Ohio News Briefs


Prosecutor: Seized fentanyl enough to kill entire city

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio county prosecutor says the amount of fentanyl seized from three California men last month was enough to kill the entire population of Columbus.

A Franklin County grand jury on Friday indicted Joel Lassiter, Luis Delgado and Rashaad Williams on aggravated drug trafficking and drug possession charges. Court records don’t indicate whether they have attorneys.

Authorities say the men were arrested Oct. 25 by a drug task force in a Columbus hotel parking lot where 2 kilograms (4.5 pounds) of fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid, was found in the trunk of a car.

Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien says a fatal dose of fentanyl is just 2 or 3 milligrams. The population of Columbus is about 860,000 people.

Justice running for governor says he’ll vote on some cases

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio Supreme Court justice and Democratic gubernatorial candidate William O’Neill says he’ll continue to participate and vote on cases in which he was previously involved.

O’Neill sent the court a letter Friday announcing a “blanket notice” of recusal for all new cases to avoid the appearance of impropriety. The Dispatch reports the 70-year-old O’Neill says he’ll continue to be involved in 99 previous cases.

Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, who cautioned O’Neill about his judicial duties after he announced his candidacy last week, will appoint judges from state appellate courts as needed to take O’Neill’s place. State Auditor Dave Yost, a Republican running for attorney general, has said O’Neill should resign.

O’Neill said he will step down from the bench by the Feb. 7 candidate filing deadline.

Former Ohio principal faces sex charges involving students

CHILLICOTHE, Ohio (AP) — A former Ohio principal of the year has been charged with multiple counts of sexual battery that authorities say involve two former high school students.

The Chillicothe Gazette reports 35-year-old Jeffrey Fisher was issued a summons Friday in southern Ohio’s Ross County after a grand jury indicted him on seven felony counts.

County Prosecutor Matt Schmidt says the charges come after a nearly three-month investigation that began with information from a family services agency. Schmidt says the students were 16 and 17 years old at the time and have since graduated.

An attorney says Fisher will plead not guilty at a Nov. 20 arraignment and asked the public for information that will exonerate him.

Fisher was Chillicothe High School principal until last year and is now a Chillicothe district administrator.

Statehouse event to feature Ohio foods, book signings

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A smorgasbord of Ohio foods and books will be showcased at the Ohio Statehouse Museum Shop’s upcoming “Taste of Ohio” event.

The Nov. 15 event features products from five Ohio companies and signings of three books highlighting aspects of the state.

Food offerings are being provided by Giorgio Cookie Co., Bellisari’s, Nature’s Honey Tree, Silver Bridge Coffee Co. and De Massimo’s Authentic Sauces.

“Ohio in Photographs: A Portrait of the Buckeye State,” by Ian Adams and Randall Lee Schieber; “Mr. Chairman: The Life and Times of Ray C. Bliss,” by William Hershey and John Green; and “True Tales from the Campaign Trail; Stories Only Political Consultants Can Tell,” by Jerry Austin will be signed by the authors.

The event runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Map Room.

Researcher awarded grant to work on artificial intelligence

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — A researcher at the University of Dayton has won an award to develop a brain-inspired computer chip that can learn on its own.

Associate professor Tarek Taha will use the three-year, $44,000 award from the National Science Foundation to work toward his goal of developing an artificial intelligence chip. Taha says the chip will be more efficient and compact than current ones.

Taha says deep learning artificial intelligence chips can be used in self-driving cars and could potentially be used in robots at some point.

He says the chips are a part of an emerging multibillion-dollar industry, which could ramp up to develop learning networks for existing applications.

New policy to limit bag size, food at Columbus libraries

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Columbus Metropolitan Library has established new rules to “dispel the notion” that people are camping inside its buildings.

The Columbus Dispatch reports the library’s board of directors late last month set a new policy prohibiting people from bringing in items larger than carry-on bags at the library’s 23 branches. People will be limited to three bags.

Food, with the exception of snacks and items purchased from library cafes, won’t be permitted.

The changes take effect Dec. 1.

Library spokesman Ben Zenitsky says the board established the new policy “to dispel the notion that customers are camping out at the library.”

Zenitsky says the library is trying to be fair to the homeless while being mindful of other patrons.

University of Cincinnati police to be re-issued stun guns

CINCINNATI (AP) — University of Cincinnati police officers will once again be allowed to carry stun guns.

The university said Thursday that stun guns will be re-issued to officers after being taken away six years ago following a student’s death. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports the university Police Department has updated its use-of-force policy after a recommendation by a police monitoring firm.

Stun guns were taken away from officers in 2011 after 18-year-old student Everette Howard went into cardiac arrest when a stun gun was used on him outside a dormitory.

The university has begun training instructors to ensure stun guns are used properly by officers, who won’t carry them until policies have been finalized and each officer is qualified.

The school paid $2 million to Howard’s family in 2013 to settle a lawsuit.

Police: Baby dies after bite by family dog in Cleveland

CLEVELAND (AP) — Authorities say a 2-week-old girl has died after being bitten by a family dog in Cleveland.

Police say the infant was bitten shortly before 7 p.m. Friday and died about two hours later at a hospital.

The Cleveland police homicide unit, which is called to all deaths involving young children, is investigating.

Police haven’t released the infant’s name or other details about what happened.

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