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Prosecutors on Tuesday rested their case in the trial of a Medina man whose 20-month-old daughter's decomposed body was found in a crib in his apartment last year. 35-year-old Eric Warfel is awaiting a judge's ruling in a bench trial in Medina County Court, where he's accused of gross abuse of a corpse, child endangering, tampering with evidence and cocaine possession. The defense called no witnesses after prosecutors brought more than a dozen people to the stand for testimony during two days of presentations. Ember Warfel's body was found in late-July last year when a cable company technician gained access to the father's apartment for a maintenance job. The cause of the child's death is yet to be determined. Cleveland.com reports that a decision from the judge could take weeks.
A solar-powered aircraft that's on a round-the-world journey is spending a little more time in Ohio than originally planned, but will be getting off the round again on Wednesday. The Swiss-made Solar Impulse 2 was scheduled to leave the airport in Dayton and make its way to Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania on Tuesday. The leg was put-off as engineers take a good look at the aircraft after an inflation cabinet failed, causing the mobile hangar to deflate and come into contact with the plane. Officials say it doesn't appear the craft was damaged, but they gave it a good check-up before deciding to continue the journey with a scheduled lift-off at 4:00AM Wednesday. The voyage began in March from the capital of United Arab Emirates.
The next-generation version of Acura's top-shelf 2017 NSX began making its way off the production line in Marysville, Ohio this week. Honda Motor Company took the wraps off the first of the high-dollar traveling machines on Tuesday, with the automaker saying that “VIN 001” set a record as the highest-selling Vehicle ID Number at the Barrett-Jackson collector car auction in January. The item sold for 1.2-Million dollars, with Honda donating the proceeds to charity. There will be about 800 NSX models produced at the Marysville plant per year – the first time in company history that the model is being assembled outside Japan. If you're thinking of buying one...it won't be cheap. Starting price for the 2017 model is 156-Thousand dollars.
A Federal judge in Columbus on Tuesday afternoon ruled that the state's Republican-led Legislature violated Ohio voters' Constitutional rights with changes made to voting rules – including elimination of the so-called “Golden Week,” during which people could register and vote absentee at the same time. Lawmakers had eliminated the Golden Week, setting absentee voting for the day after voter registration closed. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted had argued that, despite the changes, our state still has one of the most liberal absentee voting schedules in the US at 28 days. The changes came under fire from Democrats and minority voter-rights groups, who had claimed that the new rules disenfranchised a disproportionate number of low-income and minority voters.
The numbers are in for the unemployment rate in our region as the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services reported declining jobless levels in all 88 Ohio Counties. Summit County's jobless rate fell from a March level of 5.6-percent to an even five-percent in April. Stark County posted a 5.5-percent rate of unemployment last month, down from the March level of 6.1-percent. Portage County came-in with a 4.8-percent jobless rate in April compared with 5.6-percent in March and Medina County recorded a rate of 3.9-percent, down from the March level of 4.5-percent. With the exception of Medina County, all other counties in our region still had higher unemployment levels in April than reported during the same time last year.
State lawmakers are considering a plan that would speed-up the process of notifying residents when higher-than-allowed lead levels are detected in drinking water. A proposed overhaul of state rules governing municipal water systems includes language mandating that affected users be notified within two days after high lead levels are detected. Governor Kasich wants a dramatic reduction in the timeline from the current Federal standard that gives water plants 60 days to notify residents. Representatives for a water industry group say the timeline's too short. The head of the Ohio Water Utility Council says the two-day mandate would distract plant operators from focusing on the task of controlling elevated lead levels. He says he would prefer a five-day deadline.
A committee in the Ohio Senate that held-off action last week took another look at plans to legalize medical marijuana in the state on Tuesday. A major change was made to the bill that was previously approved by the House, scrapping plans for the Ohio Pharmacy Board to serve as a regulatory agency. Committee members said there's concern that such a rare set-up may create an undue burden for the state. Other changes coming from Tuesday's meeting in the Senate Government Oversight Committee would require pharmacists at dispensaries, leaving doctors' involvement under control of the State Medical Board and puts cultivation and processing under control of the State Commerce Department. The State Legislature fast-tracked the pro-pot bill, hoping to get it to the Governor's desk for a signature by the end of the month in an effort to circumvent a proposed November ballot issue.
A Toledo man accused of chaining a young relative in his basement over the course of a year says he hasn't done anything wrong. 53-year-old Timothy Ciboro says he also fears for his life while being held in the Lucas County Jail. He and his 27-year-old son were both busted on kidnapping and child endangering charges last week after the 13-year-old girl was found about a mile away from Ciboro's home with a horrific story to tell. She claimed she had been shackled to a support post in the basement, fed spoiled food and scraps and forced to defecate in a bucket filled with ammonia. She told authorities that she got her hands on a spare key to unlock herself and get free. Ciboro and his son, Esten, were caught last Thursday as they and two other children were leaving the house in a van. Leg irons were found in the basement. Ciboro claims the girl was anti-social with the rest of the family and had a penchant for getting away from the house to be with other people who were not good for her. Both of the accused men remain jailed under 500-Thousand dollar bonds.
A Youngstown man convicted last month for the murder of a young woman was back in Mahoning County Court for sentencing on Tuesday. 27-year-old Keith Sims of Ford Avenue was ordered to spend life in prison with no chance of parole for at least 18 years. A court jury on April 1 found Sims guilty on charges of murder and felonious assault, each with firearm specifications, stemming from the October 25, 2014 shooting death of 23-year-old Shaniece Wells. The incident happened during a fight outside a home in the 800 block of East Boston Avenue. Wells wasn't involved in the fight and had gone to the scene in an attempt to break it up when she was shot. It took the jury less than two hours to convict Sims for the crimes.
A well-known Akron business executive collapsed and needed CPR while playing golf on a public course this week. The Beacon Journal reports that public relations executive David Meeker collapsed on the Ninth Green at Good Park Golf Course in Akron around Noon on Monday. The newspaper quoted a Police Department spokesman in reporting that two officers performed CPR on Meeker until a Med Unit could get on the scene. He was rushed to Akron General Medical Center and was listed in critical condition.
On the day he was due for sentencing for causing a stir over his so-called “disappearance,” a Columbiana County man has withdrawn his guilty plea to charges of making false alarms. 27-year-old James Artrup of Hanoverton withdrew the plea on Monday in Lisbon Municipal Court. He was charged after feeding his girlfriend a line about going fishing. When he didn't return home, the girlfriend found his fishing gear on the shore of a nearby lake and a search of the water and the surrounding area began. Some 50 volunteers, six fire departments, the County Sheriff and state authorities looked high and low until Artrup was found at the home of a female co-worker in Wellsville. The woman has been charged with falsification after she reportedly lied to investigators and Artrup now faces a June 21 pre-trial hearing.
They're all the rage among remote-control fanatics and now, the Butler County Sheriff's office in southwest Ohio is working toward the start of drone operations. The Sheriff's office announced this week that it's applying to the FAA for certification of drone flights, to be used in gathering evidence and conducting searches. The department says the process of certification will take about six months and once complete, authorities plan to employ the use of a 12-hundred dollar craft that's outfitted with two cameras to take both still photos and video footage. The FAA anticipates the sales of drones will go sky-high...from around 2.5-Million this year to about seven-Million by the year 2020.
Two motorcycle riders are dead after going the wrong direction on the highway, colliding head-on with a car in southwest Ohio. The Fayette County Sheriff's office says both 65-year-old James Fetters and 69-year-old Linda Fetters of Somerville died at the scene of the crash. It happened on Monday afternoon along US Route 22 in Washington Court House. A 69-year-old area man who was driving the car was taken by helicopter to the hospital and was listed in critical condition after the wreck, which remains under investigation by the State Highway Patrol.
Officials at Cleveland State University are considering replacing the Wolstein Center with a smaller facility, creating more space for on-campus housing. CSU wants to add another one-Thousand housing units while at the same time, cut their losses with operating the 25-year-old arena. The Board of Trustees says the 13-Thousand seat facility loses around a Million dollars a year. They're considering a new venue that will seat only between five- and seven-Thousand fans.
If you've got your mind set on shenanigans during the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this summer, keep in mind you'll be watched on hidden camera. Cuyahoga County will set-up four mobile security cameras that will provide live monitoring of what happens as the political hob-nobbers go about their business. The company providing the cameras says the mobile surveillance will help police and security personnel to keep disruptive behavior or demonstrations in check. Funding for the system is being provided in part through a Federal grant from Urban Area Security.
One of two attorneys who requested a judge release them from the case will now defend an accused cop-killer for free. Herschel Jones III is charged with aggravated murder and faces a possible death sentence if convicted for the January shooting death of Danville Police Officer Thomas Cottrell. The 34-year-old officer's body was found behind the village Municipal Building after Jones' ex-girlfriend called police to say he was on the streets, looking to kill a cop. The attorneys asked a Knox County judge to allow them to withdraw from the case last week. The request came after the Ohio Public Defender's Office raised ethical questions over the fact the attorneys are part of a private law firm. One of the attorneys was re-appointed to the case by the judge as a private lawyer working pro bono.
A solar-powered aircraft that's on a round-the-world journey will spend a little more time in Ohio than originally planned. The Swiss-made Solar Impulse 2 was scheduled to leave the airport in Dayton and make its way to Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania on Tuesday. The leg was put-off as engineers take a good look at the aircraft after an inflation cabinet failed, causing the mobile hangar to deflate and come into contact with the plane. Officials say it doesn't appear the craft was damaged, but they'll spend a few days giving it a good check-up before continuing the journey. The voyage began in March from the capital of United Arab Emirates.
The father of a child who died after being placed in scalding water by his mother has now been charged with playing a role in the alleged abuse that caused the death. Robert Ritchie of Franklin was indicted by a Warren County Grand Jury on Monday, charged with involuntary manslaughter and child endangering. Prosecutors say that Ritchie waited 15 hours to call for help, despite knowing that his wife, Anna, had placed his four-year-old son in the hot water for at least 20 minutes as punishment. Austin Cooper was sent to bed despite the fact he was bleeding, blistered and had skin coming off his legs. He died the next day and the coroner's office says the death was caused by blood and fluid loss.
A legislative panel to regulate medical marijuana through Ohio's pharmacy board is being scrapped over concerns the rare setup nationally might have created an undue burden on the state. Sen. David Burke, a pharmacist behind the idea, called the arrangement the most responsible way to oversee marijuana as medicine. He said the changes were needed to strike a workable compromise. The National Association of State Boards of Pharmacy says only Connecticut and Louisiana regulate medical marijuana through their pharmacy boards. Most states establish control commissions that distance federally-licensed doctors and pharmacies from distribution.
A southwest Ohio sheriff's office is working for certification to operate drones that can be used for evidence gathering and in searches. The Butler County Sheriff's Office will apply to the Federal Aviation Administration for the certification to operate drones. The sheriff says the $1,200 drone the office plans to use will be an important law enforcement tool. It has two cameras that can take still photos and video of crime scenes. The FAA has estimated the sales of unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, will soar from about 2.5 million this year to 7 million in 2020.