A home and a nearby barn in Geauga County's Montville Township were destroyed in a blaze that happened early Wednesday morning. The call came-in around 5:15AM from the scene in the 16-Thousand block of Hart Road and first-responders arrived to find both structures totally involved. Before the flames were eventually doused, 60 crew members from 15 area departments were involved in the effort to get the blaze under control. Authorities say the family living inside the home got out safely and no injuries were reported. The cause remains under investigation and damage estimates were still being compiled on Wednesday evening.
Ohio prison officials plan to put inmates to work in building cabins for use in the state parks. Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections Director Gary Mohr says the program will be initiated at the prison facility in Chillicothe, part of a broader effort to give prisoners real-world job skills. 62 of the cabins will be constructed, including 40 replacements for existing structures and 20 new ones. The basic design is a slight upgrade from a wood-framed tent – but with running water, air conditioning units, refrigerators and microwaves.
A whitewater rapids recreation center in North Carolina will be treated with a huge amount of Chlorine, an effort to kill-off a brain-eating amoeba that infected and caused then death of a rafter from Ohio last month. Mecklenburg County health officials in Charlotte say the US National Whitewater Center will be hit with ten times the chlorine level typically used to treat the water. The rapids were drained into a downstream pond to allow the water to be shock-treated, while sediment at the bottom of the waterway where the amoeba lives is being dug-out – to be spread in nearby fields where exposure to sunlight will kill it off. They added that any water flowing back into the Catawba River will be closely monitored.
In a case that's getting close attention around the US, the Ohio Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a unanimous decision to reverse a lower court ruling involving rape charges filed against a Cleveland man. Demetrius Jones was first accused of rape and kidnapping in 1993, but wasn't formally charged until 2013...nearly 20 years after the crime. Jones' attorneys argued that prosecutors knew early that he was a suspect, but closed the case with limited investigation. They claimed that the long delay to indict their client was unconstitutional. The charges were re-filed when an old DNA rape kit was tested and came-up with a match that implicated Jones. Justices ruled that the appellate court that heard his case used an improper standard in upholding dismissal of the charges, then immediately re-instated the counts and ordered the Eighth District Court of Appeals to re-consider Jones' arguments under a different standard.
The State Budget Office says Ohio's Rainy Day Fund has grown to more than two-Billion dollars. Office of Budget and Management Director Tim Keen announced on Wednesday that another 29.5-Million was deposited into the account after the end of the last Fiscal Year on June 30, marking the fifth deposit into the fund in the past six years. Keen says that spending for the year came in below projections, allowing for another decent deposit into the account...which is allowed to reach 8.5-percent of the preceding year's general revenues. Keen says that the Rainy Day Fund is currently at a six-percent level in that regard.
A man arrested this week on charges of attacking a woman had just been released from prison three weeks ago after doing time for attacking another woman. The Canton Repository reports that 36-year-old Tahi Nelson was busted around 4:00AM Tuesday in the 1400 block of Lippert Road NE, where officers responded to the reported assault on the latest victim to find Nelson packing a stolen handgun and crack cocaine. He had just gotten out of prison July 5 after doing time for a 2009 conviction for felonious assault and weapons under disability. In that case, he pistol-whipped a woman, leaving her with a fractured skull and other injuries. He was booked into Stark County Jail on counts including domestic violence, receiving stolen property, weapons under disability and possession of cocaine. His bond was set at 70-Thousand dollars.
A Franklin County Grand Jury has issued an indictment against a man who allegedly shot his niece and nephew as they sat watching TV with his mother, killing one of the young victims. 59-year-old Milous Keith III of Columbus is charged with aggravated murder, murder, attempted murder, felonious assault and having weapons under disability. The Prosecutor's office says Keith arrived at his mother's Kenview Avenue home on July 17, then shot to death 12-year-old Cheyenne Stewart and seriously wounded 10-year-old Thaijuan Green. During his initial court appearance the following day, Keith admitted the shootings and said the kids were being too noisy.
The Ohio State Fair has opened for its 163rd run with Governor Kasich joined by his family and other state officials taking-part in the kick-off on Wednesday in Columbus. This year's fair features a list of new attractions, 190 food vendors and a number of new menu items. The 76 rides at the State Fairgrounds began undergoing inspections last week by authorities with the Ohio Department of Agriculture, who completed the work despite oppressive heat leading-up to this week's opening. Rides will be monitored through the end of the event, which closes August 7.
A man in southeast Ohio has been jailed on charges he used a hammer to attack and kill his mother and critically injure his sister. Police in Newcomerstown say 30-year-old Charles Plants was arrested after a foot chase, found hiding in a cornfield after he allegedly beat the women with the tool last Friday at a home on Nugent Street. Officers arrived shortly after 1:00PM to find 53-year-old Jane Davis dead on the scene. 32-year-old Cynthia Smith was rushed to an area hospital and was listed in critical condition following the attack. Police haven't discussed a motive or released many details about the incident, but say they've confiscated the weapon they believe was used.
A recent series of ride-alongs by Akron City Council members and other city leaders has resulted in a call by some Council members for all the city's police officers to be outfitted with Tasers. The Beacon Journal reports that Donnie Kammer and Veronica Simms both say that the growing number of shootings of police officers points to the need for increasing the safety of both the general public as well as the officers who serve. Currently, there's a shortage of as many as 30 of the devices following the recent purchase of 65 new ones through a Federal grant. A spokesman for the Mayor's office says the city is trying to find funds to purchase both Tasers and additional body cameras.
The numbers continue to skyrocket in Akron with regard to heroin overdoses and deaths. The Beacon Journal reports that more than two-thirds of the 320 OD calls between January and June happened between July 5 and 26th...with 20 of the city's 63 fatalities happening during the latest run of bad drugs on the streets. Police told the newspaper that Akron's not alone in contending with the unwanted trend – with suburban communities and larger cities including Columbus and Cincinnati reporting similar problems. Investigators haven't had a lot of luck in tracking-down the source of the bad heroin, which they say appears to be laced with Carfentanyl – normally used for sedating large animals at the zoo. Reviving an overdose patient from that drug requires as many as six to seven doses of Narcan, when one usually does the trick for a normal heroin OD case.
A northeast Ohio couple has donated five-Million dollars to the University of Notre Dame, to help fund construction of a practice field for the Fighting Irish Marching Band. The donation from Kenn and Pamela Ricci of Willoughby was announced at the university in South Bend this week. “Ricci Family Fields” will feature lighted artificial turf and a tower for the band director. The school says while the band isn't using the facility, recreational sports programs will take to the site that includes two additional lighted-turf fields and a support building. Construction is set to begin in the spring and be complete by August next year.
A probe into the on-the-job death of a Cincinnati firefighter last year says that a number of factors came into play that resulted in his life being lost. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health issued its findings this week, saying a series of mistakes by fire crews led to poor visibility for those involved in a rescue effort in a burning building. The report says delays in getting water onto the flames contributed to the heavy smoke that reduced visibility to five feet or less. Veteran firefighter Daryl Gordon died on March 26 last year when he pried-open the door to an elevator shaft and fell to his death.
An argument at a bar over the upcoming presidential election got heated enough that it ended in gunfire; One man wounded, the other running from the law. Police in Cleveland say 60-year-old Paul Jones Jr was talking politics with a friend at the bar near East 131st and Miles when another man overheard him touting the virtues of Republican nominee Donald Trump. Jones said the other man inserted himself into the conversation and the argument followed, with the 45-year-old man going to his car, getting a gun and shooting him in the leg. The gunman fled the scene of the incident that happened around 6:00PM Monday and police were still looking for him on Tuesday. Once they catch up, he'll be booked on a felonious assault charge.
The Ohio Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors is being targeted by the State Attorney General's office, with authorities saying the Board authorized a former director to practice law without a license. Vanessa Niekamp resigned last week after the AG's office advised the Board that allowing her to negotiate violation settlements constitutes unauthorized practice of law. Niekamp said she was stepping-down due to what she called baseless accusations and personal antagonism on the part of at least one Board member. The Attorney General says only his office has the authorization to negotiate settlements on behalf of the Board.
The Sixth US Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati is the venue as two sides argue over the manner in which Ohio maintains voter registration rolls. Voter-rights groups filed suit in April against Secretary of State Jon Husted's office, claiming the state wrongfully drops names from registration lists based on failure to vote in past elections. The claim was rejected by a Federal judge last month, sending the case to the appellate court. Husted's office says the claims made by the ACLU and others have no merit and that Ohio abides by both State and Federal election laws in maintaining the lists. The plaintiffs got first crack before a three-judge panel on Wednesday.
Authorities say a 12 year-old boy was seriously injured after a buggy he was operating collided with a car. Fox 8 News reports...the accident happened Tuesday afternoon in Burton along Hubbard and Tavern Road. The boy was flown by Metro Life Flight helicopter to Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital with serious injuries. The driver of the car was not hurt. The Geauga County Sheriff's Department is investigating the crash.
Ohio Governor John Kasich is joining state officials to help kick off the Ohio State Fair. Kasich is slated to speak at today's opening ceremonies. The fair runs through Aug. 7. The two-term governor has kept a relatively low profile since abandoning his Republican presidential campaign in May. He spent last week in Cleveland, though he stayed away from the festivities at the Republican National Convention. Kasich hasn't endorsed Donald Trump, who planned to campaign Wednesday in Toledo.
Overdoses continue to rise in Akron.
The Beacon reports....from January to June, Akron paramedics responded to about 320 drug overdose calls, about 200 so far in the month of July.
Officials say, the spike from one or two a day to 11 or more, is thought to be the result of the introduction of carfentanil to the local market. The heroin-like drug is so potent it's used to sedate large animals.
So far this year, 63 people have died of drug overdoses in Akron. Suburbs of Akron have begun reporting spikes in drug overdoses.
Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump plans a campaign rally in northwest Ohio as Democrats continue their convention in Philadelphia. Officials with the GOP candidate's campaign say Trump is scheduled to appear at the Huntington Center in Toledo tonight. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and running mate Tim Kaine plan to travel to Ohio for a rally in Youngstown on Saturday evening and one in Columbus on Sunday.