Ohio News Briefs

Brewery to make 2 million cans of water for disaster victims

TRENTON, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio brewery will skip the hops and barley to produce 2 million cans of water for disaster victims.

The Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News reports the water will be canned at the MillerCoors Trenton, Ohio, brewery over the next three years in a partnership with the American Red Cross.

Red Cross officials say clean drinking water is one of the most urgent needs after a disaster because normal supplies are often contaminated or inaccessible.

Colorado-based Ball Corporation is providing cans and Atlanta-based Graphic Packaging International the packaging in what has become a national collaborative effort.

The Red Cross responds to tens of thousands of disasters each year ranging from house fires to hurricanes and provides assistance to victims at no cost.

Judge rules University of Dayton hazing lawsuit can proceed

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — A judge has denied a motion by the University of Dayton to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a former student claiming the school covered up allegations of football team hazing by not disclosing a campus police investigation to local law enforcement.

The Dayton Daily News reports a visiting judge ruled Friday all counts in the lawsuit could proceed.

The school’s attorneys had argued Ohio’s hazing statute covers group initiations and that former student and offensive lineman Max Engelhart was already on the team.

Engelhart’s lawsuit says freshman players were hazed and forced to drink excessively by football upperclassmen in 2014.

The suit claims Engelhart suffered a cognitive brain injury during the hazing and is being treated with a drug typically given to Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.

Ohio county spends $200K to buy insurance for cyberattacks

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio county that includes the capital city of Columbus is spending $200,000 on an insurance policy to cover cyberattacks.

The Columbus Dispatch reports Franklin County’s $10 million policy will provide protection for the increasing worldwide threat. The Franklin County Data Center currently spends about $3 million a year on cyber security.

Such attacks are especially worrisome to government entities that keep all kinds of personal information on people, including their names, addresses and Social Security numbers.

The insurance would pay for internal security improvements in the event of a hack and specialists who track cyber invasions and repair and restore computer systems.

The Franklin County administrator calls the insurance a “belt and suspenders” approach to protecting the county.

Toledo receives nearly $3 million for lead paint upgrades

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Toledo officials say the city has received nearly $3 million in federal money to help rid homes and rental units of lead and mold hazards.

The Blade reports the $2.9 million U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grant announced last week allocates most of the money to lead-related improvements and $400,000 for treating other environmental hazards like mold.

The money will cover improvements at an estimated 145 housing units in Toledo.

A city spokeswoman says low-income residents or landlords with low-income tenants can apply for the grants, which will cover a variety of lead-based repairs and improvements.

Toledo has a lead-safe rental ordinance that requires properties built before 1978 to be inspected and cleared of lead hazards before they’re rented.

Ohio colleges to make emergency grants available to students

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A Wisconsin-based nonprofit is funding a two-year program that would make emergency grants available to some low-income students at 11 Ohio colleges and universities.

The Columbus Dispatch reports the Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates is the program’s primary funding source.

An Ohio State University Office of Student Life spokesman says grants of as much as $1,000 could help students stay in school instead of dropping out because of financial problems. The money is payable to whomever the student owes and won’t cover costs for tuition, housing or books.

Other schools receiving funding from the program are University of Akron, Cleveland State University, University of Toledo, Xavier University, Heidelberg University, Lourdes University, Mercy College of Ohio, Notre Dame College of Ohio, Ohio Wesleyan and Union Institute and University.

Ohio cell towers camouflaged to blend in with surroundings

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Efforts to turn two looming cell towers in a Toledo suburb into faux pine trees to help them blend in with their surroundings are getting mixed reviews from residents.

The Blade reports some residents in Springfield Township have derisively dubbed the towers “frankenpines.”

Adding branches to the towers wasn’t purely an aesthetic decision. It’s a zoning requirement for cell towers erected in Springfield Township residential districts.

Springfield Township zoning officer Jacob Barnes likes the look and told The Blade that he expects residents do as well.

A resident of a nearby subdivision who opposed construction of the 120-foot structure from the start says he remains concerned about potential health risks from living near a cell tower. Another resident says he’s just happy to have better cellphone service.

US Energy secretary to visit uranium plant cleanup site

PIKETON, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s Republican senator says U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry will visit the cleanup site of a former Cold War-era uranium plant in southern Ohio.

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman said in a statement Friday that Perry will visit the cleanup site of the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Piketon on July 31. Portman says he invited Perry to get a firsthand look at the cleanup work and see the “importance of the work to the local economy.”

Portman’s release says he has worked to secure the necessary funding to keep the cleanup project on track and protect jobs.

Commissioners from four southern Ohio counties also wrote to Perry in April urging continued funding for the cleanup. The cleanup produces some of the best-paid jobs in an area with high unemployment.