Ohio News Briefs

GOP leaders in 29 Ohio counties back Husted governor bid

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted’s campaign says party leaders in a third of Ohio’s counties are backing his bid for governor.

The list of 35 chairs, vice chairs or individuals in 29 counties was released Thursday, less than a month into Husted’s campaign. His spokesman says county party leaders are the state’s foremost campaign organizers and helped elect President Donald Trump last year.

The early display of grassroots support could be pivotal as Husted positions against a potentially crowded GOP field seeking to replace Republican Gov. John Kasich, who’s term-limited.

U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci is also seeking the GOP nomination, and runs by Attorney General Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor also are anticipated.

Husted is in his second term as state elections chief.

Ohio legislation targets financial fraud against elderly

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Legislation in the Ohio Senate would target financial fraud against the elderly estimated to cost billions annually.

The bill by state Sen. Steve Wilson would require bank employees, accountants, real estate brokers and financial advisers who suspect elderly fraud to report it to adult protective service agencies.

Wilson, a Republican from Warren County, tells The Columbus Dispatch the legislation would help the elderly by allowing protective services to stop suspicious transactions.

Wilson says the bill would also protect business people reporting the fraud from lawsuits by upset family members or others.

The bill provides some funding. Wilson says adult protective services officials made it clear that some funding was needed because of already stretched budgets.

Patrol: 14 killed on Ohio roads over Memorial Day weekend

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The State Highway Patrol says 14 people were killed on Ohio roads over the Memorial Day weekend.

A patrol statement says the deaths reported over the four-day period from May 26 through May 29 included one motorcyclist, six motorist and seven pedestrians.

Fewer people were killed over Memorial Day weekend in 2017 than in the previous two years. The patrol says 15 people died in crashes over the 2016 holiday period and 16 were killed in 2015.

State troopers made 554 drug-related arrests this year, up 26 percent compared with 2016. A total of 801 DUI arrests were reported. That’s an 8 percent increase compared with Memorial Day weekend last year.

The patrol says troopers issued more than 7,800 citations for seat belt violations, up 9 percent from last year.

Bus driver gets jail for leaving disabled woman in hot bus

LANCASTER, Ohio (AP) — A former central Ohio bus driver has been sentenced to jail after being convicted of leaving a developmentally disabled woman inside a parked bus on a scorching day.

The Lancaster Eagle-Gazette reports 53-year-old Scott Frye pleaded no contest Wednesday to failure to provide for a functionally impaired person and patient endangerment in Fairfield County Municipal Court. Frye received 175 days in jail.

A defense attorney says Frye is remorseful.

Prosecutors say Frye returned his bus to the Lancaster-Fairfield Public Transit depot on a 90-degree day last September and failed to notice that the 29-year-old woman, who is autistic and non-verbal, remained inside. She was treated at a hospital for dehydration after Frye discovered her inside the bus nearly 4 ½ hours later.

Frye was fired after the incident.

Air Force Museum visitors settle federal lawsuit

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio family handcuffed and held at gunpoint during a visit to the National Air Force Museum has settled a federal civil lawsuit for $40,000.

The Dayton Daily News reports Alice and Wendy Hill must drop their claims as part of the settlement and pay their attorneys out of the $40,000.

Air Force base security drew guns on the Hills’ van as the family left the museum parking lot in April 2014. A 911 caller reported a family casing visitor vehicles. The Hills say then 8-year-old Aaron was looking at car license plates from all the different states.

The family originally sought $75,000 and a jury trial in their lawsuit. Their attorney says he believes the settlement amount is fair.

Air Force officials have since apologized, offering another visit.

Trial date set for suspect charged in nightclub shooting

CINCINNATI (AP) — A trial date has been set for the man facing two murder charges and several other counts after a Cincinnati nightclub gunbattle.

Cornell Beckley, the man who prosecutors say fired first at the Cameo nightclub in March, was scheduled for trial May 30. Court records show the trial was pushed back to Nov. 1 at the request of the defense.

The 27-year-old has pleaded not guilty to 38 charges in the shooting that left two dead and 15 people wounded. Prosecutors say the gunbattle developed from a neighborhood “feud over nothing.” The club has since closed.

Beckley’s attorney says there is no evidence showing his client “fired a shot at anyone.”

A pretrial hearing is scheduled for June 26. If convicted, Beckley could face up to 230 years in prison.