Sixteen people charged in beard- and hair-cutting attacks on fellow Amish in Ohio have rejected plea bargain offers and will go to trial next month. The defendants include members of an eastern Ohio breakaway Amish group.
A coalition pushing changes to the way Ohio draws legislative and congressional districts expects to have more than enough petition signatures to qualify the proposed constitutional amendment for the November ballot. Voters First Ohio says it has collected more than 700-thousand signatures. Secretary of State Jon Husted ruled the group's previous submission was more than 130-thousand shy of the roughly 385-thousand signatures needed. The proposal aims to take away map-drawing powers from elected officials and put them in the hands of a 12-person citizen commission.
Kings Island amusement park is removing a wooden roller coaster plagued by problems since opening 12 years ago. Kings Island will begin dismantling the coaster this summer to make room for future expansion. A park statement does not say what will replace it. The ride was billed as the world's tallest and fastest wooden roller coaster when it opened. The track rose to a 218-foot peak with trains reaching speeds of 78 mph. It closed for nearly a year for reconstruction after more than two dozen people were injured in a 2006 accident.
Columbus Police say one man was killed and three others wounded in a suspected drug-related robbery Sunday in South Linden. Police say 25-year-old Albert Thompson III was shot and killed at a home in the 1-thousand block of East 17th Avenue. 21-year-old Juanricus Kibby, 25-year-old Miquel William and 28-year-old Keith Paxton are being treated at local hospitals. No arrests have been made.
During the past fiscal year, Ohio nursing homes were cited nearly twice as often as in the previous year for putting patients at serious risk of harm. The increase in "immediate jeopardy" citations coincides with cuts in Medicaid payments. But state officials say it's too soon to say whether the payments are affecting the quality of care. The increase is the largest since the 2007-08 fiscal year.
Hot, dry weather in the Midwest has created the perfect conditions for mosquitoes. Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois are reporting higher rates of mosquitoes carrying the West Nile Virus, as compared with past years. The Ohio Department of Health reports a 460-percent increase in mosquitoes carrying the virus. Mosquito samples testing positive rose from 38 last year to 213 this year, the highest number since 2002. No human cases have been reported in Ohio, but Illinois and Oklahoma report earlier-than-usual cases of human infection.
Delta Airlines says it will close Cincinnati-based regional carrier Comair at the end of August as it switches more routes to larger jets. Delta plans to reduce its number of regional jets from 350 to 125 within two years. The company says operating regional carriers has become more expensive and customers are demanding more room. No routes will be cut from the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport. Comair represents 1 percent of Delta's operations.
Cleveland Browns owner Randy Lerner says he's discussing a possible investment in the team by businessman Jimmy Haslam, founder of the Pilot corporation, a chain of convenience stores and travel centers. Haslam is also a minority owner of the Browns' archrival, the Pittsburgh Steelers. Lerner says he was approached by Haslam, and have agreed to keep details of the negotiations private. Meanwhile crews have completed the rennovation of Cleveland Browns Stadium. Crews have completed weeks worth of concrete restoration, seat replacement, and installation of new food stands.
Personnel files obtained by The Associated Press show two Ohio Parole Board members removed by the state prisons director without warning earlier this year both had good reviews. Board member and former Columbus police officer Cathy Collins-Taylor was praised for her hard work, responsiveness and reliability two months before she was removed. Board member Jose Torres was deemed enthusiastic and respectful and was thanked for his dedication to the prisons department. Director Gary Mohr says he made the changes to improve the system and find the right people for the right positions.
A Columbus man is the first person to be convicted in West Virginia on federal charges of distributing bath salts. 35-year-old Steven Kohl also pleaded guilty Wednesday to aiding and abetting interstate travel in aid of a racketeering enterprise. The charge stems from Kohl's role in bringing the synthetic drugs to West Virginia in September 2011. A sentencing date is pending.
State Auditor David Yost tells the Ohio Board of Education he is expanding his investigation of student attendance data fixing in the Columbus, Toledo, and Lockland districts into a statewide probe. Yost says the problem may not be local but systemic. Yost wants department employees to preserve all records and to not interfere with witnesses in the case. State Schools Superintendent Stan Heffner has said the probe could lead to fraud charges against any educators involved.
A U.S. Army soldier has testified in the court marshal of an Ohio soldier that Private Danny Chen said he was having suicidal thoughts days before he took his own life. Private First Class Degan Berhe testified Thursday in the court marshal of Sergeant Adam Holcomb of Youngstown. Berhe says he did not tell his supervisors of Chen's suicidal thoughts because they hazed the soldier and he did not trust them. Holcomb is one of eight soldiers accused of hazing Chen in Afghanistan because of his Chinese-American heritage. Defense attorneys argue Chen was disowned by his family.
Partial human remains found by two boys along a Lake Erie breaker wall in Sandusky are those of a man missing since last fall. The Erie County Coroner's Office says the body is that of 58-year-old Charles Kaplan of Solon, whose boat capsized last October. The U.S. Coast Guard found the body of Kaplan's girlfriend, 58-year-old Pam Holstein, inside the vessel.
Montgomery County officials have filed a class action lawsuit against Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, who they say owe millions in unpaid taxes. The suit alleges the mortgage giants wrongfully claimed various exemptions to avoid paying county transfer taxes on homes and new homeowners. County officials say both companies filed for exemptions as government entities and other inapplicable exemptions for an unspecified period of time. A Fannie Mae representative says the company cannot comment on pending litigation.
A Columbus woman who pleaded guilty to killing a man in 2005 at a Springfield shopping mall was released from prison Wednesday following an Ohio Supreme Court decision involving one of her co-defendants. 26-year-old Mahogany Patterson was released three years early. She is one of four Columbus women convicted of killing John Deselem as they fled a robbery at a the mall. The conviction of Toneisha Gunnell was overturned by the high court last week. The state says Patterson's conviction has been overturned by an appelate court.
The National Transportation Safety Board estimates damage of 1.2 million dollars from this month's train derailment and explosion on the North side. The agency continues investigating the cause of the July 11th derailment on the Norfolk Southern railroad tracks near the state fairgrounds. The accident derailed 17 cars and caused a fire that burned for hours. Two people sustained minor injuries.
Clark County Sheriff's deputies say a man has been arrested for making threats on a 911 call related to the recent Colorado theater shootings. The unnamed 37-year-old man allegedly called 911 dispatchers early Wednesday and said "someone will die today." Deputies say he made statements about the shootings that left 12 people dead, including he sympathized with the shooter and the shooter was making a political statement. The man told deputies he'd been drinking when he made the call. He's getting a mental health evaluation and faces several misdemeanor charges.
The U.S Department of Agriculture is projecting the drought will increase food prices by 3 to 4 percent next year. Beef prices are expected to see the largest increase at 4 to 5 percent. Dairy prices are expected to climb by 3.5 to 4.5 percent. And poultry prices are expected to rise by 3 to 4 percent. Meat and poultry are the most affected because feed prices represent the biggest part of the cost of production. Processed food prices are less affected but corn, soybean and other commodity prices are soaring.