Ohio News Briefs


Court again sides with cities in traffic camera ruling

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio Supreme Court has sided with cities again in a dispute with the state over traffic cameras.

The court on Wednesday said its ruling earlier this year upholding Dayton’s use of the traffic cameras should be applied to cases involving the cameras in Toledo and Springfield.

Those cities have been challenging a state law they say undercuts camera enforcement and makes it too costly for cities to operate.

The state’s highest court has now issued four rulings backing the cities that use the cameras to issue tickets for speeding and red-light violations.

Critics say the cameras are only boosting revenues for cities while violating motorists’ rights. The cities say they increase safety on the roads and allow police to focus on other crimes.

Proposal would create bail system based on risk assessment

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Proposed legislation would create a statewide bail system that analyzes offenders’ risk to society if released and likelihood of skipping out on court appearances.

The bill also addresses the practice of jailing people simply because they don’t have the money to post bond.

The House bill introduced last week would let judges set nonmonetary bail and require courts to collect data on bail, pretrial release and sentencing.

A related report by the Columbus-based Buckeye Institute released Monday said cash bail hurts the poor and allows dangerous offenders the chance to buy their freedom.

The legislation is sponsored by state Rep. Jonathan Dever, a Republican from Madeira in suburban Cincinnati, and Rep. Tim Ginter, a Republican from Salem in northeastern Ohio.

Ex-Ohio state trooper convicted of stealing gun from search

DELAWARE, Ohio (AP) — A former state Highway Patrol lieutenant has been convicted of theft for stealing a gun seized during a search in another investigation.

WCMH-TV reports a judge in central Ohio’s Delaware County dismissed charges of tampering with records and a second theft count against 48-year-old William Elschlager, of Marietta, during a bench trial Tuesday.

He was indicted after two guns from the search were found in his home.

Defense attorney Sam Shamansky says he hopes Elschlager receives probation.

Elschlager faces a federal trial next month for cyberstalking and deprivation of rights under color of law charges.

The former Marietta post commander in southern Ohio’s Washington County is accused of stalking a subordinate’s wife by putting a GPS device on her car so he could follow her after she ended their affair.

Ohio man accused of making threats against president, police

CINCINNATI (AP) — A Cincinnati man has been jailed after he allegedly threatened to kill President Donald Trump and also threatened police.

Forty-six-year-old Lee Gecsey was charged with inducing panic Sunday night.

WCPO-TV reports a Cincinnati police SWAT team was sent to his apartment. No other details were immediately available.

Gecsey was being held Wednesday on $10,000 bond. His attorney declined to comment about the case.

A Hamilton County court hearing is scheduled for Friday.

Oberlin College seeks dismissal of business’ lawsuit

OBERLIN, Ohio (AP) — Oberlin College wants a judge to dismiss a lawsuit that claims student protests after a 2016 shoplifting incident hurt business at a bakery near the Ohio school’s campus.

The Chronicle-Tribune in Elyria reports the motion filed last week disputes allegations made by Gibson’s Bakery in a lawsuit filed in Lorain County.

Oberlin’s motion counters the police version of the event that led to criminal charges against three black students.

The college claims Allyn Gibson assaulted a student who tried to buy wine with a fake ID. Police say the students assaulted Gibson after he confronted them.

The incident and protests have been blamed for simmering racial tensions in Oberlin.

The motion claims Gibson’s is trying to profit from a “polarizing event” that has negatively affected the college, students and community.

Teacher seen in video tackling student on paid suspension

CANTON, Ohio (AP) — School authorities in northeast Ohio say a high school teacher has been suspended with pay and is under investigation after a cellphone video surfaced showing him tackling a student inside a classroom.

The Canton Repository reports the Canton City Schools superintendent said in a statement that the McKinley High School teacher’s behavior was “disturbing and unprofessional.”

The short video recorded Dec. 4 shows the teacher touching a male student’s arm, prompting the student to pull away. The teacher then wraps his arm around the student’s neck and takes him to the floor.

It’s unclear what prompted the encounter.

The student served a one-day suspension for insubordination before the video surfaced.

The 48-year-old teacher previously had his teaching license suspended for 60 days in 2015 after being convicted of domestic violence.

Ex-Kent State president, husband pledge $1M for scholarships

KENT, Ohio (AP) — The former president of Kent State University and her husband have committed to donating $1 million to pay for arts scholarships after their deaths.

Former president Carol Cartwright and G. Phillip Cartwright also have pledged to give $10,000 annually starting this year to Kent State’s College of Arts to fund scholarships for under-represented students.

Cartwright became the first woman president of an Ohio public university in 1991 and spent 15 years leading the school before retiring in 2006. She served as president of Bowling Green State University between 2009 and 2001.

Cartwright said in a statement that the gift from the couple’s estate was a decision made with their three children, who “believe deeply” in the value of the arts and their contribution to civic life.

Catholic university names first lay leader in its history

UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, Ohio (AP) — The new president of John Carroll University will be its first lay leader in the 131-year history of the private, Catholic school near Cleveland.

Cleveland.com reports the university board approved a five-year contract for Michael Johnson Dec. 6. The 61-year-old is the current provost of Babson College in Massachusetts, where he is also a marketing professor.

Johnson will take the place of The Rev. Robert Niehoff, who announced his retirement in March. Johnson also will serve as a professor in the department of management, marketing and supply chain.

His tenure begins July 1 at the school founded by the Society of Jesuits. Salary details weren’t released, but previous presidents who were part of the Society of Jesuits did not take a salary.

Priest says he was shot at by teens trying to steal eggs

CLEVELAND (AP) — A Roman Catholic priest in Cleveland says two teenagers shot at him three times as they tried to rob him of the eggs he had just retrieved from the church chicken coop.

The Rev. John Kumse says the teens ambushed him Monday night after he closed up the coop at St. Mary’s Church. He says they demanded the eggs then chased him across the church parking lot, firing twice and missing. Kumse says he fell and one of the teens fired a third shot from close range, but missed again.

He says the teens ran off and jumped into a minivan when a neighbor came out and turned on a light.

Police arrested three juveniles in connection with the case Tuesday.