Ohio News Briefs


‘Pizzagate’ figures defended by GOP’s Mandel start super PAC

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Two right-wing activists that Ohio Republican Josh Mandel defended this summer against labeling by an anti-hate group have launched a super PAC backing his bid for U.S. Senate.

Mike Cernovich and Jack Posobiec are among founders of the political action committee launched Monday.

Both men were involved in the conspiracy theory dubbed “pizzagate,” which suggested Hillary Clinton was running a pedophile ring out of a pizzeria.

A message was left Tuesday with Mandel’s campaign seeking comment on the PAC’s plans to support him.

Mandel, Ohio’s state treasurer, retweeted a Twitter post by Cernovich in July that accused the Anti-Defamation League of “inciting terrorism” with a report identifying members of the “alt-right” and “alt-lite” movements.

It identified Cernovich and Posobiec as “alt-lite,” which the ADL defines as rejecting overtly white supremacist ideology, but embracing misogyny and xenophobia.

Mandel is making his second consecutive bid to unseat incumbent Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, this time around employing some of the campaign tactics used successfully by GOP President Donald Trump.

Cleveland businessman Mike Gibbons is challenging Mandel in the Republican primary.

Mandel’s tweet in July cast the League’s identification of a list of key figures in the right-wing factions energized by Trump’s election as politically slanted labeling.

“Sad to see (the league) become a partisan witch-hunt group targeting people for political beliefs,” Mandel posted.

The league stood by its decision to identify both men as major figures in the burgeoning “alt-lite” movement, which bears similarities but is less staunch than what’s called “alt-right,” or alternative right. It said its work is aimed at stopping defamation not by politics.

A campaign spokeswoman for Mandel, who is Jewish and the grandson of Holocaust survivors, retorted that “the ADL is dead wrong for creating hit lists on American citizens.”

Cincinnati police union leader: Force users into treatment

CINCINNATI (AP) — A Cincinnati police union leader says people who heavily misuse opioids endanger officers and should be forced into treatment.

Sgt. Dan Hils made a statement after a Cincinnati officer searching a suspect was exposed to an unknown, powdery substance that sickened him. The substance was likely fentanyl or another synthetic opioid more potent than heroin.

Hils said the officer was taken to a hospital Monday and will recover, but it was the third such case involving a Cincinnati officer in two months.

One officer was hospitalized in May after he came into contact with an unknown substance during a traffic stop. The officer reported feeling sick and light-headed. Two officers were treated in August after being exposed to drugs just hours apart.

“We don’t know what this stuff gets cut with, but it’s all over on our streets,” Hils said.

The Fraternal Order of Police local leader said officers face “extreme danger” from the opioid crisis as they deal with potent drugs and unpredictable users who can turn violent.

He argued authorities should have greater ability to force people into treatment programs when they’re harming themselves or endangering others. The state’s prisons and jails just don’t have enough space, according to Hils.

“We are caught in a Catch-22, between a rock and a hard place,” he said. “Our people are being put in extreme danger because of this crisis.”

Talent management group: Dismiss ex-football star’s lawsuit

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A talent management company is asking a federal judge to throw out a lawsuit that links the company to alleged improper use of ex-athletes’ photos by Ohio State University.

IMG says the lawsuit filed earlier this year by former Ohio State linebacker Chris Spielman doesn’t provide facts showing the company did anything wrong.

Among programs targeted by the complaint is a Honda-sponsored collection of 64 banners hung around Ohio Stadium featuring photos of former players, including Spielman.

The university says Honda’s banner contract was with IMG, not Ohio State.

Spielman’s class-action lawsuit wants the marketing programs stopped and the ex-athletes compensated.

A message was left with Spielman’s attorney, who is expected to oppose IMG’s request.

New snow leopard on display at Ohio zoo; 2nd cub euthanized

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio zoo says one of two snow leopard cubs born there a few months ago has gone on display.

The Toledo zoo says a female cub named Dariga went on exhibit Monday with her family.

The female cub and a male cub were born June 8. The zoo says the male cub was humanely euthanized after being diagnosed with genetic anomalies shortly after birth.

Snow leopards are native to the mountains of central Asia. The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources lists them as endangered due mainly to retaliatory killings for preying upon farmers’ livestock.

Zoo officials say climate change and human encroachment also pose threats to snow leopards’ survival in the wild.

High court won’t hear appeal by condemned man who killed cop

CLEVELAND (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court won’t review the murder conviction of a man sentenced to death for killing a Cleveland police officer.

Cleveland.com reports that the case of 47-year-old Quisi (QWEE’-zee) Bryan is among those that the court has declined to review during this term.

He was condemned for shooting Wayne Leon in 2000 after the officer stopped Bryan for a traffic violation.

A federal judge overturned Bryan’s convictions in 2015 and concluded that prosecutors had improperly sought to remove a prospective juror because the juror was black. Bryan also is black.

A federal appeals court reversed that decision and reinstated his convictions in December. Bryan had asked the nation’s high court to review that ruling.

Superintendent suspended for pulling down board VP’s pants

MAPLE HEIGHTS, Ohio (AP) — The superintendent of an Ohio public school district has been suspended after he was caught on video at a football game pulling down the pants of the school board vice president.

Maple Heights School Board President Pamela Crews says Superintendent Charles Keenan was suspended for 10 days without pay and required to issue a letter of apology for the August incident, which was captured on surveillance video.

Keenan says his intent was to be playful with board Vice President Michael White, and he didn’t mean to pull White’s pants all the way down.

Ohio officers wounded in shooting released from hospital

WILLOUGHBY HILLS, Ohio (AP) — Police in northeast Ohio say two officers wounded in a shooting at a car dealership have been released from a hospital and are recovering at home.

Willoughby Hills police have said the officers were called to a dealership Thursday about a problem with a customer. Police say the two officers were hurt when a man shot them, and they returned fire and shot the man.

A police report says one officer was shot in the chest and the other was shot in the leg.

Authorities say the man suspected of shooting the officers was hospitalized in stable condition Thursday and remained hospitalized Monday. They say he has not been charged in the shooting.

Willoughby Hills is about 20 miles (32 kilometers) east of Cleveland.

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