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Ohio Archives for 2017-01

Ohio Police Investigate Arson Suspect's Links to Other Fires

 

LORAIN, Ohio (AP) - Authorities in northern Ohio say a woman's admission that she set a fire at her apartment building has spurred them to investigate whether evidence connects other home fires to her or her mother, who has a previous arson conviction.

 

Police in Elyria (eh-LEER'-ee-uh) say 32-year-old Trista Mussell said she set the Jan. 2 fire with a lighter and some paper because she was upset about her apartment being dirty and having cockroaches.

 

She was jailed on an aggravated arson charge. Her attorney, JD Tomlinson, told The Chronicle-Telegram that Mussell was waiting for a grand jury to consider the case.

 

Lorain Fire Marshal Matt Homolya says investigators believe they can link four more fires to Mussell and three to her mother since her mother's arson conviction in 2000.

 

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Killer in Cincinnati Stabbing Asks Parole Board for Mercy

 

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Attorneys for a death row inmate sentenced to die for fatally stabbing a 67-year-old man are asking the Ohio Parole Board for mercy for their client.

 

Raymond Tibbetts is scheduled for execution in April. He was convicted of killing Fred Hicks at Hicks' Cincinnati home in 1997.

 

The parole board meets Tuesday to hear arguments for and against clemency for Tibbetts.

 

Records show that Tibbetts first killed his wife, 42-year-old Judith Crawford, by beating her with a bat and stabbing her during an argument over Tibbetts' crack cocaine habit. Tibbetts then killed Hicks, who had hired Crawford as a caretaker and allowed the couple to stay with him.

 

Tibbetts was sentenced to death for the killing of Hicks and life imprisonment without parole for Crawford's death.

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Ohio Urging Police Agencies to Meet New Statewide Standards

 

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The state is urging Ohio law enforcement agencies to adopt new statewide standards governing the use of deadly force, body cameras, hiring and other policies ahead of a March deadline.

 

An advisory board commissioned by Gov. John Kasich created the standards after a series of fatal police shootings, including the 2014 death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland.

 

The state Department of Public Safety says more than 300 agencies employing just over half of all Ohio police officers have received certification or applied to participate to date.

 

Agencies must apply to adopt the standards as minimum policies soon or be listed as noncompliant on a list to be published in March.

 

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World's Oddest Creatures Coming to Akron Zoo for New Exhibit

 

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — The Akron Zoo is introducing a new exhibit this summer that showcases some of the planet's more peculiar species such as the naked mole rat and Venus flytraps.

 

Zoo officials announced Tuesday that the new Curious Creatures exhibit will open June 3 in the Komodo Kingdom Education Center, which previously housed the popular Journey to the Reef display.

 

The zoo's new inhabitants also include red-eyed tree frogs, walking batfish and electric eels as well as several carnivorous plants and more.

 

Doug Piekarz, the zoo's president and CEO, says Curious Creatures allows the preserve to engage guests in their exploration of biodiversity like never before.

 

The exhibit features more than 20 animal and plant displays, an interactive learning lab and a strength tester where guests can virtually challenge the mantis shrimp.

 

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6 people injured in explosion at coal-fired power station

 

ABERDEEN, Ohio (AP) — An explosion at an Ohio coal-fired power station has injured six people.

 

Operator Dayton Power & Light and Adams County Sheriff Kimmie Rogers say none of the injuries at the J.M. Stuart Generating Station power plant near Aberdeen is considered life-threatening.

 

A dispatcher with the sheriff's office says the explosion was reported Tuesday afternoon at the station, about 60 miles east of Cincinnati.

 

Dayton Power & Light says the plant was evacuated and preliminary reports accounted for all employees and contractors.

It's unclear if any of those injured had to be hospitalized.

 

The cause of the explosion is unknown.

 

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2 More Sentenced in String of Arsons Near Bowling Green Ohio

 

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (AP) — Four people who prosecutors say were involved in a string of fires in northwestern Ohio have now been sentenced.

 

Three of the four will spend time in prison for the fires in rural parts of Wood County south of Toledo.

 

Investigators connected the group to five fires set last March. One of the suspects sentenced this past week received three years in prison while another was sentenced to probation.

 

Wood County Prosecutor Paul Dobson says one received leniency after cooperating with the investigation.

 

He says he isn't sure what role each played in the arsons that destroyed barns, at least two houses and other structures.

 

No one was hurt in the fires, but they did result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage.

 

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The Latest: Wisconsin student, her dad were on Missing Ohio Plane

 

CLEVELAND (AP) — The University of Wisconsin-Madison says one of its freshmen was among the six people aboard a small plane that disappeared over Lake Erie near Cleveland last week.

 

The university says 19-year-old Megan Casey, of Powell, Ohio, had been attending a Cleveland Cavaliers game with her father, Brian, and four neighbors. The university says the six were returning to Columbus when the plane vanished late Thursday shortly after takeoff.

 

So far there has been no sign of the plane or its occupants, though there have been multiple reports of debris washing ashore near the airport where the plane took off. Police say they have confirmed that a bag recovered Sunday was from the aircraft.

 

The university says Megan Casey was in a sorority and was pursuing a career in nursing.

 

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Observatory named for John Glenn proposed at Ohio state park

 

LOGAN, Ohio (AP) — Backers are fundraising to build an observatory and astronomy park named for the late space hero John Glenn at a state park in his native Ohio.

 

Members of the nonprofit Friends of Hocking Hills State Park say they've secured half of the $1.6 million budget for the proposed project at the park about 45 miles southeast of Columbus. They say the lack of light pollution in the area allows clear views of the night sky.

 

The head of the nonprofit group's board says in a statement that the park could offer research and education opportunities, help spark visitors' interest in science and astronomy and honor Glenn's legacy.

 

Glenn was the first American astronaut to orbit Earth and later became a U.S. senator. He died Dec. 8, at age 95.

 

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Ohio high-schooler, 16, saves herself, 3 brothers from fire

 

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio high-schooler is being credited with saving herself and her three younger brothers from a house fire.

 

The Columbus Dispatch reports that 16-year-old Abbi Swank's parents were delivering newspapers at around 4 a.m. Thursday when fire engulfed the north side house where she and her siblings were sleeping.

 

The Whetstone High School junior awoke to the sounds of her 11-year-old brother, Tyler, screaming. She smelled smoke, wrapped herself in a blanket and ran.

 

Abbi made sure Tyler and her 9-year-old brother, Bo, got outside. She was unable to rouse her 13-year-old brother, Kyle, so she dragged him out. Abbi then called her parents and 911.

 

Columbus fire officials said her actions probably saved all four children.

 

Two of the family's four dogs died in the blaze.

 

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