according to prosecutors.

Norwood names community officer

NORWOOD - A Norwood police lieutenant is now the go-to person for businesses and individuals with security concerns.

Lt. Gary Fye, 50, has been named to the newly created position of community relations officer, Mayor Victor Schneider said Monday. He'll help start community watch programs and give businesses tips for increasing security.

Fye, who has been on the force for 24 years, has an office on the first floor of City Hall, 4645 Montgomery Road. Fye can be reached at 458-4532.

Man who shot into crowd is sentenced

A 27-year-old Elmwood Place man who shot into a crowd June 30, killing Idris Cockrell and injuring seven others during a block party in Winton Terrace, will spend at least 18 years in prison.

Earake Thomas pleaded guilty in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court on Monday to a charge of murder and two counts of felonious assault, prompting Judge Thomas Crush to sentence Thomas to spend 18 years to life in prison.

Police say Thomas was upset after a firecracker went into his car during the block party, left and returned a few minutes later with a gun.

Man pleads guilty to manslaughter charge

A 25-year-old Lincoln Heights man who fled to Atlanta after killing James Clark Jr. pleaded guilty in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court on Monday to a charge of voluntary manslaughter.

Jamie Toran Jr. shot Clark Sept. 25, 2002 in the 1000 block of Van Buren Street in Lincoln Heights. Clark later died.

In exchange for Toran's plea, prosecutors dropped charges of aggravated murder and murder.

Toran faces up to 10 years in prison when sentenced Oct. 30.

Water at 2 schools declared safe to drink

LOVELAND - Students at two schools were drinking the water Monday after additional tests over the weekend turned up negative for fecal coliform.

While the source of bacteria at the Loveland Early Childhood Center and nearby St. Columban School remains a mystery, city officials said they had stepped up the chlorine in the city's water supply and were re-examining water testing procedures.

Assistant City Manager Tom Carroll said tests indicated the bacteria did not come from the water main in that area, which is on the Clermont County side of the city.

Freedom Center surpasses $1.5M gift

Local contributions to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center have surpassed an anonymous donor's $1.5 million challenge, officials said Monday.

Slightly more than $1.6 million in cash and pledges was raised locally during the challenge period, which began June 19 and ends today, Freedom Center officials said.

That amount, when added to the matching funds, boosts the Freedom Center's capital campaign by $3.1 million.

As a result, the same donor has issued a new $1 million challenge to run through Thanksgiving, officials said.

Overall, the Freedom Center has now raised $97.2 million toward a $110 million goal.

Contributions can be made online at www.freedomcenter.org; by mail at Freedom Center Challenge, 312 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; or by calling Sarah Dirr, development director, at 412-6905.

Loveland schools plan 3 meetings

LOVELAND - School officials announced three community meetings to update residents on school news and to gather opinions on how school programs are performing.

The meetings are: 6-7:30 p.m. Oct. 14 at Loveland High School cafeteria, 1 Tiger Trail; 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Oct. 16 at Loveland Intermediate School's media center, 757 South Lebanon Road; and 7:30-8:30 a.m. Oct. 17 at Loveland Primary School gym, 550 Loveland-Madeira Road.

The Loveland PTA will provide free babysitting service and refreshments. Those interested in attending are asked to call the Loveland Board of Education office at 683-5600 by Oct. 10.

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