Ohio News Briefs


GOP official quits, says move unrelated to Senate misconduct

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The chief of staff to Ohio Senate majority Republicans says he’s stepping down but the move is unrelated to allegations of inappropriate conduct roiling the chamber.

Jason Mauk is a seven-year Senate veteran. He tells The Associated Press his last day will be Dec. 1.

GOP state Sen. Clifford Hite resigned last month after a female state employee complained Hite had engaged in inappropriate conversations and physical contact with her over a two-month period. Senate Democrats’ chief of staff, Michael Premo, resigned last week over undisclosed inappropriate behavior.

Mauk says Senate President Larry Obhof has known of his interest to pursue new career opportunities for nearly a year. Mauk says Obhof asked him to stay to finalize the state budget, which took longer than usual this session.

Convicted killer: Civil rights violated when dreadlocks cut

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A convicted killer in an Ohio prison claims in a federal lawsuit that his civil rights have been violated by the repeated cutting of his dreadlocks.

The lawsuit filed on behalf of inmate Cecil Koger says his faith of Rastafarianism requires him to wear his hair in dreadlocks.

The lawsuit filed last week says the prison has forcibly cut his hair five times, impeding his ability to practice his religion.

The lawsuit says Ohio’s prison system has allowed dreadlocks for other inmates and seeks to force the prison system to recognize Rastafarianism as a religion. A message was left with the Ohio prisons system seeking comment.

The 35-year-old Koger is serving a 33-year sentence for aggravated murder and aggravated robbery.

Young man’s shooting death appears accidental, officials say

WEST CHESTER, Ohio (AP) — Authorities in southwestern Ohio say the shooting death of a 19-year-old man appears to be an accident.

Officials say a preliminary investigation indicates the man accidentally shot himself on Saturday at a home in West Chester Township, north of Cincinnati. Police were called to the home that night. They didn’t immediately disclose other details about the circumstances of the shooting or what evidence led to the conclusion that it was an accident.

Township spokeswoman Barb Wilson would say only that it was an accidental discharge of a firearm.

Investigators were withholding the man’s name.

School district: Board not liable for teen killing herself

FAIRFIELD, Ohio (AP) — A southwestern Ohio school district wants its board and administrators to be dismissed from a lawsuit filed by parents who say their 13-year-old daughter killed herself after being bullied.

The Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News reports the Fairfield City School District argues its board and administrators couldn’t have known Emilie Olsen would kill herself. The district argues the board is a political subdivision that can’t be held liable on the wrongful death claim under legal doctrine.

The district also wants a judge to disregard testimony from 10 witnesses who brought forward allegations about bullying after Olsen’s death.

Her parents allege that Olsen was bullied because she was Asian-American and that school officials knew about the bullying but failed to stop it. They’re also suing school employees and students they accuse of bullying.

Police: Businessman shoots at would-be robbers

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio businessman says he engaged in a wild shootout following an attempted robbery at his cellphone store.

Adam Seaton says he was nearby when he received a notification from the security system at his Fix or Cell Now store in Dayton early Sunday morning. He arrived at the store to find two suspects running away.

Seaton says one of the suspects pulled out a weapon. Police records show the store owner picked up an AK-47 from his car and began firing at the men.

Police say Seaton then followed the men in his car as they drove away in a truck. Seaton says he ended the pursuit after the suspects began firing shots at his vehicle.

Seaton says this is the fourth time his store has been broken into.

Police: 2 hospitalized after backyard explosion

NORWOOD, Ohio (AP) — Police say two people have been hospitalized after an explosion in an Ohio backyard.

Authorities tell WKRC-TV a small propane tank used for barbecuing exploded in Norwood around 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

Two people were rushed to a local hospital with burns. Their current condition has not been released.

Police have determined the explosion was accidental.

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