Ohio News Briefs

Ohio’s Supreme Court upholds police immunity in chase case

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio Supreme Court has upheld a ruling that says five law enforcement officers sued by a woman injured during a high-speed chase are immune from legal liability.

There was disagreement among the justices on immunity standards. The majority ruled officers chasing suspects receive the same level of immunity provided by state law to all government employees. Justice Judith French wrote officers couldn’t be held liable unless they acted “in a wanton or reckless manner.”

Justice Sharon Kennedy agreed with the court’s judgment, but disagreed with some of the ruling. Two justices dissented.

The ruling stemmed from a 2011 lawsuit by a woman hurt when burglary suspect Andrew Barnhart’s vehicle hit hers head-on as he fled from Miami Township and Montgomery County officers. Barnhart died in the crash.

Ohio high court: ‘Bath salts’ were outlawed drugs by 2011

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio Supreme Court has resolved a conflict over laws meant to outlaw drugs sometimes known as bath salts or synthetic marijuana.

The court ruled 6-1 Tuesday that the Ohio General Assembly made the synthetic drugs illegal in 2011.

At issue before the court were conflicting appeals court rulings about the timing of such laws.

In one case, the 12th Ohio District Court of Appeals in Middletown rejected a gas station owner’s argument that drugs he was convicted of selling in early 2012 weren’t made illegal until December of that year.

In another case, the 10th Ohio District Court of Appeals in Columbus sided with a Columbus shop owner by concluding that certain drugs weren’t illegal because lawmakers created confusion in a bill that took effect in 2011.

2 teen boys struck, injured while trying to cross Ohio road

FOREST PARK, Ohio (AP) — Two teenagers have been hospitalized after being hit while trying to cross a road at night in the northern Cincinnati suburb of Forest Park.

The Hamilton County sheriff’s office says a 13-year-old boy was in critical condition Monday night after being dragged by one of two vehicles that struck him. A 14-year-old boy was hospitalized in stable condition after being hit once.

A Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center spokesman said no information was available for release Tuesday.

Investigators say the teens darted into a roadway around 9:05 p.m. and were struck by a southbound minivan. The younger boy was thrown into northbound lanes, where he was struck and dragged by a car.

The minivan was struck by a third vehicle. A passenger in that minivan was treated and released.

Police: Woman arrested for threat to shoot up Ohio hospital

ALLIANCE, Ohio (AP) — A woman accused of threatening to shoot people at a northeastern Ohio hospital and blow it up after a relative died there has been arrested on a charge of making terroristic threats.

The Repository in Canton reports the 35-year-old Alliance woman was arrested at Alliance Community Hospital early Monday morning.

Alliance police reported that hospital employees believed the woman’s threat of revenge to be a credible threat to the safety of their workplace.

She was taken to the Stark County Jail.

It wasn’t clear Tuesday whether the woman has an attorney. The felony case wasn’t yet listed in court records.

Number of youth gunshot victims on the rise in central Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Health care officials and local authorities have noticed an alarming trend that more youths are being shot in central Ohio than there ever have before.

Dr. Jonathan Groner, trauma director at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, tells The Columbus Dispatch that doctors across the region have seen an increase in young gunshot wound victims but are at a loss for a reason why.

As of October, Nationwide Children’s has treated 58 patients under the age of 21 for gunshot wounds. That figure is the highest for the Columbus hospital in five years.

Columbus Public Health plans to hire a part-time epidemiologist next year to monitor neighborhood violence. A spokesman says the agency may begin to track injuries that stem from shootings in Columbus in the future.

Miami U. modifies Greek Life system in wake of violations

OXFORD, Ohio (AP) — Miami University in southwest Ohio has revamped its Greek Life system after suspending three fraternities and putting several others on probation in light of hazing, alcohol and drug violations this year.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports university officials were concerned given how more than a third of students participate in fraternities and sororities.

Miami has made five major changes, beginning with shifting from monthly to weekly meetings between chapter leaders and the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life.

Chapter representatives are now elected to their positions in November so they can finish training before the rush period begins.

Additionally, all new pledges must complete an online hazing prevention course.

The Greek Life office no longer sits on judicial hearings and a “re-visioning committee” was established to discuss any future issues.

Airport flight instructor in Ohio plans drone training forum

FREMONT, Ohio (AP) — A flight instructor at a small airport in northern Ohio is planning a seminar next month for people interested in drones as a hobby of for commercial uses.

The class at the Fremont Airport on Jan. 14 will focus on helping drone operator pass a test that’s required by the Federal Aviation Administration for drones weighing a half-pound or more.

Flight instructor Tyler Bowes says he wants to help new drone owners understand more about airspace safety and understand the rules.

He says one rule is that drones are not allowed to fly within five miles of airports.

Bowes tells The News-Messenger in Fremont that even though toy drones are not required to be registered, all drone owners should understand the FAA’s rules.

Missing woman found dead in parking lot near Dayton

KETTERING, Ohio (AP) — Police near Dayton are investigating the death of a woman whose body was discovered in a parking lot.

Kettering police say the body of 29-year-old Lynn Davis was found Monday afternoon near where she went missing on Saturday.

They say her body was found in a business parking lot.

The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office and Kettering police are looking into the circumstances in her death.