Ohio News Briefs

Proposed Ohio law would prevent forced nurse overtime

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — A shortage of nurses in Ohio has prompted a state lawmaker to propose a law that would ban hospitals from requiring nurses to work overtime.

State Rep. Robert Sprague, a Findlay Republican, said he’s concerned that exhausted nurses working long hours can lead to preventable medical errors

“It’s a recipe for problems,” Sprague told The Dayton Daily News.

The Ohio Nurses Association supports the legislation Sprague introduced last month. Nurses sometimes work 12-hour shifts on successive days without lunch breaks, said the organization’s CEO, Lori Chovanak.

“We want to be able to provide safe, confident care to our patients,” Chovanak said.

Research shows mistakes in administering medication, patient falls and patient morbidity rise when nurses work overtime, she said.

“We want to be able to provide safe, confident care to our patients,” Chovanak said.

The Ohio Hospital Association opposes the bill. It said in a statement that hospitals need flexibility to adequately treat all patients. The proposed law overlooks the varied skillsets within hospital staffs and ignores staff competency, the group said.

There are more than 200,000 registered nurses in Ohio.

The law would make Ohio the 19th state to ban compulsory overtime, Chovanak said.

School district changes bullying policy after child suicide

CINCINNATI (AP) — An Ohio schools superintendent isn’t saying whether changes to its bullying policies have been influenced by the suicide of an 8-year-old boy who reportedly had been bullied.

Cincinnati Public Schools Superintendent Laura Mitchell tells WCPO-TV the district website now has a prominent link for reporting bullying, that teachers and staff are receiving more training, and the district has hired a social worker with expertise in stress management.

Mitchell did not say if the changes were connected to the death of Gabriel Taye in January 2017. The boy’s family says he hanged himself after being bullied at his elementary school.

Gabriel’s family filed a wrongful death against the district claiming school officials ignored a culture of bullying.

The district has filed a motion to have the lawsuit dismissed.

Ohio woman charged for throwing live dog into trash bag

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (AP) — A southwest Ohio woman has been charged with animal cruelty for putting a sickly dog into a trash bag for collection.

The Springfield News-Sun reports 53-year-old Tracy Brown, of Springfield, appeared in court Friday and asked for a public defender.

Police say Brown called police last month and asked how to dispose of a dead dog, telling a dispatcher she’d put the dog’s body outside because it smelled.

Workers then picked up the trash bag containing a male boxer mix named Ledo. Police say workers opened the bag at a compost center and found Leo barely alive. A humane officer killed Ledo to alleviate his pain.

Brown told the newspaper she raised and loved Ledo but knew he was alive when she put him in the trash bag.

Postal carriers say aggressive turkeys stopping mail service

ROCKY RIVER, Ohio (AP) — Postal carriers say a rafter of aggressive wild turkeys have prevented them from delivering mail to more than two dozen homes in a Cleveland suburb.

Cleveland.com reports residents on a number of streets in Rocky River have had to pick up their mail at the post office because the turkeys have created unsafe conditions for carriers to deliver to their homes.

Rocky River Mayor Pam Bobst said the problem has persisted for the last three weeks. City ordinances don’t allow for the turkeys to be eradicated, she said.

The city has instead sent letters to people asking them to stop putting out bird feed in the hope the turkeys will go elsewhere.

A U.S. Postal Service spokesman says some carriers have been pecked but none have been injured.

Groundbreaking set for national park visitor center

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — Officials say Cuyahoga Valley National Park in northeast Ohio will hold a groundbreaking for its new visitor center.

Park spokeswoman Allie Connor says the groundbreaking for the nearly $6 million Boston Mill Visitor Center will be Monday in Boston Township, roughly 15 miles (24 kilometers) north of Akron.

Connor says the facility will be the first central visitor center for the park in more than 40 years. Current plans call for it to open in May 2019.

The center is being designed to provide information about programs and activities at the national park to help visitors plan their park experience.

The center also will feature exhibits on the Cuyahoga Valley’s historic cultures.

Connor says more than 2 million people visited the park in 2016. Statistics weren’t available yet for 2017.

Highway section to honor firefighters killed in line of duty

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Two firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty will be memorialized with a section of highway in northwestern Ohio named for them.

WTOL-TV reports that State Rep. Mike Ashford will hold a news conference Monday to unveil the sign for the roughly 1.5 mile (2.4 kilometers) section of Interstate 75 that will be named for Toledo firefighters James Dickman and Stephen Machcinski. They lost their lives battling a fire that was intentionally set in 2014.

The Democratic legislator from Toledo says the memorial is intended to show “unwavering support” for first responders, their families and the sacrifices they make to keep communities safe.

Ashford will be joined at the news conference at Toledo Firefighters IAFF Local 92 union hall by union president Jeff Koenigseker.

New Toledo mayor to host inauguration celebration

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Toledo’s new mayor plans to celebrate his inauguration with events that include an inaugural ball, prayer service and a family fun day.

The Blade reports the celebration for incoming Democratic Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz (KAP’-suh-kav’-ich) will take place Jan. 20 and 21.

The series of events is called “Our City Our Future,” and will begin with an inter-faith prayer service Jan. 20. An inaugural ball will be held later that day with live music and dancing. An event for young professionals will follow the ball.

The mayor’s family is hosting a Free Family Fun Day on Jan. 21 to close out the celebration.

Kapszukiewicz, the longtime Lucas County treasurer, defeated Democratic Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson in November’s non-partisan general election. He was sworn in Jan. 2.

Governor names second Ohio poet laureate

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sihk) has named the state’s second poet laureate to a two-year position.

Dave Lucas of Cleveland Heights succeeds the first person to hold that job, Dr. Amit Majmudar (UH’-miht MAHJ’-muh-dahr), a doctor in suburban Columbus.

Lawmakers created the laureate position in 2014. Lucas was recommended for the position by the Ohio Poet Laureate Selection Committee after a statewide nominating process.

Kasich says the poet laureate has an opportunity to engage Ohioans of all ages in unique and challenging ways.

Lucas said he was grateful for the chance to help people celebrate poetry in books, on stage and on screen.

Lucas has been an instructor at several Cleveland institutions including Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic Program in Medical Humanities.