Chad Spencer
Chad Spencer
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Ohio Archives for 2016-03

Ohio Woman Calls 911 While Being Beaten, But No Help Is Sent


CANTON, Ohio (AP) -- A dispatcher in Ohio who didn't send help when a woman called 911 while being beaten will face a hearing to determine potential discipline.


911 Call


Canton police Chief Bruce Lawyer tells WEWS-TV that in such cases where dispatchers can't reach a caller via callback, officers should be sent to do a safety check. He says in this case, that didn't happen.


The woman says she called 911 Sunday when her ex-boyfriend attacked her at home, but he tossed the phone away from her. When a dispatcher called back, the woman says she crawled to the phone but couldn't hear the incoming voice because the speaker broke.


Lawver says the unidentified employee facing possible discipline has been a dispatcher for a decade.

The alleged attacker is wanted on charges including assault.



Ohio State Will Spend $42 Million on to Football Stadium


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio State will spend $42 million to shore up part of Ohio Stadium, improve the experience for fans with obstructed view seats, add more luxury seating, and make other upgrades.

Ohio Stadium

Athletic director Gene Smith announced the four-year project on Tuesday, which will help further preserve and improve the 94-year-old stadium on the Columbus campus. Work will begin in 2017.

It will be funded by the athletic department, without use of any state tax or student tuition money.

The project includes restoring concrete on C Deck, and installing better scoreboards and larger TVs to improve some obstructed-view seats. Thirty-five loge boxes and 12 luxury suites will be added.


Authorities: Escaped Ohio Inmate Seeking Water When Caught


NELSONVILLE, Ohio (AP) -- Authorities say a convicted murder captured about 24 hours after he was found missing from a southeast Ohio prison apparently didn't have an escape plan.


Caught Ohio


A State Highway Patrol spokesman said Tuesday that the patrol working with the state Department of Rehabilitation and Correction found John Modie on Monday night at an abandoned Nelsonville gas station as he was trying to reach a restaurant for water.


Patrol Sgt. Vincent Shirey says Modie apparently saw an opportunity to escape from the prison in Nelsonville but didn't know "where he was going or what he was going to do."


Authorities found Modie missing Sunday from the Hocking Unit of the Southeastern Correctional Complex.


He was serving 18 years to life for murder, robbery and escape convictions.



Lawsuit Seeks to End Ohio's Tax on Feminine Hygiene Products

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A lawsuit seeking class-action status recently filed in the Ohio Court of Claims to halt the state's collection of sales tax on feminine hygiene products says the tax discriminates against women.
Female Products
The suit was filed on behalf of four Cleveland-area women who argue the tax on products including tampons violates equal protection clauses of the U.S. and Ohio Constitutions. 
The complaint states that "a tax on tampons and pads is a tax on women," with customers spending an average of approximately $70 per year on tampons and pads. The suit seeks to refund at least $66 million to female consumers across Ohio.
Two bills are currently circulating in the House of Representatives that would end the tax.
The defendant, the Ohio Department of Taxation, declined to comment on pending litigation.


Attroney: Court Ruling Lets Ohio Political Candidates Lie


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Candidates for public office in Ohio can lie and get away with it under a recent federal court ruling that struck down a state law banning false statements in campaigns, an attorney says.


Court Ruling


Attorney Donald Brey, who has represented Republicans in cases before the Ohio Elections Commission, told The Columbus Dispatch his clients mostly tell the truth, but can legally lie as long as they don't defame anyone.


In past elections, the commission ruled on false-advertising complaints. That changed when the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals a few weeks ago upheld the 2014 ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Black that found the law violated the First Amendment. The Dispatch reports no further appeal is expected.


Black wrote that "lies are bad," but with some political speech, "there is no clear way to determine whether a political statement is a lie or the truth, and we certainly do not want the government deciding what is political truth."


Phil Richter, executive director of the state Elections Commission, said he has had to turn away calls from candidates alleging false-advertising claims.


Those candidates must now file a defamation lawsuit, which could be more difficult to prove and could drag on past Election Day.


"I think you're going to see people making more outrageous statements as they go through the election process," Richter said.


Rep. Nicholas Celebrezze, D-Parma, who headed candidate recruiting for House Democrats, said the number of false claims is going to increase.

"The gloves are off," he said.


Both Richter and Celebrezze say state lawmakers should try to reinstate an alternative method of handling false advertising complaints that complies with the First Amendment. Richter said they must first remove criminal penalties that he says were rarely ever used.


Sen. Bill Coley, R-West Chester, chairman of the Senate Government Oversight Committee, said staff attorneys are examining the rulings to determine if a compromise is available.


"It's a tricky area," he said. "I don't like people lying in campaigns. I think the law should encourage people to tell the truth, but I don't know that there's a lot we can do."



Inmate Convicted of Murder Escapes From Ohio Prison


NELSONVILLE, Ohio (AP) -- A convicted murderer who escaped from an Ohio prison over the weekend has been captured.


The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction tweeted late Monday that a joint task force captured John Modie without incident at 10:50 p.m. in Nelsonville.


Additional details were not immediately available.

Modie was reported missing during a prisoner count Sunday night at the Hocking Unit of the Southeastern Correctional Complex in Nelsonville. A search of the prison confirmed he had escaped.


Modie was serving 18 years to life for convictions on murder, robbery and escape charges.


Cleveland.com reports Modie was accused of beating to death Ucianna Ortiz at his Cleveland home in 2002, and then dumping her body along an interstate in the city.




1:09 PM


State prison officials have confirmed that an inmate convicted in 2003 of killing a woman in Cleveland has escaped from a southeast Ohio prison.




The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction had said earlier Monday that 58-year-old John Modie was missing in a late Sunday night count of inmates at the Hocking Unit of the Southeastern Correctional Complex in Nelsonville.


Prison officials say they're working with local law enforcement agencies and the State Highway patrol in the search for Modie, who is considered dangerous.


Modie was last seen wearing a blue hoodie, gray sweat shirt and blue pants.


Authorities say Modie is serving 18 years to life for murder, robbery and escape convictions.



UPDATED - Crews Recover Body from Car that Fell from Ohio River Bridge

FORT THOMAS, Ky. (AP) Crews have recovered a body from a car that was flung from an Ohio River bridge near Cincinnati and went into the water.

Ohio River

The car went over a barrier after a 12-vehicle crash on the Combs-Hehl Interstate 275 bridge on March 15. Rescuers had to delay for days pulling the car from the water because of strong currents on the river.

A crane pulled the red car to the surface around noon Saturday. Authorities confirmed the body of one victim from Milford, Ohio was inside the vehicle. The Kentucky Enquirer reports the victim was identified on Sunday as David James Bouma of Milford, Ohio.

Capt. Dale Appel, director of the Boone County Water Rescue Team, says said the car was surrounded by debris and is 90 percent full of silt and sand.

Campbell County Coroner Al Garnick says the autopsy reports shows Bouma died from head trauma, not drowning.

See Previous Story Here: Car Plunges Into Ohio River After Multicar Pileup on Bridge 


Free of Court Oversight, Ohio Youth Prisons Look to Future


CIRCLEVILLE, Ohio (AP) -- Ohio is settling into a new era of youth detention after a federal judge lifted court oversight of the juvenile incarceration system in place since 2008.


Ohio Youth Prisons


Officials say the daily population of about 475 youths has plateaued and is not expected to change much in the near future.


The Department of Youth Services is down to three facilities statewide and a handful of centers it contracts with to house juveniles.


As part of numerous changes to the system guards no longer wear uniforms and are now referred to as youth specialists.


Classrooms at Circleville Juvenile Correctional Facility look similar to those in schools around Ohio.


Agency Deputy Director Linda Janes says the system once treated juveniles as mini adults but now looks at them as children with still-developing brains.



Ohio Boy, 15, Dies in Crash Following Police Chase

BARBERTON, Ohio (AP) - Authorities say a 15-year-old boy is dead and two other teens are hurt after they led police on a high-speed chase that ended in a crash. 
Investigators say New Franklin Township police were called at about 4:30 a.m. Thursday for a report of a car playing chicken with other vehicles. Police spotted the car and, after it entered Barberton, it hit a utility pole, slid down an embankment and landed on train tracks. 
Barberton police say Seth Pallone was ejected from the Chevrolet Impala that crashed and was pronounced dead at the scene. Pallone was behind the wheel of the car. Two 14-year-old boys have been hospitalized but their conditions aren't known. 
The crash remains under investigation.


Worker at Ohio Assisted Living Center Kills 2 Housekeepers


CHAGRIN FALLS, Ohio (AP) -- Police say a kitchen worker at an assisted living facility in Ohio has shot and killed two housekeepers.




The shooting occurred Thursday morning at Hamlet Village in Chagrin Falls, an upscale community 20 miles from Cleveland.


The slain housekeepers were identified as Terri Treadway, of Chardon, and Catherine Sutter, of Burton. Both were 58. Police say the gunman is hospitalized with injuries but haven't said whether he shot himself.


A Chagrin Falls police spokeswoman says she has no information on what prompted the shooting or on the suspect's condition.


Hamlet Village is a retirement complex that includes independent living apartments, an assisted living facility and a nursing home. None of its 300 residents were injured.



Man Chooses to Wear 'I Am a Thief' Sign Over Going to Jail


GIRARD, Ohio (AP) -- A man has chosen to wear a sign proclaiming he's a thief rather than go to jail for theft in Ohio.




Forty-three-year-old Greg Davenport, of Liberty Township, pleaded no contest this month to a theft charge for stealing merchandise from a Wal-Mart store in the township in December.


A Girard Municipal Court judge found Davenport guilty. But he gave him the sentencing option of wearing a sign saying, "I am a thief. I stole from WalMart" or serving 30 days in jail.


Davenport has to wear the sign in front of the store eight hours a day for 10 days of his choosing.


Davenport says the sign is better than being in jail, and he just wants to finish his punishment.



Ohio School Security Guard Charged With Threatening Schools


NORTH COLLEGE HILL, Ohio (AP) -- Police in Ohio say a school security guard for a Cincinnati-area district has been charged in threats that led to recent school evacuations and were traced to his prepaid cellphone.




Christopher Darnell Files is charged with two felony counts of inducing panic for threats Monday and Tuesday that led to evacuations of elementary, middle and high schools in the city of North College Hill. Court records don't show an attorney for him.


Superintendent Gary Gellert says said one call demanded money, while the others just threatened to bomb the school.


Gellert says Files was hired as a private security guard two weeks ago after a large fight on school property.

North College Hill Police Chief Ryan Schrand says investigators used GPS to locate Files' phone.



15-Year-Old Boy Indicted as Juvenile in Ohio School Shooting


HAMILTON, Ohio (AP) -- A 15-year-old boy accused of shooting and wounding two students in a school cafeteria has been indicted as a juvenile on charges including attempted murder in Ohio.


School Shooting


Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser (MOH'-zur) says a grand jury in Hamilton on Wednesday indicted the boy under a serious youthful offender classification on four counts of attempted murder, four counts of felonious assault and an inducing panic count.


James Austin Hancock is charged in the Feb. 29 shooting at a Madison Local Schools campus near Middletown. He denied initial charges through his attorney.


Gmoser says Hancock could be sentenced to the Ohio Department of Youth Services until his 21st birthday if he's convicted of attempted murder.


The Associated Press generally doesn't identify juveniles charged with crimes, but Hancock's name has been widely reported.



Ohio Man Charged With Threats to Harm Obama, Hillary Clinton


CLEVELAND (AP) -- Authorities say a Cleveland man who called the U.S. Secret Service and threatened to kill President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has been indicted in federal court.


Obama Clinton


An indictment issued Wednesday says 35-year-old Jonathan Smead is charged with threatening to kill the president and threatening bodily harm to Clinton. A Secret Service agent says in an arrest warrant that Smead made the threats Feb. 28. The agent says Smead told the agent the next day he'd been drinking and watching "West Wing" when he made the call but didn't want to harm them.


Smead's public defender didn't return messages seeking comment.


The affidavit says Smead's sister told the agent her brother had been mentally distraught and is obsessed with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.



Ohio Museum Apologizes After Woman Is Told Not to Breastfeed


CLEVELAND (AP) -- An Ohio museum is encouraging breastfeeding after a Pennsylvania mother's Facebook post drew a flurry of responses.



This past weekend I was in my sisters wedding. It was a beautiful day darkened by one situation. While taking pictures...

Posted by Emily Locke on Monday, March 21, 2016


Emily Locke, of Beaver Falls, says she was breastfeeding her 9-month-old at the Cleveland History Center over the weekend when an employee told her that it violated the museum's policy. When Locke refused to move, another employee approached her and told her she had to move to a private area.

Center Director Angie Lowrie told cleveland.com on Tuesday that the museum doesn't prohibit breastfeeding and that the employees have been disciplined.


Lowrie responded to Locke's post, apologizing.

Lowrie says the museum has contacted the Ohio Breastfeeding Alliance and plan to train staff on how to address breastfeeding in public spaces.





This story has been corrected to show the mother visited museum over the weekend, not on Monday.



Library Book Overdue Nearly 50 Years Returned to Ohio School


DAYTON, Ohio (AP) -- A library book overdue by nearly 50 years has been returned to a university library in southwest Ohio.


Library Book


The University of Dayton says a former student who borrowed the "History of the Crusades" in 1967 has sent it back with an apology for the late return.


The university says James Phillips, of Minnesota, apparently checked out the book as a freshman before leaving school to join the U.S. Marines. Phillips says the book and other belongings must have been gathered from his dormitory room and sent to his parents' house where they remained until his parents' died. Phillips recently found the book in a box of belongings forwarded to him by his brother.


University officials say they won't be charging Phillips the late fee that would have been about $350.



Rallies Urge GOP Senators to Back Supreme Court Vote


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- A coalition of liberal groups staged rallies around the country on Monday targeting Republican senators who oppose confirmation hearings for President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland.


Ohio Rally


More than 50 of the events - with the theme "Do Your Job!" - were scheduled. Some 25 to 30 people turned out in Ohio, where Sen. Rob Portman has stood firm with other Republicans in arguing that the next president should fill the court vacancy after American voters weigh in this November.


"Senator Portman has a job to do," said Barbara Eakins, an Ohio State University retiree who joined the protest outside Portman's Columbus office.


Eakins said she doesn't buy the argument that the country should delay the replacement process until after a new president is elected.


"The idea that they need to wait until the people have spoken, well, the people already did speak," she said. "They spoke when they elected Obama to office twice."


Within hours of Justice Antonin Scalia's death on Feb. 13, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said there will be no Senate Judiciary Committee hearing for any Obama nominee and no confirmation vote by the Senate. Obama announced last Wednesday that he had nominated Garland, a longtime appeals court judge who has had the support of Republicans in the past, but McConnell has not relented.


With the Senate on a two-week break, liberal groups focused on GOP offices back home and such senators as Portman; Iowa's Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and Pennsylvania's Pat Toomey.


In Milwaukee, dozens of people rallied inside City Hall and called on Sen. Ron Johnson to back confirmation hearings for Garland. Speakers came from several liberal groups, including those supporting immigrants' rights and criminal justice reform.


Johnson has said he is willing to meet with Garland, but has made clear the Senate won't hold a confirmation hearing.


Of the 54 Senate Republicans, just one has said publicly that there should be a vote - Mark Kirk of Illinois, one of the more vulnerable lawmakers up for re-election this fall.


The protesters delivered copies of the U.S. Constitution to the senators and, in some cases, offered to enroll the lawmakers in a community college civics course. The gesture is inspired in part by late author Harper Lee, who offered in 1966 to enroll a school board in the first grade after the board sought to ban "To Kill A Mockingbird."


Democrat Ted Strickland, a former Ohio governor who seeks to unseat Portman this fall, capitalized on Monday's effort with the launch of a web site.


His criticism of Portman for opposing the confirmation hearings has been unrelenting.



High Court Rejects Ohio's Appeal in Case of Police Official


CINCINNATI (AP) -- The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to consider reinstating the conviction of a former police official charged in connection with his wife's 1995 death in Ohio.


Supreme Court


The justices declined to disturb a 6th U.S. Court of Appeals ruling in Cincinnati last year that said authorities improperly withheld evidence that could have helped former Springboro police Lt. Thomas "Jim" Barton discredit charges linking him to a botched burglary. Authorities who charged Barton said the botched burglary resulted in his wife's death.


The appeals panel had ordered a new trial. Warren County prosecutors must now release or retry Barton.

Messages left for Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell and Barton's attorney, Christopher Pagan, weren't immediately returned Monday.


The Ohio attorney general's office had asked the Supreme Court to resolve conflicts in lower-court rulings. Barton's attorney contended that the state arguments were fact-specific and didn't raise a legal issue worth the Supreme Court's attention.


The Ohio attorney general's office had no immediate comment on the high court's decision.


Authorities who charged Barton after a cold-case team in 2003 examined the death of his wife, Vickie, contended that Barton paid to stage a burglary in their home. He supposedly wanted to scare his wife into leaving their rural horse farm to move into the city, with the apparent motive being that it would help his chances of becoming Springboro's police chief.


A jury convicted Barton in 2005 of complicity to involuntary manslaughter and complicity to aggravated burglary. He was sentenced to up to 50 years in prison. Barton, 60, has been in prison for more than a decade.


The unanimous ruling last year by the 6th Circuit panel said the state's case relied heavily on a witness who presented an "unsupported, shifting and somewhat fantastical" story at trial, and suppression of evidence made it more difficult for Barton to discredit the state's theory. Authorities had said a career criminal, Gary Henson, implicated his own half-brother, William Phelps, in the crime, with an unidentified accomplice. Phelps killed himself a few months after the slaying. No one else was ever charged.


The appeals panel also said Barton's defense should have received information about police interviews with another family whose rural home in Warren County was burglarized, a case police reopened before Barton's trial, court records show. The judges said having that information could have led the defense to discover admissible evidence.



Ohio to Launch 'Ohio, Find it Here' Campaign to Attract Visitors

COLUMBUS (AP) —Ohio officials are launching an advertising campaign aimed at attracting visitors to the state's tourist destinations.
Ohio, Find It Here
The campaign that begins Monday includes a 30-second TV spot, along with print and digital advertising featuring the new "Ohio. Find It Here." brand.
The television ad is expected to air in the Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Lima, Toledo and Youngstown markets. It'll also run in Detroit and Pittsburgh.
Tourism Director Mary Cusick says the TV ads primarily target Ohioans because most of the state's 200 million visits come from travelers inside Ohio.
She says the campaign is expected to cost between $6 million and $8 million for the year. The effort aims to boost the number visits and build awareness about Ohio's attractions.
The tourism industry generated $40 billion in sales in 2014.


Search May Resume for Car That Plunged Into Ohio River

This Story Has an Update Here: Crews recover body from car that fell from Ohio River bridge


CINCINNATI (AP) -- Authorities are hoping to resume a search this week for a car that plunged into the Ohio River after a pileup on a bridge leading from Kentucky to Cincinnati.


Car Bridge Ohio River


Search efforts were suspended last week because of safety concerns related to the rising river.


The head of the Boone County water rescue team in Kentucky said last week that it might be Tuesday or Wednesday before river conditions allow divers to look for the car.


Boat Search


Authorities in Kentucky say they have been contacted by the family of a missing person believed to have been driving the car when it toppled over the side of the bridge Tuesday.


Investigators have said 12 vehicles were involved in accidents on the bridge that carries Interstate 275 from Campbell County, Kentucky, to Cincinnati.



Ohio Football Player Mistaken for Burglar, Shot by Ex-Teammate


AKRON, Ohio (AP) -- Police in Ohio say a University of Akron football player who entered a former teammate's apartment unannounced has been mistaken for a burglar and has been shot in the stomach.


Authorities say they won't file charges because both men agreed it was an accident.


The shooting happened Saturday at an off-campus house in Akron where the men have apartments.

Police say Andrew Pratt entered Scott Boyett's apartment without knocking or announcing himself and Boyett shot him. Police say Boyett drove Pratt to a hospital.


Pratt remained hospitalized Sunday. He's expected to recover.


The university says Pratt was a senior wide receiver on last year's team. Boyett is from Dania, Florida, and was an offensive tackle who last played in 2014.

The university's athletics director says the university is waiting to learn more from police.



Ohio Suspect in Theft Runs Out of Gas, Asks Officer for a Ride

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Police in Ohio say a suspect in a video game store theft ran out of gas soon afterward and then asked an officer for a ride.
Columbus police say the officer gave the man a ride back to the video game store where employees identified him. Then the 28-year-old got another ride to the county jail.
Police charged him with a misdemeanor count of theft.
Investigators say the suspect stole a video game Wednesday and that a nearby security camera caught an image of his truck.
The Columbus Dispatch reports a Columbus police officer saw the footage and went looking for the truck. 
Police say the officer saw the suspect running through a yard and that he explained he had run out of gas and needed a ride.


Ohio's February Unemployment Rate is 4.9 Percent

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio's unemployment rate of 4.9 percent in February was unchanged from January as the number of unemployed workers and Ohio's nonagricultural wage and salary employment both increased.


Unemployment Rate
An Ohio Department of Job and Family Services release Friday says the number of unemployed workers in February was 285,000, up 6,000 from January. Ohio's nonagricultural wage and salary employment increased 12,400 over the month to more than 5.4 million in February.
Ohio's unemployment rate matched the U.S. rate of 4.9. That was also unchanged from January.
The February unemployment rate for Ohio was down from 5.1 percent in February 2015.
Job losses in manufacturing and mining and logging outweighed construction job gains. Employment gains were reported in sectors including trade, transportation, and utilities. Losses were reported in areas including leisure and hospitality.


Ohio Man Charged With Supporting Islamic State Pleads Guilty


AKRON, Ohio (AP) -- An Ohio man accused of trying to recruit people to join the Islamic State group pleaded guilty Wednesday to a terrorism charge.



Amir Said Rahman Al-Ghazi, formerly Robert McCollum, pledged his support online to the Islamic State group, authorities said.


Al-Ghazi, 39, pleaded guilty in federal court in Akron to one count of attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization and two counts of being a felon in possession of firearms.


A message was left with Al-Ghazi's attorney.


Federal prosecutors say Al-Ghazi faces up to 16 years in prison. Sentencing was set for June 23.


Al-Ghazi legally changed his name from Robert McCollum last year, and agents found a sword and an Islamic State flag during a search of McCollum's apartment in the Cleveland suburb of Sheffield Lake.


An affidavit alleged Al-Ghazi began using social media sites in July 2014 to pledge his support for the militant group and its leader and to recruit people to join the group.


He also made various references while chatting online with FBI sources that he wanted to stage terrorist attacks in the U.S., including the derailment of a train, according to the affidavit.


He initially told one FBI source that he wasn't interested in becoming a martyr, but did say he'd be willing to cut off the head of his non-Muslim son if Muslims were to go to war in the U.S., the affidavit said.


Later, he told a source that he wanted to kill non-Muslims and wrote in an online chat, according to the affidavit: "You don't fear death anymore its like walking thru a door for a martyr u know."


From July 2014 to June 2015, Al-Ghazi made multiple statements trying to persuade others to join the Islamic State group, according to the government. Al-Ghazi also tried to buy an assault rifle in his desire to attack the United States and tried to create Islamic State propaganda videos, the U.S. Attorney's office said.



Police Try to Identify Who is in Car That Crashed Into the Ohio River

NEWPORT, Ky. (AP) -- The Latest on efforts to recover a car that fell from a bridge into the Ohio River and identify who might have been inside (all times local):


2:45 p.m.

Police are seeking help in an effort to identify who might have been in a car that crashed on a bridge and plunged into the Ohio River.


Ohio River


A police statement says anyone who isn't able to account for any friends or family who might have been traveling late Tuesday afternoon across the Combs-Hehl Bridge that carries Interstate 275 from Campbell County, Kentucky, to Cincinnati should call the department.


Campbell County Police Chief Craig Sorrell said 12 vehicles were involved in four separate accidents at rush hour on the bridge, creating a massive pileup.

Efforts to recover the vehicle that toppled over the bridge were suspended early Wednesday after officials cited concerns with the rising water level and speed of the current.


The statement says it will likely be Sunday or Monday before rescue teams can safely renew efforts to recover the vehicle and any occupants.



11 a.m.

Search efforts have been suspended for a car that plunged into the Ohio River after a massive pileup on a bridge leading from Kentucky to Cincinnati.


Campbell County Director of Emergency Management William Turner said Wednesday that water rescue officials say it is unsafe to put divers back into the rising river. He said officials would likely reassess the situation Saturday.


Turner said officials still don't know how many people were inside the car when it toppled over the side of the bridge Tuesday.


Campbell County Police Chief Craig Sorrell said 12 vehicles were involved in four separate accidents at rush hour on the Combs-Hehl Bridge, which carries Interstate 275 from Campbell County, Kentucky, to Cincinnati. Rescue teams from several agencies searched the river for hours immediately following the crash.



Ohio Inmate Who Survived '09 Execution Can Be Put To Death


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- The Ohio Supreme Court says the state can try again to execute a condemned killer who survived a 2009 botched execution.


Romell Broom


The court ruled 4-3 Wednesday to reject arguments by death row inmate Romell Broom that giving the state prisons agency a second chance would amount to cruel and unusual punishment and double jeopardy.


The state stopped Broom's 2009 execution after two hours when executioners failed to find a usable vein following 18 attempts to insert needles.


The 59-year-old Broom is only the second inmate to survive an execution in U.S. history and the only via lethal injection.


The state said lower courts properly determined that any mistakes happened during execution preparations, not the actual procedure.


Broom still has federal appeals pending.



Search Efforts Suspended for Ohio Car That Plunged Into River


NEWPORT, Ky. (AP) -- Search efforts have been suspended for a car that plunged into the Ohio River after a massive pileup on a bridge leading from Kentucky to Cincinnati.



Campbell County Director of Emergency Management William Turner said Wednesday that water rescue officials say it is unsafe to put divers back into the rising river. He said officials would likely reassess the situation Saturday.


Turner said officials still don't know how many people were inside the car when it toppled over the side of the bridge Tuesday.


Campbell County Police Chief Craig Sorrell said 12 vehicles were involved in four separate accidents at rush hour on the Combs-Hehl Bridge, which carries Interstate 275 from Campbell County, Kentucky, to Cincinnati. Rescue teams from several agencies searched the river for hours immediately following the crash.


SEE PREVIOUS STORY: Car Plunges Into Ohio River After Multicar Pileup on Bridge



Lightning Strike Makes 2 Ohio Students Poster Boys for CPR Kiosks

AP - Matt Lickenbrock and Sean Ferguson are the poster boys for the rollout of CPR-training kiosks at airports, and for good reason.


Lickenbrock taught himself the lifesaving skill at one of the kiosks, then used it just two days later to revive Ferguson, who had been hit by lightning.




"I can't thank Matt enough," said Ferguson, who survived the lightning strike despite major burns. "I mean, what 21-year-old goes to a CPR kiosk? Why didn't he go to the bar? Why didn't he play on his phone?"


The pair, both students at Ohio's University of Dayton, helped unveil a kiosk last week at the Indianapolis airport; travelers will also see them at Chicago O'Hare, Las Vegas, Atlanta and Baltimore-Washington.


With their rubber torsos, video screens and disco soundtrack, the machines definitely turn heads. (It so happens the Bee Gees hit "Stayin' Alive" uses exactly the right beat for proper chest compressions.)


The kiosk takes just a few minutes to teach hands-only CPR - no mouth-to-mouth resuscitation required.

More than 20 percent of heart attacks occur in public places, and experts say the chances of survival are much higher if a bystander administers CPR before medics arrive.


"After six minutes, the chances of that person's survival decrease significantly," said American Heart Association volunteer Danielle Cortes DeVito, who is also a paramedic.


The CPR kiosk rollout follows a successful test at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport, where a machine has trained more than 25,000 people since 2013.


That includes Lickenbrock, who used it last April while killing time during a layover en route back to Dayton from spring break.


He followed the video instructions and attempted to "revive" the dummy. Participants are scored based on the rate and depth of chest compressions, and the placement of their hands. He failed.


"I was way too shallow on depth of compressions," said Lickenbrock.


So he tried again. And again. On the third try, he got a perfect score.


Two days later, he was driving on campus when he saw lightning strike from afar. As Lickenbrock pulled into a parking lot, he saw a group gathered around a student lying on the ground.


The bolt had knocked Ferguson off his feet and into a parked car, breaking his jaw. Bystanders called 911, but he had no pulse and wasn't breathing. Lickenbrock was the first to administer CPR, which he continued until medics arrived.


Ferguson suffered burns on 35 percent of his body. His grueling recovery included learning to walk again because the nerves in his legs were shattered. But the 24-year-old marketing major returned to campus just a few months later and graduated in December.


"If it weren't for that kiosk, I wouldn't be here today," said Ferguson, who lives in the Pittsburgh suburb of Allison Park, Pennsylvania.


The kiosks are sponsored by the American Heart Association and the Anthem Foundation, the philanthropic arm of health insurer Anthem Inc.

Indianapolis airport Fire Chief Rick Gentry said he's been waiting for two years to get one of the machines, which he called "very easy to use."


"If you can do compressions ... you're doing better than somebody that doesn't do anything and just stands by," Gentry said. "So it'll give people confidence to be able to do it."


Lickenbrock, 22, a mechanical engineering major from Webster Groves, Missouri, said he hopes his compelling story inspires others.


"I'm a regular guy and I learned CPR in essentially 10 minutes and saved a life," he said. "That means anyone else can do the same thing."



Matheson reported from Philadelphia. This report contains material from Associated Press reporters Teresa Crawford in Chicago and Michael Rubinkam in Allison Park, Pennsylvania, and contributor A.J. Mast in Indianapolis.



Video: Ohio Cop Shoos Driver Away From Van Just Before Train Hits

BROOK PARK, Ohio (AP) - Video from a police dash camera shows a Cleveland-area officer shooing a driver away from a van stuck on railroad tracks just before a train slams into it.


Ohio Cop Shoos Driver Away From Van Just Before Train Hits

Video: Ohio Cop Shoos Driver Away From Van Just Before Train Hits. Read Full Story By Clicking Here: http://wktn.com/ohio/244347

Posted by WKTN Radio on Tuesday, March 15, 2016


As first reported by WJW-TV, the video from last Thursday shows an officer run up to the van at a railroad crossing in Brook Park and motion to the driver to move away. Both people get safely to the side of the road just before the train smashes into the van.

Police say the van driver had skirted a railroad gate and became stuck on the tracks near state Route 237, about 10 miles southwest of Cleveland.

The van's driver was cited for failing to heed the flashing lights at the crossing.

WEWS-TV identified the Brook Park policeman as Harold Duncan.


Car Plunges Into Ohio River After Multicar Pileup on Bridge

This Story Has an Update Here: Crews recover body from car that fell from Ohio River bridge


NEWPORT, Ky. (AP) -- Officials say a car plunged into the Ohio River after a massive pileup on a bridge leading from Kentucky to Cincinnati.


Car Pileup



It remained unknown hours after the crash Tuesday how many people were inside when the car toppled over the side of the bridge.


Campbell County Police Chief Craig Sorrell say 12 vehicles were involved in four separate accidents at rush hour on the Combs-Hehl Bridge, which carries Interstate 275 from Campbell County, Kentucky, to Cincinnati.


He says the accidents caused a chain reaction as other cars tried to slow down and navigate around them. The vehicle was about halfway across the bridge when it was involved in another crash, fell over the side and plunged into the river below.


Sorrell says sonar imagining located the vehicle on the riverbed Tuesday night.




AP - Ohio Gov. John Kasich scored his first win of the presidential nomination contest, grabbing all 66 delegates in the Ohio primary, in what could ultimately stall Donald Trump's decisive dash to the nomination.




Kasich entered the GOP presidential race as an underdog but surged to prominence after he secured second place in New Hampshire's primary last month.


Steering clear of the boisterous, often belligerent rhetoric exchanged by his GOP rivals, Kasich has sought to distinguish himself as the candidate with a positive message. He avoided direct criticism of front-runner Trump until recent days, when he expressed concern that the billionaire businessman was encouraging violence at his rallies.


Kasich remains in last place among the GOP contenders. He had been in fourth place, trailing Marco Rubio, who ended his campaign earlier Tuesday after a humiliating loss to Trump in his home state of Florida.



Feds Charge Ohio Man Who Tried to Rush Trump Stage


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- A man who tried to rush the stage at a Donald Trump rally in Ohio was charged by federal prosecutors Tuesday with illegally entering a restricted area.


Charged Trump


Authorities say Thomas Dimassimo, of Fairborn, jumped a barricade and rushed at Trump on Saturday. Video from the rally shows Dimassimo was able to touch the stage before security officials tackled him.

Dimassimo, 22, was charged in federal court in Dayton. The misdemeanor charge carries up to a one-year prison sentence.


Dimassimo, who attends Wright State University in Dayton, is a hard-working college student whose intentions were benevolent and a way to express his political ideals, his attorney, Jon Paul Rion, said.


"He clearly did not mean any ill will toward any person and was simply expressing his political views," Rion said.


Dimassimo is a senior at Wright State majoring in acting, said university spokesman Seth Bauguess.

An initial hearing is set for March 23.



Man Who Ran Over Son, 4, While Looking for Scrap Sentenced


MARYSVILLE, Ohio (AP) -- A man who accidentally ran over his 4-year-old son while looking for scrap at a central Ohio construction site has been sentenced to six months in jail, most of which he's already served.




Natividad de Jesus Hernandez pleaded guilty to forgery and a misdemeanor negligent homicide count in January. Prosecutors agreed to drop charges of aggravated vehicular homicide, involuntary manslaughter and leaving the scene of a crash.


A Union County judge on Monday sentenced Hernandez, who had already served 167 days in jail, to a term of 180 days, The Columbus Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1Xr5nnE) reported. He also faces five years of probation.


On Dec. 26, 2013, Hernandez was picking through the trash at a construction site in Plain City, looking for scrap to sell. When a vehicle pulled in nearby, Hernandez loaded son Angel and two other young children into the family's van. The boy fell out of the open sliding door as Hernandez backed out, and the van ran over the boy.


Investigators say Hernandez is from El Salvador and used a permanent resident card with someone else's registration number. Questions about his immigration status remain unresolved.


His attorney, Scott Culbert, said the heartbroken man will seek a way to stay in the United States legally. Culbert said Hernandez is engaged and his 6-month-old daughter needs him.


"He'll never forget about what happened to Angel, or heal completely," Culbert said, "but he's ready to put this behind him and support his family."



Priest Pleads Guilty in $1.9 Million Theft From Ohio Church


HUBER HEIGHTS, Ohio (AP) -- A retired Roman Catholic priest accused of stealing $1.9 million from a southwest Ohio church he led has pleaded guilty to aggravated theft.


Church Money


The Rev. Earl Simone entered the plea Thursday under an agreement that he'll be sentenced to five years in prison. It also calls for the 75-year-old to pay restitution for the theft from St. Peter Catholic Church in Huber Heights between 2008 and 2015.


He pastored there for over two decades before retiring last year because of medical problems. He also was the administrator of four other churches in Dayton.


A statement from Simone's attorney says the priest took responsibility for his actions.


The Archdiocese of Cincinnati announced last year that allegations of financial irregularities at St. Peter were turned over to police after an internal investigation.



Judge Hears Dispute Involving Ohio's Youngest Primary Voters


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- A judge planned to hear arguments Thursday in a dispute over whether the swing state's youngest voters can have a say in next week's presidential primary race.


Jon Husted


Allowing 17-year-old Ohioans to vote in the swing state's presidential primary would cause "mass confusion" days before the election, an attorney for the state's elections chief told a judge Thursday.


But an attorney for nine teen voters claimed her clients have a right to vote in Tuesday's primary.


The arguments before the Franklin County Common Pleas Court judge came in a lawsuit over a policy for the state's youngest voters.


Ohio law allows 17-year-olds who will be 18 before the fall election to vote in the primary, with some exceptions. The young voters can decide on congressional, legislative and mayoral contenders but can't vote on tax levies, ballot issues or a political party's central committee candidates.


A manual for elections officials issued last year by Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted says 17-year-olds can vote "solely on the nomination of candidates" - and not in the presidential primary "because delegates are elected and not nominated."


Nine 17-year-old registered voters from central Ohio are suing Husted over his interpretation of the law. They claim the elections chief's directions violate their voting rights and run counter to the state constitution and court decisions.


The newbie voters want Judge Richard Frye to issue an emergency order blocking Husted's instructions that forbid them to vote in the presidential primary.

Husted has said Ohio has operated under the same rules in past primaries, and the law is clear.


Complicating matters is that early voting has been underway in Ohio for weeks.


Chad Readler, an attorney for Husted, said the plaintiffs' request "would create mass confusion at the boards of election." He told the judge that some 17-year-olds' ballots were already being processed by local elections officials.


"It's too late to unscramble the egg, essentially," Readler said.


Frye noted that 17-year-old voters can still cast ballots through Election Day.


"What about the eggs that are not yet scrambled if we haven't yet broken the shells on them?" he replied.


The teens' attorney, Rachel Bloomekatz, also noted there may be some 17-year-old voters who were told they could not vote in the race and didn't.


"But just because early voting has been underway for a bit doesn't mean that we should deny the rest of all of these 17-year-olds the right to vote," she told the court.

A ruling from Frye could come as soon as Friday.


Separately, Democrat Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign has filed a federal lawsuit over the limitations.


At least 20 other states allow 17-year-olds to vote in presidential primaries or caucuses, though rules sometimes vary based on political party, according to FairVote, an organization that tracks electoral issues.



Woman, 93, Gets High School Diploma Denied Over Her Marriage


AKRON, Ohio (AP) -- A 93-year-old Ohio woman has received the high school diploma she was denied because of rules that expelled married students.


93 Diploma


Dorothy Liggett was a few weeks from graduation from Akron's North High School in 1942 when officials discovered she was married.


The Akron Beacon Journal reports that Akron Superintendent David James hand-delivered the diploma to Liggett in suburban Fairlawn on Wednesday as part of a surprise ceremony.


Liggett's daughter Janice Larkin had written James about her mother. James said it was wrong that Liggett was denied the diploma after being a good student all her years in school.


Liggett and her late husband, John Huston, ran away to Kentucky to get married after her husband was called into the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II.



Ohio's Youngest Primary Voters at Center of Election Dispute

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- A policy for Ohio's youngest voters is under dispute in the swing state, causing confusion and prompting two lawsuits days before the primary election.


Ohio Voting


Ohio law allows 17-year-olds who will be 18 before the fall election to vote in next week's primary, with some exceptions. Young Ohio voters can decide on congressional, legislative and mayoral contenders but can't vote on tax levies, ballot issues or a political party's central committee candidates.


At issue is whether they can vote in the presidential primary race. At least 20 other states allow 17-year-olds to vote in presidential primaries or caucuses, though rules sometimes vary based on political party, according to FairVote, an organization that tracks electoral issues.


The state's Republican elections chief says Ohio rules don't allow it. But voter advocates and some Democrats, including presidential contender Bernie Sanders, are questioning that assertion.


The disagreement stems from the distinction between "elect" and "nominate."


A manual for elections officials issued last year by Secretary of State Jon Husted says state law allows the 17-year-olds to vote "solely on the nomination of candidates." But it also says, "In presidential primary elections, a 17-year-old voter is not permitted to vote for presidential delegates, because delegates are elected and not nominated."


Groups including the Ohio chapters of the League of Women Voters and the American Civil Liberties Union disagree with Husted's interpretation. They say the delegates that are "elected" aren't assuming office but are serving as the voters' surrogates at a party's nominating convention. They want Husted to tell boards of elections that 17-year-olds can vote in the presidential primary.


"There are no limitations in Ohio law on qualified voters casting ballots in particular races," said Mike Brickner, senior policy director for the ACLU of Ohio. He called the distinction "legislative tap dancing."

Husted is being sued in state and federal court but says Ohio has operated under the same rules in past primaries.


"The law is crystal clear," Husted said Tuesday. "There is nothing new here. If you are going to be 18 by the November election, you can vote, just not on every issue."


Fair Elections Legal Network, a Washington, D.C.-based voting rights organization, filed a complaint Tuesday in state court on behalf of nine 17-year-old voters in central Ohio. They want the court to block Husted's directions so the young voters can make their presidential primary picks.


Columbus high school junior Emma Nell Warner-Mesnard, one of the plaintiffs, says she's watched debates, followed news about the candidates and voted early Monday.


"I've been excited about voting in the presidential primary for months," she said in a court filing. "I think that we have an obligation to vote and participate in democracy. ... I want my vote to count."


Separately, Sanders' presidential campaign and parents of 17-year-old Ohio voters have sued Husted in federal court in Columbus.


Among other arguments, they say Ohio law doesn't distinguish between primaries in which candidates are nominated directly and those in which candidates are nominated indirectly via the "election" of proxy delegates. They say Husted is violating due process and equal protection rights under the U.S. Constitution.


Younger voters are among Sanders' key supporters.

Complicating matters is that early voting has been underway in Ohio for weeks.


In Franklin County, home to Columbus, about 200 young voters have already cast primary ballots. The ballots are set aside to ensure those contests voted on are accurately counted, said Ben Piscitelli, a spokesman for the county's elections board.


Piscitelli said poll workers are telling 17-year-olds they'll have to wait until November to vote for president. He said one father was so upset that he and his daughter left without voting, and a mother who arrived with her daughter threatened to sue but voted.


"It's really nothing new," Piscitelli said. "It's new if you are a first time 17-year-old voter. It's kind of like finding out that they can't get their driver's license for another six months. You know, they are disappointed, but that's the law."



Kasich Turns Sights to Must-Win Ohio to Keep Campaign Alive


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Yet to win a state and far behind in the delegate count, John Kasich turns to Ohio hoping high approval ratings and a robust get-out-the-vote operation will deliver him a victory in his home state next Tuesday.




Should he succeed, Kasich would deprive Donald Trump of the 66 winner-take-all delegates, slowing the businessman's path toward clinching the GOP nomination outright.


"Now the home court advantage is coming north," Kasich declared Tuesday night to supporters in Columbus. "And next week, we are going to win the state of Ohio."


Trump's message of economic populism could make him a force among Ohio's working-class voters, but a recent preference poll indicates Kasich is close on Trump's trail.


Kasich's campaign, alongside the state GOP and the outside group backing his candidacy, is running an aggressive ground game aimed at reminding voters why they've twice elected Kasich to the governor's seat.

Polls show Kasich enjoys support from a majority of Ohio residents, and he's made the state's economic turnaround a centerpiece of his presidential campaign. When speaking to voters, he brags about turning the state's $8 billion deficit into a $2 billion surplus and adding hundreds of thousands of jobs after the recession - two points highlighted in a campaign ad currently running statewide.


But his record in Ohio didn't translate into a win in neighboring Michigan, where Trump won big on Tuesday night, with Kasich came in third behind Ted Cruz. Still, Kasich told supporters he was "very pleased" with the results, adding that voters are finally beginning to reward his positive message.


The Ohio Legislature's decision to make this year's contest a winner-take-all primary could prove critical to keeping Trump from receiving the necessary 1,237 delegates for the GOP nomination, increasing the chances of a contested convention this summer. Marco Rubio is hoping for a similar upset Tuesday in his home state of Florida, where 99 delegates are at stake.


But Kasich's campaign is boosted by the endorsement of the Ohio Republican Party, which has lent manpower and resources to the Ohio effort as Kasich focused on other states. For weeks, the party and the super PAC backing Kasich have been contacting voters who requested absentee ballots, urging them to vote for Kasich. The most recent data from the Ohio secretary of state's office shows roughly 118,000 voters requested Republican absentee ballots.


"We have the ball running free down the field," party chairman Matt Borges said, suggesting Kasich's competitors aren't putting the necessary time and attention into campaigning in the state. "Even if it's a close election, I think Gov. Kasich wins Ohio. That changes the whole dynamic of this race."


Trump's campaign says it has 10 offices, five paid staffers and thousands of volunteers deployed across the state. At two recent Kasich events in the state, Trump signs dotted the landscape outside.


Doris Schumacher, a storeowner in Republican-heavy Findlay, Ohio, said she's choosing between Trump and her governor. Schumacher likes that Trump is a political outsider, but also says Kasich's "calm, easy going, pleasant demeanor" appeals to her. But she's skeptical of the $2 billion state surplus Kasich touts on the trail because taxes on her farmland went up last year.


But for Jon Calvelage, a coffee shop owner in Findlay, Kasich's tenure in Ohio is proof that he'd be a good president.


"He's the only one that I would put any trust in," Calvelage said, noting Kasich's competitors are "more concerned with fighting."


Should Kasich win his home state, his climb to the nomination remains steep; he'd need to win well over half of the remaining delegates. He acknowledges his chances for clinching the nomination sit in a convention - noting wryly that Cleveland is an ideal place for such a battle to be waged. Such a scenario would mark a fresh round of chaos in the GOP contest, but Kasich doesn't seem worried.


"I think it's important, when you go to a convention, when you end up there - which it looks like we will - that it be a fair process. The delegates will be smart, and they'll figure it out," he told reporters recently in Michigan.


But long before a convention, winning Ohio comes first. For a campaign that's been reluctant to set expectations, there are no questions about the necessity of a victory next Tuesday.


As Borges, the state party chair, put it, "this is gonna be John Kasich's to lose."



Police Say Ohio Father Helped Adult Daughter Buy Heroin


DAYTON, Ohio (AP) -- Police say an Ohio father drove his adult daughter to buy heroin because she was becoming ill from withdrawal symptoms.


A Dayton police report says 52-year-old Jerry Roberts told police his daughter was a heroin addict and a problem.


The Dayton Daily News reports Roberts drove his 28-year-old daughter Keri Brown from New Lebanon to Dayton on Friday to buy heroin because she was "becoming ill from the withdrawal."


The report says Brown was booked into Montgomery County Jail on charges including drug possession, possession of drug abuse instruments and tampering with evidence, and was later released.


Her father was booked on suspicion of permitting drug abuse and remained in jail Sunday night with a scheduled Monday court appearance.


It was unclear if they had attorneys.



Cops to Whoever Left Drugs: We Feel 'Horrible for Your Loss'


MACEDONIA, Ohio (AP) -- Northeast Ohio police hoping to figure out who left a bag of methamphetamine in a hotel room trash can say their department feels horrible for the owner's loss and wants to help.


The tongue-in-cheek message posted Tuesday to the Macedonia police Facebook page asks the owner of the drugs to call or stop by to claim them so officers can, in their words, "make your day." A photograph shows a baggie containing what a detective says is a gram of high-grade crystal methamphetamine worth as much as $160.


The detective at the department about 20 miles southeast of Cleveland says there were numerous empty bags in the hotel trash can. Police haven't identified who rented the room using a gift card.



LOST!!! To the person or person(s) who left all his/her small baggies in the garbage can at a certain Highland Road...

Posted by Macedonia Police Department - Ohio on Tuesday, March 1, 2016



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