Ohio News Briefs

Ohio county to pay $375K to settle jail pepper spray lawsuit

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio county will pay $375,000 to settle a federal lawsuit filed by a woman seen on a jail videotape being pepper-sprayed by a corrections officer while strapped to a restraint chair.

The Dayton Daily News reports 25-year-old Amber Swink sued Montgomery County last year for civil rights violations.

A county prosecutor said the county agreed to the settlement, which Swink’s attorney said they reached Wednesday.

Swink was in jail at the time, November 2015, on an allegation she assaulted a police officer. She later pleaded guilty in that case.

A grand jury declined to indict the officer on felony charges. The officer has since been promoted from sergeant to captain.

A federal civil rights investigation was launched and a Dayton city prosecutor says misdemeanor charges are possible.

Conservative values group to host Ohio governor race forum

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio-based conservative group plans to host candidates for governor at a candidate forum this fall.

Citizens for Community Values, based in suburban Cincinnati, says both Republican and Democratic candidates have been invited to the Oct. 8 event.

The four GOP candidates — Attorney General Mike DeWine, Secretary of State Jon Husted, Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor and U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci — have confirmed.

Democrats plan their own series of debates across the state beginning Sept. 12.

The values group forum will feature 15- to 20-minute individual interviews where candidates can discuss their visions for the state, their faith and various issue positions.

The host will be Frank Luntz, a Fox News analyst and best-selling author.

Ohio University to allow beer sales at football games

ATHENS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio University will allow beer sales during football games starting this season.

The Columbus Dispatch reports school officials announced the new policy this week.

Officials say the decision comes after feedback from customer surveys. The state’s Division of Liquor Control must issue a permit before suds can flow at Peden Stadium during Bobcat home games.

Beer won’t be sold on the student side of the stadium, but that won’t prohibit students from taking beer to their seats. Beer has been sold the previous three seasons in areas exclusive to university donors. The school will add an alcohol-free zone for fans.

Ohio’s five other Mid-American Conference schools sell beer during football games.

Ohio State University raised $1.1 million after it began selling beer throughout Ohio Stadium last season.

Ohio jobless rate rises in July from previous month

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — State officials say Ohio’s unemployment rate rose in July from the previous month and remains higher than the U.S. rate, which fell last month.

The state unemployment rate rose from 5 percent in June to 5.2 percent last month. Ohio’s unemployment rate in July 2016 was 4.9 percent.

The national rate was 4.3 percent in July compared with 4.4 percent in June and 4.9 percent in July 2016.

The state Department of Job and Family Services says Ohio’s nonagricultural wage and salary employment increased by 1,600 from June to July.

Job gains in leisure and hospitality, financial activities and information sectors surpassed losses in other services, professional and business services and educational and health services. There were job losses in the construction and manufacturing sectors.

Weak tornado touches down in Ohio; no reported injuries

WARREN, Ohio (AP) — The National Weather Service has confirmed that a weak tornado touched down during a storm in northeast Ohio.

The weather service says the touchdown occurred just after 7 p.m. Thursday in Trumbull County. It was classified as an EF0, the weakest rating on the scale used to measure tornado severity.

The storm downed trees and power lines, but there were no reports of injuries or structural damage.

A tornado that ripped through the area in May 1985 killed 19 people and injured more than 500 in Ohio and Pennsylvania while causing an estimated $140 million in property damage.

Man whose dismembered remains found in trash bin ID’d

LORAIN, Ohio (AP) — Authorities have identified dismembered human remains found in a trash bin in northeast Ohio after a 30-year-old man confessed to killing and dismembering a man before he killed himself.

Cleveland.com reports Lorain County’s coroner said Thursday that the remains found in Lorain were those of 50-year-old Daniel Sloane, of Cleveland. The coroner ruled Sloane’s death a homicide, but said the exact cause couldn’t be determined.

Investigators have said Sloane was killed July 1. They said Hector Diaz told his girlfriend that he had shot and killed a landscaper and planned to kill himself. Sloane owned a landscaping company.

Diaz fatally shot himself on July 2 as he was confronted by a SWAT team in Lorain, roughly 25 miles (40 kilometers) west of Cleveland.

Police haven’t commented on a motive.

Ohio proposal would label neo-Nazi groups terrorists

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Police in Ohio would be directed to recognize white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups as terrorist organizations under a state legislative proposal.

The resolution was introduced Thursday by Democratic state Rep. David Leland, of Columbus. It follows a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a woman was killed.

The measure would enable law enforcement to pursue such groups’ activities and whereabouts with the resources and attention devoted to domestic terrorist groups. Illinois recently passed a similar measure.

Republican President Donald Trump has been criticized for insisting blame for the rally’s bloodshed must be shared on “both sides.”

Leland acknowledged free speech is a “bedrock value” of America but argued such groups violate foundational national principles of “liberty and justice for all.”

The proposal’s fate in the Republican-dominated House is unclear.

Police: Ku Klux Klan flyers dropped at homes

CINCINNATI (AP) — Police say packages containing Ku Klux Klan flyers were dropped at dozens of homes in a suburban Cincinnati township.

WXIX-TV in Cincinnati reports that Green Township police say employment guides in orange plastic wrappers were dropped on driveways this week. The guides had a message from the KKK taped inside that included statements such as “Racial purity is America’s security.”

Police say they are not investigating the action as a hate crime. They say the messages are protected as free speech under the U.S. Constitution.

Authorities say they did receive several calls from upset residents.

Police suspect someone probably saw an easy opportunity to hide their messages inside the guides, which were dated back in January, and then re-distribute them.

Board OKs language on drug price, victim rights issues

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A state panel has approved final ballot language for two statewide issues being placed before Ohio voters this fall.

The Ohio Ballot Board met Thursday on the measures related to crime victims’ rights and drug pricing set to appear on Nov. 7 ballots.

Issue 1 is dubbed Marsy’s Law. The proposed constitutional amendment would give crime victims and their families the same rights as the accused, including notice of court proceedings, input on plea deals and the ability to tell their story.

Issue 2 is titled the Drug Price Relief Act. The hotly contested citizen-initiated statute seeks to bar state agencies from buying drugs at prices higher than those paid by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which receives deep discounts.